The Director & The Principal

The Director

Having completed her degree in English Secondary Education at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Carrie Pierson began her career at a private school in Montana. There she was an active member of the staff, coaching athletics and directing plays in addition to her teaching schedule.

She joined the teaching staff at the International School of Trieste in 2009 after accepting the position of teacher of high school Literature. Since then, Carrie has enjoyed being a part of the school community through her work both in the classroom and as Upper School Coordinator. Along with her administrative tasks, this position provided opportunities to work with staff, students and teachers in a number of capacities, including as internal coordinator during the 2011 Middle States Association of International Schools re-accreditation visit.

Ms. Pierson was appointed to the role of IST/UIS Director at the beginning of the 2013-14 school and has been an important part of our UIS community over the past two years.

The Principal

A graduate of the University of Tasmania where he was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Education, Mr Matthew Conn spent his early career as an educator in his home state of Tasmania, Australia. As well as teaching Physical Education and Computing, Mr Conn has taught Mathematics across both Middle and High School in Tasmania, Western Australia, the United Kingdom and at a previous post in Italy, joining the Udine International School as the Middle School Mathematics teacher and Grade 1 to 8 Physical Education and Computing teacher in 2008.

Mr Conn served the UIS school community as the Vice Principal from 2010 before being appointed school Principal in 2012.

Since taking on the leadership responsibilities at UIS Mr Conn has led a focus on improved learning outcomes for students and guided the school through a process of self-assessment and improvement, which led to the awarding of Accreditation by the Council of International Schools in December 2015.

Mr Conn’s two children attend UIS, giving him further insight into the important relationship that all families have with the school. The encouragement and expansion of these positive interactions with families has also been a focus over the past four years.

“It is my honour and privilege to lead such a professional group of staff who are so committed to delivering a well-rounded international educational program, based on our school Mission and Vision, to children from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures.”

In his free time away from work, Mr Conn is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Education Leadership and Management through Bath University and when not travelling through Northern Italy, Austria or Slovenia with his family, can be found exploring the roads of Friuli on his racing bike.

Appointments with Mr Conn can be scheduled through the Secretariat via telephone or by e-mail at