Bringing friends together to celebrate an amazing career!

How do you bring friends together to say thanks to someone who literally has everything and has friends all over the world?

This was the challenge for the American International School of Kuwait when their beloved Superintendent Russ McLean retired in Spring 2015.


Thanks to the efforts of his administrative secretary, Tammy Asad, there was a retirement party already planned. Former AIS staff member Nadine Brown had previously planned to return for a visit to Kuwait during the time of the planned event. When Tammy asked Nadine if she would be MC, Nadine happily accepted. Then, she says, her next move was to contact Geoff Morgan at Building Walls of Wisdom.

“I contacted Geoff on Facebook and told him there was a party planned for Russ. As I had worked with Geoff while he was at ACS Abu Dhabi, I was aware of the good works of BWOW. I knew that Russ was also very impressed with the program. So I said “hey Geoff, can we raise money in honor of Russ?” And of course, he said yes.”

Brown then contacted 50 of her former colleagues and friends announcing that there was going to be a surprise retirement party with a special fundraising effort for the BWOW school in Nicauragua. Present AIS staff members also got in the act and had a “dress down day” for staff members where they gave a donation for the pleasure of wearing casual clothes during the work day.

When all of the excitement was done, there were over 240 members of the Facebook page “AISers for Russ’ retirement and over $3500 was raised for the school. Russ was overwhelmed by the participation of current and former staff but of the donation to BWOW he simply said “I could not have thought of a better retirement gift”.

Photo: Nadine Brown, former AIS staff member and MC for the retirement event, hugs Superintendent Russ McLean as he is surprised by the party.

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