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Law III: The Transitions Team is the Transitions Team for the Transitions Team

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At any school with a high degree of turnover, transitions affect everyone, regardless of a person’s role – student, parent, or staff, and regardless of whether a person is moving or being moved away from. People move amongst schools, so the emotional issues of any one individual transcend individual school walls, making it impossible for any one school to fully address these issues alone. Success requires collaboration.


Only a handful of international schools have well-developed transitions programs. Even when these programs exist, they tend to operate in isolation. Part of the reason why is because no forum ever existed to support program development and collaboration.


Seeking to address this gap, by creating a forum for professionals, parents, and even students who are leading the development of transitions services at their schools, the first-ever international SPAN Pre-Conference took place on March 22, 2017, just prior to the annual Families in Global Transition (FIGT) Conference in The Hague, Netherlands.


The Brain Child of Drs. Doug Ota and supported by the founding SPAN Steering Committee, the SPAN Pre-Conference sought to create a ‘home’ for collaboration, such that best practices could be identified, supported, and connected amongst international schools.


Founding SPAN Steering Committee

  • Douglas Ota, SPAN Chair; Psychologist and author of Safe Passage: How mobility affects people & what international schools should do about it (Summertime Publishing, 2014)

  • Jane Barron, SPAN PR Coordinator; Youth Intercultural Transition Specialist at Globally Grounded

  • Lydia Foxall, SPAN Front Desk; TCK, student at University of New Hampshire’s Department of Social Work

  • Ryan Haynes, SPAN Program Co-Chair; High School Counselor, International School Bangkok

  • Kilian Kröll, SPAN Treasurer; Immediate Past President of Families in Global Transition, Transitions lead at AIS Vienna

  • Ellen Mahoney, SPAN Program Co-Chair; CEO and Founder of Sea Change Mentoring

Former SPAN Board Members

As with any transition program steering committee, the SPAN Board experienced a few changes as individuals pursue professional and personal goals.

  • Ryan Haynes, SPAN Treasurer; Director of Upper School Academic and Personal Counseling at Taipei American School

    • Served 2017-2021​

  • Dan Long, SPAN Board Member; Upper School Dean of Students at Taipei American School

    • Served 2018-2021​

  • Mona Stuart, SPAN Board Member; Former Head of Admissions at Singapore American School, Board Chair at Black Forest Academy
    • Served 2018-2021

  • Karl Suits, SPAN Board Member; Director of Technology at Hangzhou International School

    • Served 2019-2020​

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