Executive Director's Welcome
I am pleased to introduce myself to you as the new Executive Director of UNIS. It is both an honor and privilege to be assuming this leadership role at such a distinguished academic institution.
By way of background my schooling includes a Bachelor's Degree in psychology from Tufts University and a Master's Degree and Ph.D. in School/Clinical Psychology from Hofstra University. My career started first as a school psychologist and then principal in the Great Neck, New York Public Schools. I later became the high school principal in Yorktown, New York, and an Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology in the Roslyn, New York Public Schools. I spent 8 years as the Superintendent of Schools in Roslyn and moved on to become the Superintendent of Schools in Darien, Connecticut in
The driving force in my career is my philosophy of putting the needs of students first. My belief system is that schools should be rigorous places of learning that inspire curiosity among its students never losing sight of the simple fact that rigor and fun can coexist as partners in the learning process.
Many will ask how a public school leader with limited background in the international/independent world can lead one of the premier schools in that space. For me the answer is simple: Making students feel validated as individuals and letting parents know that the school is committed to taking care of their children as if they are their own are tenets that cut across all cultures.
I have made a career of teaching students to be good citizens, global thinkers, and inquisitive learners -- all characteristics that are fundamental to the UNIS mission. In truth I could not think of a school that is more aligned with my personal mission than UNIS.
Over the past month I have been working fervently to learn about the school I now call home, all to help ease the transition to the beginning of the school year. My hope is that you have had a chance to spend time with your families and loved ones, enjoying vacations, and are rejuvenated in anticipation of the start of school. Personally I was fortunate enough to spend some time at a lake in Maine with my wife and grown children enjoying the beach, kayaking, and eating lots of seafood!
I look forward to greeting the students on September 5 and wish all of you a peaceful and safe end of summer. Please feel free to drop by to introduce yourself or to just say hello. My door is always open.
Dan Brenner, PhD