MARK RENIE arrived in Singapore in July 2021 as the founding Head of School at the One World International School Suntec campus. In January this year, his role expanded to include the Nanyang campus. We get to know him better.
Where were you before Singapore?
I was teaching in and leading international schools in Korea, China, Vietnam and Thailand.
Tell us a bit about what you do at One world.
My role at OWIS is to ensure that we stay true to our guiding statements and to support our team in ensuring that happens. We’re proud of our values and our commitment to helping every child realise their potential. It’s my job to make sure that we never lose sight of those values and that commitment.
What’s your favourite thing about being Head of School?
I love being at the gate every day to welcome our community members into school. I love seeing the excitement and smiles as our students get ready for another day of rewarding, engaging and fun learning opportunities.
What are some aspects of education that you’re passionate about and that you look forward to nurturing at the school?
One element of education that I believe is critical is the socio-emotional development of our students. A community that encourages mindfulness and teaches students to have a growth mindset approach to learning will help develop emotionally resilient and healthy students.
At OWIS, our Pastoral Coordinators are working hard to ensure that these approaches are embedded in all elements of our curriculum and across all the stages of our school.
What are some of your favourite things about the Suntec campus?
It has developed into a warm, friendly and welcoming community. A visit to Suntec is always a pleasure as you’re greeted by all students and they’re all excited to show you what new concept they are learning or what new project they’re working on. The high level of pride in their school is truly unique among schools I’ve worked at.
What have been some highlights of your two decades in education and school leadership?
One of the key highlights of my career was attending the Primary graduation ceremony of my first Grade 1 class. To be part of their primary education from start to finish was a humbling experience. They had grown up into wonderful young global citizens who were committed to making a positive impact on their community. I was very proud of them and honoured to be a part of the ceremony.
What’s your favourite part about living in Asia and, in particular, Singapore?
I have too many favourites to mention! One aspect of Singapore that I do love is the accessibility of green spaces and areas for hiking. I’ve enjoyed exploring all of the different parks and cycling on the various park connectors.
What do you do on the weekends or days off?
I’m usually with my wife, walking, cycling around the city or exploring new neighbourhoods.
This article first appeared in the September 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!