Davina McCarthy - Executive Principal
Davina McCarthy joined AIS in 2020 as Executive Principal. Ms McCarthy has extensive experience in international education and joined AIS following her Headship at a very successful school in Kuala Lumpur and was a finalist in the Times Education International School of the Year Award in 2019.
Previously, she was a Deputy Project Director for a large educational development initiative in the United Arab Emirates as well as Head of Primary and Acting-Principal at an international school in Kuwait. Davina began her career in the United Kingdom and worked for sixteen years across several schools in London, with a focus on teacher training and Gifted education. Davina is also a qualified teacher trainer for Cambridge Education and, previously, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. In Malaysia, she also worked closely with Apple Education. Davina holds the UK NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship) and a degree in English from University College London. She has presented at several education conferences and networks extensively with other school communities.
Davina is passionate about academic excellence and opportunities for students and ensuring they are prepared to take their place in a rapidly evolving global context. She also believes strongly that colleagues across the curriculum receive the best training and professional development possible. Davina places great value on working with the school and wider community and is determined to foster a first-class international school education without losing sight of local culture and traditions.
Mark Vella - Deputy Executive & Secondary School Principal
Master of Arts ( 1st Class Honours ), University of Auckland, NZ Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Auckland College of Education, NZ Bachelor of Arts ( Senior Scholar in History), University of Auckland, NZ
Mark is an experienced, career educator from New Zealand who has taught at secondary level for the past 30 years. Prior to his move to AIS Saigon he was a long-serving member of the Senior Leadership Team at Auckland Grammar School, one of New Zealand’s leading secondary schools. As Associate Headmaster his primary area of responsibility was curriculum and assessment. Mark has always enjoyed being involved in co-curricular activities which he believes are an integral part of a holistic education. He has coached rugby for over 30 years, and has managed, mentored or organised a range of other sporting and cultural groups. Mark has moved to Ho Chi Minh City with his partner Rachel, who is an English teacher at AIS, and their twin daughters. He enjoys sport in general and rugby in particular, is a keen snowboarder and an avid reader, and looks forward to exploring Vietnam and travelling throughout Asia with his family.
Julian Carroll - Primary and Kindergarten Principal
Master of Education, Federation University (University of Ballarat) Bachelor of Education, Monash University. Diploma of Teaching, Deakin University (Burwood State College) Graduate Diploma of Music Education, Federation University (University of Ballarat)
Julian has extensive experience as a Principal in both the government and independent school sectors and he is very excited to be joining the team at AIS Saigon. He moves from a PYP School, Kingswood College in Melbourne, where he has spent the last 3½ years as Head of the Junior School. He believes that to teach is an ‘honour and a privilege’. He is accompanied by his wife, Elisa, who is also an experienced educator. Julian’s passions include music, golf and architecture and he can’t wait to experience the culture, food and beautiful sites of Vietnam.
Ben Armstrong - Deputy Secondary Principal
Bachelor of Science (Mathematics), Griffith University, Australia Bachelor of Education (Physics), Griffith University, Australia
After starting his Mathematics and Physics teaching career on the Sunshine Coast, Australia, Ben has been a member of the AIS community since 2012. In that time, he has held many leadership positions including the Head of Mathematics, Head of Science and Head of House System. He is looking forward to continuing the growth of AIS into the premier international school in HCMC.
Ben finds great enjoyment and is passionate about healthy lifestyles. He shows this passion by coaching many sport teams and running general fitness classes for students to help them relieve stress and gain energy.
Beth Wills - Deputy Primary and Kindergarten Principal
Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
This is Beth's third year with AIS. She has 20 years of teaching experience ranging from 5-year-olds to 12-year-olds. Beth is a New Zealander and for the past 13 years has had the opportunity to be the lead teacher of Mathematics, a Team Leader and Deputy Principal. This year she is excited about moving into the Deputy Principal role for Kindergarten and Primary. She believes it is important to build leadership capacity in schools so that it increases the opportunities for improving learning outcomes for all students.
Her husband Brien is also a teacher at AIS. Their girls Lucy (11) and Isla (9) also attend AIS. Beth loves to play netball, enjoys most sports and keeping fit. She is a very active person and is enjoying life in Vietnam.
She is looking forward to working across all Kindergarten and Primary campuses.