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MEET OUR

BOARD MEMBERS

MESSAGE FROM INTERIM BOARD CHAIR, MS. AISHATH LU-U-LUA HASSAN

Welcome to the Overseas School of Colombo's School Board's page.  Here you will find out more about our not-for-profit school board governance, including our foundational documents, the role of our Board of Directors and the backgrounds of each board member who works voluntarily on behalf of OSC.  

As Board Members we are very proud of our students, teachers and staff.  We work hard to ensure that our decisions and actions are sustainable and strategic in support of our school for today and in the future. Our students and parents come from 40 + different nationalities and backgrounds and are truly committed to unity in diversity.    

In 2022-2023 OSC will celebrate 65 years of teaching and learning.  We look forward to you joining us in celebration of this remarkable milestone.

OSC is registered as a guarantee company and operates as a nonprofit independent school based on the OSC Mission and Vision. Any revenues that exceed expenses are reinvested to improve the quality of education for OSC students.

Parents of every current full fee-paying student are members of the company and are invited to attend and vote at an annual general meeting each year.

OSC is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors elected from among the full fee-paying parents. The Head of School is a non-voting member of the Board.

 

 

The Board’s main responsibilities are to:

  • Hire, support, and evaluate the Head of School, who serves as the chief executive officer of OSC
  • Provide long-term strategic direction for OSC as an internationally accredited school
  • Ensure long-term sustainability of OSC finances and facilities

The board’s role is not to run day-to-day school operations, mediate parent-teacher conflicts, address student behavior issues, decide on cafeteria menus, or create educational curricula. If you approach a board member with these types of concerns, we will generally refer you to our school’s professional faculty or administrators. The board’s focus is on long-term strategic goals.’

Current School Board Members

Ms. Aishath Lu-u-lua Hassan (Interim Board Chair)

Aisha is a Maldivian citizen and parent of two children at OSC currently working as an independent director on the Board of Maldives Pension Administration Office. A co-founder of Avahteri Gallery, a social business promoting art & culture, Aishath previously served a 5-year term on the Board of Maldives Inland Revenue Authority, was a Manager at CARE Ratings Maldives Branch, and has also worked for the Maldives Stock Exchange and Security Depository. Aisha holds a BA (Hons) in Business Management from the University of Westminster, UK. Aishath brings to the board a strong understanding of the work of the board and its committees, gained from previous experiences in governing nonprofit-independent institutions, formulating strategic policies, appointing and evaluating top international expertise, appraising organizational resources and adhering to ethical and legal requirements. She looks to support the board’s work in ensuring that OSC delivers excellence in education for students from a diverse set of countries and backgrounds.

Ms. Aminath Zahir

Aminath is a Maldivian citizen and the parent of a child at OSC who is actively involved in the School Community Network, working as Treasurer since 2017. Aminath has worked in a family-owned businesses in Maldives and Sri Lanka and in the Maldives Monetary Authority with responsibilities in the areas of Bank Supervision and Public Debt. Aminath holds a Bachelor Degree in Business from Monash University, Australia and a Master of Commerce Degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Aminath brings to the board a financial background and international experience helping her understand the OSC’s focus on unity in diversity. She looks to support the board in prioritizing the needs and interests of our student environment to ensure that OSC functions effectively and efficiently in achieving our shared vision.

Mr. Peter Coolen

Peter hails from Canada. He works with the Canadian High Commission in Colombo in a
management capacity. He arrived in Sri Lanka in 2020. Peter is married and he and his wife have
three children, two of which attend OSC. Peter has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a master’s
degree in adult education & human resource management. He has worked in many different
countries and has spent 19 out of the last 22 years working in Asia. He has a keen interest in
education and embraces the lifelong learner idea. Peter hopes his experience in education,
management and multicultural environments will help the OSC board achieve its vision.

Dr. Ari Nathan

Ari is an American citizen and parent of two children at OSC currently working at the U.S. Embassy.  Prior to joining the State Department, he worked for the United Nations in a regional seas program, and as legal counsel for the pacific island nation of Palau.  Ari has a law degree and a PhD in international relations.  Ari brings to the board almost four years on the school board at the Lincoln School in Kathmandu — during which time the school completely upgraded its infrastructure, significantly modernized its governance policies, and choose a new head of school.  He appreciates that serving on a school board is a great privilege that allows one to support the children of the OSC community in reaching their full potential.  Moving forward, he looks to work to ensure that: OSC continues to provide an outstanding international education, that OSC’s physical infrastructure is upgraded, and that OSC’s governance structure and practice is fully aligned with parents’ needs and concerns.

Ms. Heidi Hattenbach

An American citizen, Heidi Hattenbach leads the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka.  She joined the Board in 2022 after arriving in Sri Lanka in late 2021. Heidi is married and has three children, two currently at OSC and one at university after attending four different international schools. An experienced advocate for international education, Heidi is committed to supporting OSC toward continued success as a diverse and inclusive community that encourages young learners to embrace curiosity and excellence. Heidi also serves as the Chairperson of the U.S.-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission, a binational commission which works to promote understanding between the U.S. and Sri Lanka through mutual educational and professional exchanges.

Mr. Romesh de Silva

Romesh de Silva is a British Sri Lankan dual citizen and is a parent of two boys. He has one child in OSC MYP and an older child who is currently studying at the University of California, Berkeley. Romesh is engaged as a Business Development Advisor to a US Silicon Valley IT company called Array Networks Inc and a Singaporean cybersecurity software company called CySecurity Pte. He is a Board Director of a leading value-added IT distributor in Sri Lanka called Connex IT. In addition to these three advisory roles, he also runs his own sourcing and exporting company called Global Trading Point Pvt Ltd. He obtained a First-Class Joint Honours Degree in Maths & Computer Science from Kings College London and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. He has worked with Coopers & Lybrand London and Sri Lanka offices. Romesh specialises in import export and in developing IT business in South East Asian region. Romesh captained the Kings College First XI cricket team and his school chess team, enjoys playing tennis and table tennis and is a hands-on parent to his boys and a dog named Bruno.

Dr. Ana Perez Zaldivar

Ana is a Spanish citizen and parent of two children, the oldest attending OSC. She moved with her family to Colombo in August 2021. Ana works as an independent public health consultant for international organizations and academia. She has a bachelor’s and post-graduate degree in business administration from Oviedo University and the Copenhagen Business School; two master’s degrees in development and cooperation agents from the Basque Country University, and in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and a doctorate degree in public health from the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico. Ana has written three children’s books addressing discrimination, nutritional habits and gender equality published in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Ana brings to the Board management, analytical and problem-solving skills after having worked internationally in management and technical positions in the private sector and international and civil society organizations for the past 20 years. She looks forward to supporting the school governance and school community and social commitment to ensuring that OSC meets its mission and vision.

Dr. Michelle Kleiss (Head of School)

A Dutch/Canadian national, Dr. Michelle Kleiss has built an international school career for the past 27 years. She started her Headship at OSC in July 2019, after 10 years as Head of School in Cyprus – another CIS/MSA and IB authorised school. Prior to Cyprus, she was a Head of School in Saudi Arabia, and an Early Childhood Principal as well as Middle School Principal in Cairo – Egypt. She has worked as a classroom teacher in Munich – Germany, in São Paulo – Brazil, and in the Dominican Republic. She has an Undergraduate Degree in Education from The American University in Washington D.C. – USA, a Master’s Degree in Education in School Administration and Instructional Supervision from Bowie State University, Maryland – USA, and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania – USA.