ISY School Governance
The International School Yangon (ISY) is a non-profit Association that is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees of up to eleven members. All parents and guardians of current ISY students are members of this Association. Positions on the ISY Board of Trustees are either appointed or elected, with elections taking place at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in May of each year. The Board then selects from among its members a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. As a non-profit Association, all tuition and other income generated by ISY is channeled back into the operation and development of the school and its facilities.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall governance of the school. This includes articulating long-term vision, setting broad policy, safeguarding the financial integrity of the school, and protecting the school from risk. The Board also adopts the annual budget, sets tuition and fee scales, and identifies and approves major facilities improvement projects. Finally, the Board selects, hires, supports and evaluates the ISY Director, who is responsible for the day-today operation of the school, the realization of the school’s mission and execution of improvement plans as directed by the Board. The Director also serves as a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees.
Standing Committees in Finance, Governance and Facilities advise and guide the Board on specific areas of focus. A separate Audit Sub-committee also exists within the Finance Committee to advise the Board on audit issues. Each Committee or Sub-Committee is chaired by a Board member and includes among its core members the Director of the School and at least two other Board members. Depending on the nature of the topics under review, Committees may also invite parents, teachers, school administrators, and/or outside experts to participate. Committees report their findings and recommendations to the full Board of Trustees for consideration and decision. For more information, please see Standing Committee Terms of Reference below.
The ISY Board of Trustees employs a number of different channels to communicate with the wider parent community. First, all parents are encouraged to attend and observe quarterly Board meetings, and to make contributions under the standing agenda item, “Communication from Association members.” Detailed minutes of these meetings are also posted on the ISY website. In addition, the Board publishes ad-hoc announcements throughout the year, either by direct email to all Association members or via the ISY Quarterly Newsletter. Open presentations on topics of general interest are also held on an occasional basis, and an Annual Report is presented to the Association at the Annual General Meeting in May. Finally, the Board welcomes questions and comments from Association members and the larger community through its designated email address, email@example.com, which is directed to all Board members, including the Director.
Governance Committee - The purpose of this Committee is to ensure that the Board fulfills its fiduciary, legal and strategic oversight responsibilities through adequate Board governance policy development, recruitment strategies, training, monitoring and evaluation of Board activities and performance. For more information, please see the Governance Committee’s Terms of Reference here.
Facilities Sub-Committee - The purpose of the Facilities Sub-Committee is to assist and advise the Board in its fiduciary, legal and strategic oversight responsibilities by ensuring that ISY: has a long-term campus development plan to deliver effective teaching and learning; has adequate financial systems and resources in place when planning and implementing campus development plans; and promotes appropriate usage of ISY’s campus and facilities. For more information, please see the Facilities Sub-committee’s Terms of Reference here.
Finance Committee - The purpose of this Committee is to assist the Board in fulfilling its fiduciary, legal and strategic oversight responsibilities by ensuring that ISY has adequate financial systems and resources in places to deliver effective learning and teaching. For more information, please see the Finance Committee’s Terms of Reference here.
Elizabeth Shick, Board Chair
Liz was elected to the Board in May 2014. She served as Board Secretary during the 2014-2015 School year, was elected Board Chair in August 2015, and re-elected as Board Chair in August 2016. She is an active member of the Governance Committee and an ex-officio member of all other Board Committees. Liz is an American national married to an Australian with two daughters at ISY – Rebecca in Grade 11 and Amanda in Grade 8. Her professional background is in project management and communication. She has a Master’s Degree in International Development and an Advanced Certificate of African Studies. Liz has worked for a variety of NGO, Government and UN agencies in Tanzania, The Gambia, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, and Italy.
Dr. Silke-Susann Otto, Board Vice Chair
Sisu was elected to the Board in May 2015, assumed the role of Board Secretary for the 2015-2016 school year and was elected as Vice Chair in August 2016. She also chairs the Audit sub-Committee, is a member of the Governance Committee and participated in the 2015 Search Committee that recruited ISY Director Greg Hedger. Sisu is a German national married to a Swiss national with two children at ISY – Paul in Grade 6 and Sophie in Grade 4. Sisu is a management consultant with McKinsey & Company focusing on capability building across industries, and spearheads McKinsey’s efforts in Myanmar. She is a trustee in a Hong Kong-based charity that builds monastic schools in Myanmar. She has completed the Financial Time's Non-Executive Director's Diploma and holds a Ph.D. in Japanese Business.
Andrew Kirkwood, Board Treasurer
Andrew was appointed to the Board in December 2015 and was elected as Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee in August 2016. He also previously served on the Facilities Committee and Audit sub-Committee. Andrew is a Canadian national with two children at ISY– Aisha in Grade 9 and Callum in Grade 7. Andrew has university degrees in engineering and planning and 25 years of experience in project and programme management. He has lived in Yangon for over 11 years, initially working for Save the Children and now for UNOPS as the Fund Director for the multi-donor fund called LIFT.
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Frank Southfield, Board Secretary
Frank was elected to the Board in May 2016 and assumed the role of Board Secretary in August 2016. He is also a member of the Facilities Committee and the Audit sub-Committee. Frank is an American national with two children at ISY – Allison in Grade 10 and Amanda in Grade 7. Frank has worked for over 20 years in IT consulting and project management and currently works in the IRM department at the U.S. Embassy in Yangon.
Tracy Swift, Governance Committee Chair
Tracy was elected to the Board in May 2015 and served as Chair of the Finance Committee for the 2015-2016 school year. In August 2016, she was appointed Chair of the Governance Committee. She also serves as a member of the Audit sub-Committee. Tracy is an American national with two daughters–Charlotte, who is in Grade 1 at ISY and Willa, who is hoping to begin ISY in 2017. Tracy’s background is in law and international development with a focus on capacity building and procurement. She currently manages a small consulting company called Field Focus. She was the school librarian at her children's international school in Ethiopia from 2013-2014.
Warren Harrity, US Ambassador’s Representative, Facilities Committee Chair
Warren joined the Board in May 2014 and served as Board Chair for the 2014-2015 School year. In August 2015, he was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador’s Representative to the Board. Warren currently serves as Chair of the Facilities Committee and previously served as Chair of the Advancement Sub-Committee. Warren is an American national married to a Thai national with two sons at ISY – Terence in Grade 6 and Thomas in Grade 4. His background is in project design and budget management. He is currently the Supervisory Program Officer for USAID based in Yangon, and has supported the design of a number of education projects that include basic education programs for Myanmar refugees along the Thailand-Burma border and higher education in Afghanistan.
Kyaw Moe Naing
Kyaw was elected to the Board in May 2015 and served as Board Treasurer for the 2015-2016 school year. He serves on both the Finance and Facilities Committee and also participated in the 2015 Search Committee that recruited ISY Director, Greg Hedger. Kyaw is a Myanmar national with two children at ISY – Heinz Htet Naing in Grade 6 and Pyae Moe Naing in Grade 5, with a third child hoping to join ISY soon. Kyaw has a BSc in Chemistry and a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. He currently serves as Managing Director of Lighting Specialist Co. Ltd. and Myanmar Ease Net Co., Ltd., and is an active member in a number of industry associations and social activities, such as the Myanmar Olympics Committee and American chamber of Commerce in Myanmar.
Han Thein Lwin
Han was elected to the Board in May 2015. He is a member of both the Finance Committee and the Facilities Committee. Han is a Myanmar national with a son, Phone Pyae Han (Chint Chint), in Grade 3 at ISY and another son hoping to join ISY soon. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Power) from Yangon Institute of Technology (YIT), now called Yangon Technological University (YTU), and has substantial experience in Infrastructure projects. Han is the Managing Director of High Tech Concrete and High Tech Concrete Technology Co., Ltd. focusing on ready mixed concrete, construction materials and hydropower projects.
Matt was appointed to the Board in November 2016, and will serve on both the Governance Committee and the Audit Sub-committee. Matt and his spouse are American, and they have a daughter in Grade 2 and a son in Kindergarten at ISY. A civil society and governance specialist who works on capacity building and sustainability for organizations, Matt works on a USAID-funded project implemented by FHI 360. He holds a Master's of International Relations and a Masters of Public Administration from Syracuse University.
Alison was elected to the Board in May 2017. She is a British national, married, with one daughter in Grade 2. Alison is a communications and advocacy specialist with over 15 years of experience working for NGO, government and media organizations. She currently heads communications and advocacy for WWF in Myanmar. Alison is a qualified barrister and an active member of ISY’s Parent Association.
Winnie is a diplomat working at the U.S. Embassy since late July 2016 when she arrived with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Nicola. Winnie has worked as a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State for ten years and has served in Malta, Curacao and Nigeria before coming to Myanmar. Prior to joining the Dept. of State, Winnie worked for ten years as a secondary school teacher of French and Spanish, including in the IB program, in Colorado. She has also taught primary school students in Nebraska and Hungary where she served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. Winnie is excited to join the ISY Board of Trustees and contribute to the ISY community. Winnie, Scott and Nicola have enjoyed the supportive atmosphere of ISY and Nicola is eager to enter third grade.