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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, Chair
Liz was elected to the Board in May 2014, and reelected in May 2016. She has served as Board Chair since August 2015. She also served as Board Secretary during the 2014-2015 School year. As Chair, Liz oversees all committees and is an active member of the Governance Committee. Liz is an American national with two children at ISY, in grades 9 and 12. Her professional background is in project management and communication. She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and is a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts from Lesley University.
Frank Southfield, Vice Chair and Audit Committee Chair
Frank was elected to the Board in May 2016. He was elected as Vice Chair in September 2017, and served as Board Secretary during the 2016-2017 school year. Frank also chairs the Audit Committee. Frank is an American national with two children, including one in grade 8 at ISY. 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.
Andrew Kirkwood, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair
Andrew was appointed to the Board in December 2015. Andrew has served as Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee since August 2016, and is also a member of the Facilities Committee. Andrew is a Canadian national with two children at ISY, in grades 8 and 10. Andrew has university degrees in engineering and planning and 25 years of experience in project and program management. He has lived in Yangon since 2004. He is currently the Director and Representative of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
Matthew Pietz, Secretary
Matt was appointed to the Board in November 2016, and elected as Secretary in September 2017. He previously served on the Governance Committee and now serves on the Audit Committee. Matt is American with two children at ISY, in grades 1 and 3. A civil society and governance specialist who works on capacity building and sustainability for organizations, Matt manages a USAID-funded project implemented by FHI 360. He holds a Masters of International Relations and a Masters of Public Administration from Syracuse University.
Alison Harley, Governance Committee Chair
Alison was elected to the Board in May 2017, and appointed as Chair of the Governance Committee in September 2017. She is a British national with a child in grade 3 at ISY. 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.
Han Thein Lwin, Facilities Committee Chair
Han was elected to the Board in May 2015 and reelected in May 2017. Han was appointed as Chair of the Facilities Committee in September 2017, and also serves on the Finance Committee. Han is a Myanmar national with two children, including one in grade 4 at ISY. 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 Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Shwe Taung Development Co., Ltd. Infrastructure Business Sector, focusing on Infrastructure projects including Hydropower.
Winnie Hofstetter, Representative of the U.S. Ambassador
Winnie was appointed to the Board by the U.S. Ambassador in May 2017. She is a member of the Governance Committee and the Facilities Committee. Winnie is an American national with a child in grade 3 at ISY. 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 in Hungary, where she served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer.
Kyaw Moe Naing
Kyaw was elected to the Board in May 2015 and reelected in May 2017. He served as Board Treasurer for the 2015-2016 school year. He currently serves on both the Audit and Facilities Committee and previously served on the Finance Committee and the 2015 Director Search Committee. Kyaw is a Myanmar national with three children at ISY, in pre-K, grade 6 and grade 7. Kyaw has a BS in Chemistry and a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. He is one of Myanmar’s leading entrepreneurs and serves as Managing Director of Lighting Specialist Co. Ltd. and Myanmar Ease Net Co., Ltd. He is an active member in a number of industry associations and social activities.
Dr. Silke-Susann Otto
Sisu was elected to the Board in May 2015 and reelected in May 2017. She served as Vice Chair for the 2016-2017 school year and Board Secretary for the 2015-2016 school year. She is currently a member of the Finance Committee and the Facilities Committee, and previously served on the Governance Committee and 2015 Director Search Committee. Sisu is a German national with two children at ISY, in grades 5 and 7. Sisu is a consultant with McKinsey & Company focusing on capacity building, 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.
Tracy was elected to the Board in May 2015 and reappointed in May 2017. Tracy served as Chair of the Finance Committee for the 2015-2016 school year and Chair of the Governance Committee for the 2016-2017 school year. She continues to serve on both the Governance Committee and the Finance Committee. Tracy is an American national with two children at ISY, in pre-K and grade 2. 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.