Director's Dispatch: ISD Board Elections



Board of Trustees Elections


A nine-member Board of Trustees governs ISD. The trustees are elected by the International School Association of Dakar, which is comprised of parents or guardians whose children attend ISD and the teachers. As the trustees serve two-year terms, four or five people need to be elected every year. ISD is fortunate to have dedicated trustees who believe in best practices in governance and have helped the school move forward in recent years. Some of them will be leaving Dakar at the end of this school year, and we will need other parents who will be willing to take on this responsibility.

To understand the role of trustee better, I would invite interested parents to speak with one of our current members. Click here to see their names and photos. Parents who are interested in running for one of the vacant Board seats, click here for more information.

Interested candidates should send a CV and letter of intent stating why you would like to run for a trustee position to boardbox@isd.sn. The deadline for registering yourself as a candidate is April 9.

Honorary Board Members – Proposed Change to ISD Bylaws

Currently, the ISD Board of Trustees is comprised of nine members all of whom are elected by the ISD Association, which is comprised of ISD Parents and Teachers. Trustees must be parents or legal guardians of current ISD students.

The Board of Directors is recommending we create a new position of Honorary Board Member. An Honorary Board Member would not need to be an ISD parent and would be ex-officio, meaning they would not be able to vote on Board motions. There could be up to two Honorary Board Members at any one time.

The rationale for adding up to two Honorary Board Members is that ISD is a complex organization, which benefits from having Trustees with specific skills including finance or construction experience to previous experience as a Trustee at another institution. One of the primary responsibilities of the Board is overseeing the annual $15 million budget and long-term budget for the school, as well as making sure the school Administration is adhering to best practices for internal controls. Board members with financial experience are thus tremendously important. Our long-term campus plan calls for an additional renovation of the campus, so a Trustee with construction experience would be a key asset.

The composition of the Board is defined in the school’s Articles of Association. Changing the Articles of Association requires approval by the community. Members of the ISD community will be asked whether they agree or not with the motion to change the composition of the Board when they submit their ballot in the upcoming Trustee election.

When you vote for ISD Trustees, you will also be asked the following question.

"Should the ISD bylaws be changed to allow for the appointment of Honorary Board Members? Honorary Board Members would not need to be a current ISD Parent. Honorary Board Members would be appointed by the elected Trustees.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How would the Board identify potential Honorary Board Members (HBM)? Would the Honorary Board Member have to be a parent of an ISD student?

  • The Board Governance and Development Committee (G & D) would determine the Board of Trustees needed a specific skill or experience. The G & D Committee then identifies potential HBMs. The committee would contact potential HBMs to determine interest. The G & D Committee would recommend HBMs to the full Board for a vote.

  • Honorary Board Members would not have to be the parent or legal guardian of an ISD student.

  • Who would select the Honorary Board Members?

  • The Honorary Board Members would be selected by a vote of the other Trustees. The Board would review the background of the nominated HBM, meet with potential members, and then select the person they felt would best fit the needs of the Board at that time.

  • Would the Honorary Board Members have the same terms and rights as the elected Trustees?

  • Appointed Trustees would serve a two-year term, just like the elected Trustees. They would not have the same voting rights as elected Trustees.

  • What do other international schools do?

  • In a survey of international schools around the world, 11 percent of school boards have only elected members. Forty-two percent of the international schools have boards comprised of elected and appointed members. Forty-seven percent of international schools just have appointed members. We are proposing a hybrid model where the community would elect all the Trustees who could vote on Board motions and the Board could appoint up to two additional Honorary Board Members who would not be able to vote.

ISD parents are important stakeholders in the school. Parent participation is essential to have a high-quality school. I encourage you to be actively involved in your children’s education and look for ways to help contribute to the governance and important activities of the school. The more parents are involved, the better the school will be for our students.