Career Stories

Our staffroom is the world

Imagine a staffroom with no walls. A buzzing community where teachers share perspectives and ideas, learning from each other. Global and connected, our people are part of something bigger.

Whether you’re in the classroom, supporting our schools or in one of our regional offices, you can take your career around the world. We have schools and offices in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States.

Gwendolene Yeo, COO Asia

For Gwendolene Yeo, the bridge between education and operations is the “sweet spot” that creates a great experience for parents, students and staff. By staying focused on being excellent operators, schools can continue to grow to further invest into holistic education. After three years as Managing Director, Operations for Stamford American International School, Gwen was promoted to Regional Managing Director, Operations in 2021, and subsequently Chief Operating Officer, Asia, a year later.

“What really attracted me to continue my career in Cognita is its purpose, and the people around me who continue to inspire me to be at my best. Being part of something bigger than myself and having dedicated and talented colleagues who really care about our students excites and drives me every day. Regardless of where you are within the organisation, you can and will have a positive impact on the future of young people. It is truly an honour and privilege.”

David Baldwin, CEO Middle East

David Baldwin, with his extensive background as a teacher, school leader, and Principal, joined our team in 2018 as Assistant Director of Education in the UK. His rise to Director of Education paved the way for his current role as Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East, a position where his expertise continues to be pivotal in our holistic education and expansion strategies.

David's commitment to continuous self-improvement is evident in his regular engagement with diverse learning materials. He draws inspiration from a wide array of cultural sources, which enriches his approach to leadership and opens new avenues for creative problem-solving and people management.

David comments, “I am at my best when I'm learning and step out of my comfort zone, and every day at Cognita is a learning experience. The wide range of professional opportunities available, combined with the incredible people in the Cognita family, significantly enhances the impact I can make in my role. Being part of Cognita is being part of something extraordinary - a company with a soul that values dedication and growth.”

Jon Wayth, Headteacher

An experienced educator and former marketeer in the UK, Jon Wayth joined Cognita in 2017 as Head of Modern Foreign Languages at ELIS Murcia in Spain. He subsequently became Head of Upper School and was very much involved in the successful opening of the state-of-the-art Montevida Upper School campus. His career journey continued in September 2023 with a move to ELIS Murcia’s sister school, ELIS Villamartín, as Headteacher. He is relishing leading a thriving and expanding international school community in the south of Spain.

“From the moment I joined Cognita, it became very apparent to me that there was a culture of leading at all levels. There are opportunities to lead initiatives within schools and to network with colleagues on a truly global level. There are regular possibilities to garner expertise and knowledge from other school leaders and staff and to apply them in your own setting. I was fortunate to lead a coaching programme across Cognita Schools in Spain, Italy and Switzerland and the shared focus our staff have to deliver quality education for our children is incredibly powerful”.

Emma Ledger, Principal

Emma Ledger’s journey with Cognita began in 2017, where she was appointed Head of Early Years and Primary at the much admired British School of Barcelona, a role she grew and developed over six happy and successful years. Her Cognita leadership adventure took her further east in August 2023, where she was promoted to Principal of Ranches Primary School, a thriving community school and nursery in Dubai.

“Moving within Cognita enabled a seamless transition into my new Principal role. Being part of one large family, sharing the same values and commitment to care, best practice and wellbeing, has made the transition so much easier. Whilst I’m leading a new school in a new country, having the Cognita global network of peers close at hand, and safe in the knowledge of Cognita’s commitment to gold-class safeguarding, safer recruitment, leadership and student wellbeing, I have been able to start the ground running at RPS - working hand-in-hand with the fabulous senior leadership team and welcoming school community, as together we take the school on a continued improvement journey to academic excellence.”

Jorge Ramos, Headteacher

Since joining Cognita in 2013, Jorge has evolved as an outstanding educator throughout his career. Starting as an English teacher, Middle School Headteacher, Cycle Coordinator and Director of Middle School at Pumahue Peñalolen for more than 8 years, in 2022 Jorge assumed the position of Headteacher at Pumahue Chicauma in Santiago, Chile. Jorge has been Headteacher now for two years, where he and his team have been able to improve academic outcomes, bilingualism and infrastructure at Pumahue Chicauma, evidencing his continued commitment to providing holistic education centred around wellbeing for students.

“I deeply believe that being part of Cognita is to be part of a great learning ecosystem that evolves over time for our students, which allows us to be at the forefront of education worldwide. While it is true that each school has its own culture that is supported and respected, it does not matter where in the world we are, because each of our communities promotes and develops the same fundamental pillars. Our Pumahue Chicauma school in Santiago, Chile, is a living ecosystem that evolves, improves and grows for the benefit of our students and community."

+44 (20) 76368444