Leadership | Celebrating 55 Years of International Education Simon Gillespie – Head of School, International School of Uganda

Posted June 2, 2022 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Education ~ 2,184 views


On May 17, 1967 “The Lincoln School” (now International School of Uganda) was registered by the Ministry of Education. The school leased the property on 93 Buganda Road and the school was officially opened. 55 years later, we are still going strong educating children with an international focus within the context of Uganda. Students leave ISU feeling that they have contributed to the wider society by gaining skills and understanding to prepare them for life beyond school. ISU provides a well rounded education where children can explore their passions and talents with a strong foundation in key learning concepts and knowledge.

ISU is the oldest international school in Uganda. The school is a non-profit organization committed to providing students from around the globe with a world class education. Currently we have 560 students representing 50 different nationalities. Over the years thousands of students have passed through the campus of ISU and our alumni have gone on to attend Universities around the world and embark on careers that often connect back to Uganda. We offer the International Baccalaureate at all three levels including the Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Program. We are a fully inclusive school, ensuring that resources are in place to support all learners regardless of any learning differences.

This school year we renewed our commitment to our values and beliefs and re-wrote our mission and vision to reflect the current world we live in and the best possible education we provide our students. The ISU mission states that “we are a diverse and inclusive community of learners who come together to realize our individual and collective learning potential by creating a culture of belonging, opportunity, and challenge.” Further to this our vision states that “we seek to foster lifelong learners who are agents of their learning and wellbeing; who seek a deeper understanding of, and connection to, themselves, others in the school, Uganda, and global communities; and act upon personal passions and strengths to contribute in the pursuit of a more sustainable, equitable, inclusive, and just world.”

In our 55th year the Class of 2022 honored 36 graduates with our commencement ceremony. We were able to make a special connection with the Obama Foundation through one of our graduates – Jacob Philadelphia. Jacob met President Obama in the Oval Office in 2009, at which time a picture was taken that became very significant for President Obama. Young Jacob asked President Obama if his hair was the same as his – President Obama leaned down for him to touch. This moment demonstrated the importance of representation and how this opened the world for all young children. Before graduation Jacob and ISU connected with the Obama Foundation – which resulted in a zoom call between President Obama and Jacob which was turned into a great video explaining the whole event. This was followed on by President Obama sending our graduating class a special video message congratulating the Class of 2022 on their graduation!

We are located on a beautiful 33 acre campus in Lubowa with facilities that allow our students to take part in learning experiences that help them to learn to their greatest potential. We are an accessible campus with a new arts center including a 420 seat state of the art theatre, sports facilities including football pitches, 400 m track, tennis courts, swimming pool and gymnasium. We have fully equipped science labs, a well resourced library and a strong commitment to greening through sustainability projects including an annual offsetting of our carbon footprint.

We have a 55 year history and with that a strong foundation, along with a strong commitment to continue to grow, learn and connect with the wider community. For admissions inquiries or to learn more about ISU please visit our website –

Simon Gillespie, Ed.D. is the Head of School at International School of Uganda an International Baccalaureate World School. Simon has been a leader of international schools in Germany, Philippines, and most recently the Democratic Republic of Congo. Simon is a co-director of the Next Frontier Inclusion organization, supporting international schools to be inclusive of all students regardless of their learning style and challenges. He looks forward to continuing to connect with the educational community in Kampala and supporting the development of a strong learning environment for our students.

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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