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GCI Seminar 2019: Introducing the Educators!

We are thrilled to introduce you to the 12 secondary school educators who are attending the 2nd Annual GCI Professional Development Seminar 2019! 

Yesterday, 12 Educators from all corners of the globe started their GCI journey by gathering at the GCI Seminar 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. The Seminar is an intensive program for secondary school educators to learn key elements of the GCI Method, a research-based pedagogy that combines Discussion-Based Learning, Design Thinking and Human Connectivity. The 5-day Seminar runs in parallel with the GCI Summit, as the Educators will observe some of the student sessions and attend many of the same evening events, in addition to participating in their own academic sessions and workshops.

This year's cohort of 12 Educators represents 8 different citizenships, speaks 13 languages and works at 12 schools in 7 countries!

Continue reading below for each of the Educators' biographies.

Najib Ahmed

Dean, Faculty of Social Studies and Curriculum Design Specialist

Abaarso School

Abaarso, Somaliland

Mr. Ahmed is a graduate of Abaarso School of Science and Technology and Georgetown. After spending 4 years at Georgetown, he currently lives and works at Abaarso. Mr. Ahmed teaches history, serves as the Dean of Boys, and designs parts of the school’s curriculum. He is interested in education and development and looks to help improve Abaarso’s social studies curriculum (and ultimately, Somalia’s national curriculum).

Catherine Arnold


Boston Latin School

Massachusetts, United States

Ms. Arnold teaches history at Boston Latin School and advises YouthCAN, a youth-led environmental group serving hundreds at their Annual Youth Summit on Climate and Sustainability at MIT. Awards include the President’s Environmental Youth Award, an EPA merit award, the Secretary's Award for Excellence in Energy and Environment, the Eco-Schools Green Flag, a 15K Green Heroes award, a $75K Green School Makeover, the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School Award, and coverage on the Today Show. Ms. Arnold has received the Mayor's Green Award, the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools’ Coolest Teacher Award (Antarctica trip-2041 Expedition), and $25K in The Green Awards. She advises a student-run hydroponic farm; and EPIIC (Educating for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship), an extracurricular club participating yearly in a simulated global conference for high schoolers at Tufts University addressing issues of international importance. Ms. Arnold also advises the BLS Chapter of the Massachusetts High School Democrats.

Aida Conroy

Teacher and Internal Harkness Mentor

The Noble Academy

Illinois, United States

Ms. Conroy is a teacher, instructional coach, and consultant. She graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 2009 and then attended Columbia University where she double majored in American Studies and Sustainable Development. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. After graduating from college she joined Teach for America in Chicago, her hometown. Aida was a national finalist for the 2015 Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award. For the last four years she has worked as a founding teacher and “Harkness Mentor” at The Noble Academy, the only public or charter school in the United States to be utilizing the Harkness method across all disciplines. The Noble Academy is a Title 1 school that serves low-income and minority students. For the second year in a row 100% of seniors have been accepted to a 4-year college or university. She believes deeply in the creating excellent educational opportunities for students regardless of their background.

Mohamed Farrag

Mathematics Faculty

African Leadership Academy

Honeydew, South Africa

Mr. Farrag is a 26-year-old Muslim Egyptian. He got his BSc in Physics and Mathematics in 2014 from the American University in Cairo. He studied at the University of Arizona in 2012-2013 as an exchange student. Although he deeply enjoys geeky conversations about Physics and Mathematics, Education is the one field that he is extremely passionate about; he is deeply inspired by Ibn Sina’s (a.k.a Avicenna) and Al Ghazali’s philosophies of education. He believes that it is through holistic education that one finds their true self and their place in a community. He grew up in a very physical environment, training different martial arts since he was nine, and competed for seven years (14-21). Alongside his current job at ALA, he trains and teaches twice a day Capoeira and Jiu-Jitsu. His dream is to create an intentional self-reliant community in Sinai, Egypt, that holistically educates its people.