Dr Nanci Shaw was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Houston, Texas. Her yearning for experiencing other cultures was first cultivated at age 11 during a mission study at vacation Bible School. About the same time, she became fascinated with the prospect of working in China, inspired by an old movie Inn of Sixth Happiness. But not until now has her path finally led her to China.
Prior to joining the YCIS family, Dr Shaw served schools as an educator and administrator in Japan, Germany, Cameroon, England, and the United States. She holds a BS degree in elementary and special education, a M.Ed. in secondary education and supervision, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy from Iowa State University.
During her career, Dr Shaw has worked in a variety of capacities including special needs teacher, middle years’ science teacher, secondary counsellor, university advisor, curriculum co-ordinator, university professor, principal, and head of school. Most recently, she was the head of K. International School in Tokyo and the American School of Yaounde in Cameroon, West Africa.
Dr Shaw has conducted initiatives in numerous areas including curriculum development, assessment, inquiry-based instruction, performance evaluation, accreditation, character education, differentiated instruction, global issues, community service, special needs, and university admissions.
From an organisational standpoint, Dr Shaw capitalises on a systems-based and student-centred approach, manifested by professional learning communities focused on collaboration, learning and results. Given the inevitability of change and the constancy of diverse cultural perspectives in today's world, she believes that a shared sense of trust and open communication, as well as mutual caring and support, are paramount.