“It is a lifelong task to know and learn who you are, but the more you know, the more you can help and support others. Only together as a team effort can we create a better world, but everyone is a part of the whole.”
Meet Christina Decu, the new Director of Enrollment Management at ISKL, who joined the community in July 2023. Christina was born in Sweden to German parents and has traveled extensively, living and working in Bremen, New York, Shanghai, and London. With 25 years spent in Shanghai, she can’t wait to connect with the ISKL community and be back in Asia.
Here is Christina’s story:
Please tell us more about yourself.
I was born in Sweden to German parents. I have lived and worked in Bremen (North Germany), New York (USA), Shanghai (China), and for the past six years in London (UK); however, most of my life, though, I spent in Shanghai. I am grateful for all my experiences in China; not only did I get married and have two beautiful children and two dogs during my 25 years in that amazing city, but I was part of the historical changes and developments.
I started my work life in the tourism industry (Germany and USA), but soon after my move to Shanghai, I changed to finance. As a volunteer, I was part of a group starting up the German School in Shanghai, and I was the PTSA president at the international school my children attended for many years. When that school offered me the opportunity to join as a Director of Admission and Marketing 14 years ago, I was more than happy to accept.
When our children moved away for university, it was a good reason to move closer to our aging parents in Europe. It was very good timing as we could spend the challenging times during Covid close to our family.
What made you decide to join ISKL?
When former families from the school I worked at in Shanghai moved to KL, the only school they wanted to choose was ISKL. When a family left ISKL and moved to Puxi in Shanghai, they joined my previous school. Over the years, all the families I met had one thing in common: they had been extremely kind and open-minded, friendly, and very community oriented. I could not be more happy to join such a community!
Having lived in Europe for six years, I miss Asia. I never realized what an impact living in Asia made on my mind and heart; this is my happy place where I belong.
ISKL has a wonderful reputation among international families and is known as a center for educational excellence, and the students are at the core of all decisions. I am grateful to be able to join such an outstanding organization.
Can you tell us more about your position as the Director of Enrollment? What are your daily activities?
I am joining a very strong and experienced team. Our responsibility is to explain to interested families who we are and what we offer with regard to educational programs, extracurricular activities, student support services, college counseling, transport options, and much more. What it means for a family to join the ISKL community and become a lifelong panther 🙂
Once a family has decided to apply to ISKL, our responsibility is to guide them through the application process. Once all documents are completed, the internal process involves multiple stakeholders like the principals, the counseling team, and many more who are part of the transition and integration process.
Another major part of my responsibility is to work closely with the whole school Senior Leadership Team, especially with Rami Madani, our Head of School. I help the Leadership team plan regarding student numbers, class sections, and possible trends.
My role is an ongoing support process, starting with the first meeting of an interested family through the initial enrollment process and guiding them through the annual re-enrollment process. We help and support the families with a smooth transition into the community and their possible move to KL. Still, if a family might move on to a new adventure elsewhere in the world, we support their departure.
Another big part of my activities is joining school activities and events like performances, sports, or community events. The deeper my understanding of who we are, the better I can explain and share my experiences.
What are you looking forward to the most about joining the ISKL community?
I look forward to getting to know the students, their families, and my new colleagues.
Can you tell us more about your hobbies and interests? What do you do after work?
I love cooking and spending time with family and friends. A big hobby is exploring (new cities, parks, museums, neighborhoods, and food) and traveling. I used to do regular sports but never started again after Covid happened. This is on my to-do list – to get into good habits again.
Who or what inspires you?
I was always raised to treat people the way I would like them to treat me, and that we always have a choice – choosing to be kind is often more important than choosing to be right.
There are so many big and small moments in life that inspire me and make me happy, a helping hand, a smile but the neverending support of carers and nurses, a neighbor who helps with shopping in case of sickness, or a teacher who believes in every child. It would be hard only to mention one person who inspires me, and it is more the actions (small and big ones) that are inspiring.
What does ISKL’s” vision statement ‘”Know yourself, care for all and create a better world,”‘ mean to you?
It is a lifelong task to know and learn who you are, but the more you know, the more you can help and support others. Only together as a team effort can we create a better world, but everyone is a part of the whole.
Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.