Educational Leadership Team

Julie Lawton - Head of School

Julie is originally from Yorkshire, in the North of England. She gained her BA in German, Spanish, and Business Studies in 1988 in the UK. She then went on to study for her Post Graduate Certificate of Education (Primary) and her TEFL/TESOL Diploma.

Julie's first teaching position was for two years as a Grade 2 homeroom teacher in a small school in her hometown. She then chose to head overseas and worked as a Grade 3 homeroom teacher for two years in Kuwait. She moved to Beijing and joined an international school in 1996 where she held a variety of positions, including G3, G4, and G5 homeroom teacher, G1-6 ESOL teacher, Primary Years Programme (PYP) Coordinator, Assistant Principal, and Lower School Principal.

Julie was delighted to join BCIS as the founding Elementary Principal in August 2005, a position that she held for 13 years. She also held the role of Deputy Head of School and became the Head of School at BCIS in 2018. BCIS continues to grow, develop, innovate, and care for all students and adults in its community, and she is delighted to continue on this journey with the BCIS family.

Julie has worked closely with the International Baccalaureate for many years, has benefited from a variety of professional development opportunities, both inside and outside BCIS, and is a committed life-long learner.

Julie has three children, Jack, Finn, and Molly. Jack graduated from BCIS in 2016; Finn graduated from BCIS in 2018; and Molly currently studies at BCIS.

Alan Cox - Early Childhood Center Principal

Alan is originally from Powell, Ohio in the Great Lakes section United States of America. Having earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Elementary Education from The Ohio State University, Alan spent three years honing his teaching skills in southern Maryland from 1997 to 2000.

From teaching in America, he then journeyed to Berlin, Germany where he taught at the John F. Kennedy Schule, a bilingual school in the German public school system, for the next two years. In 2002, Mr. Cox joined an IBPYP international school here in Beijing teaching Grades 5 and 6. It is here that he first became an IBPYP Coordinator and helped to facilitate the school’s 3-year IBPYP self-study report and evaluation. In 2005, Mr. Cox qualified to be trained as an IBPYP Workshop Leader for the Asia Pacific region and began to conduct IB workshops and school evaluations in the region.

Alan was excited to join BCIS in 2006 as IBPYP Coordinator. HE is currently the Early Childhood Center Principal and serves as a member of the Educational Leadership Team.

Sally Richmond - Elementary School Principal

Sally comes from England and gained her Bachelor of Arts in Education and English Literature at the University of Winchester. She has taught in the UK, Kuwait, and most recently here in Beijing at BCIS. This is the eighteenth year that Sally has worked overseas. She has thoroughly enjoyed the challenges she has faced when working with children for whom English is a second language, while also working with native speakers. She has completed a tutors' course entitled, "ESL in the Mainstream for the Early Learner," which allows her to train other teachers. She enjoys working with colleagues from around the world and also with children from many different nationalities. This year, she has taken on the role of Elementary School Principal.

When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and her children, Jacob and Annabel, who both attend BCIS. She has a number of interests and enjoys reading, photography, and trying out different types of exercise. She is an active participant in the Beijing International Triathlon and has helped encourage many of her colleagues to join in on the fun too!

Mark Sullivan - Secondary School Principal

Mark was born in California and soon after moved with his parents to Egypt. A product of international education, he graduated high school from Cairo American College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the American University in Cairo, a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University, and a Certificate of International School Leadership from the Principal's Training Center.

Mark joins BCIS with his wife Denise (Secondary School ELL teacher) and their youngest (of three boys), Travis, who will enter Grade 10 in August 2018. Mark comes to us from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he was the High School Principal of the American International School of Jeddah. He has a rich background as an Arts Coordinator, Activities Director, Assistant Principal, and is an experienced Principal. He is a strong proponent of experiential learning and student voice and is committed to empowering students, faculty, staff, and parents to further the school’s mission.

Allen Lambert - Director of Communications

Allen received his Bachelor of Science in Management and Communication from Corbon University in Salem, Oregon and pursued a career in business before going into education. He served as director of two Non-Profit Community Organizations. While working as an assistant English teacher in the French university system, he was inspired to return to school to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching from Southern Oregon University and then later a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University.

Allen has worked in schools both in Oregon and Arizona, as well as abroad. In his teaching career, he has distinguished himself as an intervention specialist focusing on language acquisition, mathematical fluency, and gifted programs. He has served in leadership roles, such as head of department and climate consultant to the superintendent. He believes in building leadership capacity in students and staff and recognizes that the culture of a community should be purposefully developed in order to achieve our mission. Before coming to China, he taught in a Middle Years Program in Beirut, Lebanon.

Allen joined the BCIS team in 2012 as an English Language Support and MYP teacher and from 2013-2016, served as Secondary School Deputy Principal. He recognizes that our school sets high standards for our students while providing a caring and supportive environment. He hopes that he will be able to learn from our community as he supports them in his new role. He loves making a difference by helping students to achieve success in their personal pursuits and academic careers. In August 2018, he began to serve in his current role as Director of Communications.

Amanda Zhang - Director of Operations

Amanda graduated from the University of Wollongong, Australia, where she received her Master of Strategic Human Resource Management.

She possesses more than 20 years of work experience in the Human Resource and administrative fields, having worked at various multinational companies in the Automotive, Optoelectronics, Investment, and Government areas. Before she joined BCIS, she was the Senior Human Resource and Admin Manager of IEE China, being responsible for HR, Administration, PR, PM, and other departments for the Asia region. She also has rich cross culture management experience and was a part-time internal trainer.

She is passionate about leadership, personality assessments, and strategic thinking development. She has dedicated herself to properly lead and coach teams, as well as emphasize cross-function communication. She has acquired SPA Certification (Sales Performance Assessment), Soft Skill Trainer Certification (TFT from Schouten), MBTI Step I and Step II Certifications, and China Human Resources Professionals Designation (CHRP LEVEL 1).

Wang Yan - BCIS Chinese Director, YERI Executive Dean

Wang Yan has been working, first as Executive Director at YueCheng Educational Innovation Center (YEIC) since August 2010, then as Executive Dean at YueCheng Education Research Institute (YERI) since June 2012 and as Chinese Director at Beijing City International School (BCIS) since January 2016.

Before she Joined YERI and BCIS, Wang Yan worked at Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) as School Affairs Director for 11 years, worked at China Office, World Bank as Administrative Officer for 7 years, worked at Ministry of Education, P.R. China as Senior Officer for 2 years.

Wang Yan received two master degrees (Med and MA), one in Educational Administration and the other one in Higher Education from Teachers College Columbia University. Before she studied in NYC USA, she studied at Guangxi Normal University locating at Guilin Guangxi.

Wang Yan is an active advocator for creatively and authentically implementing the Chinese national curriculum in an internationalized way. She promotes Differentiation (Personalized Learning), Professional Learning Community (PLC), Cognitive Coaching and other advanced educational theories and practices through conducting PD workshops for national as well as international educators here in China. She is an expert in school accreditation.

Wang Yan is one of the committee members of NCCT International School Accreditation Committee, Ministry of Education, P.R. China and also one of the members of IBO Regional Council (Asia Pacific).

Deputy Principals

Kate Mancarella - Early Childhood Center Deputy Principal, PYP Coordinator

Kate comes from Melbourne, Australia where she started her teaching career as a G1/2 teacher. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Primary Education, specializing in Language and Literacy. She also completed her post-graduate studies in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Kate came to BCIS in 2009 as a homeroom teacher and then became the Elementary School PYP Coordinator, helping to implement the curriculum from Nursery to Grade 5, before moving into her current role as Deputy Principal / PYP Coordinator at the Early Childhood Center. She also works for the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), where she is a workshop facilitator, a consultant for new-to-IB schools, and also evaluates established PYP schools.

Kate is currently studying her Master of Early Childhood Education and has enjoyed being able to apply her learning to the development of the Early Childhood Programme at BCIS. She is a strong believer that young children learn best through a play-based environment where a student’s voice and interests are at the center of their learning environment.

Kate lives in Beijing with her partner Kieran, who is also a teacher at BCIS. Outside of work, she loves to travel to new and interesting places.

Yooah Nguyen - Elementary School Deputy Principal, PYP Coordinator

Yooah, born in Seoul, Korea, grew up in New York City and Montreal, Canada. She majored in Social Sciences at Marianopolis College and earned her undergraduate degree at McGill University in K-6 Elementary Education. As a multicultural family, they’ve always wanted to move internationally. So, after teaching in Canada for a few years, she made her way over to Beijing in 2008 with her husband, Dave Nguyen, who works in the Secondary School. They were lucky to have two daughters, Sidney and Avery, both born and raised in China.

Yooah has been a homeroom teacher in Grades 3 and 4, the Social Studies and Science Team Leader, and a Grade Level Team Leader. She has been at BCIS for the past 10 years. She is excited to have taken on the role of Elementary School Deputy Principal and PYP Coordinator. She is a strong believer that students learn best through inquiry and by giving them a voice, they have ownership over their learning.

Yooah speaks Korean, English, and is loving learning Chinese. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her bike, playing badminton, reading, and traveling to experience new parts of the world. She loves the city of Beijing and feels very fortunate to be a part of the BCIS community.

Stuart Mcdonald - Secondary School Deputy Principal

Stu is from New York State, but calls Chicago home. He completed his undergraduate studies in Forestry at Syracuse University and spent a short time as Smokey the Bear. Before long, he discovered his calling in education, completed his Master's Degree in Secondary Science Education and taught high school science for a decade in upstate New York. Since then he has taught middle school and high school math and science in Cairo, Beirut, Chicago, and Jakarta. Just before joining the BCIS family, he was the Grade 8 Team Leader for five years at Jakarta Intercultural School where he helped multidisciplinary teams develop units of study based on transferable skills.

Stu is passionate about helping young people find relevancy in school and develop well rounded and balanced lives. He is a lifelong learner and has earned a certificate in Educational Leadership from the Principal’s Training Center. He is an avid scuba diver, enjoys playing the guitar, and is a crossword puzzle enthusiast.

Darren Skov - Director of Athletics and Activities

Born in Canada, Darren grew up in Adelaide, Australia where he completed a Diploma of Teaching and a Bachelor of Education. During his career in Australia, he taught in a variety of school settings, from a small area school in the middle of Kakadu National Park to large, prestigious private schools in Perth. His classroom experience has ranged from Grades 1 through 12, mostly teaching Physical Education and English.

August 2005 saw the start of his adventures in China in Fujian Province. He moved to Guangzhou and the International Elementary Program at Clifford School in July 2006. It was there he gained his first insights into international education and through conversation with friends became interested in the IB.

Darren loves living in China and the myriad opportunities on offer, but dearly misses his beloved ocean activities. Before leaving Australia, he always felt happiest in the wide open, deep blue sea.

Darren with his wife Andy and son Cail enjoy the close and supportive BCIS community.