Dear Herzlia Family,
I hope that you are well as we near the end of the 2021 first term. Progress within the UHS, both in our children’s classrooms as well as from a management perspective, is very encouraging.
A semblance of normality and comfortable routine is beginning to form and most importantly our children are happy and secure on our campuses.
As part of the UHS board’s strategic changes and realignment, it is important to reiterate what the board’s roles and responsibilities are in UHS governance:
- Set and steer the strategic direction
- Approve policy and planning that gives effect to the strategy
- Oversee and monitor implementation and execution by management
- Ensure accountability for organisational performance
Governance itself is a balance of strategic, fiduciary and generative responsibilities. The board appoints the UHS professionals to carry out the operations of the school – it is the board’s responsibility to ensure that the school’s mission is being fulfilled.
Collectively, we remain in awe of the manner in which our professional staff all stepped up during the most challenging year of 2020, and have now thrown themselves back into their roles with such passion and dedication.
Further testimony to their commitment and investment in our children from chai to chai – 18 months to 18 years – is the phenomenal results achieved by every one of the 2020 matric pupils. First, in the country measured on the basis of distinctions achieved is an outstanding accomplishment that deserves celebration. Kol hakavod to them, their parents and guardians, and to all their teachers, principals and support staff over their Herzlia journeys, and especially last year. We are incredibly proud of you all and grateful for your tremendous commitment.
In May, we will be hosting the 81st UHS AGM. I encourage all UHS members to consider standing for election at this AGM. The UHS needs you!
I understand this can be daunting, each member of our board has experienced this. If you’d like to consider standing but are unsure of what is required and how to go about it, please let me know and I can talk you through it.
I was recently fortunate enough to listen to Uri Levine, co-founder of Waze, talking at a virtual event. “If you’re afraid to fail, you’ve already failed,” says Levine. “We keep on trying different things until we find something that works. When building a startup, ask yourself: What is the problem?”
I like to think that at the UHS, we are constantly striving to improve in all spheres of our organisation to deliver the best possible service to our community.
In order to succeed at this and do it properly, you can expect regular and frequent surveys, allowing us to engage with all our stakeholders, but specifically you, our Herzlia parents, to hear where we are making a difference and understand and apply focus to those areas where more work is required. The more input you provide, the more we understand your concerns and the better we can be at addressing these. Please participate as often as you are able to.
I am pleased to announce the very new appointment of Gia Whitehead as our first independent governor, a newly formed role contained in the UHS constitution. Gia has extensive experience in education, other boards, governance and fundraising. I am confident she will add significant positive value to the UHS and we will mutually benefit from our association.
I would like to report that the strategy our Executive Director, Andries van Renssen, presented towards the end of 2020 is firmly in place. You will have noticed different energy at school as things begin to shift and we focus on our areas of change/challenge. This ongoing and exciting change is receiving the attention of donors which is extremely encouraging and we hope to continue meeting our stakeholder expectations.
Finally, I would like to publicly commend our executive, leadership teams and all the UHS staff and wish you all a good and deserved holiday.
Remain close and connected to those you love and who are important to you – protect them and yourselves – remain socially distanced, keep sanitizing, wear a mask, and stay healthy.
Wishing you all a Chag Pesach Kasher V’Sameach.
Chairman – UHS Board of Governors