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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.

With Appreciation,

Jeffry R. Stubbs Director
Hangzhou International School