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Edition 3 - April 2022



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Announcing the future Head of the Anglophone Section

Dear Parents,

It is with much excitement that we write to you regarding the hiring of a new Head of Section.  Upon learning of Rob Miller's plans to retire from this role, after nearly three decades of working for the Anglophone Section, the APESA Board immediately understood that finding his replacement would be one of the most important missions we would ever undertake.  As such, we vowed to exercise our collective efforts with open minds and the utmost integrity. 


The Board’s recruitment committee followed a very rigorous methodology, beginning with a formal search for professional, third-party guidance. Pursuant to this goal, we eventually hired International Schools Services (ISS), an internationally renowned education recruiting company, which assisted and advised the committee throughout the selection journey. ISS initially fielded 24 applicants' dossiers for this position. After ISS personnel conducted focus groups composed of parents, students, Staff and Board members, their list of viable candidates was narrowed to four. Following a series of written and video interviews, our internal recruitment committee concentrated on three extremely qualified and deserving candidates. These individuals took tours of the school, met with Staff and Board members (some in person, some virtual), and engaged in additional follow-up interviews. Complementing their expertise in education and leadership, communication, collaboration, trust, empathy, and respect were descriptives that consistently emerged as the Board considered the final candidates. At the close of several exhaustive discussions, the APESA Board was confident in making this difficult but gratifying decision.   


Without further ado, we are pleased to announce that Dr Simon Matthew Herd has accepted our offer for the position of Head of Section of the Anglophone Section at the CSI! We thank you, the parents, for the confidence you've instilled in the Board to make a decision of such important consequence to our children and our wonderful staff.  We look forward to introducing you to Simon - and our community to him - when he officially steps into his role at the start of the 2022/2023 calendar school year.  Until then, Simon has expressed his eagerness to learn more about the APESA and the CSI, not to mention the evolving details of France's reform of the OIB to the BFI. We can only imagine that you and the students might be keen to know more about him sooner than later, too! 


Simon Herd, a self-described "expat kid" who grew up in France and holds dual British/French citizenship, will be relocating to Lyon from Hong Kong, where he has been living and working since 2007. He'll be joining the APESA Staff upon leaving a position he's held since 2016 as Advisory Teacher at the Education Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong at the Curriculum Development Institute. Previous to that role, Simon was an English Language Literacy Coordinator & Teacher, a Primary English Teacher, and a Business English Teacher.  At the same time, he has been actively involved in raising his own family in China. 


While working in education for over fifteen years, Simon simultaneously studied on a part-time basis during the past decade to earn his Masters in Education (Comparative & Global Studies in Education & Development), followed by a Doctorate in Educational Psychology (Research Area: Positive Education & Student Well-being); both of these diplomas were issued by the University of Hong Kong. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma from a Primary Education Program. Before his move abroad, Simon received his Bachelor of Science in the Social Sciences in Economics & Politics (University of Southampton, United Kingdom) and a Masters in Management (SKEMA Business School, France). Among other qualities pertinent to Simon's successful application is his written and oral fluency in both English and French.


While Simon will leave behind an esteemed career within Hong Kong's educational arena, he seems highly motivated and genuinely excited by his imminent return to France to assume this leadership role within CSI's unique multi-cultural milieu. He will be accompanied by his wife (who originates from the nearby Jura region) as well as their two children, aged 13 and 8. We've learned that Simon is deeply invested in his children's education (like us, like you!); he has a black belt in Taekwondo and competes in Triathlons (maybe like you?); he is a writer and mentor in realms of education; and, given all the evidence, he walks the walk regarding his passion for life-long learning. In addition to the black & white credentials that fill his dense C.V., Simon brought a colourful, positive, and palpable energy to each of his interviews, all of which were conducted virtually due to pandemic travel restrictions. We are eager to introduce you to Simon who is, in his own words, "... able to successfully balance all of these life domains ... (with) a growth mindset, positivity, humour, creativity, open-mindedness, reflectiveness, time-management, and above all, grit."  We are likewise eager for him to meet our staff, parents, and students, all of whom contribute to the exceptional learning environment that is the Anglophone Section at the CSI.


Once again, we want to acknowledge the rigorous vetting of Simon's candidature and the process of his selection. We also want to thank everyone involved in this process.  This entire endeavour could not have been successfully realised without the generous cooperation of staff, parents, and students who willingly shared deeply valuable feedback throughout various stages of the recruitment and vetting processes. We are ever so grateful for your honesty and time! 

In closing, we are thrilled that the Anglophone Section at the CSI brought such a qualified array of candidates to our door; the difficulty of narrowing the field to just one person was the best kind of challenge any Board could ever hope to face.  We strongly believe that once the students, parents, and Staff have met him, everyone will feel as optimistic about welcoming Simon Herd to the CSI as our new Head of Section as the APESA Board does today.  



With warm regards,


The APESA Board

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