Leadership Team

Assistant General Manager – Ms. Elvan Tongal

Elvan Tongal is the Assistant General Manager of MEF Schools. She has 31 years of professional experience, including 16 years of administrative roles. She worked as a History Teacher in many private schools, notably the Founding Director of SEV American College. Specializing in the IB Diploma Program, Ms. Tongal has been the IB Workshop Leader since 2013. She has been 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 – Mr. Brett Warfield

Brett Warfield will continue his career as our Primary School Principal for MEF International School, Istanbul after serving as Deputy Principal at our Izmir campus. Bringing eight years of international school leadership experience, six years within the International Baccalaureate, Brett looks forward to continuing to support all members in our community. Brett is a firm believer in inquiry, creativity, student agency, and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), as paths to ensuring students are challenged, supported, and inspired to realize their unique potentials. He looks forward to working collaboratively with students, teachers, parents, and leaders to this end. Brett holds a Bachelors of Education from Missouri State University, and a Certificate of School Leadership and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He will complete his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Bath this school year. In his free time Brett enjoys spending time in nature, travel, and spending time with his friends and family.

Secondary School Principal – Ms. Nicole Roman Incel

Nicole Roman-Incel is the Secondary Principal of MEF International School in Istanbul. She has lived in Turkey for 11 years, and has two sons. She has a B.A. in World History and Education from Loyola University of Chicago and an M.A. degree in TESL and Linguistics from Northeastern University of Chicago. She also has a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Ms. Incel has been working in education for 20 years, eleven of which have been at MEF IS. In past years, she has taught World History, Humanities, Language Arts, and ELL English, as well as served as the Student Support Team leader and Deputy Principal. She is also the accreditation chair of MEF IS for the Council of International Schools (CIS) and New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Ms.m Incel is a firm believer that all students are capable of learning anything with the right tools and strives to support teachers with providing these tools to their students. She also believes MEF IS has a great community who always supports one another. Ms. Incel is interested in educational history, world history and differentiated learning. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and exploring different parts of Turkey and the world.

Primary School Deputy Principal – Ms. Victoria Cerdas

Victoria Cerdas is the Primary Deputy Principal of Istanbul MEF International School. She has been working in education for 12 years in Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Türkiye. For the past six years, she has been teaching Early Childhood at MEFIS and was the ECC Team Leader for two years. Victoria holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education from UNED Costa Rica and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Advanced Teaching program at the University of the People in Pasadena, California. Victoria has an ability in fostering a caring and safe learning environment where students can initiate inquiry. Being a PYP-trained educator, along with her international experience, she is aware of the cultural and social context in which the children live and learn. Besides her teaching skills, she is multilingual. She speaks English and Spanish fluently, and has Elementary proficiency in German and Italian, allowing her to promote international-mindedness. In her free time, Victoria enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, practicing yoga, and walking in the park. She is looking forward to working with the MEF International School community in her new role.

Secondary School Deputy Principal and Academic Dean – Ms. Jennifer Graham-Magill

Jennifer Graham-Magill is the Deputy Principal and Academic Dean of MEF Secondary International School. She has taught English Language and Literature in grades 6-12 for the past six years at MEFIS and was the Head of MEF English Department. Jennifer has 12 years of teaching experience in Canada, South Korea, Kuwait and Turkey. She is originally from Toronto, Canada but has made Istanbul her home with her husband and two young sons. Jennifer graduated with an Honors Bachelor of Arts from Brock University, a Bachelor of Education from Nippissing University, and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Education program at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. Jennifer is a motivated, reliable and energetic professional with a strong ability to build lasting relationships with students and colleagues and to understand and meet students’ diverse educational needs. She has extensive training in both the Cambridge and International Baccaleaureate Diploma Programs and a lifelong passion for the academic and personal development of young people. She is looking forward to working with the MEF International School community in her new role.

IB DP Coordinator – Ms. Beliz Kearin

Beliz Kearin is the IB Diploma Program and Cambridge Diploma Program Coordinator of MEF Schools of Istanbul. She has 21 years of teaching experience, working with gifted students for 11 years and working as an IB teacher and IB examiner for 16 years. She also worked as Deputy Principal, IB CAS coordinator, and Foreign Teacher Coordinator in her previous school. Recently, Beliz has been working as the Modern Foreign Languages Department Head at MEF International School, teaching French at both IGCSE and IB levels. Beliz has a French teaching degree from Istanbul University and FLE program from Strasbourg University. She has also received her NT Masters Degree in Learning Sciences from MEF University. As well as this, Beliz is especially interested in differentiated learning, gifted education and how dyslexia affects second language learners. Beliz is the mother of one daughter who also attends MEFIS, which helps her to understand parents’ perspectives and points of view for the educational needs of students. She enjoys traveling with her family all around the world where she loves to snorkel, scuba dive, and sample different cuisines.

IB PYP Coordinator – Ms. Ece Genis

Dr. Ece Genis is the Primary Years Programme (PYP) coordinator of MEF International School and National School. Ece is passionate about motivating the school community to build proactive and productive school culture. She believes that a strong collaboration determines a great teamwork’s success. She sees differentiation as a fundamental approach for enjoying the learning process with lots of experiments and play for all learners. She has years of teaching experience in the Early Years and PYP Music; she previously worked in International Baccalaureate schools and led specialist meetings in India, Iraq, and Turkey. She received a Bachelor’s with high honor, a Master’s degree in Music from Gazi University, and a doctorate in Music Education from Abant İzzet Baysal University. Ece loves to travel and discover new places. She is interested in scuba diving, fitness, swimming, yoga, and dance.