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International Baccalaureate launches new look for website

On Wednesday, 15 September, the IB launched a new design for the IB website to improve navigation and content design. New features include:

  • Updated home page design
  • Google powered search
  • Links to IB’s Facebook page and Twitter feed
  • New regional focus in the footer


Your feedback is most welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact us via email at with your suggestions on how to further improve the website.

Appointment of head of professional development

Margot Hoerrner has been appointed as the head of professional development for the International Baccalaureate in the Americas.

Margot brings twenty years of experience in program development, education and non-profit leadership as well as a deep commitment towards education and professional development. Most recently, Margot served as the vice president of outreach and education with WFP-USA, a non-governmental organization representing the United Nations World Food Program in the USA.

During her tenure with WFP-USA, Margot established a comprehensive national outreach initiative, training leaders across the country in advocacy, education, fundraising and media outreach, to raise awareness about global hunger and poverty.  Prior to her time with WFP-USA, Margot lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, and worked with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies to assist in rebuilding the educational infrastructure in Aceh province after the 2004 tsunami ravaged the region. 

Margot also taught for ten years at The Woodlynde School near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA where she developed a K-12 music curriculum, a 7-8 French curriculum, and established strategic partnerships with Philadelphia's creative arts community in order to create educational and work opportunities for her students.

She received her bachelor’s degree in education and music composition from Bennington College in Vermont, USA and a master’s in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. 

Margot looks forward to applying her passion for empowering others to have an impact on IB’s professional development initiatives in the Americas.

Please join the IB Americas staff in welcoming Margot to the IB.  Emily Ross will continue on with the IB through the end of October and will play an active role during the transition period.

Two Day TEDx Conference for IB Diploma programme students and teachers

TED is a world-renowned conference which brings together speakers and invited attendees from a myriad of disciplines and backgrounds—technology, environment, entertainment, global issues, literature, medicine, science, and many more. TED’s goal is to leverage the power of good ideas by letting them spread as widely and effectively as possible. In order to achieve this, was launched to bring TED Talks to millions of people throughout the world.

TED is offering IB World School Diploma Programme students and staff a two day conference that includes TEDxIBYork, an event styled on TED conferences, and Speak Out, a day in which Diploma students are given a chance to present their own ‘TED-like’ talks.


On 11 November 2010, The York School in Toronto, Canada’s first complete IB World School, will be hosting a one-day TEDx conference at the Ontario Science Centre: TEDxIBYork. This conference will bring high-calibre speakers to an invited audience of 500 people, half of whom will be IB Diploma students. The finalized speakers list will be announced in early fall 2010, and will be available on the official website at

There will be a student-only conference on 10 November 2010, where students will be invited to give their own TED-like talks. Student speakers will be chosen on the basis of pre-submitted videos of their talks. The talks will be judged, and the best will be featured on the following day at the TEDxIBYork event.

On 12 November 2010, students who have travelled from outside the province will be welcome to join other participants in an exploration of Toronto.

There are three ways for members of the broader IB community to get involved:

  • Bring 1-5 students to attend.
  • Invite students to submit a video of their own TED-like talk on a topic of their choosing.
  • Live stream the TEDxIBYork conference to your entire school on 11 November 2010


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact David Hamilton, Principal of the Upper School at The York School, at


Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School students bike to International Baccalaureate World Conference in Corvallis, Oregon

Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School student athletes and members of the University of New Mexico cycling team remind us of the passion, perseverance and strength of cyclists. Over ten days in August, six students biked 1,500 miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico to the International Baccalaureate World Conference in Corvallis, Oregon. Willingly pushing their physical, mental and emotional limits, these students undertook this significant challenge in the hopes of increasing awareness of life-long sports and a healthy lifestyle to those they passed along the 1,500 mile long road.

Callum Read, a member of the inaugural class of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme students at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, was invited to attend the World Conference with attendees and students from all over the world. An avid cyclist and firm believer in sports that carry beyond high school and college, Read decided to travel by bicycle and enlist the support from other members of the cycling team at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School. When asked why, Read said, “Athletics isn’t just about playing basketball and soccer; you can do other stuff and still have fun.”

Cycling over the continental divide through five states takes significant courage and determination. Attempting an average of one hundred fifty miles per day pushed these students ranging from fourteen to twenty-one on a path of self-discovery. John Heine, President of the University of New Mexico’s cycling team, is hoping to build a bridge for cyclists from high school to college. “It’s awesome to see these kids starting so young and hopefully we’re fostering our own program as UNM Lobos.”

Heine, Read and the other participating students were supported by their coach, Stephen Williamson of Active Knowledge, as well as parents, volunteers and a whole community of students. Along with raising awareness, Read and his team raised funds in what they have named the “Human Race.” The funds will go directly to the athletic program at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, a program that promotes "fitness for life." Alex Sfakianos, a Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School parent participating in the ride says, “It’s an amazing outlet. It’s really positive, a great group activity, it’s physically demanding. I’ve decided to go because my son is going.”

When asked what one needs to be able to accomplish this kind of goal, Read said, “Just go out and ride your bike, whether it’s a ten hour, three hour or half hour ride.”