An Inclusive IB World School

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Hangzhou International School
Hangzhou International School

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HIS Board of Directors

From Left to Right: Larry Balli (Board Chairperson), Kristy Risjad (Board Director), Michael Dougherty (Board Director)

Duties of the Board of Directors

  • Oversee and promote the overall success and fiscal health of the school;
  • Appoint and evaluate annually the Superintendent of School;
  • Develop, approve, and ensure the implementation of school policy, and ensure efficient and logical allocation of the school’s human and material resources;
  • Monitor the use of the school’s existing facilities and develop new ones which might enhance program delivery;
  • Ensure the maintenance of the school’s good relationships with the Ministry of Education, Education Bureau and all government officials and agencies relevant to our school’s mission in China;
  • Meet periodically in accordance with the stipulations of the Articles of Association.


HIS is overseen by members of a Board of Directors appointed according to the bylaws of the school’s Articles of Association. The self-perpetuating, “corporate governance” model used at HIS and the other ISF schools has been supported for many years by the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) in the United Kingdom and by International Schools Services (ISS) in the United States, and is the one endorsed by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). NAIS is the largest organization for independent schools --defined as schools that are “not under government control“-- in the United States. In its statement on governance, NAIS reviews the other models, details the problems with an annually shifting, parent-elected board (especially for international schools with their more transient populations), and then says this:

“The corporate model of a self-perpetuating board is what NAIS advocates, where the board chooses itself and its successors and is focused largely on the strategic future of the school. It sees itself as having only one employee to hire, evaluate, and fire (the Superintendent), and it scrupulously and thankfully redirects all constituent complaints to the proper authority, the Superintendent, then supports the Superintendent in his or her adjudication of any challenges. This ‘above the fray’ approach frees the board to focus on the larger issues of institutional stability and growth and sends a strong signal to the community that the board has confidence in the leadership of the school, never allowing itself to become ‘the court of last resort’ to adjudicate conflict and overrule management decisions, knowing that if it does so, it will revert to the first model of governance indicated above and forever after be relegated to operational oversight rather than vision and strategy and generative thinking, its proper role.”