Our multinational, multilingual staff has lived and worked across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Highly experienced both in global education and global business, their singular focus is on enabling learners, educators, and school leaders to meet their personal and professional goals.

Barbara Za Franks
Barbara Za Franks
Academic Dean

Ms. Barbara Zá Franks has been an educator for the past 13 years. She began her early career as a music teacher in The Bahamas and eventually founded Center Stage Performing Arts Studio which grew to become a significant influencer in local performing arts education in the country. In 2011, she relocated to Shanghai to further her career while pursuing her graduate studies. She served as a primary school English and Social Studies teacher at Shanghai Pinghe Bilingual School for 5 years.

During this time, she was also instrumental in fostering a culture of continuing education for teachers and took initial responsibility for facilitating professional development in-service trainings for both local and foreign staff. In 2016, Ms. Franks established her own education company, Shanghai D.R.E.A.M. which specializes in curriculum development and teacher training for schools and learning centers throughout China. She has worked with multiple institutions at various levels – from kindergarten to university – in both public and private sectors, to develop unique educational programs, provide ongoing professional development, and offer school improvement consulting services to school leaders as it relates to curriculum and instruction.

As an educator, Ms. Franks values the dispositions of scholarship, diversity, equity, lifelong learning, ethics, and most of all, excellence. She is committed to making a positive impact by inspiring teachers to provide high-quality instruction, teaching students using the best evidence-based strategies, and developing curricula and educational programs that provide practical and theoretical learning opportunities within a 21st century real-world context. She knows and values the importance of an excellent education and, therefore, is dedicated to making contributions toward an institution’s vision and mission so that, in the end, all students achieve high levels of success.

Ms. Franks has a Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in International Relations from Lynn University in Florida and a Master’s degree (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership from American College of Education in Indiana. In addition, she holds a Teaching Certification and K-12 School Administrator Credential from Washington, DC. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction at American College of Education.