Principal’s Welcome 

Think for a moment, how the result of traditional education is a weakened as the education systems like the Finnish one are redefining the learning process. Today, the Finnish system has completely transformed teaching and learning from the collective to personalized teaching, mentoring and assessment. Integrating games, social activities and healthy lifestyle habits makes kids learn while at the same time enjoying the school, being happy and most importantly being healthy. The Finnish School aims to bring student joy and satisfaction to the learning process. We are here to revolutionize the education system in Kosovo.  

Kaija – Leena Salovaara 

Mission, Vision & Values

1. Mission – Our mission is to develop smart, creative, happy and healthy individuals by utilizing the Finnish education system and teachers – the best in the world – combined with unique and proprietary educational technology. ​

2. Vision – To become the best and most innovative school in the country, building upon the foundations of Finnish education system.​

3. Values: Student Focus, Quality, Integrity, Team Work, Fun   

Our Team

Kaija-Leena Salovaara

Principal

"My name is Kaija-Leena Salovaara and I have been creating the Finnish School from the very beginning as the Founder Principal. Before coming to Kosovo, I've gained almost 40 years of experience in the education field in Finland as principal, teacher and education coordinator. I came to Kosovo in February 2018 and have enjoyed my life in Pristina and work in the Finnish School very much. The best thing in my work is to bring new approach for education in Kosovo, implement the Finnish way of learning and give the opportunity for students to feel the joy of learning, most of all meet the wonderful and friendly people. I feel myself very welcome here."

kaija-leena.salovaara@finnish.school

Skip Lee

Vice Principal, Biology and Chemistry Teacher

"I am Skip Lee and I come from the United States. I have been in Kosova for 11 years working in education at different private schools. I have a BA in Fine Arts and an MA is Social Sciences. At the Finnish School, I work as Vice-Principal and also teach Biology and Chemistry to grades 7-10. I have been in education for a long number of years and still feel that I want to make a difference in the lives of the children"

skip.lee@finnish.school

Kyösti Timonen

Vice Principal

"I have over 40 years of experience in the educational field and I hold a degree of Licentiate of Education from the University of Eastern Finland. I'm an experienced coach with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. In Finland, I’ve worked as principal, teacher, career counsellor, entrepreneur and business mentor. I have previous international experience in developing a career guidance system for Cambodia. Now I develop Finnish Schools International in Kosovo and other Balkan countries."

kyosti.timonen@finnish.school

Kaija-Leena Salovaara

Principal

"My name is Kaija-Leena Salovaara and I have been creating the Finnish School from the very beginning as the Founder Principal. Before coming to Kosovo, I've gained almost 40 years of experience in the education field in Finland as principal, teacher and education coordinator. I came to Kosovo in February 2018 and have enjoyed my life in Pristina and work in the Finnish School very much. The best thing in my work is to bring new approach for education in Kosovo, implement the Finnish way of learning and give the opportunity for students to feel the joy of learning, most of all meet the wonderful and friendly people. I feel myself very welcome here."

minna.vuorinen@finnish.school

Maria de Carvalho

2nd Grade Teacher

"I have a primary teacher's degree from Jyväskylä University and I also have a degree for vocational teaching. I'm working with students from preschool to second grade in the Finnish School of Kosovo. In my studies, I focused in early primary years. I wrote a thesis on joy of learning in the Finnish curriculum. Before pursuing teaching career I studied a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. I have worked both in administration and teaching jobs in Finland and overseas. For many years I was working for an international charity organization. I have been teaching both adults and children and also raised four children of my own. I love to see curiosity in students and foster a curious attitude in class. I like to make students active and work in concrete ways to build a good understanding and foundation for future years of studies".

maria.carvalho@finnish.school

Ekku Toivanen

5th & 6th Grade Teacher

"I'm Ekku Toivanen, the homeroom teacher for 5th and 6th grade. I'm a Master of Education from University of Lapland. I started teaching at the Finnish School of Kosovo in October 2018. Before that, I have been teaching in various elementary schools in Finland. My goal in teaching is to go over the boundaries of simple subjects in order to give the students more broad understanding of the world. I also like to challenge my students but in a way they stay motivated and get the feeling of succeeding and accomplishing."

ekku.toivanen@finnish.school

Laura Johansson

3rd Grade Teacher

"I am Laura Johansson and I moved to Prishtina from Helsinki where I was working for a teacher training project about global citizenship education. I have been studying as a Master of Arts in the University of Oulu in nothern Finland. As history and social studies teacher my passion is to educate active and responsible citizens with vital 21st century skills. Here in Finnish School of Kosovo I teach history in secondary and high school and I am also classroom teacher for 3rd and 4th grades. Moving to Kosovo and teaching here has been extremely rewarding and I have certainly learnt as much as the students! Our school is an interesting mixture of cultures, and implementing Finnish Curriculum here has been an amazing chance to me in my early career".

laura.johansson@finnish.school

Shemsije Tigani

Albanian Language and History Teacher

"I am Shemsije Tigani and I live in Pristina, the place where I also finished my university on Albanian Language. My background consists of a lot of teaching experiences in several schools in Kosovo. Now I am working as a teacher in the Finnish School of Kosovo and it is an honor to combine Finnish educational system with the one from Kosovo. As an Albanian Language Teacher, this only makes our literature richer and richer every day!"

shemsije.tigani@finnish.school

Sini Heinoja

Marketing, PR and Admissions Officer & Finnish Language Teacher

"I hold a Master of Arts degree from the University of Eastern Finland, with Finnish language and communications as my specialities. In the Finnish School, I teach Finnish language and culture to every grade from 3rd to 10th. Before, I’ve taught Finnish language and culture to immigrants in Finland and in the University of Caen in France. I hope to get the students intrigued about cultural differences and learn something about their own culture the same time. The Finnish Curriculum lets me teach not only cultural knowledge but those vital skills that students will need in their future working life such as research skills, media awareness and communicational skills. My duties at the school also include marketing related tasks. I’ve worked previously for marketing agencies and events in Finland."

sini.heinoja@finnish.school

Sherif Hyseni

ICT Teacher

"I am Sherif Hyseni from Pristina. I got my Master's degree in Mechatronics Management from the University of Business and Technology. My primary occupation and work experience for 10 years has been in the field of IT and Telecommunications. In the Finnish School Kosovo, I work as a part time teacher, responsible of Robotics. I deal mostly with basic programming and assembling, using and programming educational robots, etc. # Learning by having fun"

sherif.hyseni@finnish.school

Mikael Ropponen

Math and Physics Teacher

"I started working in the Finnish School of Kosovo in January 2019. Before that, I've worked in various secondary and high schools in Finland for almost 13 years. I hold a Master of Science of degree from the University of Joensuu."

mikael.ropponen@finnish.school

Arjeta Godanci

French Language Teacher

"I have been a Middle School and High School French teacher at the Finnish School of Kosovo, since 2018. Previously, I worked at the Luigj Gurakuqi High School and at the American School of Kosova. I also hold a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Pristina. Currently, I am pursuing my second Master's in Management and Informatics. My passion towards art has always been present in my life. In our school I have a fun club when I teach origami and other paper crafts".

arjeta.godanci@finnish.school

Kaltrina Morina

English Language Teacher

"Having previously taught English as a second language for three years to various groups and levels, I now teach secondary and high school students". I graduated from the University of Bedfordshire, UK and I also hold a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics (TEFL) along with other short courses completed in the UK for academic English and teaching. Currently, I am doing another TEFL course on teaching English as a Foreign Language regulated by UK government qualifications. I enjoy reading and writing and my hobbies include sightseeing and exploring places. I must say, working at the Finnish School of Kosovo has been a great opportunity to develop and learn and a rewarding experience."

kaltrina.morina@finnish.school

Ardita Hoxha-Shala

PE Teacher

"I live and also work in Pristina. I have finished a Master's Degree in Physical Education and Sports at the University of Prishtina. I finished my education for Handball coach in Croatia organised by the Croatian Olympic Committee. I`ve been working in the USA Embassy as a Boot camp instructor since 2016. Being with kids all the time and seeing them play around makes me truly happy. Mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body!"

ardita.shala@finnish.school

Fiona Sopi

Music Teacher

"I have completed the 8-year school for piano, the High School of Music, and the University of Music Education. I have been working as a music teacher for five years now. I'm a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher. I've participated in numerous events of cultural events such as the well-known Chopin Piano Fest festival. I've also worked as a music producer so I'm able to use a multitude of music production software such as Cubase to produce or remix music. I'm a very active musician and have participated in various professional development events such as conferences and took Certificate of Attendance-EAS Conference of music teaching Jelgava, LATVIA."

fiona.sopi@finnish.school

Flutura Munishi

Teacher Assistant

"I am Flutura Munishi and I come from Vushtrri. Since I have finished my Bachelor's degree from the University of Pristina, I've had the opportunity to work in different primary schools. Volunteering is the most generous thing one can do, this is why every once and a while I try to help kids with disabilities. In the Finnish School, I’m currently a Teaching Assistant for 0-2 grades and Albanian Teacher for 0-1 grades. I help kids to develop their academic skills and behavior."

flutura.munishi@finnish.school

Eranda Gashi

Teacher Assistant

"I am Eranda Gashi. I hold a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pristina, Math and Natural Sciences Department. Before, I have worked for two commercial banks in Pristina. I feel very fortunate to work as a Teacher Assistant at one of the best schools in Kosovo, The Finnish School of Kosovo. I enjoy every aspect of teaching and have realized that students can teach us as much as we teach them. I love traveling, reading, programming and interacting with people from different national and cultural backgrounds".

eranda.gashi@finnish.school

Arzihe Zejnullahu

Kindergarten Teacher

"My name is Arzihe Zejnullahu and I come from Prishtina. I have a Bachelor's degree in Preschool Education, and I'm a student in Master studies for Leadership in Education. I work as a kindergarten teacher and my main goal is to be a caring person for children and to be someone who they can trust on."

arzihe.zejnullahu@finnish.school

Albina Idrizaj

Teaching Assistant

"I'm Albina Idrizaj and I come from Deçan. I'm a graduate from the Faculty of Education, Primary school Program and currently a student in Inclusive Education Master studies. Here at the Finnish school I work as an Assistant Teacher in the kindergarten and my aim is to help taking care of children and create a loving environment for them. Childrens' happiness is my main purpose."

albina.idrizaj@finnish.school

Natyra Abdullahu

Preschool Teacher

"I am Natyra Abdullahu and I am from Presevo. I have lived in the U.S. throughout my childhood and have studied in Kosovo. I have a Bachelor's degree in Speech pathology and am currently the Preschool Teacher in the Finnish School. I have the benefit to educate young children and create an amazing classroom atmosphere that allows them to explore a variety of their skills. Through it all, the most important part is that our teaching is based on the wonderful Finnish system."

natyra.abdullahu@finnish.school

Campus Facilities

The current campus has a 3,500 sqm school building and a 7,800 sqm outdoor area. Every floor of our campus has a designated area for relaxing and socializing activities where we can spend some quality time socializing with our people. Finnish School of Kosovo has carefully designed each and every detailed feature in the campuses with the objective to create an optimal environment for learning. 

The Psychology and Assessment Room is one of the most important areas of the campus. The PA room will be interviewing kids and parents to understand their learning capabilities and designing personalized curriculums.

The Computer Programming Lab is where students learn basic and advanced programming skills through Kato Computers. As students advance programming skills will be interacting with high performance computers.

The Robotics Lab will serve as a robotic playground where students learn robotics through interacting with Makeblock, Sphero2.0, mBot, Cubelets, Wowwee, Roboblock, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and 3D Printers.

Sibelius Studio is music lab/studio which will be equipped with interesting music instruments where every student will learn how to play at least one instrument chosen by them independently.

Aalto workshop is a designated area for handcraft activities students will be participating in different handcraft related workshops and learn handcrafting different objects.

Virtanen Lab is science lab where students will be conducting experiments related to physics, chemistry, and biology related modules.

Schjerfbeck Room is where the painting academy’s activities will take place. This lab is designed to meet the artistic needs students have in their early development.

Bergbom Theatre is a small drama theater inside the campus where all the acting and drama takes place. In this area students will be learning skills related to public speaking, drama, and theatre acting.

Michelin Kitchen is the kitchen classroom students can learn and enjoy the cooking, baking, and preparing recipes. Through kitchen classroom we aim to teach students not just cooking but all different cultures around the world.

Simone Gym is the sports gym of the Finnish School where all the physical activities such as sports will take place.

Dining Area is the place where students will eat breakfast and lunch.

Plato 101-125 are the classrooms where students will be spending some of their time and will be equipped with collaborative tables and chairs, interactive boards, and mini libraries.

Game Based Learning The Finnish School in Kosovo has reached an agreement with the 5MoreMinutes Ltd from Finland, which develops one of the world’s most important gaming platforms. The online gaming platform TeacherGaming utilized by the most innovative and renowned schools in the world offers games for almost every subject and learning unit.

To date, TeacherGaming’s products and services are offered to more than 16,000 schools around the world, serving more than 1,000 other teachers who use this platform individually for their students and is ranked as one of the 100 world-changing innovations today in world from web-Disrupt100.

The Finnish School of Kosovo has already reached a cooperation agreement with TeacherGaming and the pupils of this school have full access to the use of these learning games. TeacherGaming Desk is a one-click game based learning solution and is designed to make video games a sustainable teaching tool for any classroom.

TeacherGaming Desk combines an ever-growing portfolio of playable games and powerful learning analyzes. Educators can choose games for the needs of their students, learn a variety of subjects, and track their students’ progress in terms of real life skills. This platform also offers parents online access to follow the progress of their children all the time.

Children are eager to learn new things, curious about the world around them, and experimenting with what they learn. The Finnish education system is based on these facts, and in the heart of the Finnish system is curiosity, learning through games and using technology in learning. Our curriculum is based on games, for children to have an attractive lesson, and at the same time students achieve results that cannot be achieved by the classical method. The use of more coherent technology enables students to invent and propose ideas for collective reflection, encouraging them to analyze and explore the past, present and future of processes occurring in the real world in real time.

KOONTA is the most innovative concept to be implemented in the primary and secondary schools globally, starting with sixth graders. It is a mini town with an aim of teaching students the concepts of citizenship, business, government and professional life. KOONTA is an improvised town that simulates complex concepts within society such as entrepreneurship and citizenship, thus, maximizing students learning potential. It integrates around 40 industries within the improvised town and there are around 100 potential partners to be approached in sponsoring their industry within this concept.

Food One of the great things about Finnish School of Kosova is that a parent can be sure a child has an opportunity to eat a balanced, nutritious meal. Kids go to school to learn, and part of what they learn about is healthy food and nutrition. Even if what they learn about nutrition isn’t ideal due to the food industry’s influence on what is taught, the food served at school should set a healthy example. Eating habits are established early, and eating healthfully is a life skill. That means when students are in school, providing them with nutritious, healthy meals that enable them to focus and maximize their potential and to support a healthy immune system to keep them in school, not homesick. Healthy food equals better health, better grades, and better behavior. At Finnish School of Kosova meals include more fruits, vegetables, sensible limits on calories, less unhealthy fats and salt, healthier snacks and beverages.