21st Century Educator who Improves Schools and Enables Students to reach their Unique Potential

Leadership Experience

Duff has been performing in a leadership role over the past nine years. Noting the difference between leadership and management is an important part of self awareness as a leader. In his latest peer evaluation as Head of Grade at the United World College of South East Asia, one person stated:

“I think that the Head of Grade position at UWCSEA is a very involved one and know that it would be demanding considering Duff’s other responsibilities as varsity coach and classroom teacher. I have felt that Duff has been visible, helpful, supportive, embraced challenges, has been flexible in many situations, and has found a nice balance between making top-down decisions and when to go the group for more feedback. I think his work is definitely a big part for the highly functioning team that we have in grade 7.”

One of Duff’s experience as a leader was with Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) as Director for their new campus location at Eckerd College in Florida. Duff was asked to set up this new site which included creating emergency safety plans, planning professional development workshops, in addition to managing his administration team. As Director, Duff oversaw a staff of 30 and a student body of 100 between the ages of 14-18 from around the world. Duke TIP is the preeminent Gifted Program in the United States and was founded in 1980 with the goal of giving students who excel in academics an opportunity to be with like individuals and to be given a college experience with college-level work. At the end of the program Duff had created a sustainable site for future programs to be delivered on by Duke TIP. Additionally, Duff also assisted one of the instructors in writing a new course proposal which was later adopted by Duke TIP.

Before being a Director at Duke and Head of Grade at UWC, Duff has served as a Head of Math Department at Lincoln – The American International School of Buenos Aires as well as Head of Math Department at the International School of Beijing. He oversaw a department of twelve staff members, and he feels his greatest contributions were:

1. Introduction of the “Challenge by Choice” (CbC) structured differentiation program into the Math Department
— Resulted in 45% of students selecting work above their grade level and scoring at least 80% or better on it.
— Resulted in 95% of students selecting a different level of work at least twice per year

2. Peer Observation Program
— Introduced and coordinated peer observation program among math department colleagues.
— Resulted in 52 peer observations and reviews throughout one academic school year.

Additionally Duff has been the 8th Grade Team leader at Lincoln – The American International School of Buenos Aires, during his tenure there. As Team Lead he has restructured the way students are discussed during team meetings so all students are talked about, and has coordinated learning support services and discipline structures.

Duff believes in always looking to improve his practice as an administrator and feels peer reviews are one of the best ways to get feedback. Below is a summary of what his peers had to say after reviewing him when he was the Site-Director at Eckerd College.

How was Duff reviewed by his Staff at Duke University?

  • What were the greatest strengths of Duff as Director?

    "The philosophical and reflective way in which he communicated values and ideas to staff and students was refreshing and effective - helping to build a positive learning community. Also, the combination of his laid back, flexible attitude combined with a strong sense of responsibility made working for him a pleasure."
  • How did Duff deal with his Staff?

    "Duff cultivated good staff relations through his positive demeanor and willingness to listen. He worked well under pressure, worked hard to get things done, and was always there when you needed him. Knows how to delegate work to his staff. What I appreciated most was how he would recognize when someone was putting a big effort in - we felt appreciated as a staff and that helped lead to high staff morale."
  • How did Duff set the tone with staff and students?

    "Duff's greatest strength was his motivational speaking. It was clear that he put a lot of thought and heart into his speeches, and it was very evident that he did care personally about the students and staff." "Duff clearly sets high expectations for his staff and students - he is organized and succinct with his thoughts and ideas. It was a pleasure working for him."