Board of Trustees

From its beginnings in 1953 as a parent-driven project to educate the children of American diplomats, to the large, diverse and accredited K-12 IB institution we know today, ASW is the center of a vibrant community of expats and locals from our wonderful host country.

ASW’s Board of Trustees is comprised of parents who work to honor the School’s more than 65-year legacy, strengthen the academic excellence for which it is known, and set the strategic vision and direction for its future success. To accomplish this, the Board works in partnership with the Director and his team, guiding their efforts through policy formulation and adherence, as well as long-term strategic planning.The ASW Board of Trustees is the governing body of the school, responsible for:

  • Defining policies and standards

  • Shaping strategy and facilitating long-term planning

  • Sound financial management

  • Hiring and supporting the Director

The Board of Trustees is composed of twelve (12) members: two (2) appointed by the US Ambassador; five (5) members selected and appointed by the existing Board; and, four (4) members of the school community elected by ASW parents. Each elected member serves for a 2-year term, while the term of office for appointed members is no more than three (3) years. The ASW Director is an ex-officio member of the Board.

Board meetings are open to the ASW school community.

If you are interested in serving on the Board of Trustees, please click here to apply.

Board Members

Gregory Liddle
My family and I arrived in Warsaw in 2018 to work at the U.S. Embassy.  My three daughters, Michaela (2020), Deirdre (2021) and Tamryn (2024), all attend ASW.  I know my family will always have a strong bond to ASW as the school from which two of my daughters graduated.
 
During a visit to ASW before moving to Poland, I immediately noticed that staff and students knew each other personally and were involved in many visible projects and performances.  I consider it a great privilege to chair the ASW Board, and my aim is to further build ASW's holistic academic and communal reputation, ensuring ASW’s long-term sustainability.
 
I have degrees in Mechanical Engineering (IIT) and Liberal Arts (Wheaton).  I’ve spent my career as a business consultant (Accenture) and IT manager. I joined the State Department in 2004, and have now worked in 7 countries and with 2 school boards.  My board and policy experience includes strategic planning, governance, facility expansion projects, and policy development and review.
 
I’ve been a global nomad since I was young, attending international schools in the UAE, Jordan, and Pakistan.  My wife, Dacia, was raised trilingually in Aruba and the U.S. We both greatly appreciate the world perspective we inherited, and I'm excited that my children are also making friends across languages, cultures, and continents.  With more than 50 nationalities represented at ASW, I’m keen to bring my personal experience working with third culture kids (TCKs) to the community.
Artur Banaszak

I was born in Warsaw where I live with my family, my wife Andreja and our daughter Laura who is an 8th grade student. I am a Medical Doctor, an alumnus of the Medical University of Warsaw. I am also an IEDC Bled School of Management MBA graduate with honors.

I have been working in the pharmaceutical industry all of my professional life, holding executive positions related to general management, marketing and sales, strategy and business development, as well as change management. I worked in Poland, Croatia and Romania, in leading regional and global generic pharmaceutical corporations: Polpharma, PLIVA and TEVA.

I am goal-, results- and team-oriented and feel comfortable with challenges. My family joined the ASW community in 2015.

My family feels closely connected to ASW. It is a place we deeply care about and have a long-term commitment to, and so it is a great privilege and responsibility for me to serve on the Board of Trustees.

Using my knowledge, skills and experience, I am doing my best to promote the role of ASW as an inspiring, enabling and empowering environment for our children, building both strategic and operational stability and continuity of our School, so that every student loves learning at ASW.

Christopher F. Biedermann, MBA, CPA

I am originally from New Jersey in the US, however, I have spent the last 23 years in Europe, primarily in Poland. I currently live here with my wife, Katarzyna, and two children, Patrick (13) and Anna (8), both of whom attend ASW.

In 1994, I came to Wroclaw, Poland with the USAID program “MBA Enterprise Corps” which was developed to help startup companies in emerging markets by matching them with recent MBA graduates.

Following my one year assignment, I determined that I enjoyed it here in Poland and decided to stay a few more years. As a result I continued my professional experience in Poland as the audit manager for Ernst and Young office Wroclaw. After this, I spent some time working with larger US corporations, namely Coca-Cola and GE, in various finance roles. Following this, I spent a number of years with a Polish based NASDAQ listed spirits company CEDC, as CFO for the group. I am at present a Management Board Member and the CFO for PKP Energetyka, which is currently owned by CVC Capital Partners.

Prior to coming to Poland in 1994, I completed a BS in Accounting at Lehigh University and received an MBA from the University of Texas-Austin. In addition, I spent my early career in the US as an auditor with KPMG. I believe that over this period I have been exposed to a broad range business and financial experiences which I hope to be able utilize to support the ASW Board and the broader ASW community.

Sheri Brienza-Wypyski

I grew up in Long Island and the Adirondacks (New York) but always dreamed of living abroad. I am truly living my dream. Poland is the 5 th country I have lived in, and the 4 th for our children. We arrived here in 2017, and with a child in HS, MS and ES and the kids starting their 3 rd school in three years, it could have been a rough year. But ASW provided a wonderful landing for them, and I found a genuine sense of community here. I am honored and humbled to serve on the ASW Board.

I have a B.S. (Marketing), and early in my career I worked in several sales positions. I then obtained my M.B.A. and C.P.A. and worked my way up to audit manager at one of the Big 4 accounting firms. I worked with many clients in many industries in N.Y. and Germany. After marrying Thomas, a naval officer, I found myself moving between the east and west coasts in the U.S. and also moving abroad again. With so many moves, I find that I am pretty good at reinventing myself. I have taught college courses, I have had many independent contractor gigs, and I have volunteered in many capacities. I will soon start working at the U.S. Embassy in the Economic section here in Warsaw.

Meeting moms and dads from all over the world, it is clear that no matter where we are from, we all worry about our children’s education and their future. Getting to know the ASW educators, admin, and parents over the past year has given me great hope for the future and for our children, as I see the core values of the school being used every day and in so many ways; instilling the value of learning within the whole community while embracing our differences. In addition to working with the Board, I hope to help continue to build great ASW spirit. Go Warriors!

My association with ASW started in 2011 when our oldest son, Nicholas, commenced his high school studies. Currently, our second son, Oliver will be an eighth grader in the upcoming academic year. I was born in Poland and moved to the United States being eleven years old. Our kids are the fifth generation of this back and forth immigration movement between Poland and USA which started way back in the 1890’s. With the collapse of communism in Poland, I left Los Angeles in 1990 where I was working for Chase Manhattan Bank to join Central Europe Trust, a new financial advisory firm being formed in Warsaw. Participating in the economic transformation of Poland and other central-east European countries has been one of my most rewarding experiences.

When time allows, I enjoy meeting with US college students whose academic program entails visiting this region to learn more about various aspects of the on-going Polish transformation process. In my spare time, I enjoy speaking with World War II veterans and have accumulated quite an extensive collection of interviews from which I hope to make a documentary film when retired. This interest stems from my summer internship jobs I had in the 1980’s with Radio Free Europe in Munich, Germany. There I met some incredible individuals who survived WWII, such as the legendary “Courier From Warsaw” Jan Nowak Jezioranski. Living in Warsaw allows me to continue meeting more incredible individuals, some of whom I was able to introduce to the ASW community during “Living History Day”.

I have been a proud member of ASW community since 2013 and two of my kids are currently enrolled in grades 8 and 6. I deeply enjoy the spirit and positive vibe of the school and I have been involved in school life in different positions, most recently as the Warrior Wearhouse Manager.  

I was born and brought up in Warsaw but I have always enjoyed the international spirit. I graduated from the University of Warsaw with a master's degree in Computer Science. I also studied Japanese Philology, which led me to spend two years in Japan. I was a Fulbright scholar and received my MBA from Thunderbird School in Arizona. 

I worked for international companies like IBM, Oracle and the Boston Consulting Group. Currently I run my own real estate business.

I deeply believe in volunteering and engaging in the community. I have always been very active as a volunteer and I would like to pass that passion to my children. For me, it is a great way to change things for better and make new friends. 

As a mother of four kids, I have always been interested in education, in exploring what are the necessary skills and knowledge that transform young learners into successful and happy adults. I am a strong advocate of teaching science to kids and I would like to promote science as an important field of study. 
 

Massimo Merighi

I was born in Bologna, Italy and that is where I spent most of my youth until the moment I decided to explore the world. I have been living in Warsaw since 2007. Prior to this, I had the opportunity to live and experience different places such as the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Sichuan in China and Zurich in Switzerland. All these experiences I shared with my family: my wife Elena and three kids Carolina, Giacomo and Guglielmo. Due to these travelling experiences, we understand what it means to move often, to adapt, express and behave in a multicultural environment and, more importantly, have international friends.

I am an engineer with an MBA plus a master in regional development. Here in Warsaw, I work for the European Investment Bank in the energy field and I am also a contract professor for the European Institute of Public Administration in Barcelona.

My involvement in ASW comes from the fact that the school is shaping our kids’ future and that of a global future generation. Plato said it is “the direction in which education starts a man that will determine his future in life”. Therefore, it seems natural to me to support the school and try to contribute my experience gained during these last nine years as a father of three different-level students.

Lastly, some insights about myself; I love classical music and opera. It is very relaxing and since I was a child, I have always been fascinated with the history behind a piece of music or an opera song. We have to realize that in music, just as in life, what we see is only the tip of the iceberg.

Elin Witschas Thomassen

I was born and raised in Denmark. My husband Peter and our daughter Nikoline (Grade 9) have been part of the ASW community since August 2016, and we really like the spirit of the school.

In my experience at ASW, I have observed that it is a place distinguished by an atmosphere of enjoyment, enthusiasm and great care for our kids. I also see a school with a great willingness to innovate. I would like to strengthen and further develop this dynamic, and help expand the community’s knowledge through cultural and social interactions. Throughout my career, I have been working with culture as a way to facilitate meeting and learning about others and generally enriching our lives. I have experience within the NGO field, such as Roskilde Festival, Homeless World Cup - Save the Children, and Danish Food Culture at the Food and Environment Ministry, including economics, culture and campaign management, strategy, development and fundraising as well as management of volunteerism.

I am looking forward to a new term and to being of service and help to ensure the creation of a good and rich school life for all our children. I am an enthusiastic person with great energy and drive, who enjoys bringing concepts and ideas to life. I hold a Master of Arts in Education studies and Social Welfare Studies from Roskilde University, Denmark. I am also the Cofounder for the Polish chapter of "Here we are global".

 

ASW has been an inseparable part of our family’s life for the last 14 years, and it should remain that way for the next years to come. Staś graduated and moved on to Tufts University after starting here at Kindergarten, while Antek is a sophomore and Helena a 7th grader. I probably fall behind my family in giving back to ASW community since Izabela, my wife has been voluntarily teaching Polish for PTO and our sons help at summer camps each year. Nevertheless, I am trying - by singing up for jury duty of Speech & Debate, the timer’s job at swim meets and coaching basketball at Elementary in the past. Yet, I believe I can give back more, therefore I have put myself forward in to the board election process this year and proudly was elected to the board.

I am Polish born and raised while also international by career choices, as I used to live in Moscow and in London for a good stretch of time.

I am a partner and head of the CEE region at OC&C Strategy Consultants, a renowned international strategy consulting firm from London. I advise management boards in building winning growth strategies and investors for successful M&A transactions.

I believe I can bring good advice and, more importantly, contribute with empathy and attachment to this school.

Ajla has two kids at ASW in grades Pre-K and 7, and has served on the board since 2019.

Get Involved

INTERESTED IN SERVING?

If you are interested in serving on the Board of Trustees, please click here to apply.

Board members come from many backgrounds. Typical backgrounds that add value and perspective to the Board include experience in finance, marketing, construction, risk management or law but there are many other skill/knowledge areas relevant to the school’s work.

The Board is currently seeking Association members with experience in fields like human resources, fundraising/development, and strategic planning. We are also seeking association members with strong social networks within both ASW and our host community.

The most important personal characteristics include, among others, the ability to ask good questions, to maintain a broad and long-term perspective, to put the best interests of the School ahead of personal interests, and a willingness to work constructively with others as a team member.

If you feel you can contribute to the benefit of the school community, you can follow one of the following paths:

Run for election

To be eligible, candidates must be parents or guardians of a current student or students who will remain enrolled at ASW for the following two academic years. Board elections are held in May. Please see the 'Elections' tab on this page for more details. [Note: ASW employees and family members of employees are not eligible for election to the Board of Trustees.]

Apply for board appointment

Interested individuals should contact the Board Chair to express interest in serving on the Board. The Board of Trustees normally appoints new members for one or two year appointments. The appointment process for the following school year is completed by the end of June.

Apply for committee membership

Interested individuals may be selected to support one of the following committees: Finance, Governance, Human Resources, or Strategic Planning (ad hoc). Committees meet monthly. Non-Trustee committee members are typically selected for their expertise in a particular subject matter area, and serves as ad hoc, non-voting members.

Election/Appointment 2019

Dear Members of the ASW Community,

With the Board of Trustees elections completed, I am pleased to present the unofficial results of the elections, which will be certified by the Board of Trustees at our next meeting on Monday, May 27.

For the U.S. Citizen position, we had one candidate, who received a plurality of the vote to serve the Board for a two-year term:

1. Ajla van Heel Merdanović

For the Non-U.S. Citizen position, we had two candidates. While both enjoyed substantial support from the ASW Community, Mrs. Anna Hutten-Czapska, received the majority of votes to serve the Board for a two-year term:

1. Anna Hutten-Czapska -- Majority
2. Esra Yavuz

Please join me in congratulating Ajla and Anna on their election to the Board of Trustees! I would also like to express the Board’s great appreciation to Esra for her willingness to get involved. It is my firm belief that the volunteer spirit our community demonstrates each day is a key part of what makes ASW great. Thank you, and remember to...

“Step Forward and Make Things Happen. Don’t Wait”

Best Regards,

Ray Banks

Chairperson, ASW Board of Trustees

Board Documents

Meeting Minutes 2019

Policies

Strategic Planning

Updates coming soon

Committees

Governance Committee

The purpose of the Governance Committee is to provide oversight of the Board’s governance practices with the objective of ensuring good governance, accountability, and transparency. The Committee is responsible for organizing elections and appointments to the Board of Trustees, inducting new Trustees, ensuring that the Board of Trustees assesses its own performance annually, maintaining the Bylaws and Policy Manual.

Members: Artur Banaszak (Chair), Gregory Liddle, Peter Chudy, Ajla van Heel-Merdanovič, Matthew Shields 

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Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is responsible for developing annual budget guidance for Board approval, reviewing annual budget execution, monitoring income and expenses throughout the year, ensuring that the question of risk management is properly managed, and nominating, for Board approval, an independent auditing firm to audit the School’s financial statement and accounts.

Members: Chris Biedermann (Chair), Sheri Brienza-Wypyski, Ajla van Heel-Merdanovič, Anna Hutten-Czapska, Gregory Liddle

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Monitoring and Risk Management Committee

The Monitoring and Risk Management Committee has a role to develop and manage a review cycle of school policy to consider the utility and functional viability of all adopted policies. With human resources being the most critical asset of the school, the Committee focuses on monitoring policies ensuring a high level of employee satisfaction and well-being.  The Committee is also responsible for managing Governmental Relations, risk assessment, mitigation monitoring, non-financial audits of systems and procedures, and accreditations.


Members: Massimo Merighi (Chair), Gregory Liddle, Anna Hutten-Czapska, Matthew Shields, Marek Zdziech

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Advancement Committee

The Advancement Committee supports and oversees formal strategic planning and the areas of admissions, marketing, and communications. It focuses on broad issues with a multi-year consequence including endowments and scholarship programs. The Committee enables the Board to be more involved in external outreach including further fostering of contacts with the local community, developing corporate partnerships, and extending alumni contacts.  The Committee oversees the outcomes of strategic planning and development of new strategic initiatives. 

Members: Elin Elin Witschas Thomassen (Chair), Sheri Brienza-Wypyski, Peter Chudy, Marek Zdziech

 

Contact

The ASW Board of Trustees deals with issues relating to the school on a strategic level. If you have an issue or question regarding school finances, the strategic plan, long-term building goals, or school governance, you can email the Board of Trustees directly at aswtrustees@aswarsaw.org .

 

To participate in one of the Board committees, contact Board Chairman, Mr. Gregory Liddle, through the ASW's Chief Administrative Officer: bwaliszkiewicz@aswarsaw.org

Please note: If your question or issue has to do with the operations of the school, please go through the procedure listed in the school handbooks, contacting the teacher first, if possible and then moving up the organizational chain of command.