"Humans of CIS". Ms MaryKay Gudkova.

I grew up in a monoculture environment and I dreamt of living in different cultures. I was always interested in history and travel. After graduating from the City University of New York I decided to become an international teacher. I knew that it was my mission. So I did my Masters in Education in Washington DC. And then I did my post-graduate to get my principle administrator certificate in Seattle. But it was my plan to live overseas.

I first was a teaching director at a small international school in Kishinev, Moldova and it was a US state department funded the school with mostly US embassy EU UN diplomatic families. Then I worked as a school director in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Then I was a principle in South East Asia and then I was a consultant for a project that President Nazarbaev started with Cambridge University, his education reform project in Kazakhstan and ended up a director of a school there.

Now I am here, in CIS, in Saint- Petersburg campus. I like life in Saint-Petersburg, it is much easier and more compact than in Moscow.

My plan is to really make CIS have a reputation for being the premier international school in Russia. I am determined to do everything to achieve that goal!

The team is great here! I feel really happy that they like each other. People love working here. They socialize together, they care about each other. I like that the Russianness is valued here.

Communication with parents and staff is very important. It is the key.

As a school director, I would like to say that the key to successfully managing is communication both with parents and with staff. Also, it is very important to have a strict organizational plan and to know exactly who is doing what. I am hoping that our school will continue to provide high-quality education and will try my best to keep its best reputation.