Since 1985, Jonathan Ullmer MBE has used his education-related interests and skills to improve the lives of students all over the world. As the founding director of education and principal of the CATS Colleges, he took two schools from "unsatisfactory" to "excellent." UK inspectors said his leadership was "outstanding." The goal of the CATS colleges is to help international students get ready for college and improve their English skills as they work toward a career in the arts.
Jonathan Ullmer got a Distinction in Teaching Practice from Oxford University, where he studied both English and teaching. He got an MA in North American literature from the University of Victoria in Canada.
He also has a diploma from the Institute for Arts in Education and Therapy in the Therapeutic and Educational Application of the Arts and the LRAM designation, Teacher and Performer, from the Royal Academy of Music.
In 1985, Mr. Ullmer started his career as a teacher at the Swanley School in Kent, where he taught English and drama. In 1989, he became the Arts Curriculum Director at Cecil Jones High School 11-18 Foundation School in Southend. In 2002, he became the Assistant Principal at Sawyers Hall College of Science and Technology in Essex. In 2008, he became Vice Principal at CATS College Cambridge, where he was in charge of a group of people.
In 2017, Jonathan said yes to Haileybury's offer to be the head of their school in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. Jonathan's expertise in school improvement is what led him to the school in the city, where he worked with the staff to lead Haileybury through a highly successful inspection in which the school was rated as having outstanding international practice in 17 out of 19 areas.
Jonathan also got the school accredited by NEASC and CIS, which set the school up to be able to give American diplomas. He also got the school's first International Baccalaureate results, which were also very good. Under his leadership, the school was nominated for a Times Independent Schools Award and won two awards for its student leadership programs and the way it teaches the Kazakh language.
Jonathan Ullmer got an international education himself, which helped him become the head of an international school with 26 different native languages, the IB, and students from nearly 60 different countries. He has helped the CATS Colleges come up with policies and practices that are the same across all of them. He has also set up leadership awards for Global Leadership Days, which involve students in all parts of college life. He has also written and put into action plans for the growth of CATS in Boston, London, Cambridge, and Canterbury.
He made sure that the successful CATS Canterbury University Foundation Programme moved to all three UK colleges so that it could be offered there. Students who finish this program are the only ones who go on to all of the Times top universities except for Oxbridge.
Mr. Ullmer is especially proud of Student Voice, which lets students give feedback on both the intranet and the ATS app. The Independent Schools Association gave Student Voice an Award of Excellence for this.
Jonathan Ullmer was in charge of more than 50 school and community projects in the Southend area. He did this by working with local businesses, churches, schools, and other groups. He led the Trustees of a counseling service in Southend for ten years, during which time it grew by 700%. As Chair of Love Southend, he also led a group that worked with 400 young people on projects to improve the area.
Since 1987, when his "History Comes Alive!" article in the Kent Education Gazette explored the history of American Indians through drama, Jonathan Ullmer has been published in a number of magazines. He wrote several articles and the books Creative Drama and Explosive Drama, both of which were published by Moorley.
Mr. Ullmer has won a lot of awards and honors over the course of his career. Some of the things on the list are:
1988 English Speaking Union Scholarship, Chautauqua Award to study and research teaching in American universities, colleges, and schools and compare to UK models.
1990: He was made a Fellow of the College of Preceptors for his work in education and writing.
The 1992 National Drama Award gave money to a drama-related community arts project.
The top Arts Council of England award, the Gold Artsmark, was given to the school in 2001.
LTM Magazine's 2010 International High School of the Year award went to CATS Canterbury.
The Independent Schools Association gave them an award of excellence in 2012.
The Royal Society of Arts made him a Fellow in 2013.
The Independent Schools Association has chosen the finalists for the 2014 Award of Excellence and Innovation
The British Council's 2015 International Schools Award was called "outstanding."
The winner of the Independent Schools Association's 2015 Award of Excellence and Innovation was a school in the UK.
There are two awards from 2014 that stand out. As the CATS College with the most growth, CEG with CTS Canterbury won the Queen's Award for Enterprise. Her Majesty the Queen also gave Jonathan Ullmer the Order of the British Empire for his services to the UK and to education around the world.
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