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ISBerne AG Board of Directors

A unique combination of members on the ISBerne AG Governing Board gives perspective and balance to the business decisions involved in operating a thriving school. Four of the board members are representatives of our parent company, Pansophic Learning UK, and three are elected from the ISBerne parent community.

Maria Szalay
Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer, Pansophic Learning UK

Maria Szalay serves as the ISBerne AG Chairman of the Board and brings more than 20 years of strategy, operations, and development capability to ISBerne. Currently, she is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Pansophic Learning UK. Previously part of K12 where she was instrumental in growing the company from a pre-revenue startup to a $900 million public company. In this time, Ms Szalay served in a variety of roles including product management, product development, operations, strategy, and corporate development.

Before joining K12, she was practice director at Operon Partners, an e-business consulting firm where she led consulting teams assisting clients with business strategy, product management, and business transformation consulting services. She worked directly in client organisations developing business plans to obtain funding and assisted with the implementation of online initiatives, with specialized expertise in integrating these solutions with their bricks-and-mortar business.

Ron Packard, CEO and Founder of Pansophic Learning UK

Ron Packard is CEO and founder of Pansophic Learning, the global technology-based education company that owns ISBerne, Ron Packard is highly regarded in his field. He is well known as an educator, entrepreneur, and visionary and is the author of ‘Education Transformation’ – a book that demonstrates why technology is critical to the future of education.

Mr Packard was the long-time CEO and founder of K12 Inc and in that role oversaw the growth of K12 from an idea to a billion-dollar business. It is now one of the world’s leading education companies. Before K12, Mr Packard was vice-president of Knowledge Universe and CEO of Knowledge Schools, one of the USA’s largest early-childhood education companies.

He was instrumental in the successful investments in Learn Now, Children’s School USA, Leapfrog, TEC, and Children’s Discovery Center. He has also received the Education Industry Association’s James P. Boyle Entrepreneurial Leadership Award.

Martha Burnige
Executive Vice President, Pansophic Learning UK

Martha Burnige is a senior education executive with more than 10 years’ experience of working with schools and education institutions. After seven years as a lawyer in London with two leading education law firms, Stone King and Veale Wasbrough Vizards, she became the in-house lawyer for Prospects Services, a large UK education and training group with a turnover of more than £80m.

In 2013 she was recruited by a former client, Mosaica Education, an international education company operating charter schools in the US and private schools overseas, where she worked on international business development focused on the Middle East. In July 2015 Mosaica was taken over by Pansophic Learning. As Executive Vice President, Martha Burnige is responsible for all UK operations and is a trustee and a member of the executive team of Aurora Academies Trust, a group of five UK schools sponsored by Pansophic Learning.

As well as being a governing board member of ISBerne, she is also a board member of iCademy Middle East.

Steve Goetzinger, Senior Vice President, Finance & Accounting, Pansophic Learning UK

Steve Goetzinger has a broad experience in all aspects of accounting and financial management. Steve is a hands-on manager with expertise in small to mid-size high-growth companies. He has vast experience in education, software technology, service and manufacturing industries.

Steve’s specialities are Financial and SEC reporting, GAAP accounting, IPO, mergers and acquisitions, financial analysis, technical research, accounting software implementation, taxation, risk management and equity administration.

Sonmi Park, ISBerne PSA Board Member

Sonmi Park is a medical doctor and works in the pharmaceutical industry in drug development and medical information. She recently joined a small company which is currently setting up teams in Switzerland and in other European countries.

“I have learnt that this community appreciates every minute and every hand we offer and that each contribution adds up to a great idea, project, or event, which is the foundation of this community and ensures the long-term success of the school and our children. I am honoured to represent this great ISBerne community as a PSA Board Member ”

Jackie Wilkinson, ISBerne PSA Board Member

Jackie Wilkinson is a citizen of the UK and Switzerland. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Birmingham University in England before becoming a Chartered Accountant. In 2014, the Wilkinson family joined ISBerne. Her daughters Ellie and Izzie are now both ISBerne graduates, and her youngest child Josh attends our High School. Before joining the PSA Board, Jackie has been an active member of our Parent-Teacher Committee.

“I feel that a major part of a school’s success lies in good, honest, and respectful communication between all the invested parties, the school management team, staff, and parents. The PSA Board is the vehicle that allows this and enables us, the parents, to make a contribution towards creating not just in the short term but also in the long term a successful and happy school. “

Svanhvit Jona Reith, ISBerne PSA Board Member

Svanhvit Jona Reith originates from Iceland and earned her Law degree in Germany. She served as a Senior Legal Advisor in Customs and Trade for many years. In Fall 2020, her family joined ISBerne, and her sons Matthias and Adrian currently attend our High School.

“I am very impressed with the setup and familiar environment within the ISBerne community and in particular with how well the pandemic situation has been managed. It ́s a privilege to be a part of such a committed community with motivated students, hard-working and inspiring school staff, and caring parents. “

The teachers have quite a challenging task to balance so many different learning needs on a daily basis, and they seem to do it with ease.

I love our new cafeteria! There is always a variety of delicious food and the staff are incredibly friendly!

ISBerne encourages children to think and challenge and not just accept.

The teachers at ISBerne are amazing. My children have been very lucky to have experienced so many teachers over the last four years.

The school gives a warm welcome to international children, focusing on social development and open-minded education.

I love the community feel at ISBerne.

My son loves learning about the countries and cultures of his classmates; this is priceless.

Having joined less than a year ago, my child is happy to go to school every day and is making great progress academically, showing greater confidence and skills development.

ISBerne is perfect; everything works well!

Our child enjoys ISBerne very much and feels comfortable at the school.

We appreciate ISBerne’s location in a safe and centrally located country that ensures diverse learning and sporting opportunities.

My daughter loves school, and I have not once heard her complain about school and the environment. She has NEVER encountered bullying or disruptive behavior in class.

The people who work in the cafeteria are amazing. They make the cafeteria such a welcoming environment. Always a smile on their faces.

The teachers are very easily reached at break times and via email to provide feedback on assignments. They have been an incredible support system!

We are very pleased with the teachers in our son’s Diploma Program. The teachers are very committed to improving our son’s academic progress.

My child is really enjoying the school. I think the Middle Years’ Program brings students out of the “child stage” and into the “teenager stage” quite well.

My kids love going to school – That’s what matters!

The International Baccalaureate teachers give above and beyond the level of excellent support for IB students with help during breaks and may extra hours to seek support and help. My child’s teachers have worked hard to help my child succeed.

ISBerne is truly international and yet homey.

My children truly enjoy learning about their classmates’ cultures and experiences. I hope they continue to be open-minded and tolerant when we return to the US.

The ‘After School Activities’ have been outstanding this year – thank you, we really appreciate it.

The true multi-cultural community of ISBerne is a huge strength of the school. Students learn to debate each other and learn new points of view respectfully. A globally-minded child is very valuable.

The teachers are passionate about their subjects and really focus on the children’s individual learning.

We appreciate ISBerne’s unique qualities – such as its small size, the interaction between classes and year groups, the attention to a holistic inquisitive approach to learning.

It is the teachers at ISBerne that make the school. They are fantastic.

My child loves the cafeteria food and he has already tried so many new flavours.

From the bottom of my heart; thank you. Our stay in Switzerland has been fantastic thanks to ISBerne!

ISBerne is vibrant, multi-cultural and open.

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