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Catarina Song Chen1_edited.jpg

Catarina Song Chen, Head of School, 
The American School of Belo Horizonte (EABH), Office of Overseas Schools, Board Member AAIE/AISH

As the Head of School of EABH for 15 years, I have been responsible for the physical, academic, and cultural growth of the school. As I work on my retirement from EABH after a long term, it is critically important that the school transfer its institutional history to the new leadership to ensure a smooth transition in leadership - preserving its foundational values and identity, while also updating necessary changes for growth and continued evolution. 


This is why we hired GSO - and to completely overhaul our operational policy and ensure that all areas of the school could financially and operatively support our learning goals for the long term. In working closely with Jon, I can affirm his extensive experience and depth of knowledge, as well as his ability to customize solutions to needs, culture, and to shift focus as required by the school. 


Some additional major shifts that we realized we needed were effective Board Governance Policy, which he created and we both partnered on with our Board of Directors to successfully deliver as part of this transition. This set the Board up to facilitate their own critical successions, subcommittee (Governance, Finance, and Facilities) maturity, and to align better with the school’s bylaws. Additionally, Jon has helped the school develop a Statement of Community, provided Leadership Team guidance, and continues to help us develop further operational foundational maturity and policy to optimize our entire workforce. 


Finally, I personally have had many other different strategic and tactical dynamics arise during our time together and sought his advice and guidance as we’ve developed a deep partnership and trust. His perspectives and experience have been immensely valuable and helped us through both future planning and situational responses. As I transition into my next phase, I’ll continue to seek his support, advice, and collaboration. 


I highly recommend GSO and Jon for all schools not only looking to modernize or improve their governance, financial outlooks and planning, school policies, operations, and other foundational pieces, but for a fresh perspective on overall operational health and sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective long-term success markers. He is the rare partner who can work at all levels confidently.

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