Upper School Community Announcement from Jeff Stubbs, Director of Schools
September 6, 2021
Dear HIS Upper School Families and Friends,
Our Upper School Principal, Dr. Jessamine Koenig, and Lower School Librarian, Ms.
Michelle Dierker, recently received wonderful news of their selection for the adoption of a child in the US. While the process has taken almost two full years and the administration has been aware of the possibility it could happen at any time, the
appointment has been very sudden. The number of months that will be involved to complete the process, immigration challenges, and current COVID measures are such that Dr. Koenig and Ms. Dierker will be unable to return in the immediate future and new organizational leadership will need to take place.
While we are heavy-hearted to see Dr. Koenig and Ms. Dierker depart Hangzhou and HIS, as a school and community we fully support their long-standing wish to start a family. On a personal level, I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Koenig for over 13 years and I am extremely appreciative of the hard work and commitment she has given to the community, the Upper School students and faculty, and the development and expansion of the Upper School programs. She leaves very solid foundations for the continued improvement and enrichment of the opportunities for Upper School learning. We wish her and Ms. Dierker all the happiness and joy in starting a new family.
The timing of this transition might normally initiate a recruitment search for the leadership position. However, we are pleased to share with you the appointment of new faculty member, Mr. Fursey Gotuaco, to the position of Upper School Co-Principal Diploma Programme (DP) and current Upper School leader, Ms. Patricia Long, to the position of Upper School Co-Principal Middle Years Programme (MYP). Together, Mr. Gotuaco and Ms. Long, will provide for the senior leadership of the Upper School, and they are joined by our new Upper School Guidance Counselor, Dr. Ryan Bull-Beddows, and our Coordinators of TOK, Extended Essay, and Creativity, Action, & Service (CAS), as well as our Upper School Grade Level Leaders (GLLs) and Heads of Department (HODs).
I first hired Mr. Fursey Gotuaco from the United States in early 2014 for placement at the Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) – Hongqiao Campus where he was an outstanding Department Chair of Fine Arts and Upper School Drama/IB Theatre teacher. He has worked as an international teacher for over 17 years and an Upper School Principal for almost 6 years before coming to HIS. He carries a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University. He also 06, 2021received his Principal’s Certification in 2009. Mr. Gotuaco will carry forth all leadership responsibilities for the DP community.
Ms. Patricia Long is Canadian and joined HIS from Chadwick International
School, Korea in July of 2016. She has served as Upper School Vice-Principal and MYP Coordinator since her arrival. Ms. Long also has strong experience and credentials for the
Co-Principalship. She has 29 years of international teaching experience and 12 years in
an administrative role. She carries a Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the
Atlantic Baptist College, a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from the University of East Anglia, a Post Graduate Certificate of Educational Administration from University of
Worcester, a Masters Degree in International Education from the University of Leicester, and a
National Professional Qualification for Headship. Ms. Long will carry forth all leadership
responsibilities for the MYP Community.
As a school that hires for breadth and depth of skills, background, and experience, we are
fortunate to have the opportunity to capitalize on current leadership and expertise within HIS.
Our plan has always been to add another member to the Upper School leadership team for the 2022-23 school year and beyond. We will be sharing more information about the recruitment for the future structure of the Upper School soon. For now, we welcome our newly appointed Co-Principals, Mr. Gotuaco and Ms. Long, and we wish all the best to Dr. Koenig and Ms. Dierker as they make their way to the US in mid-September to realize their dream of starting a family.
We will be hosting a ‘Meet the Upper School Principals’ parent event on Wednesday, September 08, from 5:30 – 7:00pm in the Auditorium. We invite all Upper School parents to come and learn more about our Upper School goals and leadership transition for 2021-22 and beyond.
Jeffry R. Stubbs Director
Hangzhou International School