Christopher W. MacCormac, a patron of ISM, wrote us and asked us to post his message below.
5 September 2006
Subject: Situation at International School Manila (ISM)-Comments/Perspectives of Christopher W. MacCormac, Patron, ISM
1. Institutional versus Individual Interests of Patrons
I believe that parents with children at ISM have interests that primarily reflect their individual circumstances in relation to their children's own educational needs as well as plans for their education after ISM. In that context, while many parents who are employees of the same organization may share common interests and have common perspectives on some issues, their organization should not be seen or portrayed as a homogeneous "block" or institutional shareholder of ISM. Moreover, no patron of ISM should employ or use their or their spouse's organization's name to advance their individual interests and views.
2. Support for the Current ISM Administration
I would like to express support for the current administration of ISM and all its teaching staff. It is essential that the current administration and staff do not feel threatened by the Board of Trustees and that they remain in place at school providing high quality educational services to our children.
3. Resignation and Reelection of ISM Board of Trustees
Without comment or prejudice against any individual member of the Board, I feel it is in the best interest of the school and the wider ISM community that all remaining members of the Board of Trustees immediately submit their resignation. The Board is neither whole or united, and demonstrably not effective on the crucial issues at hand. Simply electing two new members is not a solution. A fresh election of a full Board of Trustees would provide an opportunity for full consideration of a slate of candidates that all ISM patrons feel reflect the best interests of the school. This proposal is without prejudice to any current member standing for reelection to the Board.
4. An End to Proxy Voting
Not withstanding the existing bylaws of ISM, a decision should be taken by patrons that proxy voting be ended. It is a practice that is vulnerable to misuse and abuse, and it undermines active and sustained participation by patrons in ISM. However, recognizing that a significant number of patrons may not be able to be present at the time of voting, patrons should be allowed to mail in their votes. Such votes should be placed in "escrow" or held by an independent third party, e.g. reputable accounting firm, and made available only at the time of election.
5. Final Comment
I believe the above proposals would ensure continuing operation of ISM with the current administration and teachers, provide a path and principled process for establishing a new Board of Trustees, and enable reestablishment of a sound and effective relationship between the Board and the administration that has the endorsement and support of all ISM patrons.