Introducing the School Leaders for 2018-19

School Leadership Team (SLT):

We are pleased to share with you our new leadership structure forYCIS Pudong campuses.

The Co-Principals Damien Hehir and Mary Yu, along with the School Business Manager Ray Zhang, will work together as the School Leadership Team (SLT). With oversight of the two Pudong campuses, Regency Park and Century Park, the SLT will provide leadership across academic and non-academic sectors, creating a seamless and consistent flow across ECE, Primary, and Secondary.  The Pudong campuses will be working towards forming more connections across the locations, sharing expertise and experiences to a much greater degree and increasing communication between parents and staff to support and guide our students to achieve academic and personal success.

We would first like to introduce ourselves.

Mary Yu, Co-Principal

“I joined YCIS Pudong in 2000. I have worked as a Chinese Co-Principal for the past 8 years. It’s a great honor for me to witness the success as well as the continuous development of YCIS Pudong. I am looking forward to working closely with our students, parents and staff to have another successful school year.”


Damien Hehir, Co-Principal

“I have been with YCIS Shanghai for 17 years, having worked at campuses in Puxi and Pudong.  I have been in various leadership roles at YCIS Pudong since 2007 and have spent six years as a Co-Principal.  I am excited to work alongside my partner, Mary Yu and the School Business Manager, Ray Zhang to lead this wonderful YCIS Pudong school community.  I am originally from Australia and have two daughters at YCIS.  I look forward to a great academic year in 2018-19.”

Ray Zhang, School Business Manager

“I joined YCIS Pudong in January 2018. Before embarking on this journey, I have accumulated operation management experiences in logistics and the media industry. I am confident that those experiences will help me better serve students, teachers and parents as our school’s business manager. It is no doubt my greatest honor to be part of this vigorous and adventurous team. I will do my very best to ensure a safe, organized and delightful learning environment for students, parents and staff.”

We are delighted to introduce you to all our YCIS Pudong Leaders for 2008-19.  Each leaders has introduced themselves, in their own words.

New Appointment:  Assistant Principal

The SLT will be supported by Ms. Jane Xie who will be the Assistant Principal across the whole of YCIS Pudong.

Jane Xie, Assistant Principal

“My journey started as a Chinese Language teacher for five years in a prominent high school of Shanghai before I joined YCIS Pudong in 2004.  I have experienced working at all three YCIS Pudong campuses and have taught students from Y4 to Y13, including the IBDP Chinese A: Language and Literature course, in which I am an IB examiner.  In addition to being an educator, I’m also a badminton enthusiast and play badminton with my daughter on weekends. I believe that everyone should be a lifelong learner and that YCIS helps students to achieve this.”

 Secondary Leadership Team:

Fred Runkel, Secondary Principal

“Having grown up in the USA and starting my international career in Germany, I’m now pleased to be in my third home country.  This is my 5th year at YCIS, having previously served as Director of an international school in Germany before coming to China. I enjoy the well-rounded program here at YCIS where the development of character is of foremost importance, with the school showing emphasis in academics, extra curriculars and service learning, leading students to act for a better world.   It’s a privilege to be working with this team of dedicated and passionate educators who have the interests of the children at the forefront of everything that they are doing.”

Dusten KentSecondary Vice Principal

“I have been with YCIS for 13 years and have seen the school and its programmes grow into fruition from our early days in Seasons Villas, to Regency Park, and now Century Park where I have the privilege to serve as Secondary Vice Principal. I am originally from the Canadian west coast of Vancouver Island but have been teaching and working overseas in education for over 20 years. I strongly believe in a holistic approach to education to support the development of each and every student’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and creative potentials; an approach that is at the core of our YCIS Mission, Principles and Practices.”

Amy Yang, Secondary Head of Chinese Department

“I have been working at YCIS Pudong for 14 years.  My teaching experience includes Y3 Chinese up to IB DP Mandarin course. I’m a local Shanghainese, and enjoy sharing my culture knowledge and eastern mindset with students and colleagues. I’m looking forward to this year’s journey to transform the school experience and maximize learning for each individual student.”

Andy Clapperton, Secondary Head of Learning

“Originally from England, I have spent over eleven years teaching languages in China. I have been Head of Department and Head of Year, working especially closely with IB Diploma students in recent times. I have a great love of travel and the outdoors and have been able to bring this into my professional life by leading International Award expeditions. I am excited to be joining the team at YCIS, and very much look forward to developing a new role in the school.”

Janelle Garrett, Lower Secondary Coordinator

“I have been the Lower Secondary Coordinator at YCIS Pudong for the past 2 years. I also teach History and Spanish. I am originally from the United States, but a product of international schools myself, having grown up in Argentina. Prior to YCIS, I taught in China and in Brazil and Bolivia. I am passionate about learning in and outside of the classroom and am looking forward to continuing to help our students develop as learners.”

Ian Lee, Upper Secondary IGCSE Coordinator 

“This is my seventh year at YCIS Pudong, having joined in 2012. Originally from Liverpool, England, prior to joining YCIS I was a Deputy Headmaster at a boarding school. My title at YCIS Pudong is IGCSE Coordinator and this primarily involves guiding young students through the ages of 13-16 to make good academic and life choices for themselves to set up their futures. I love teaching at the school and witnessing children grow into exceptional young men and women. I sincerely believe that the most important element to this is helping students to believe in themselves and being there for them when, for whatever reason, they don’t.”

Matthew Grady, Upper Secondary IB Diploma Coordinator

“I have been with YCIS Pudong for 11 years since it opened its doors on Century Park Campus and have been very fortunate to witness the campus grow into a thriving hub of educational opportunity and exceptional student support.  I am from Adelaide Australia, and before YCIS I taught at Concordia International School in Hong Kong, and worked as a solicitor in Corporate Law prior to that. In recent years I have served as the IB Diploma Coordinator, and IB History and Theory of Knowledge Teacher. I firmly believe in developing passion and enjoyment in learning and enjoy the challenge of seeing our students develop resilience, and reach their potential in the midst of the challenges faced as they prepare for tertiary study.”

Timothy Gartz, University Guidance Counselor

I call the “atomic city” of Los Alamos, New Mexico home which is famous for its National Scientific Laboratory. With a wealth of experience in counseling, I came to YCIS after 10 years in Hong Kong and several years in the USA. I am a holistic counselor who cares deeply about the emotional, social, intellectual, academic and future success of each of my students.  Since coming to YCIS, I have developed an outstanding university guidance program that takes into account each of these areas of student development. I also enjoy partnering with our YCIS parent community in university events, career seminars and our job shadow programme in continuing an outstanding track record of connecting students to the world’s best university programmes. I will give my all in helping students become successful. When away from work, I enjoy time with my family of 5, being outdoors and exploring new cities and cultures. 

ECE and Primary Leadership Team:

Rob Watson, Primary Vice Principal

“I originally started working at YCIS Pudong in the very first year that the campus opened in 1999. It was of course a very different school at that stage, with only 8 students on roll! Over the past 19 years, it has been great to watch the school grow and mature. This is my fourth year as Vice Principal and I am looking forward to continuing my journey with YCIS over the coming year and beyond.”

John McEnhill, Primary Coordinator

“I have worked for YCIS for 8 years, including 2 years as a Teacher and Year Leader at YCIS Beijing and 3 years as Primary Coordinator at YCIS Qingdao, before joining YCIS Shanghai in 2016. I am originally from London. I am looking forward to an exciting year of learning together with the students, parents and staff who make up our school’s vibrant international community.”

Sissy Shen, Primary Head of Chinese Department 

“I joined YCIS Shanghai in 2008 as a Chinese co-teacher. Before becoming the Primary Head of Chinese Department and Professional Development Coordinator, I have been the Y1, CAL and CFL Curriculum leader and Co-Teaching Facilitator, as well as teaching Chinese from Year 1 to Year 6. I enjoy working closely with my colleagues from different backgrounds to strive to provide a holistic education for all the students, supporting their social and emotional development, as well as their academic development.  I also enjoy preparing students for the wider and longer experience of life and to nurture the whole person and appreciate the differences in life. “

Melissa Shaw, Primary Coordinator

“I joined YCIS in 2005 and have worked in both ECE and Primary. My home country is Australia! This is now my 5th year working as the Primary Coordinator. I look forward to having the opportunity to work and collaborate alongside all the year levels; supporting each of our Teachers which in turn, supports our students.”


Andrea GriegoStudent Support and Wellbeing Coordinator    

” This will be my fifth year working with YCIS students, staff and the school community. I am from the United States, but have previously worked in Dubai, UAE and Cartagena, Colombia. I am excited to continue my support of students and teachers to further their successes and growth in all ways possible. “


 Veronica Martin, ECE Coordinator

“I have been with YCIS for 8 years and am passionate about Early Years education. I began as a K4 Teacher and moved into the ECE Coordinator role. I am from Australia and enjoy sharing my culture with others. I am looking forward to a year where children are encouraged to explore and learn with curiosity and wonder.”

Michelle Wang, 
ECE Coordinator

“I joined YCIS Pudong form 2003, starting as a Kindergarten teacher, progressing to a Year Level Leader and then stepped into the ECE Coordinator role. I believe strongly that a teacher’s job is not to tell the students what to believe or value, but to equip them to develop a worldview for themselves. I strive to motivate and support teachers’ work, implementing and working with the ECE team to strengthen the Early Years Programme.  I am also looking forward to building partnerships with parents to enhance the children’s learning and development. “

YCIS Pudong K2-Y13 Directors:

Nick Adgemis, Performing Arts Director

“I am now entering my sixth year with YCIS, having originally joined at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.  I previously taught Music, Drama, English, EAL, Humanities and Learning Support programmes at several secondary schools in both Australia and the UK.  I feel extremely privileged to work at YCIS, where I’ve been fortunate to work with our talented students and staff in our vast and diverse Performing Arts programmes.  I’m very proud of the variety of Music and Drama opportunities available at YCIS and particularly of the efforts made by our Performing Arts staff team to constantly grow the quality and quantity of opportunities on offer.”

 Matt Uffindall, Athletics Director

“I joined YCIS Pudong in the summer of 2017 as Head of PE, having taught in the Middle East for the previous five years. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, I completed my PGCE in Secondary Physical Education and taught in the UK for seven years. As well as teaching PE, I teach geography to IGCSE level. A passionate sportsman, I still remain as active as possible, playing rugby and football here in Shanghai as well as spending most of my holiday time exploring new places, hiking, skiing or surfing. The highlight of my career was without doubt winning an international rugby cap and representing Qatar. A true believer in the importance and power of sport, I believe that all students can benefit and gain from time in the subject. Understanding the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle is vital in the ever-demanding world in which we live.”

 Amita Patel, Technology Director

“I have been a part of the YCIS family since 2007, first as a parent and then joining the teaching staff since 2012 as the ICT Teacher in Primary. Over subsequent years, I managed the role of Technology Coordinator for ECE & Primary.  I am excited to take on the new role of Technology Director for all of YCIS Pudong, covering ECE, Primary and Secondary.  I come from India and lived in Thailand before moving to China. I am very passionate about technology as a key enabler for building 21st century skills in our students. I look forward to stimulating creativity and innovation in our community.”

Officer Leaders:

Jenni Wang, Assistant to the SLT / Head of Office

“I joined YCIS Regency Park Campus as the Office Administrator in 2015. I was born in Shanghai and studied and worked in Canada for 10 years.  I have really enjoyed these 3 years working here in the YCIS community.  And I am looking forward to another successful year to support and work with our parents and teachers.”

Helen Huang, School Office AdministratorRegency Park Campus

“I joined YCIS Pudong in 2006, and started when the school was based in Seasons Villas. A few years ago, I moved into the main office at Regency Park Campus and has been the Office Administrator Assistant for five years. I ready enjoy working in the YCIS welcoming community. I am looking forward to continuing to work with and support students, parents and teachers, in my new roles as Office Administrator for YCIS Pudong, Regency Park Campus.”

Elia LI, School Office AdministratorCentury Park Campus

“I joined YCIS Pudong at the Century Park Campus in 2011 and have worked as the Office Administrator Assistant for the past four years. I was born in Shanghai and have previously studied and worked in the USA. It will be my first year as the Office Administrator for YCIS Pudong, Century Park Campus. I will collaborate with my colleagues to support our students, parents and teachers. I am looking forward to making a successful school year. “

 Ivy Li, School Office Administrator Assistant

“I joined YCIS Pudong in 2013. I love young children and have been honored to serve them at Regency Park Campus during the last six years. From this school year, I will be based at the Century Park Campus. It is wonderful to see the little children we serve at kindergarten and lower Primary are now growing into bigger and stronger teenagers. Thankfully I have the privilege to continuously serve and witness them to grow into physically, mentally and spiritually healthy young adults and enjoy life to the full. YCIS is my family and I am looking forward to working with and serving my family members – staff, parents and students from all over the world. May we all enjoy this journey and be blessed! “

School Counselors / Child Protection Officers:

Zoe Andrews, School Counsellor / Child Protection Officer – ECE and Primary

“I have worked as the School Counsellor at YCIS for 3 years and am also the Child Protection Officer at Regency Park Campus.  I am originally from the UK, where I qualified as an Art Psychotherapist.  This year, I am looking forward supporting students and families through the school counselling services and our new Wellbeing curriculum.”

Courtney Leedy
, School Counsellor / Child Protection Officer– Secondary

“I joined the YCIS Pudong Secondary last year as the Secondary School Counsellor and Child Protection Officer, based at Century Park Campus.  Prior to that, I was at the YCIS Qingdao campus as School Counsellor & Parent Liaison for two years. I am from the United States. The best part of my job is getting to know the students and families that make up our unique community and helping students realise and reach their full potential. I am looking forward to another exciting year at YCIS Pudong!”

Parent Relations:

 Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer 

“Joining YCIS in 2016 has been a dream come true.  Working at YCIS Pudong these last two years has been such an incredible experience, because this has been the most fertile and caring environment ever for me to learn and grow. The clear vision of the founder, the open leadership, working with Nadine and YCIS parents along with the dedication of the whole community is what makes the difference.   2018-19 will be my third year at YCIS and also the 25th year of the establishment of the school in Shanghai.  Hop on and be part of the adventure as this year will be spectacular!!!”

Nadine Runkel, POP Liaison Officer

“This will be my third year as the POP Liaison Officer here at YCIS Pudong, and in this role I work closely with our parents, teachers and administration, and enjoy supporting our Parent Organization in all their ventures. I am from Germany and my 2 children have been attending YCIS Pudong since 2014. I look forward to an exciting year, with fun events and strong community building.“