We hope everyone is enjoying preparations for the festive season. As announced towards the end of term (see http://wis-wavelength.weebly.com/), following the resignation of Mr Dwight Mott, Deputy Head of School Ms Rachel MacKinnon was appointed Acting Head of School. The Board is working towards recruitment of a permanent Head of School in 2017.
Immediately following Ms MacKinnon’s appointment as Acting Head of School, her husband Steve Johnston tendered his resignation from the Woodford Board owing to potential conflicts between his responsibilities and interests as a board member and his responsibilities and interests as Rachel’s spouse. His resignation was accepted by the Chair, with thanks for his service to the Woodford community in 2016.
Steve’s resignation leaves a vacancy for a parent representative on the WIS Board of Management, which we are obliged – and keen – to fill. As such, the Board welcomes nominations/applications from Woodford parents to join the Board for the remainder of its term – that is, until the Annual General Meeting (and election of a new Board) in mid-March 2017. This vacancy provides an excellent opportunity for parents to get a ‘taste’ of Board membership without needing to sign up for a full term. (There are currently only two more Board meetings scheduled ahead of the March AGM.) Board positions are not paid but all current Board members have found their roles to be both personally and professionally fulfilling and rewarding. Details on the Board’s role, structure and procedures are set out in its Governance Manual, which is available under the ‘About Us’ tab on the school website (www.wis.edu.sb). Interested parents are also very welcome to contact any current Board member for further information about the duties, responsibilities and rewards of Woodford Board membership – we can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current board members have a range of professional and business backgrounds and skills. The Board is hoping to recruit someone with complementary skills who shares all Board members’ passion for ensuring the best possible future for Woodford International School, including the best possible education for all our students. Interested parents are invited to submit a brief statement of no more than 300 words outlining what skills and/or perspectives they would bring to the Board as a member. Nominations are open until 5pm on Tuesday 6 February 2017 and should be submitted via email to email@example.com or in hardcopy to Lynette Adomea at reception (once school has resumed).
On Saturday, 3 December, we farewelled the Head of School, Dwight Mott, at Honiara Airport. Mr Dwight made significant contributions over 2016, particularly in supporting the Woodford Board in the development and finalisation of our Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2021. Over the course of Mr Dwight’s tenure, the school’s business planning processes, budget oversight, strategic polices and governance arrangements were dramatically strengthened, setting Woodford International School up for exciting development in all aspects of the school’s operations in the years to come. For Mr Dwight, Honiara was a long, long way from home and having elderly parents with failing health, the distance was all too great. We thank Mr Dwight for his service to the school – his enthusiasm for learning, for evidence-based decisions and for building Woodford’s culture as a ‘community of learning’ will stay with the Board and many others in the years to come. We wish Mr Dwight’s father the best possible recovery from surgery this week, and improved health for his mother, who suffered a stroke just a few months earlier. Thank you and best wishes, Mr Dwight!
There cannot be too many international schools of our size in this region who can claim to have two highly qualified educational leaders at one time. With Mr Dwight’s sudden departure, the Board feels great relief and good fortune to be able to appoint Ms Rachel MacKinnon as Acting Head of School, pending recruitment of a permanent Head of School in 2017. Ms Rachel holds a Master of Arts in Education Management in International School and has over 19 years of experience as a teacher and school leader, including 16 years in international schools. Ms Rachel was also a student at various international schools around the world from the age of seven. Ms Rachel joined WIS in January 2016 as the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) Coordinator and in March was promoted to Deputy Head for Learning (covering Kindy to PSSC) in acknowledgement of her expertise, experience and substantial contributions to date. Having attended the Academy for International School Heads (AISH) ‘New and Aspiring Heads Institute’ and serving as a school inspector for international agencies such as IB PYP and the Council of International Schools (CIS), we are confident that Ms Rachel will rise to the challenge of continuing the significant work started in 2016. We are equally fortunate to have among our Woodford community, several teachers with the capability and commitment to take on additional responsibilities to support our existing leadership team. The Board is confident that, under Ms Rachel’s leadership and within the framework of our new Strategic Plan, WIS will achieve our mission of developing globally-ready learners equipped to shape their future and achieve their dreams.
The end of year is a busy time in any school but this has been, and remains, a particularly busy period for Woodford, including the Board. At our meeting on Wednesday, 30 November, the Board adopted its draft budget for 2017, as well as our final strategic plan for 2017 to 2021, which has now been posted on the school website at http://wis.edu.sb/InternationalSchool/Solomon-Islands/UploadFiles-Images/NewsLetter/WIS%20Strategic%20Plan%202017-2021.pdf
Thank you to all students, teachers and parents who attended one of our community consultations and contributed comments and suggestions. All contributions were considered by the Board’s Strategy Committee and most were reflected in the final plan. Other comments will be reflected in the Operating Plans or other documents that are guided by the Strategic Plan.
Congratulations to all students and teachers for their efforts and successes throughout 2016 – we look forward to a super fun packed final week of school and to seeing you all for an exciting year ahead when school resumes in 2017.