Letter from the Principal Learner

portrait of principal Benjamin Hairgrove in a suit
Benjamin Hairgrove, Principal Learner
Mandela International Magnet School

Dear Current and Future Mandela Family Members,

    I want to welcome you to the Mandela International Magnet School. Our school is an International Baccalaureate Middle Years and Diploma Program. We focus on enabling students to think like a scholar and approach subjects from an international perspective. The IB program came into existence in 1968 to prepare students for a world with ever increasing globalization. Our school works toward using the IB program to create future leaders and scholars in Santa Fe and around the world. We have received IB certification for both our Middle Years Program and our Diploma Program. For more information about IB programs visit: http://www.ibo.org/about-the-ib/

    My title as the leader of an IB school is known as the Principal Learner. This is due to our focus on the concept that we never stop learning no matter the age or education of the individual. I practice this by constantly studying IB changes, educational practices, international concepts, and other areas. I do this on my own time as well as in my work toward my Doctorate of Education with the University of North Texas. I have a personal passion for knowledge that is shared by our staff and encouraged under the IB Program.


    As the Principal Learner of Mandela, my top priority is to make sure our children have what they need to graduate High School and succeed in the real world. I also intend to give all students the opportunity to successfully complete the Diploma Program. Additionally, Mandela will give students the tools to be successful when they leave us.


This is all accomplished by our amazing staff and the IB system. Having rapport with students and being there to guide them is very important to success at our school. I have had students in my years of education go to Ivy League schools, law schools, medical schools, and many top universities around the world. My goal is to give our students the opportunity to have a shot at these schools. An IB Diploma is an incredible step in that direction that will have our students standout when the admissions office of a university is looking at their individual files.


    I know that our modern system of education provides families with several options for their child’s educational experience. Having led an Early College High School in Texas, working for a school in Hungary, and teaching at an inner-city school in Fort Worth I can honestly say that an IB school will offer a student more tools and success than any other program. We are fortunate that Santa Fe Public Schools has such a school with Mandela.

Thank you,

Benjamin Hairgrove

Principal Learner
Mandela International Magnet School