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.


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 Early Years

Mr Adam Patterson

Mr Adam Patterson

Adam joins us from the British School, Rio De Janeiro ,Brazil where he was the Head of Lower Primary. Adam has over 25 years experience in teaching and leadership roles in a range of countries and settings. Before moving to Brazil he was the founding Head of Early Years at the International School @ Parkcity (ISP),a start up school in Kuala Lumpur. ISP was his second start up school having been a founding teacher and Deputy Head of Kindergarten at Dulwich College Shanghai. 

In his spare time Adam enjoys cooking and has developed an unhealthy addiction to TV chefs. He enjoys most sports and still plays rugby and cricket when he can, although somewhat slower than in previous years. Adam and his family enjoy traveling and look forward to re-visiting some of their favorite places in SE Asia and also discovering some new ones. Adam's wife Amanda and two children Daisy and Alex join him in Singapore, Alex and Daisy will be attending AIS.

Head Of Elementary

Mr Neil Smith

Mr Neil Smith

Neil joined AIS as the Head of Elementary in August 2014 bringing with him extensive experience of middle and Senior Leadership in International Schools.

Having trained in the United Kingdom his first teaching post overseas was in an intermediate school on the East coast of New Zealand. He then took on the challenge of working in Kuwait shortly after its liberation, working as an elementary class teacher there for over 4 years.

After a two-year period as a class teacher at the Overseas Family School (Singapore), Neil relocated to Phuket, Thailand where he joined the newly opened Dulwich International College. Initially working as a class teacher and Deputy Head he assumed the role of Head during his first year at the prestigious school.

Neil then took on a leadership role at the Canggu Community School, Bali in its newly developed campus. Having seen the School’s roll increase from approximately 70 students to close to 300 in just two years, Neil took the opportunity to head up the Primary section of Garden International School in Kuala Lumpur. Neil enjoyed 7 years at GIS as it continued to go through many changes and cement its place as one of the most dynamic and forward thinking Schools in the region. The push for a holistic education was strong, with elements such as the camps programme and community service providing the platform to ensure every child was challenged to meet the GIS vision. Throughout the period of development and diversification GIS saw its overall academic results continue to improve.

Neil and Linda have joined AIS with their two children Adrian and Jasmine who are currently both in the Preschool. Neil continues to enjoy teaching and in particular coaching rugby, swimming, athletics and multi sport events.

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.

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