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A Vote of No Confidence, Expression of Support for Our Directors and Request for Process and Transparency

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To: Jorge Saa, President and Members of the Board of Directors

International School of Panama

From: The Collective Teachers of the International School of Panama

Date: May 25, 2018

Re: A Vote of No Confidence, Expression of Support for Our Directors and Request for Process and Transparency

Mr. Saa and the Board of Directors:

As teachers in the elementary, middle, and high school of the International School of Panama, we would like to provide our collective voice of support for our Directors and declare no confidence in the Board of Director’s decision not to extend Viki Stiebert’s contract beyond the 2018-2019 school year.

The Board of Directors, in our collective opinion, should be held accountable to all stakeholders for transparency and process for such defining decisions. Choosing not to renew the contract of an important guiding leader for our school should never be done arbitrarily and without appropriate process and evaluation. This situation sets a dangerous precedent for the school and says much to the ISP community about the school board’s hiring practices of professionals as teachers and administrators. This decision also damages the morale of our division directors, and creates an environment of fear among ISP’s administrators and teachers as to whether or not our jobs are secure. Particularly for international hires, a decision undertaken in this manner can have reverberating effects into international hiring fairs and our reputation within the international education community at large.

Considering the school’s recent achievement of having the lowest turnover rate among teachers, the school stands much to lose from a chaotic transition in leadership. We request a formal evaluation process that takes into consideration the collective opinion of our directors who have worked most closely with Viki Stiebert at all levels of the school. We ask for transparency that communicates evidence that warrants such drastic action. As teachers, we have been witnesses to Ms. Stiebert’s professionalism and integrity, having seen her present and working in all divisions of the school. One year of work is certainly not enough time to evaluate her effectiveness as an administrator, and the school board’s decision disregards her extensive effort to see us through a trying year of preparation for accreditation. As teachers, we have tirelessly worked on school-wide initiatives under her leadership. These initiatives almost certainly will lose momentum if Viki Stiebert were to leave our school.

Considering that we as teachers were invited into the initial hiring process of Viki Stiebert, we would also like our collective opinion as teachers to be taken regarding her contract status, by way of survey information and other data. In addition, we ask that the Board of Directors meet with our division directors to resolve this important issue as soon as possible, securing our school and bringing our board’s decisions in line with the collective opinions of all stakeholders in a transparent fashion. We ask that parents be allowed to weigh into this decision as well and to share their experiences working with Viki Stiebert as part of our overall ISP Community. At the very least, we as teachers request that this decision be postponed and subjected to a re-vote after due process and stakeholder data collection has been achieved.

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