For May 2021
Dear ISPP community,
This has been another memorable year for the school. It has been filled with many challenges, loss, as well as achievements and growth. It has been amazing to see the responsiveness, resilience, and innovation in our students, faculty and administration. For the Board of Trustees, this has been a productive year as we worked on key legal, financial, and strategic priorities for the school. COVID-19 has continued to impact all aspects of the school, and the Board has continually adjusted to the evolving realities of the pandemic in Cambodia.
The Board has worked, through the Governance Committee, to complete a full review of the existing legal structure and has initiated steps to simplify it. This has included a review of the Charter with proposed amendments to align all parts of our governance structure with the school’s current and future needs. This amended Charter is presented to the Association for their vote as part of the AGM process. These changes reflect the culmination of multiple years of work by the Board and the Administration on creating stronger alignment between the organisational management and ISPP governing structures.
We recognise the challenges our community has experienced due to COVID-19, which has impacted the school throughout the year. The Board continued to work with the Administration so that ISPP had the requisite resources to ensure our students, faculty, and staff’s health, safety, and well-being. We have worked to strengthen our relationship with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to find innovative solutions to providing as much in-person instruction as possible to ISPP students during this global pandemic. The Board also recognises the significant financial impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. The Board takes our financial stewardship seriously, and after extensive review, we have confidence that ISPP remains in a sound financial position despite the pandemic. As such, the Board unanimously approved not to increase tuition for the 2021-2022 school year.
As a Board, we recognise the passing of several members of our ISPP community, particularly the loss of our Secondary Principal, Murray Polglase. Murray stood for what he believed. The Board knew that his dedication and commitment drove his decisions and motivations to ensure the students’ best education under his stewardship. His commitment to ISPP and education has been felt deeply by our community. Murray was a crucial driver in the development and design of the current ISPP scholarship program. He was passionate and committed to providing a high-quality education to bright and talented Cambodians who financially could not afford ISPP’s tuition. Although we will miss him, his legacy and influence will continue to be a gift to the school and students for years to come.
The Board completed a successful search for ISPP’s next Director. We would like to thank all of the students, faculty, staff, and parents that participated in the extensive virtual school visit for the top three candidates the week of March 15th. The Board would like to especially recognise Jonathan Smedes and Mary-Anne Muhl for their work to schedule all of the campus virtual visits. Based on the extensive recruitment process, the Board unanimously endorsed Eileen Niedermann as ISPP’s next Director. Eileen will join ISPP in July 2022. The Board will work with Eileen and the Administration to allow for familiarisation visits between now and the next school year to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
The Board would like to express its appreciation to our Director, Gareth Jones, the administrative team, and the faculty and staff for the fantastic work done this year to provide a world-class education to our students, despite the impacts of COVID-19. ISPP continued to stand as a leader in the international school community regarding our preparedness and planning in response to the ongoing global pandemic. The ability of ISPP to maintain operations and smoothly transition multiple times between ISPP online and in-person school is a further reminder that ISPP is the premier educational institution in Phnom Penh.
As Board Chair, I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, volunteers, faculty, staff, administrators, and parents who served on the Board Committees. As a parent governed, not for profit school, this shared commitment to excellence, reflection, service, and quality improvement set ISPP apart. The work could not have been achieved without the commitment and dedication of these volunteers working in person, and often virtually, to help move forward key school governance priorities.
In conclusion, the 2020-2021 school year has been memorable and productive. The Board would like to invite parents, faculty, and staff interested in becoming more involved in supporting ISPP to consider volunteering to serve in the 2021-2022 Board Committees. The Board’s work is done through these committees, and engagement in them is a great way to understand better the school governing structure and ensure its long-term success.
The 2020-2021 Board of Trustees
John Collins, Board Chair
Jenny Pearson, Board Vice-Chair
Jennifer Morellato, Board Secretary
Stephen Higgins, Board Treasurer
Clarisse Kehler Siebert, Trustee
Jennifer Aguilar, Trustee
John Hustedt, Trustee
Narendra Kumar, Trustee
Somarith Keng, Trustee
Song Heng Mot, Staff Representative
Edwin van Olst, Faculty Representative
Gareth Jones, Director