IB prepares for upcoming changes in the 2016-2017 school year
The International Baccalaureate program’s leadership will pass into new hands in the 2016-2017 school year, as program leaders look to reinvigorate its recruitment drive.
Rich Bellanco, current IB director, is planning to retire before the next school year.
The IB program’s soon-to-be vacant directorship will be filled by the recently retired Social Studies Dept. member, Andy Kiel. Kiel taught two years of IB while in Saudi Arabia and taught AP history classes at WHS for more than 10 years.
According to Bellanco, Kiel was selected due to his level of experience of teaching in IB level classrooms.
Kiel stated that he would have to complete training mandated by Tri-County before becoming director.
Kiel says there was an application process for the position, and notes that Wooster was told by Tri-County to put forth a candidate.
“Tri-County sort of handed it to Wooster,” Kiel said.
Bellanco states the search for a candidate was limited to Wooster by necessity.
“They didn’t have a lot of time to do a worldwide consideration,” Bellanco said.
When he becomes director, Kiel aims to keep students interested in pursuing an IB program education.
According to Bellanco, in recent years, the program’s enrollment numbers have suffered with the advent of the college credit plus program, but a shift toward guidance counselors encouraging students to look into the program and meetings showcasing its benefits are seeking to address this issue.
Though Kiel said his administrative experience has been limited to chairmanship of several committees, he looks forward to the upcoming challenge involved with heading the IB program.
Bellanco hopes the costs to maintain the IB program at WHS will become more affordable next year, but he is not sure what will be done.
“This arrangement hasn’t been set in stone yet,” Bellanco said.
However, Rich Leone, a member of the IB Steering Committee and Director of Secondary Education for WCS, states he is not aware of any upcoming changes to the IB program beyond Bellanco’s retirement from the director position.
Kiel, who is also the author of J. Edgar Hoover: Father of the Cold War, looks forward to ending his retirement, and returning to the scholastic realm.