Envisioning Excellence: A New Head of Academy in Mombasa | Aga Khan Academies

Envisioning Excellence: A New Head of Academy in Mombasa

In August 2015, William J. O’Hearn III (Bill) will be joining the Aga Khan Academies as the Head of Academy, Mombasa, Kenya. 

Bill is an educator and school leader with nearly forty years’ experience. He has led schools in the USA and China and is known as a strong strategic thinker and builder of sound processes and systems that enable student and staff learning and growth. He has a record of significantly improving school operations, enhancing professional development opportunities for teachers and strengthening the sense of community and the culture of respect in the schools he has led. 

“I have experience in working collaboratively with teachers, staff, parents and students in many different types of schools,” says Bill. I have a good sense of what excellence looks like in a vibrant learning community where students are empowered as learners, develop individual passions, and learn to take action to make a difference in the lives of others.”

He was drawn to the Academy by the values of the institution, which resonate closely with his own. He says, “I have been very fortunate in my career to work for schools where the values of the school resonate with me as an educator and a person. I read about His Highness’s vision and the mission of the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, and they are the reasons why I am so excited about joining this wonderful learning community.”

Bill joins the Academy from Beijing City International School, China. During his time in Beijing, he has overseen the successful accreditations from the IB and the Council of International Schools, while growing the student body to over 750 students. Prior to his time in China, he was the Head of Ross School in East Hampton, New York. Earlier in his career, he led Eliot Montessori School in Massachusetts and served as Director of Education at St. Andrews School in Rhode Island. Among his many professional capabilities, Bill is knowledgeable and experienced in Learning Disabilities and Early Childhood Development. 

He is looking forward to supporting the Academy as it continues to grow as an institution, and to getting to know each student personally and supporting their learning. “We all have high expectations for the Aga Khan Academies,” says Bill, “and I want to help the Academy in Mombasa, the first of the Academies, to lead the way in meeting the mission and vision of His Highness.”

Bill is a graduate of Hamilton College, a leading US residential liberal arts college, and has a Master’s of Education from Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts.

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