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Welcome to Taipei American School’s Website, where we long to share with you a sense of the dynamic, compassionate, rigorous educational lives lived here. We offer the best of the American-based system to an international population most of whose members are already multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic searchers of the best of internationalism.

I invite you to explore these pages and discover what makes TAS unique. The heart of the TAS experience is the relationship between inspiring, caring teachers and talented, motivated students. In their classrooms and labs, TAS students pursue a rigorous and challenging curriculum that prepares them for success anywhere in a rapidly changing world. In addition to academics, students have the opportunity to participate in athletics, fine and performing arts, public speaking and forensics, student government, and much more. From the fifth grader completing a Mission to Mars in robotics class and rehearsing for the lower school musical to the senior preparing for the iGEM competition at MIT and studying for any of the 30 AP or 34 IB courses, TAS students are active participants in a world-class education.

We are a bridge that leads people from self to selflessness, from individuality to interdependence, and from the finest classrooms of a top independent school to success in the world beyond our borders. We value honesty, respect, responsibility, kindness, and courage.

I now invite you to learn more on how to cross our bridge with us. For prospective families, I welcome you to visit us on campus. Please take time to submit an online inquiry or make an application. For prospective faculty, please visit us at upcoming recruiting fairs or apply for a teaching position. And lastly, be sure to take the time to read some of our publications, such as The Window Magazine or the Annual Report. Together, these publications highlight so many of our school events and student achievements.

I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and engaging with our website, and that one day we may welcome you on campus.


Dr. Sharon D. Hennessy
Head of School

Head of School's Background


Dr. Sharon Hennessy has led the best public and private schools in the United States for twenty-five years. She was for many years an adjunct faculty member at Boston University, where she was recognized with the Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council for Educational Administration. She held a joint appointment from the United States Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Education and served on the School Board for the Departments of Defense Dependent School System world-wide. She holds five graduate degrees, the most recent from Harvard.


BA Colby College French 1971
MSED University of Southern California Curriculum 1977
MPA Golden Gate University Management 1980
CAGS University of New Hampshire Counselor Education 1981
ED.D. Boston University Educational Leadership 1983
MLA Harvard University Religion 2007


Superintendent Taipei American School 2006-Present
Vice Rector St. Paul’s School 1997-2005
Principal Wayland High School 1985-1997
Principal Scarborough High School 1982-1985
Adjunct Professor Boston University 1987-1997
Counselor Rochester Junior High 1979-80, 1981-82
Counselor K-4 Haverhill Public Schools 1978


Distinguished Teaching Award, 1996

One of 17 selected nationally by UCEA (University Council for Educational Administrators) for contributions to the education of school leaders; based on graduate-level teaching at Boston University School of Education.

Harvard Principals’ Center Summer Program, 2003

Served as one of the instructors for this annual program.

National Headmasters Association, 1992-Present

Vice President 1996-97
Executive Committee 1995-1997

Roxbury Latin Board of Trustees, 1997-2003

School Board Member, Department of Defense Overseas Schools, 1987-1993

Joint Appointment from Sec. of Defense and Sec. of Education Evaluated Department of Defense Schools worldwide.

Principal as Instructional Leader, 1986

Selected as one of five public school principals in Massachusetts highlighted in monograph series by Massachusetts Department of Education (Dr. Michael Jones, researcher).

New England Association of Schools and Colleges/Chair, 1986-1996

Chaired several accreditation teams for NEASC.

Founder, Maine Academic Decathlon, 1984

Organized and raised corporate funds for the initial statewide program in Maine.


League of Women Voters Fall Forum
Kennedy Library Debates
Speaker: New England Newspaper Publishers Annual Meeting
Anti-Defamation League Annual Meeting/Boston

Interim Deputy Head of School's Background

Dr. Nelson began his career as a teacher and debate coach at some of the top public and independent schools in the United States, before first coming to Taipei American School in 2010. After founding the Upper School's Political Science & Forensics Department, he left the school to briefly serve as Director of Programs & Education for America's National Speech & Debate Association. He returned to TAS in January of 2014, however, and had again been serving as chair of the Political Science & Forensics Department until he assumed the Interim Deputy Head of School position for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Adam has a Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona in Tucson and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He also has a school administrator credential from the District of Columbia.

A citizen of both Germany and the United States, Adam has first-hand knowledge of the third culture kid experience. His wife, Emily, also works for the school, teaching Middle School debate and Upper School philosophy. They have three dogs, including two they have rescued since moving to Taiwan.

Dr. Sharon Hennessy
Head of School


Dr. Adam Nelson
Interim Deputy
Head of School


Head of School's Messages