About the PTC: Our history
Chances are, if you are in an international school just about anywhere in the world, the principal down the corridor, or maybe even your head of school would have story or two to tell about the good old days of the PTC.
Since the summer of 1989, when the PTC held its very first summer institute at Marymount International School in Rome (the vintage photos on this page are from the Rome days), hundreds and hundreds of international educators have come together every summer to become better leaders. That very first year – 28 years ago – 35 ‘pioneer’ principals spent the first ever 7 day summer institutes in the capable hands of trainers Bill Gerritz (most recently Head of IS Bangkok) and Pat Wolfe (well known author on the brain and learning). And there was no turning back.
The brainchild of Forrest Broman (with a little help from his friends, particularly colleague Fran Ran), the non-profit PTC got its start with the financial support of a small two year grant from the US Office of Overseas education and governance support from the regional associations. The vision was to create practical training opportunities for practicing and aspiring principals in international schools – and the PTC has stayed true to that vision until today. Broman notes, “The inspiration to organize a PTC came out of my belief that the principal is an essential player in any effort to improve student learning.”
Current director of the PTC, Bambi Betts, who has been involved since its inception and its director since 1996, tells us, “PTC is truly a remarkable example of how a clear, simple, timely idea, with grassroots support, and dogged determination to fulfill a mission can dramatically impact an industry. I am humbled every day by the genuine determination of those we serve to improve their skills on behalf of their students. They have made the PTC.”
Betts also generously credits the ‘trainers’ or course ‘facilitators’, as well. The earliest trainers came from a professional training organization in California, paired with practicing international educators – including Kevin Bartlett, Pat Handly, Niall Nelson, Robert Landau, Cindy Gause-Vega, Julie Ryan, John Sperandio, several of whom are still very much involved with international schools.
PTC participants from around the world have shared stories, impressions, photos and remembrances of the PTC journey. Here are just a few: Mick Thompson, now head of Mercedes Benz International school writes; “to be at Marymount in the summers of ‘89 and ‘90, gave us the feeling that we were part of something new, vibrant and relevant and time has proved us correct;” Niall Nelson, most recently head of International Community School in Zurich writes, “I have very happy memories of the early days of the PTC at Marymount in Rome. Many of the friends I made then went on to pursue illustrious careers in international education and remain close friends today, so the PTC has a lot to answer for!"
Today the PTC offers international school leaders and aspiring leaders 17, seven-day professional development institutes each summer in Miami and London attracting more than 900 participants annually who take more than 1,000 courses. PTC has also developed the Teacher Training Center (TTC) with professional development courses for teachers, the Counselor Training Center (CTC), the Business Training Center (BTC) for school business leaders, and the Teacher Leader Institute (TLI) offering short workshops each spring and fall in regional locations for teacher leaders. PTC also offers membership benefits and consulting opportunities to international schools, and provides online professional networks and communication opportunities for international educators.
PTC continues to be a unique blend of learning , networking and , in the words of one satisfied participant, ‘making a meaningful, lasting contribution to both learning and leading.’