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By ITS Education Asia

Malvern College

A new but familiar face, John Jalsevac, is School Director of American School Hong Kong (ASHK) which will open in Tai Po in August 2016. 

ASHK, the Dubai-based Esol Education’s first in East Asia, will operate a KG to Grade 12 through-train school featuring US Common Core curriculum in the Elementary and Middle School Divisions and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in the High School. 

John spoke with us during a recent meeting about the opening of the school, his own personal goals, and the aspirations he has for the school, teachers and community. 

More about John Jalsevac
It is obvious form the offset that John is bursting with great excitement about his new role. He embraces the challenge of starting a new school and appears inspired and motivated to build an exemplary school program and vibrant community. 

Most recently, John was Head of School at Mission Hills International School in Shenzhen, China. John previously worked in Hong Kong from 2004 – 2014 as Principal of the Upper School at the Canadian International School Hong Kong where, as Chair of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Steering Committee, he led the school in the development and implementation of the IB Program.

Prior to his arrival in Hong Kong, John was employed as an educator in Toronto where he served as Principal of three High Schools and as a Curriculum Coordinator and Superintendent of Education for a large school district.


John obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from York University, Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and Master of Science in Education from Niagara University in New York State.

Views on teaching approaches and curriculum development at ASHK
John cites research with ease and understands that highly successful schools are usually characterized as having high expectations and standards, effective leadership and excellent teaching. With this in mind, John and his teachers, are determined to deliver a personalized program that balances rigor with innovation, excitement and enjoyment.

The ASHK STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) which teaches flexible thinking, risk-taking and creative problem solving will serve as a major differentiation point when ASHK  is compared with other schools in Hong Kong. It is indeed something very unique and special. “The strength lies in combining the mind of the scientist with that of an artist,” says Jalsevac. The goal, while working collaboratively in teams, is for students to plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, construct explanations, design solutions and communicate results. Ultimately a STEAM program is meant to foster true innovation.

When selecting students a critical eye is taken by Director of Admissions, Mary Ewing. Many would know Mary from the many years she worked in the admissions department at Hong Kong International School. 

“Examining a child’s individual, social and emotional development needs and responding to these needs is of critical importance for the school. It’s also important for families and students to feel welcome and that there is a strong sense of community within the school.  Finally, our teachers must act in loco parentis or as a good parent would in the absence of a parent” says Jalsevac.  The school wants their students to go home and say: “I love what I did today”. 

The future looks bright for ASHK and with John Jalsevac, as the Director for the school; it will undoubtedly get off to a good start. 

For further information go to: www.ashk.hk


Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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