Following recent confirmation of the plan to re-locate the junior and secondary international schools to a single new campus, Eindhoven News profiles the new director of the International School Eindhoven, David Gatley, who first arrived in Eindhoven six months ago.
David is 55 and is originally from Oldham in the UK. His ambition was always to go into education, so after achieving an M.Sc. in Physics and a brief spell in industry to get some “real” world experience, David enrolled at Chester teacher training college. He has since built an impressive international career in education which includes Peru, El Salvador, Switzerland, Germany and most recently as Director of the International College in Madrid. [nbsp]David met his wife, English teacher Heather, whilst working in Peru. They have two grown-up children, both currently living in the UK.
Asked to describe his philosophy on teaching and life, David comments: “I am an enthusiastic spreader of ideas. I am optimistic about everything. I like to discuss ideas with others. I like to challenge ‘conventional’ wisdom. The values that I hold valuable in myself and others are honesty, integrity, hard work, humour, sensitivity, listening, caring, to be genuine and balanced. I really love working with young people because I feel that they need, but do not always get, a great deal of guidance.” [nbsp]
David has a lot of things he wants to achieve for the new school and hopes to spend a long time in Eindhoven. He is particularly excited by the challenge of merging the two international schools and sees the building project as a “wonderful chance to create a building that serves the needs of education for the future”. But he is aware that a school is more than just a building and he is fully focused on the task of merging the existing the communities under one organization. He believes that communication is one of the key ingredients to a successful merger. [nbsp]As a fairly recent arrival to Eindhoven, Eindhoven News was interested to hear David’s experiences so far of living in the city:
EN: Was there a particular attraction/motivation for taking the job from a country point of view (ie opportunity to live in Holland) – if so what?
My children are both based at universities in the UK and we are very close to them here. They were both over for Christmas at ‘home’ in Eindhoven this year.[nbsp] Although they are getting older (23 and 20) it is important to us as an expat family.[nbsp] We also worked in Northern Europe (Switzerland 8 years and Germany 5 years) and find the environment easy.
EN:[nbsp]How have you enjoyed your time in Eindhoven so far?
Very much! There is always something going on in town.[nbsp] The people don’t like to go any length of time without some celebration or other.[nbsp] We like to eat out on Dommelstraat and it feels like a safe city.
EN: What is your impression of the city of Eindhoven?
Some good bits and not so good bits.[nbsp] We like the river near where we live (up towards Son), the wealth of small shops (lost in other parts of the world because of superstores).[nbsp] I don’t like the area where the youth goes (Stratumseind), the ground is covered in gum and socks appear on the pavement![nbsp] I don’t like the plastic mobile urinals!
EN: To what extent does living in Holland meet up to your expectations – people, lifestyle?
The restaurants are very good, better than Madrid and similar prices. It is cheaper to run my car because I don’t have to travel as much or as far.[nbsp] I like to use my bicycle and run in the countryside. People are friendly and very good with English.[nbsp] Older people have not ‘given up’ the city centre to youth and there is respect between generations (as far as I can see). I was in Hamburg in November and it clear that the prices are higher here than in Germany. Taxis are also expensive compared with other countries.
EN: What has surprised you about living in Holland?
The large and open front windows.
EN: What do you like to do in your time off?
Run, cycle, eat out, visit cities and museums. [nbsp]