Leadership Team

Assistant General Manager

Elvan Tongal is the Assistant General Manager of MEF Schools. She has 28 years of professional experience, including 13 years of administrative roles. She worked as a History Teacher in many private schools, notably the Founding Director of SEV American College. Specializing in IB Diploma Program, Ms. Tongal has been the IB Workshop Leader since 2013. She has been also working as a part-time instructor at the Teachers’ Academy Foundation (ÖRAV) since 2010. She has taken part in important projects such as ‘Sabancı University Alternative History Book Writing’, ‘No Teaching Limit’ and ‘Digital European Union: Turkish E-Book for High School and Primary School students. A graduate of Marmara University, Department of History, Ms. Tongal holds Sabancı University Alternative History Books and Bahçeşehir University Education Management and Supervision Master’s degrees. Elvan Tongal is a digital immigrant and a hopeful traveler on the path to learning.

Primary School Principal

Sharlene Carki is the principal for MEF Primary School. She came to Istanbul from New Zealand where she has held administrative roles for the past 8 years and taught across all year levels in her 19 years as an educator. She lives with her husband and her two daughters attend MEF IS. This is their second year as part of the MEF IS family. Sharlene enjoys exploring Istanbul with her family and travelling in their spare time. Sharlene graduated from The University of Otago and College of Education with a Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching. She has recently completed a postgraduate certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning. Sharlene trained as a reading specialist and has extensive training in leadership, differentiated programme and 21st learning development. Sharlene strives for excellence in all that she does and believes that quality relationships, collaboration and good communication are vital to success. She looks forward to  building positive relationships with the MEF IS school community and looks forward to an exciting year ahead.

Primary School Deputy Principal

Kate Birch is the Deputy Principal for MEF IS Primary School. She has lived in Turkey with her husband and two children for 4 years and is very proud to have been part of the MEF community during this time.

Kate was born and raised in the UK. She has Qualified Teacher’s Status (QTS) and 18 years experience, both in teaching and school leadership roles. Kate has a BA Honours in Educational Studies and IT from the University North London, as well as a postgraduate certificate in Bilingualism and in Special Educational Needs. Kate also obtained a Certificate in Widening Leadership from the Institute of Education in London and has undertaken senior leadership roles, including being Head of Pupil Support and Child Protection. Kate is committed to inclusive, quality education for all and wants to promote independent and resilience among learners. In her spare time Kate enjoys yoga, travelling and spending time with her family.

IB PYP Coordinator

Mihaela Morello is joining our team at MEF IS as the PYP Coordinator together with her husband, our new Primary PE teacher, and two of their children. She has been enjoying the life of an international teacher for the last 12 years, teaching in Canada, Kuwait, Peru and Denmark. Throughout these experiences Mihaela has taught every grade level within the Primary Years Program, and held leadership positions of math coordinator, PYP coordinator and Head of Primary School. Mihaela graduated with a teaching diploma from University of Toronto, and a Master Degree in Curriculum Studies from the University of New Brunswick. Recently Mihaela has become an IB workshop leader and school evaluator, and she hopes to use this role and her position at MEF IS to promote the skills and attitudes required for the 21st century learning and teaching.

Secondary School Principal

Malcolm Ringo has witnessed the evolution of MEF IS into a leading educational institution during the past 14 years leading into the 2019-20 academic year.  He is now serving in his third year as the Secondary Principal.  He has taught History, Geography, and Theory of Knowledge as well as served as the IBDP Coordinator and Cambridge Coordinator. He feels honored to be able to teach the Theory of Knowledge course to 11th and 12th graders when the chance presents itself. Before arriving to MEF IS, he taught English and was employed as a journalist for a short stint. He has completed two MA degrees, one of which was in History and the second of which was in Teaching English as a Second Language. Malcolm has been living in Turkey for the past 18 years and feels a strong connection to Turkish society and culture. Malcolm seeks to make education accessible and challenging to all students. He believes that with positivity and determination that all members of the school community can reach their full potential. Malcolm is the father of three children who enjoy studying at MEF IS. His hobbies include relaxing with family and friends, swimming, running, watching sports, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and writing.

Secondary School Curriculum Coordinator

Mrs. Lauren Fajobi has lived in Turkey for five years. She has a BS in Biological Science, a BA in Spanish Language & Culture and a MA in Curriculum & Instruction. This is Lauren’s fourth year at MEF IS, and she has experience in both American and international schools. In past years she has been a Curriculum Coordinator and an Instructional Coach. She has also taught Biology, General Science, Chemistry, and Spanish. Lauren deeply admires the IB philosophy and she enjoys engaging with teachers, students and families to ensure that all MEF IS community members are involved in achieving the desired impacts of the school’s academic programs. She enjoys teaching and is passionate about helping students develop confidence, curiosity and love of learning that will stay with them through school, university and beyond. In her free time she enjoys being with her family, singing, and traveling throughout Turkey.

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