Staff Spotlight: The Chad's
Staff Spotlight: The Chad's



Chad Van Cleve: Dubuque, Iowa USA

Chad McGartlin: Atlanta, Ga


Years Teaching:

Chad V: This is year 22.

Chad McG: 16


How did you meet?

Chad V: I met Chad M. at work in early August. We discussed ideas and thoughts on the role of instructional coaching, as that was the reason we were hired at CIS.

Chad McG: Chad V is lying, we met at Stacey-con '95 at the San Diego Airport Hilton. We really hit it off seeing as how we have the same name and all.  He must've forgotten.


Where did you teach before coming to CIS?

Chad V: 10 Years at Dubuque (Iowa, USA) Community School District, 3 Years at the American International School of Rotterdam (Netherlands) and 8 Years at Cedar Falls (Iowa, USA) Community Schools

Chad McG: 6 years at The American School of Guangzhou, 3 years at the American International School in Cyprus, 4 years at Fundacion Colegio Americano de Quito, and 2 years at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus.


What attracted you to Grand Cayman and CIS?

Chad V: My wife, Jen, and I wanted to return to international teaching but with twin daughters, at age 5 we were very particular about where we wanted to be. CIS ticked all the boxes. We liked the philosophy of the school, the commitment it has to provide a quality education to students, and the people we talked with were knowledgeable about current educational practices. The weather and beaches seemed to be a nice perk.

Chad McG: Meghan Ricker (MS Counselor) and I wanted to stay teaching abroad, but also bring our two young boys (ages 3 & 1) closer to home. 16-hour flights from China are brutal with little ones.  We also wanted to find the right professional combination of a place that shares many of our philosophical beliefs while also presenting exciting challenges. CIS fits all of these and more!

Van Cleve FamilyMcGartlin Family

What or who inspired you to become a teacher?

Chad V: I was inspired to become a teacher because I thought it was the best way to help people experiment and create change in their world in a positive manner.

Chad McG: My dad, mostly. I spent most of my youth after school at a gymnastics center owned by my dad.  He was a charismatic and enthusiastic coach who instilled in me the desire to teach along with the need to balance learning with fun.


How would you describe your role as Instructional Coaches at CIS?

Chad V: My role is to support other teachers in trying new learning strategies as well helping teachers grow professionally.

Chad McG: To help grow the school and impact student learning in whatever way is needed.


What does learning look like to you?

Chad V: Learning is complicated and there is no one way to see it. Part of learning is to look at student work, ideas, and other products over time. By looking at the progress a student has made, their learning is demonstrated. I also think that learning is the result of student reflection upon their work and the evaluations they have made about their performance. If students have the time and ability to reflect properly they will be in a position to make use of what they have learned in the future.

Chad McG: Messy, fun, dynamic, frustrating, intimate, reflective and student-driven.


As a community, we have focused a lot on our sustainability practices this year. What advice would you give to parents on how to support their students with their sustainability initiatives?

Chad V: Support your children's ideas and actions. Help them learn about sustainability. Discuss with your children their behaviors and as adults, our own behaviors that are both sustainable and unsustainable.

Chad McG: Remember that they (students) have a say in the world they will inherit.  That, and potty train your little ones early, diapers are waste upon waste.


What are you reading right now?

Chad V: Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Spooky School - I am reading that with my five-year-olds.

Chad McG: I'm much more of a podcast listener.  I'm currently knee deep into a fascinating series about the Charles Manson Murders on the "You Must Remember This" podcast, and am listening to a podcast called TG2 about grading and reporting.


What is your favorite place to be in the world and why?

Chad V: Romania in the Fall. It is spooky in the mountains just like old horror movies with the fog and the wolves howling.

Chad McG: Right now, it's lurking on the catwalk over the EC courtyard during lunch so I can watch my son during recess without him knowing. Otherwise, as a Social Studies teacher, I'd say Berlin or Istanbul...two amazing cities that are rich with history...great places to spend time walking around and discovering.


If you could impart just one lesson to your students, what would it be and why?

Chad V: Be kind.

Chad McG: In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "Be careful who you pretend to be because you are who you pretend to be."