The Student Magazine of Jakarta Intercultural School




Work Hard, Play Hard

From his background to beliefs, get to know Mr. Wexler.
Courtesy of Interviewee

As the new school year rolls around, the high school has seen a fair share of new faces on campus grounds. However, a significant one sits in the steward of the desk of our high school office: Mr. Edward Wexler, our new principal.

Despite being new to the JIS community, Mr. Wexler’s role as a high school principal is of familiarity, given his 17 years of experience.

“I sort of always knew that I wanted to work with students,” Mr. Wexler said.

After completing his undergraduate degree as a psychology major from Emory University, Mr. Wexler received his graduate degree in educational leadership and policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Furthermore, with travel as a core value of Mr. Wexler and his family, they have been across multiple continents.

“My wife grew up as a third-culture kid, including going to JIS,” Mr. Wexler shared. “So, when I asked her to marry me, she said, ‘Only if we live overseas.’”

His teaching career started in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he taught various subjects for eight years before becoming the high school principal. The family then moved to Ecuador, followed by Abu Dhabi, their last home before moving to Jakarta. Compared to the past high schools at which he has worked, Mr. Wexler stated that the population of the JIS community is roughly double any of them. However, this is a challenge that he is ready to face.

“I [want to] try to make the school feel small,” he explains. “My top priority during my first year here is to get to know my team and the students I’ll be working with.”

Consequently, whenever his schedule allows, he greets students at the Terogong Gate, pops into classrooms, or strolls across campus, waving and smiling.

“I think it’s important for students to see a leader that’s accessible, approachable, [and] relatable,” Mr. Wexler said. “I get some chin nods in the morning, and I get really excited about that,” he said. “If I can see [the students] every day and connect with them in some way, I feel great joy.”

One aspect that Mr. Wexler is looking to enforce in the high school is for JIS to be a school that values fun as much as intellectualism.

“Just making sure that these kids still have their human spirit around, I believe, is really important.”

Yet, Mr. Wexler believes that instilling skills essential for this ever-changing world into its students is also necessary for our school.

“Something that [JIS students] probably know more than me about is resilience,” he said. “I think that learning how to manage our ups and downs and how to develop strategies to help us find our way again is truly a lifelong skill.”

Communication is another ability that Mr. Wexler believes is paramount.

“It’s how you can advocate for yourself,” he expressed. “It is a skill that is translated to all sorts of aspects of life.”

Consequently, Mr. Wexler has been allocating time to speak with students to let them know that they can reach out to him whenever the need arises. Specifically, he has been organizing a program called “Wex’s Wonderings”, where he sets aside time for students to voluntarily come and talk to him during an honor pass block about anything. From details about the high school community to any issues they are having, he wants to know how he can help.

“People, I think, thrive and learn better when they feel connected,” Mr. Wexler shared. “And so, I’m just trying to get to know people and make sure they feel safe with me.”

Though his journey as the new high school principal here at JIS has only begun, Mr. Wexler’s understanding of us is compassionate.

“I know that [everyone] has different reasons for being here, different aspirations, different hopes,” he explains. “I think my job is to make sure and help every student that walks through these doors to maximize their opportunities in order for them to go where they want, do what they want, and find what they want—no matter what ‘that’ may be.”

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About the Contributors
Mishka F., Staff Writer
Whenever Mishka is asked what writing means to her, she expresses it as “love”—a sincere and unfaltering one. Writing has not only become a significant part of her life, but also brings her true happiness and contentment. In her first year as a staff writer at Feedback, Mishka aims to tell meaningful stories through her words as she continues to grow her passion. 
Brooke A., Layout Editor
Still fascinated by the world around her, Brooke continues to make writing a priority in her life. However as a third-year veteran and newly appointed layout editor of Feedback, Brooke is eager to flex her writing skills in combination with her editorial duties. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends or staying in with her dog, a sweatshirt, and a movie.