On behalf of the Hangzhou International School’s (HIS) community, Search Associates (SEARCH) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Cynthia Wissman as Upper School Principal, beginning in July 2024. This significant appointment was the result of an extensive global search. In his communication to the community, Superintendent Mr. Jeffry Stubbs remarked:
We are thrilled that the concerted search process has resulted in the successful appointment of Cynthia Wissman. I particularly want to thank all our students, parents, faculty, national staff, and leadership that participated in the panel meetings with our Search Associates consultants and candidates. As HIS continues to grow and face different opportunities and challenges, we felt we needed to give this process our utmost commitment with maximum input and feedback. Both Dr. Ayers and I feel this process was particularly successful in galvanizing support for our school to move forward with specific targets and next steps for our school.
Spanning more than 25 years, Cynthia’s impressive career as an educator and school leader has involved a range of teaching, counseling, and leadership roles, both in the United States and internationally. The wealth of knowledge she brings to her new position includes extensive experience with the International Baccalaureate program and a track record of developing programs that support students in achieving both personal and academic success. Current Head of Secondary at the International School of Ulaanbaatar, in Mongolia, Cynthia shares how she stays centered during challenging times:
I have a theme song that I sing in my head, “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)”, by Simon and Garfunkel. It opens with, “Slow down, you move too fast/You have to make the morning last/ Just kicking down the cobblestones/ Looking for fun and feeling groovy.” It's a good reminder to slow down, pause, take everything in, and it will be okay.
Cynthia graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She furthered her education by obtaining a Specialist Degree in Education in School Psychology and a Master of Arts Degree in School Counseling, both from Seattle University in Washington. Additionally, she earned a Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. Most recently, in 2021, Cynthia completed the Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness Graduate Certificate Program at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, U.S.
In her free time, Cynthia loves to cook and entertain, “so, it's a good thing I like to work out,” she quips. This runner, cyclist, and yogi looks forward to taking advantage of “plenty of opportunities to hike” in Hangzhou.
Cynthia will be accompanied to Hangzhou by her husband, Josh Davis, also an accomplished educator, who will join the school as a Visual Arts and Design teacher. Cynthia adds,
Josh and I couldn't be more thrilled to be HIS Dragons! Many things excite us about HIS, truly a hub for the community, with many opportunities beyond the school day for students, teachers, and parents. It is an example of what schools should be. There is something for everyone, which makes it an inclusive school where all learners can grow… Josh and I are looking forward to carrying on the traditions and new beginnings of such a vibrant school.
Hangzhou International School and Search Associates wish to thank each of the candidates who expressed interest in this important position, and everyone who contributed to the success of the extensive search process.