Head Of School

Mr Andre Casson

Mr Andre Casson

Andre was appointed as the Head of School at AIS in January 2018. Prior to this he had roles as School Principal (November 2014 to January 2018) and Head of Secondary School (2012 to 2014). He brings 25 years’ education experience to the School, teaching in independent educational institutions in Australia and Asia.

Andre began his teaching career at Christian Brothers Agricultural School Tardun, a small rural boarding school in Western Australia. He was appointed as the school’s Sportsmaster and taught Years 8 – 10 Science. After two years Andre was promoted to the position of Deputy Principal.

Upon returning to Perth Andre gained a position as a teacher of Science and Senior Physics at Aquinas College, an independent boy’s boarding school. While at Aquinas he was appointed to the position as Head of Science and Head of Bryan House. It was through these positions that Andre gained an insight to the important link between curriculum and pastoral care to ensure positive educational outcomes for the students.

After six years at Aquinas Andre took the opportunity to work at a new school in China, Dulwich College Shanghai. He was appointed as one of the inaugural staff members to the position of Deputy Head of Senior School. At Dulwich Andre developed a passion for international education and an insight into the challenges confronted by students in a third culture setting. During Andre’s tenure at Dulwich the Senior School grew from an enrolment of 120 students in Years 7 – 9 to its capacity of 700 students in Years 7 – 13. Furthermore, during this period two cohorts of students graduated from the school with the IB Diploma Programme producing impressive results.

In 2010 Andre returned to Australia to commence the position of Deputy Head of Senior School at Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) in Brisbane, before moving to Singapore to begin his career at AIS.

In 2017 Andre was granted a sabbatical to study in the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. This course provided him with valuable insights in the areas of leadership and strategic direction which are key components of his current position as Head of School.

Andre lives to Singapore with his wife Jodie and two young children, Jaxon and Remi who both attend AIS.

Principal

Dr Edward Groughan

Dr Edward Groughan

Dr Edward Groughan commenced as Principal of AIS in July 2017. He is no stranger to the world of international education, having been a Principal at four well-regarded schools across Australia and Asia (Pulteney Grammar School and Pedare Christian College in South Australia; Matthew Flinders Anglican College in Queensland and Dulwich College in Shanghai).

Eddie’s teaching career began at the Sydney Grammar School where he taught Science and Physical Education from K-12. He has also been a Deputy Headmaster at Aquinas College, and a Head of Sport at the Hale School in Perth, Western Australia.

In his academic endeavours, Eddie holds a Doctoral degree in educational history with a thesis on the social effects of the Great War. His university association includes a year, as an Associate Professor, teaching and devising units of study in a Master’s of Educational Leadership program at the Australian Catholic University. 

Eddie believes that learning is a means to self-fulfilment. As an insight to the belief, Eddie was a late starter to study beyond school, gaining a Diploma of Physical Education at the age of thirty before progressing to a Doctorate over the subsequent fourteen years.

Beyond schools and formal education, Eddie has been a Hawaiian Ironman, a number of endurance events and a first-grade rugby player for the Gordon club in Sydney. He remains keen on his fitness and guitar.

Eddie is married to Krystie with two of four children who attend AIS. 

Head Of Secondary

Ms Fiona Johnston

Ms Fiona Johnston

Fiona joined AIS in 2012 and was appointed as Head of Secondary School in 2014.

Prior to joining AIS, Fiona worked in independent schools in Queensland, Victoria and in the UK, where she held key pastoral and academic leadership positions. With a background in Music Education and the Arts, Fiona has worked as a consultant for the Queensland Studies Authority before taking on roles as Head of Music at Stuarthome School and Housemaster at Anglican Church Grammar school (Churchie).

Fiona is passionate about providing opportunities for women in educational leadership. She launched AIS’s first Women in Educational Leadership conference in 2014, attracting delegates from across Asia and Australia to discuss challenges surrounding women and leadership in educational contexts. She is delighted to be launching AIS’s fourth annual Women in Leadership Conferences this year.

In 2016, Fiona was awarded a scholarship with the Australian Independent Schools NSW and completed their Flagship Leadership Program. Fiona completed her Masters in Educational Leadership in 2016 and is currently completing the AIS NSW Principal’s Program based in Sydney. She is delighted to be a facilitator at the 2018 ASEAN Australia Education Dialogue in Malaysia, committed to long-term educational partnerships and bringing together key education and training stakeholders from Australia and ASEAN.

Fiona resides with her husband Matthew and two children, Benjamin and Millicent.

Chief Operating Officer, Cognita Schools Asia

Eric Van Den Berg

Eric Van Den Berg

Eric joined Cognita Schools as a Chief Operating Officer Asia in June 2017. Prior to this, he had over 20 years of experience in the logistic industry, with his recent role as Regional Vice President of FedEx Express, South Pacific.

In addition to Singapore, he has been based in the Netherlands, Germany, and China where he held roles that ranged from Marketing, Strategy, Operations & Engineering and General Management.

He has played a leading role in key projects like the acquisition and integration of companies into in Germany, market entry into China, and leading change in the management across a number of strategic programs. He also thrives on large transformational assignments and driving business results through strong performance management.

Eric holds a Master of Business Administration from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), in Communication at The Hague University of Applied Science.

His hobbies are playing drums, Thai boxing and Scuba Diving. As a Dutch native, he enjoys good food and fine wine.

Eric is married to his wife, Emily and has two boys.

Director of Marketing and Communications

Claire Ettinger

Claire Ettinger

Claire joined AIS in 2010 as the school’s first Communications Manager. Over the past 8 years, Claire has been a key figure in the development of the department into a strong and energetic team that leads the school in areas of corporate communications and community engagement, alumni relations, events and marketing. Claire was appointed Director of Marketing and Communications in July 2016.

Claire has lived and worked in Singapore for over 10 years and brings with her experience from her 4 years living and working in Thailand and prior to that, 8 years working in London. She is a passionate brand ambassador and loves nothing more than uncovering the magic that happens at AIS every day and sharing these stories with the wider community.

When she has a spare minute, you can find Claire engrossed in the latest hot-read on her kindle, walking her rescue dog along the East Coast Park, or spending precious time in the company of her husband and children.

Director of Finance

Anita Mahesan

Anita Mahesan

Anita commenced as Director of Finance of AIS in October 2014. She brings over 17 years of experience in the Finance sector to the School.

Before this, she was Regional Finance Director, MEAPAC at Pacific World Singapore Pte Ltd. During her time there, she was proven to be very good not only at the Finance function, but as a business partner, strategizing, giving operating and commercial advice and working very efficiently with all the company stakeholders.

Over the years at AIS, her assertiveness and a tenacity has helped her become a goal-oriented finance practitioner. This has enabled her efforts to achieve objectives tailored to the School.

Anita holds a Bachelor of Honors in Accounting and Finance and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Wales in the UK.

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