(Photo: Principal Öhman with two new recruits in the Home Economics room, from left: Head of Department Ms. Emma Eyre, and Head of Department Ms. Annie Hall.) Meeting all these people and talking education is heaven for me, especially in the recruitment process of our excellent teachers: they have so much knowledge and understanding of what good education is and are eager to get to work at our new school. One of the primary reasons for that eagerness is our IES-wide approach we call “tough love.” For us, tough love is the concept of learning coupled with the safe and calm environment we nurture at our IES schools. Some people would call it discipline, but what we really do is foster positive behavior and immediately address any and all incidents, big or small. Our safe and orderly environment is the foundation for students to be happy and at ease with each other, making new friends and playing without any worry or sense of insecurity. As teachers and staff, our clear and firm expectations earn the students’ trust, and they can talk to us about anything that’s on their minds at school. The safe environment is also the foundation for students’ academic performance. The students value and trust their teachers as teachers, mentors as mentors, and we show how much we value the students by our commitment to them and our school. This respectful and trusting relationship is how we are able to challenge each student to reach his or her best academic potential. IES has a proven track record of outstanding results from the national tests and that is just a result of what we do and how we do it. All students can and will be successful with effort and opportunity. This is the greatest reward we know: watching students bloom in self-awareness and self-confidence, academically and socially.