The information below outlines the key aspects of Washington International School's governance.
What is the WIS Board of Trustees?
The Board is the School’s governing body. WIS was founded in 1966 as a not-for-profit corporation, with no shareholders or owners. The founders established an initial Board and specified that the Board would elect new trustees, and thus be self-perpetuating. This is the governance model for most US independent schools. More information on the structure, role, and composition of the Board can be found HERE. Each year members of the Board are asked to complete a questionnaire certifying their financial independence from the school; that document can be found HERE. The Board bylaws are available HERE.
Who are the trustees and how are they selected?
Trustees are unpaid volunteers from varying professional, cultural, and geographic backgrounds. They believe in and support the WIS mission. They represent no constituency. In some cases, individual trustees devote hundreds of hours a year to the School. The majority are current WIS parents, but trustees also include WIS alumni, parents of alumni, and friends of the School. The selection process is outlined HERE, and bios of current trustees are found on this page.
What does the Board do?
The Board’s responsibility is to ensure the long-term success of WIS as an institution. Its primary activities include monitoring the School’s financial management, fundraising, strategic planning, setting high-level policies (found HERE), ensuring the School has adequate physical resources, and the hiring, support, and evaluation of the head of school. The Board relies on the head and the administration — as education professionals — for guidance on many of these issues. Committees and task forces carry out much of the Board's work, and several of those committees and task forces benefit from the participation of School administrators and non-trustee parents. The committee charters are available HERE and more information about the functions of the committees is available HERE.
What does the head of school do?
The head of school is the chief executive officer of WIS as well as the voice of the School and the liaison between the School and community. The head oversees the academic program and manages the School, with responsibility for operational matters including faculty and staff hiring/termination, vendor selection, student admissions, student discipline, space utilization/allocation, scheduling, and snow days. The Board entrusts operational matters to the head, and the Board does not hear appeals by members of the community. The head is a non-voting, ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.
- LEANNA BEABER: 2019–2025 (Vice Chair)
- DAVID BRIGSTOCKE: 2022–2025
- NAMANDJÉ BUMPUS: 2023–2026
- MELISSA BURNETT: 2018–2024 (Chair)
- LEAH CHANG: 2023–2026
- PIERRE CHAO: 2018–2024
- RACHEL FIRSCHEIN: 2021–2024
- WESLEY FLAMER-BINION: 2021–2024
- LORENZO GIORGIANNI: 2023–2026
- CRISTINA GOMEZ: 2023–2026
- SOPHIE HAWKINS: 2020–2026
- RENATA HESSE: 2019–2025
- NICHOLAS HILL: 2023–2026
- JAMES IKER: 2018–2024
- ROHIT KUMAR: 2021–2024
- EDGAR NEHME: 2019–2025
- NANDINI OOMMAN: 2019–2025
- MYRA RIGGS: 2020–2026
- MIGUEL SAVASTANO: 2019–2025
- CARLO SDRALEVICH: 2023–2026
- EX OFFICIO PARTICIPANTS
The School admits qualified students without regard to race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, mental or physical disability, age, or any other status protected by applicable law, including the DC Human Rights Act, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School likewise complies with all applicable laws in the selection of its Board of Trustees and in the administration of its educational, admissions, scholarship and loan, athletic, and other School-administered policies and programs.