Founder of Istanbul, Keystone International & Kilittaşı Schools
Although it seems like a coincidence that I have been in the field of education since 1991, I believe that this is the reason for my being in this world. While I was working in the preschool sector between 1991 and 2013, my biggest dream was for our graduates to think back on their early years’ memories with warmth in their hearts and a smile on their faces. Since 2013, I have been touching the lives of children aged 3-18 and sharing the same feelings with them. However, I am aware that we have varying responsibilities towards the changing system of the new world order that is rolling into the information era. Information is easily accessible nowadays, and thus, we should be providing the students with applicable life skills beyond knowledge. We should raise flexible and creative individuals who are self-sufficient, capable of cracking the secret of simple life and do not ask for more than their needs within a minimalist life philosophy. The system of our education and teaching approach has been molded with all these values, which are as well my philosophy of life. Consequently, our school is focused on raising multilingual, healthy eating, easy-going, flexible, and respectful individuals.
Toronto – Founder of Keystone International Schools
I was 4 years old and I barely remember when my mom, Sema Kızılkaya, opened a preschool in my name in 1991 in the Çiftehavuzlar area. Hence, I can say that I was born within the education life. With the support of my dad in 2000 when I was 13 years old, I went to Montreal, Canada by myself to study. When I arrived, I couldn’t speak a word of English. After 3 months when my mom came to visit me, she couldn’t believe the speedy pace of my English learning. I finished high school in Canada; afterward, I decided to complete my University degree in Switzerland. This was a very different experience for me. While studying in Switzerland I also found the opportunity to do an internship. I completed the last 6 months of my University education in Shanghai and then found an opportunity to do an internship there.
After completing school life, I had the opportunity to live in many countries, but I felt like my soul belonged to Canada; therefore I returned to Montreal. My first professional work experience was in Scotia Bank, Montreal. At the end of my 4th year at the bank, I decided to return back to school again and applied to the MBA program at McGill University.
While studying in this program, I traveled to Israel and Japan as an exchange student and had the opportunity to work in a startup company. My mom called me to Istanbul after completing my degree and wanted me to support her with Keystone and Kilittaşı Schools.
After graduating, and many years, I moved back to Istanbul. Even with my mom, we had many long working hours from 8 am-9 pm. I realized how much I loved working in the education sector and decided that I can spend my whole life in this sector. However, my desire was for Toronto, Canada. With the support and experience of my mom, we have opened our Keystone International Schools in Toronto. The passion for working in the education sector is to know that every day will be a new day with new experiences and to understand that the next day will be a whole different day again. This is what makes me motivated and excited all the time. It makes me happy to share my education experience and student life with other students in our school and to be able to touch their lives and shape their future together.
Doa Demirsu Doran