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Cheers, Board News – 19 May 2017

posted May 19, 2017, 3:22 AM by Suzanne WARDINI   [ updated May 20, 2017, 1:54 AM by ]

Greetings from the ISD Board of Trustees.  We hope all ISD families are enjoying these last few weeks of the 2016-2017 school year.

The ISD Board held its last monthly meeting for the school year on 11 May 2017.  Both our outgoing Trustees and those new Trustees elected at the Annual General Meeting were in attendance.  Here are some highlights of the meeting.

ISD Recruiting Strategy

In this month’s educational update, Alan Knobloch gave a comprehensive overview of the recruitment process for attracting and employing teachers.  The Board learned about how recruitment fairs work and strategies that ISD has put in place with the aim to attract the best teachers early in the recruitment rounds.  We also watched the promotional film that senior film students produced a few years ago, which is used as part of our marketing – it was terrific!

Reports by representatives

Both our US Ambassador’s Representative and Faculty Representatives will change in the new school year.  The Board thanked Jenna Diallo and Sandra Goldsborough for their tremendous contributions to the Board.  Jenna and Sandra then introduced the new representatives:  Eric Davis, who is a lawyer with US AID and has a daughter Elena going into grade 5 next year is the new US Ambassador’s Representative.  Catharina Wright-Guess, Middle School / High School English teacher is the new Faculty representative.

These representatives are non-voting members of the Board and provide a value voice to Board discussions.

Policy amendments

The Board had a second reading of three policy items: the introduction of the Child Protection Policy, minor amendments to wording in the Harassment and Student Probation policies and minor wording amendments to the Obligations to Staff Policy.  The Board voted unanimously to adopt these policies.

Pre-K 4 full day program

The Board considered a proposal from the school administration to extend the Pre-K 4 program to a full day.  The request came via Susan Kusiima, Admissions Coordinator (reporting strong parent demand for a full day program) and Elementary School Principal Kelly Chumrau (who explained the educational benefits of a full day program for Pre-K 4).

The Board voted to adopt a full day program from 2017-2018 onwards, with an option for a half day in 2017-2018, recognising that there were current Pre-K 3 parents who enrolled their children this year on the understanding that the Pre-K 4 program was a half day. 

Performing Arts Centre timeline

Suzanne Wardini, Assistant to the Director updated the Board on the progress to date and timeline for the PAC building project.   Those interested in the details are encouraged to contact Suzanne.

Board Self-Survey

One component of the Board’s professional development and performance review, is an annual self-survey where we reflect on our strengths and areas for improvement.  Secretary Marie Blanchard reported on the results of the survey, which help us to plan for next year. 

Auditor Selection

Treasurer Thiaba Camara Sy noted that the Board had previously undergone a process to select Ernst and Young as the school auditors for a period of 3 years.  This is the third year of that tenure and the Board approved Ernst and Young as the auditor for the 2016-2017 year.


The final meeting of the year is always tinged with sadness as we farewell those who are finishing their terms on the Board or leaving Dakar.

The Board thanked the following members for their tremendous contributions to school governance and presented a traditional Board gift of a baobab sculpture in recognition of service:

Linda Percy:  Trustee 2013 – 2017, Vice-Chair 2016 – 2017, Finance Committee, Buildings and Grounds Committee

Papa Madiaw Ndiaye: Trustee 2015 – 2017, Policy / Governance and Development Committee, Accreditation Committee Section D

Jenna Diallo: US Ambassador’s Representative 2016 – 2017, Policy / Governance and Development Committee

Sandra Goldsborough: Faculty Representative 2015-2016, Finance Committee

Brad Bell:  Secondary School Principal 2012 – 2017, Finance Committee

Anja Sebunya:  Board Assistant 2016-2017

2016-2017 ISD Board of Trustees

L – R: Brad Bell (Secondary School Principal), Sandra Goldsborough (Faculty Representative), James Garry (Trustee), Anja Sebunya (Board Assistant), Marie Blanchard (Secretary), Linda Percy (Vice-Chair), Jenna Diallo (US Ambassador’s Representative), Louisa Gibbs (Chair), Jennifer Grant (Trustee), Jonathan Scott (Trustee), Jennifer Burt Davis (Trustee), Pape Madiaw Ndiaye (Trustee), Kelly Chumrau (Elementary School Principal), Alan Knobloch (Director).  Absent: Thiaba Camara Sy (Treasurer).

Officer positions for 2017-2018

The Board also elected its office bearers for the coming year.  Thank you and congratulations to the following Board members:

Chair:  Louisa Gibbs

Vice-Chair: Jennifer Grant

Secretary: Jonathan Scott

Treasurer:  Thiaba Camara Sy

Thank you to outgoing office bearers Linda Percy and Marie Blanchard, who have done a really tremendous job this year.

Looking towards the end of the school year

The Board Finance and Buildings and Grounds committees will meet one more time before the end of school; however the next full meeting of the Board will take place at the Board Retreat from 24 – 26 August 2017.

As always, please contact the board with any comments, queries or concern via our email addres:

Kind regards,

Louisa Gibbs

Chair, ISD Board of Trustees