In 2013, Sjef Drummen, Jan Fasen, Bert Martens and Bert Sterken, all principals in the Roermond area got together to write Agora’s vision document. In August 2014 a small group of teachers got the chance to start Agora in the city of Roermond (The Netherlands) with 30 students. In May 2015 Rob got a short phone call: Hi Rob, this is Sjef speaking. Can we talk about working for Agora? He surprised Rob, but Rob said yes. And Sjef responded: okay tomorrow at noon and hung up on him. They had never spoken before, but knew each other. Rob found out where his office was and went over there the day after. Sjef talked for about 5 minutes. Rob answered two questions, and Sjef told him: within I couple of years, I’m going to retire, you must be my successor. Rob told him that one of the biggest reasons he wanted to come over is to get out of the office and be part of a team that really wants to make their hands dirty. Working with children, not managing. And that’s how Rob became one of the five team members (teachers, coaches, Agorian Masters, whatever you want to call it) at Agora in 2015.

In July 2018, when Agora grew, someone had to represent the Agora students and staff during management meetings. The outside world was looking for hierarchy: a team leader. Rob accepted the job under one condition: the goal should be making the role of a team leader redundant. Since then, Rob is responsible for the development of Agora according to its vision and helping his colleagues to grow as a self-organized team.

Do you need information in English about Agora?
Check out Agora at

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