My-Linh Phan, the Principal, High School of True North School is a dedicated educator who has made it her life's mission to empower Vietnamese youth with the art of persuasion and self-advocacy. Her aspiration is to inspire and empower students to reach their full potential in all aspects of life; she’s particularly committed to empowering young women in Vietnam.
Influenced by her principal at Singapore Chinese Girls' School, My-Linh knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in education.
Her educational journey has taken her across different countries and cultures. After receiving a Master's degree in Education in America, she embarked on a teaching career that has seen her impart her knowledge and expertise in various nations, including the United States, Korea, and the Dominican Republic. In 2014, she returned to Vietnam and settled down in her home country.
Recognizing the importance of effective communication and critical thinking skills, My-Linh co-founded the Vietnam Debate Association. Through this organization, she has championed the development of debate skills among Vietnamese students. Her commitment and dedication to this cause were evident.
Since 2017, she organized multiple national-wide debate tournaments such as Vietnam Middle Schools Debating Championship, Future Eastern Stars Tournaments and in particular, Vietnam Schools Debating Championship, endorsed by the Department of Education and Training of Hanoi. Her contribution to the international community is also recognized.
Looking toward the future, My-Linh's long-term goal is to build True North School Hanoi to be an institution that focuses on holistic character and intellectual development for Vietnamese students. She envisions a learning environment that nurtures well-rounded individuals, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of the modern world and the wellness to lead a healthy fulfilling life.
HOA PHAM, PhD.
Hoa Pham is the Founder of AKO Kindergarten and a Lecturer at Hanoi National University of Education.
She received her PhD in Education from the Marie Clay Research Center,
Faculty of Education and Social Work, the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2021.
Her PhD focused on young Vietnamese children’s ordinary narratives and identities in Vietnam and Aotearoa New Zealand. Hoa’s thesis was selected as one of the best two theses of Faculty of Education, and one of top 20 best theses in the entire University in 2021.
She returned to Vietnam after her PhD program and established the AKO Kindergarten in Hanoi in May 2022.
AKO Kindergarten is the first preschool in Vietnam applying the holistic values of Te Whāriki, New Zealand Early Childhood Education National Curriculum.
Hoa named the kindergarten as Ako.
In Māori language of Aotearoa New Zealand, Ako means “children as
teachers and teachers as learners of children”.
Ako is her dream to build up a New Zealand corner in Vietnam’s educational context and connect the global values of education with the local insights to benefit young children, their parents, and teachers.
Hoa is also a lecturer in the Faculty of Early Childhood Education, Hanoi National University of Education; and a consultant for NGO projects of promoting the early literacy development of young children from minor-ethnic communities in Vietnam.
Additionally, she is a storytelling practitioner with young children, who have run Stories and More Workshop for young children at 4-6 years old in Hanoi in different settings for over seven years.
Irene Öhler - Founder of Lightpath Leadership, is passionate about leadership development and women's empowerment. Irene has more than 20 years of international experience in HR development, having worked with Fortune 500 corporates and governments in Europe, China, Brazil, New Zealand, and Vietnam as an executive coach and consultant, Her mission is to ignite leadership and support organizations to nurture talent, through executive coaching and delivery of programs designed especially for female executives.
Since her arrival in Vietnam in 2012, Irene has become a sought-after expert in Vietnam for her work to promote women's leadership. she is the co-author of a best-selling book on Vietnamese women leaders, Ba Trieu's 21st Century Daughters, Stories of Remarkable Vietnamese Women. She also curates the unique live event series, the Women's Storytelling Salon in Hanoi and HCMC.
Since 2014, Irene has organized 30 Women's Storytelling Salons in Hanoi, HCMC as well as tailored SALONS for Flinders University's Women's Leadership Development Programmes.