School Board

Members of AISV School Board 2020-2021:

David Rodgers, Board President; Artūras Žygelis; Renata Gaidienė; Jonathan Becka; Daiva Schaefer; Gina Ray; Ryan Hawkins

AISV subscribes to the  Principles of the National Association of Independent Schools for good governance:

The following principles of good practice are set forth to provide a common perspective on the responsibilities of independent school boards. The board and the head work in partnership to fulfill these principles.

1. The board adopts a clear statement of the school’s mission, vision, and strategic goals and establishes policies and plans consistent with this statement.

 2. The board reviews and maintains appropriate bylaws that conform to legal requirements, including duties of loyalty, obedience, and care.

3. The board assures that the school and the board operate in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, minimizing exposure to legal action. The board creates a conflict of interest policy that is reviewed with and signed by, individual trustees annually.

4. The board accepts accountability for both the financial stability and the financial future of the institution, engaging in strategic financial planning, assuming primary responsibility for the preservation of capital assets and endowments, overseeing operating budgets, and participating actively in fundraising.

5. The board selects, supports, nurtures, evaluates and sets appropriate compensation for the head of school.

6. The board recognizes that its primary work and focus are long-range and strategic.

7. The board undertakes formal strategic planning on a periodic basis, sets annual goals related to the plan, and conducts annual written evaluations for the school, the head of school, and the board itself.

 8. The board keeps full and accurate records of its meetings, committees, and policies and communicates its decisions widely while keeping its deliberations confidential.

9. Board composition reflects the strategic expertise, resources, and perspectives (past, present, future) needed to achieve the mission and strategic objectives of the school.

 10. The board works to ensure all its members are actively involved in the work of the board and its committees.

11. As the leader of the school community, the board engages proactively with the head of the school in cultivating and maintaining good relations with school constituents as well as the broader community and exhibits best practices relevant to equity and justice.

12. The board is committed to a program of professional development that includes annual new trustee orientation, ongoing trustee education and evaluation, and board leadership succession planning.

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I am from Pasadena, California – a city just outside of Los Angeles. I am in the U.S. Navy, assigned to the Defense Attaché Office at the U.S. Embassy Vilnius. My family and I have had the pleasure of living in and experiencing Lithuania for three years. It is my pleasure to serve as the Chair of the AISV School Board. I joined the Board to be involved in the school community and participate in strategic planning for the school’s future to continue to grow and motivate, empower, and inspire our students to achieve great things.

David Rodgers, Board Chair, Member of the Leadership, Governance, Finance, and Building Committees
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I am from Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA.  I’ve been a language analyst in the US Air Force for the last 18 years, and work at the US Embassy in Vilnius as support staff for the Defense Attaché Office for the US Embassy in Minsk.  I am accompanied by my wife Alyson, and we have four children enrolled at AISV: Jackson in Grade 10, Nola in Grade 7, Lucy in Grade 4, and Clark in Grade 2!  We have lived in California, Texas, Alaska, and Maryland, but Vilnius is our first overseas post. Over the last three years, I have served on several school board committees, specifically supporting AISV policy and governance development. My primary motivation to serve on the School Board is to promote the best school’s mission, strategic goals, and policies to serve our current and future students.

Jonathan Becka, Member of Policy and Governance Comittee
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We are a family of Lithuanian diplomats, coming and going between New York, London, Sofia, Los Angeles, and Vilnius. My husband is a senior diplomat at MFA. Our children have attended three different schools, but we call AISV our home school since 2007. Vilnius is my hometown, and my younger son attends AISV.  I first served on the AISV School Board in 2014-2015 and was elected again upon our return. I have experience in community building and communication through my membership on the Leadership Council and active involvement in school-parent projects at Viewpoint, our previous school in Los Angeles. I believe that AISV has excellent potential to be a leader in education in Lithuania, and I am looking forward to helping this school grow. My focus is strengthening our community relations to ensure that we, as members of AISV, all feel connected and informed.

Renata Gaidienė, Member of Community Outreach Task Force and the Futures Committee
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I am from New York City. My wife and I arrived in Vilnius in August 2020, and we love living here.  I am a diplomat with the US Embassy and was appointed to the AISV School Board by the US Ambassador to ensure close coordination between the Embassy and our AISV partners and contribute to the School and the greater community.  

Ryan Hawkins, Member of the Building Committee
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I’m originally from the state of Pennsylvania. My family moved to Vilnius in August of 2019. My husband is a US Army member and currently works for the US Embassy here in Vilnius. I have a son and a daughter in Middle School, and my youngest child is in the Lower School. Before moving to Lithuania, I worked in the field of education. I enjoy volunteer work and have served in multiple capacities over the past ten years. After experiencing AISV as a parent, I felt compelled to run for a position on the Board in order to be more involved and give back to the school community. 

Gina Ray, Member of Futures and Community Outreach Committees
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I am Lithuanian/German and have been part of the AISV community since my family moved to Vilnius in 2018. My boys attend Lower and High School. Having lived for more than 15 years abroad (Norway, Brazil, Denmark, and Germany), I can relate to expatriate families and bring the knowledge of other private international schools. As my boys have attended seven different schools, I have come to understand the importance of a first-rate learning environment. My professional background is in sales, customer services, and business development, focusing on designing and implementing customer-centered organizational processes and sales strategies. I have stepped in as part of this team to help strategically plan changes at AISV for the lasting benefit of all families in our school community. 

Daiva Schaefer, Member of Governance and Finance Committees
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I was born and raised in Vilnius. My wife Jūratė, daughters Mantė and Gytė (both already graduated from AISV), son Ąžuolas and I enjoy being here, close to our families. I’ve lived here in my native city almost my entire life, though we spent 12 years outside of Lithuania living in Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine. We returned from Ukraine in mid-2015 and came straight to AISV. This is my fifth year and third term on the Board. I'm a member of the Finance and Building Committees. I want to use my knowledge and experience to help the school extend its facilities and maintain a healthy financial position.

Artūras Žygelis, Member of Finance and Building Committees