Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center – School Director Placement Announcement

Dr. David A. Wells, Executive & Managing Consultant

Dr. David A. Wells, Managing and Executive Consultant of the GLOBAL School Development Group, is pleased to announce that Maribel Ayos Torrenegra has accepted appointment as the Director of Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center, effective July 2018.  Ms. Ayos is an experienced educational leader, and is fluent in English and Spanish.

Spiritual testimony, involvement in Christian ministry, and demonstrated spiritual leadership are all important facets of Ms. Ayos profile that make her an excellent fit for leadership at SCCLC, an international Christian school.  Her strong spiritual profile is a complement to her strong preparation and experience as a professional educator.  Maribel gained several years of experience as an engineer, before entering the educational field.

The trajectory of her educational career has included responsibilities as a certified teacher, IT Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Principal of a Christian school, and most recently Head and co-owner of a bilingual preschool.  Her training includes a degree in computer engineering, with a minor in management of projects, as well as a Master’s in Education from Western Carolina University.

The Complex Reasons for School Shootings

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Bobby Brasher, Affiliate Consultant

The reasons for school shootings are many and complex. Many people, including some of our politicians, focus on one factor: gun control. The topic of gun control leads and supports their agenda. Yet, there are a wide variety of ongoing reasons and factors for shootings:

  • Guns are many and available to people who don’t need to have one
  • The decay of moral character (Video games, violence and the devaluation of life in our society – particularly with our young people)
  • The decline of the family unit and parental involvement
  • The approach to mental health and the lack of availability and treatment
  • The architecture and design of our schools, as well as lack of training for faculty and staff

All of the above are contributing factors in school shootings. Until we address each through awareness, action, and training, we may continue to experience mass violence. Your thoughts?

©2018 Bobby Brasher

School Safety Threat Assessment

School Safety Threat Assessment is the first step to making your campus safe and secure. Historically, schools have been designed and built for easy entrance and easy exit. They were never built to protect and guard from an attack.

Now, we find ourselves trying to reinforce and defend structures and buildings that were never designed to deter or prevent an attack.

A thorough threat assessment is the first step towards student safety. Our safety and security consultants are veteran military law-enforcement with instructor certifications. In the coming weeks, I will break down the components for the security of your school and your students.

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Bobby Brasher, Affiliate Consultant

Grand Opening of Chontales Academy

Dr. Erinn Magee, Founding Director of Chontales Academy, proudly announces the appointment of the following roster of teachers for the grand opening of Chontales Academy in August of 2018:

  • Ms. Eva Kirkland, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Ms. Sara Pursell, First Grade Teacher
  • Ms. Shelby Klein, Second Grade Teacher
  • Ms. Elise Warren, Third Grade Teacher

The profiles of all administrator and teachers can be reviewed at:


OBED/ACSI 2nd Leadership Seminar Features Dr. David A. Wells

Dr. David A. Wells, Executive and Managing Consultant of the GLOBAL School Consulting Group, is honored to serve as a plenary speaker and moderator for the 2nd Leadership Seminar sponsored by the Colombian Association of Christian Schools, together with the Association of Christian Schools International, to be held in Bogota Colombia, on May 24 and 25, 2018.

The focus of the Leadership Seminar will be on topics of importance to owners, boards, and leaders in Christian schools.  Consideration will be given to business models, and the economic and non-economic factors that influence the ownership, governance, and management of schools.  Primary themes will include ownership transitions; Board models; roles, responsibilities, and relationships within school organizations; among others.  OBED – Colombian Association of Christian Schools, together with the Association of Christian Schools International are sponsoring this event.

Learn More at:

Colegio San Andrés / Saint Andrew’s College (Asuncion, Paraguay) – General Director Placement Announcement


Dr. David A. Wells, Managing and Executive Consultant of the GLOBAL School Consulting Group, is pleased to announce that Carlos N. De la Sobera has accepted appointment as the General Director of Colegio San Andrés, effective January 2019.  Mr. De la Sobera is an experienced leader, has a multicultural background and experience, and is fluent in English and Spanish, and highly proficient in Portuguese.

Mr. De la Sobera has many years of valuable teaching and administrative experience in international education, at the American International School of Logos (Nigeria) and the American School of Asuncion (Paraguay).  He also has experience as an Adjunct Professor in the George Mason University School of Education.  Carlos is currently in his third year as the Superintendent at Faith Christian School (FCS), in Asuncion. At FCS he led the development of a second school campus while serving as the chief administrator. He also led the successful implementation of the IB Diploma Program.  Carlos’s formal preparation includes a BA in Government and Politics (University of Maryland), an MA in Secondary Education, Curriculum, and Instruction (University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa), and a Post-Master’s Certification in Educational Administration (The College of New Jersey).  He holds certification in Secondary Social Studies and Educational Administration.

¿Y ahora qué hacemos? La importancia de gobernarnos

Alfredo Enrique Umaña, Affiliate Consultant

Recientemente, varios clientes en forma directa o indirecta me han dicho, ¿Y ahora qué hacemos?, las cosas se nos han salido de las manos y no sabemos cómo manejarlas”. En algunos casos los colaboradores muestran desinterés, en otros casos sus comportamientos están afectando la reputación y los resultados de la empresa.

En cada caso, la situación no se dio de la noche a la mañana, fue la acumulación de “cosas que no se hicieron” o “cosas que se dejaron pasar”. Cierto, hay factores externos que afectan, pero esos son inevitables y lo que a nosotros nos corresponde es gobernar aquello sobre lo que sí tenemos la posibilidad de actuar.

Hay al menos tres aspectos que tenemos que revisar y sobre las cuales tenemos que actuar para regresar de la anarquía al gobierno corporativo u organizacional:

1.     Todo el mundo debe saber a quién tiene que responder: No se vale no tener jefe, no se vale que el jefe no actúe como jefe, no se vale que el colaborador no respete al jefe, no se vale que no exista una línea de autoridad clara en el organigrama y en la vida real. ¿Cada uno de sus colaboradores tiene a quién rendirle cuentas? ¿Están los jefes pidiendo cuentas?

2.     Todo el mundo debe saber sobre qué va a responder: No se vale que las personas no sepan qué se espera de ellos, no se vale que no comuniquemos el comportamiento que se espera y el que no se acepta, no se vale que no se sepa qué es hacer las cosas bien y qué es hacer las cosas mal. ¿Tenemos código de ética y conducta escrito? ¿Cuenta cada colaborador con una clara descripción de su puesto?

3.     Todo el mundo debe saber qué va a pasar si no responde: El gobierno efectivo requiere revisión y consecuencias, no se vale que la gente no sepa cuándo y cómo se va a revisar, no se vale que los colaboradores no sepan lo que corresponderá si hacen las cosas bien y qué va a pasar si no se hacen bien. ¿Revisa usted el cumplimiento periódicamente? ¿Hay recompensas si las cosas se hacen bien? ¿Hay consecuencias por no hacer las cosas bien?

Nótese el énfasis en todo el mundo, desde la Junta Directiva hasta el personal de apoyo, las excepciones erosionan el gobierno .  Así como no se pierde de la noche a la mañana, el gobierno no se construye rápidamente, lo importante es fortalecerlo o empezar a recuperarlo ya.

©2018 Alfredo Enrique Umaña, All Rights Reserved

What do we do now? The importance of governing ourselves

Alfredo Enrique Umaña, Affiliate Consultant

Recently, several clients, directly or indirectly asked, What do we do now?  Things are out of control and we don’t know how to handle them”.  In some cases, their team members have a lack of interest, in other cases, their behavior is affecting the company’s reputation and output.

In each case, the situation did not just happen overnight; there was an accumulation of “things that were not done” or “things that were not addressed”.  It is true that external factors do have an impact, but they are unavoidable, and what we need to do is govern what we can control.

There are at least three aspects that we need to review, and on which we need to act, in order to go from anarchy back to  corporate or organizational governance:

1.     Everyone needs to know who to report to: it is not fair not having a boss, it is not fair having a boss who does not behave as a boss, it is not fair a team member who does not respect their boss, it is not fair not having a clear line of authority in the flow chart and in real life.  Does each team member have someone to be accountable to? Are the bosses requesting accountability?

2.     Everyone must know what they are accountable for: it is not fair when people do not know what is expected from them, it is not fair that we do not communicate expected or unacceptable behaviors, it is not fair not knowing what doing things right or doing things wrong looks like.  Do we have a written ethics and conduct code?  Does every team member have a clear job description?

3.     Everyone must know what happens if they do not comply: effective governance requires revision and consequences, it is not fair that people do not know when and how they are going to be evaluated, it is not fair that team members do not know what the consequences are if they do things right or if they do things wrong.   Do you evaluate compliance periodically?  Are there awards if things are done right? Are there consequences for not doing things correctly?

Note the emphasis in everyonefrom the Board of Directors to support staff, exceptions deteriorate governance .  Just as it is not lost overnight, governance is not built quickly either, what matters is strengthening or start recovering it now.

©2018 Alfredo Enrique Umaña, All Rights Reserved

Family-Owned Schools: “Altruistic Behavior” – by Dr. David A. Wells

There are several non-economic factors that distinguish family-owned schools from those with other ownership structures.  Owner values and emotional engagement are two such factors addressed in previous posts.  Another such unique and distinguishing factor is altruistic behavior among family members.  Altruistic behavior among family members, in the literature, is considered to refer to family members’ desire to cater to the welfare of their family unit (Gomez-Mejia, Cruz, Berrone, and De Castro).

This consultant has worked with many proprietary schools in which altruistic behavior among family members has been functional, purposeful, and effective; contexts within which members of a family have joined forces in operating their school, resulting in an efficient and economically-sound endeavor, bringing economic and non-economic benefit to the family members, as well as to the consumers and beneficiaries of the enterprise.

There is, however, potential for a darker side to this factor of altruistic behavior, in the context of family-owned schools, in which the effort and intent is to benefit family members engaged in the enterprise, without significant consideration to their qualification or contribution to achievement of intended organizational purposes.  The satisfaction resulting from this altruism, and the benefits received, can end up being a consequence of living up to family obligations, rather than a commitment and expectation of competence, contribution, or professional performance.

As a safeguard against this sort of altruistic behavior, which can be highly detrimental in the school setting, it is increasingly common for family-owned schools to develop governance-level policies which require owners and beneficiaries of owners who intend to work within the schools, to:

  • demonstrate qualifications commensurate with the position,
  • submit to supervision and evaluation according to established norms,
  • and receive compensation consistent with that received by employees of similar rank and responsibility.

In this way, safeguards are put into place to ensure that altruistic behavior among family members doesn’t become a negative force within the school and its community.

©2018 David A. Wells, Ed.D.

Family-Owned Schools: Emotional Engagement – by Dr. David A. Wells

There are several non-economic factors that distinguish family-owned and other privately-owned schools from those with other ownership structures.  Owner values are one such structure addressed in a previous post.  Another such unique and distinguishing factor is strong emotional engagement.  Such schools provide a context in which the family and social group dynamics overlap with those of the school, and create rich and challenging emotional realities.

Owners’ identities are closely tied to their school, and their reputations and social identities are connected directly and inextricably to their school. 

Both emotional stress and satisfaction are closely tied to the owners’ engagement, especially when owners are active in governance and/or management of their school.  Baron (2008) asserts that “it is now widely accepted that the boundaries between family and the firm are blurred in family business, and that emotions flow back and forth, ultimately affecting how the firm conducts its activities.”

This consultant has observed the role that emotions play in decision-making and in the social dynamics of a school through his involvement with a highly-successful school in Central America, owned jointly by several individuals; each of whom was actively engaged in the school’s governance and operation.  The emotional and affective connection between these owners and their school clearly influenced emotions, behaviors, social relationships, communication flow, and decision-making in the school.

Unlike schools owned by entities such as foundations, parent associations, churches, and other entities, in which there is often a regular rotation of key leaders and employees, in privately-owned schools (especially those owned by families), issues cannot be resolved simply by separation and having key figures move on and be replaced.  Owners who choose to be active in their schools, are bound together, obliged to deal with the emotional and inter-personal challenges that invariably come, often without the option of moving on to another enterprise.

Family-owned and other privately-owned schools have unique cultures and distinctions, which add to the richness of the non-public school community and the variety of options available in the marketplace.  These cultures and distinctives often reflect the essence of the personalities, emotions, and uniqueness of the owners themselves.

©2018 David A. Wells, Ed.D.