Long Talk: Mrs. McMillan

November 1, 2019

The Long Talk offers a chance to sit down with the various personalities in the ISB community and get to know them a little bit better.  Mrs. Justyna Mcmilan the new dean of academics in the High School. She sat down with PantherNation to share a bit about herself.

1) Where did you grow up and what made you want to become a teacher?

 I grew up in London England and in Poznan Poland. I am Polish originally. My parents are Polish. I was born in the UK. And then I moved between the two countries when I was younger. I loved the school. And it was my happy place. I was really greatly inspired. I was really fortunate that I had some great teachers and really interesting lessons and I always knew that I would end up being a teacher. But I didn’t go straight into teaching. I was in the corporate world for a little bit. But I knew that was just explore something else in case I changed my mind but I didn’t and I went back to Teachers College and did my degree and then a Masters in Education. And I’ve been teaching ever since and I absolutely love it–can’t imagine anything else! …  I really believe that this is one area where you can make real, profound difference young people because you’re not only helping to become better human beings, you’re also helping develop their own interests and develop skills to make them successful…

2) What position did you have previous to coming to ISB?

I was in a similar size school to here in South Korea. I was the IB diploma coordinator there and coordinated the curriculum in the high school, as well as lots of students’ activities and other school-wide curriculum work as well. So similar to here, but a little different.

3) Why did you choose to come to ISB?

It wasn’t my just choice. It was my husband and I, we both heard a lot of very positive things about ISB. For many many years, I had a dear friend who worked here. Her name was Dr. LeNezet. She was here for quite a while and I worked with her in London. And so I had a lot of  insight from her about school and how much she loved the school when she was here with her family. And I’ve met lots of teachers who worked at ISB before. We really were interested in being in Thailand so when this opportunity came up, we applied.. We wanted to live in Thailand and be part of the ISB community because we had heard so many good things about it. 

4) Who were your favorite authors and books when you were in High school?

I read a lot of Thomas Hardy. I read a lot of classical literature. I think that was part of what we were reading at school, but I genuinely enjoyed them. I also read a lot of French literature… a lot of romantic authors, like Alexander Dumas and Victor Hugo. I read a lot of historical novels and historical fiction. That was sort of my preferred genre, as well as lots of books set in the Cold War that were kind of spy novels, … like John le Carre and other books like that. 

5) If you could give some advice to YOUR High School self, what would it be?

Not to take things so seriously. I put a lot of pressure on myself when I was a student, which I think a lot of students here probably can relate to, and I wish I had joined more sports clubs and had a little bit more free time and fun time cause I was very serious about my academics and I do feel that I probably could have achieved just as well as I had, but I would have  more fun if I had just let go a little bit more!

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