Ms Shannon O’Dwyer

Elementary School Principal

Teaching Qualifications

2004 Bachelor of Teaching / Bachelor of Arts (Primary) (1st Class Honours)University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

  • Recipient of University Medal
  • Recipient of Faculty Medal for outstanding practicum results
  • Valedictorian and presenter of Graduate’s Address
2010 Currently undertaking Masters of Education (Leadership and Administration)University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia, as an external studentDistinction-average to date

Curriculum Experience

  • 4 years teaching PYP in an international school, including delivery of seminars, PD & published articles
  • 7 years teaching Australian (NSW) curriculum, including curriculum development & published programmes
  • 3 months exposure to Chinese national curriculum, while teaching English as a Second Language in Nanjing

Teaching & Leadership Experience

2014- Elementary School Principal, Beijing BISS International School This role involves leadership of the Elementary School from Pre-K to Grade 5, including day-to-day management, recruitment and hiring, admissions and enrolments, budgeting, strategic planning, community building, professional development, instructional leadership and pastoral care.
2013 - 2014 Language Coordinator & OLC Coordinator, Beijing BISS International School This role involves coordination of language pedagogy and assessment K-12, in addition to the coordination of enrolment, IEP, differentiation and extension/support for students K-6. Whole class, small group, individual instruction and teacher coaching are weekly duties.
2010 – 2012 Language Coordinator & Grade 4 teacher, Beijing BISS International School In addition to my teaching load, I coordinated all literacy assessments, data and pedagogy in the Elementary School. I designed new writing assessment rubrics, delivered staff PD in reading & writing instruction, facilitated moderation and led parent literacy sessions.
2010 Enrichment Coordinator, Abbotsleigh School, Sydney, Australia In addition to my teaching load, I coordinated the academic extension programs from K-6.I was responsible for 6 full-time specialist staff. Duties also included organising professional development, delivering staff meetings, evaluating programs, editing reports and whole school strategic planning.
2008 – 2010 Grade 6 Teacher, Abbotsleigh School, Sydney, Australia Gifted & Talented classes (11-13 years of age with high to superior intellect)
2006 – 2007 Grade 4 Teacher, Abbotsleigh School, Sydney, Australia (Mixed ability classes)

Previous Teaching Experience

2005 Grade 2 Teacher, Budgewoi Public School, NSW, Australia
2004 Grade 9 Teacher – History/English, 1 Semester, Wee Waa High School, NSW, Australia
1999 – 2004 Tutor:  ESL students (Literacy) and High School students (English & Maths)
1998 – 2000 Violin teacher

Special Achievements

2014 Article published in EARCOS Journal: No Gold Stars! What Gifted Children Need From Their Teachers.
2014 Article published in TIE newspaper: At the Movies: Green Screens Transform Student Learning.
2013 Article published in TIE newspaper: Life as a Tweep: On Becoming a Connected Eductator.
2013 Article published in EARCOS Journal: Risk-taking and Risilience in the IB Learner Profile.
2013 Presenter at Canadian International School (Beijing, China): Authentic Technology Integration Now.
2012 Presenter at Beijing Learning 2.012 Conference: Embed Technology, Enhance Learning.
2012 Action Research published in EARCOS Magazine: Social Networking Empowers Reluctant Writers.
2012 Article published in TIE newspaper: From Faking It to Making It: PYP Reflections.
2011 Presenter at Beijing Learning Summit: Differentiation’s a Snap in the 1:1 Laptop Classroom.
2010 Recipient of Gladly Teach Award for one high quality teacher per year, nominated by colleagues.
2008 Recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award for New South Wales state of Australia.Awarded to 1 teacher per year by the Teachers’ Guild, based upon nomination, essay and interview.
2008 Presenter at Maths Association Annual Conference: I teach the Syllabus: What’s the Issue?
2003 Recipient of Commonwealth Government Teaching in China Scholarship.
2003 Publication of Literacy Program in education text book, Planning for Learning (McLeod, 2003).
1998 Violin 8th Grade, A.M.E.B.

Additional skills & qualifications

  • Completion of Leadership & Management course in 2010.
  • Completion of Principals’ Training Centre course in Teacher Supervision & Evaluation in 2014.
PYP Completion of Induction to the PYP, Role of Language & Concept-based Learning courses.
Technology Skilled in Web 2.0 tools, VoIP, wikis, blogs, e-portfolios, multi-media and global connectivity.
Gifted Ed Completion of Gifted & Talented Teaching practices course in 2009. Delivery of in-house PD in gifted eductation in 2011-12.
ESOL Completion of 10-week ESOL course in 2011. (Delivery of course to new staff in 2012 & 2013).
Music Choral & Strings expertise: ES choir coordinator, violinist, chamber ensemble participant, founder of instrumental music program in a disadvantaged school, stage manager of concerts.

Professional Strengths

  • differentiation, organisation, collaboration, work ethic & enthusiasm


  • travel, cooking, reading, enjoying action films and political dramas