2021 IBSC Virtual Conference

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Speakers for June 17

3:30 - 5:00 PM BST

(10:30 AM - 12:00 noon EDT)


James KerrJames Kerr

James Kerr is a bestselling author, international speaker, and high-performance consultant specializing in developing high-performance business, sports, and military environments. Recent clients include the U.S. Navy Seals, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, England Cricket team, Leicester City Football Club, the F.A., UK Sport, the English Rugby Football Union, UK Swimming, UEFA, HSBC Bank, Goldman Sachs, Adidas, Dior, and the Savoy. His global bestseller, Legacy, reveals 15 leadership lessons from the All Blacks, the world's most successful sporting team, and he is a regular contributor to broadcast and print media including The Guardian, Times, The Daily Mail, Bloomberg, BBC, and The Telegraph. He lives in London. 





David ArmstrongDavid Armstrong 

IBSC Executive Director David Armstrong has extensive experience in education as well as the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. As leader of the IBSC, he seeks to serve as a catalyst for growth and membership, raise the organization's profile around the globe, improve the quality and value of the products and services offered, and deliver robust revenues to ensure IBSC's future.

As headmaster of Landon School (United States) for 11 years (2004-15), Armstrong demonstrated his commitment to the education of boys, especially in the area of character development, and his passionate advocacy for boys’ schools and all the individuals who comprise them. His legacy at Landon reveals capabilities critical to IBSC and its members: curriculum review, better communication and collaboration, superior professional development opportunities, increased social media presence, and the use of technology in teaching and learning.

A confident, proven leader, Armstrong earned an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of Denver. His experience in the business world, particularly in entrepreneurship, combined with his long IBSC institutional memory, has proven instrumental as we develop our international connections, online classes, and global relationships. Furthermore, Armstrong is committed to IBSC’s research endeavors, focused on working with and knowing boys and those who teach them, and determined to build and strengthen relationships with schools around the globe that work with boys.

He resides in La Jolla, California, with his wife Liz. They have three children and 10 grandchildren.


David AtkinsonDavid Atkinson

David Atkinson has been headmaster of Dr. Challoner's Grammar School (United Kingdom) since 2016. The school blends academic excellence with the development of personal and community character through a culture of kindness, aspiration, and resilience. Atkinson is sometimes found teaching geography, a subject he still has a great interest in, and also leads the Astra SCITT and Teaching School Alliance, providing initial teacher training and professional development across the local area.


Tom BattyTom Batty

Tom Batty is the ninth principal of Scotch College (Australia). Prior to this, he was a house master at Eton College (United Kingdom). Educated in the UK, Batty commenced his teaching career in New Zealand and then Australia.

He sees his role as harnessing the resources of Scotch to best advance the development of each boy, so he might have some control of his life and do his bit in building something better for those to come. Batty is interested in the relationship between the micro and the macro, the judgement that rests between awareness and action, and, at a time of instant and continual flow of information, how the values of a liberal education align to connect interests and talents and drive social and economic enterprise to realization of the inherent dignity of each person.

He chairs the IBSC board of Trustees and is a lifelong supporter of Brentford FC.


Sarah BurnsSarah Burns 

Sarah Burns has been head teacher at Sandbach School (United Kingdom) since 2008. Established in 1677, the school had the unique status of being both independent and state financed, however, in 2012 it converted to become one of the first 24 Free Schools. Sandbach is a school for boys, but since 2017 has had a coeducational Sixth Form. It was rated good by Ofsted at its most recent inspection in November 2014.

Burns began her career as a teacher of mathematics in 1986, teaching in Staffordshire and Derbyshire at coeducational schools. She was appointed a local leader in education for the North West of England in 2017.





Miguel Dionis 
2021 IBSC Hawley-Jarvis Award Honoree

Miguel DionisMiguel Dionis has dedicated his entire life to the world of education for boys at Viaró Global School (Spain), which serves students from infant to 18 years old. He has taught in all educational stages after starting as a primary school teacher in 1991. Dionis served as head of Primary Education at Viaró for more than 10 years. After that, he became the head of studies of the school for 12 years and currently holds the position as general secretary of the school and head of secondary school.

Dionis first engaged with the IBSC community at the 1995 IBSC Annual Conference at the City of London School (United Kingdom). Since then he has participated in IBSC Annual Conferences, regional conferences, online classes, and research programs. He has presented a workshop on one of the topics that he considers essential for education: the priority of parents and teachers to educate children together. Dionis organized at his school the first regional conference on the European continent: The Family-School Relationship. He officially joined the IBSC board of trustees in 2018; he collaborates with the Membership Committee especially for the European continent and Spanish-speaking countries. Dionis has been the coordinator of the team that prepared the 2020 IBSC Annual Conference scheduled at Viaró Global School, focusing on the theme Connecting the Dots: Boys, Communities, and the Future. What would have been the first IBSC Annual Conference held in a Mediterranean country, unfortunately had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. Highlighting his dedication and resilience, Dionis is currently leading the team working for the 2024 IBSC Annual Conference at Viaró. (Mark your calendar now!)

Throughout his career and everything he does, Dionis has demonstrated a constant and active concern for the defense and promotion of the educational model for boys, especially in Spanish-speaking countries and globally.



Mark SturgeonMark Sturgeon

Mark Sturgeon has been the headmaster of Aylesbury Grammar School (United Kingdom) since September 2014. He previously served as geography teacher at Burnham Upper School, as well as head of geography at and head of year 13 Aylesbury Grammar School. He then went on to be assistant headteacher – learning development and deputy headteacher at Dr. Challoner’s Grammar School (United Kingdom). 

During his career, Sturgeon has presented nationally and internationally on developments in learning, most notably for IBSC where he is the vice chair, UK-Europe, of the IBSC Board of Trustees. Additionally, he is chair of The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools, co-chair of the Buckinghamshire Association of Secondary Headteachers, consultant headteacher for The Prince’s Teaching Institute, and member of the Steering Committee for the Grammar School Heads Association. 

Football (soccer) being a huge passion, Sturgeon is the chair of Buckinghamshire Schools’ Football Association and honourable secretary of the South East of England Football Association. 

A graduate of the University of Liverpool, he is a keen sportsman with a young family of three boys.