Our Leadership



Director
The Director’s role that the health and wellbeing of the school and the community we serve by ensuring that our practice in all domains is aligned with our mission and guiding statements.
 
The Director is also the operational head of the school. The Director is responsible for organising activities of the school, hiring, dismissing and supervising of all staff, issuing and approving procedures, regulations and orders, entering into transactions on behalf of the school, safeguarding assets of the school, representing the public interest of the school, fulfilling reporting obligations, and providing information on school activities.
 
Meet our Director
 
Rebecca Juras has led VIS through two renovation projects, authorization as an IB World School, CIE approval, and accreditation by the Council of International Schools. During her tenure at VIS, the student body grew from 25 to almost 400 students and the staff from 8 to 68.  She looks forward to her newest challenge which involves expanding the high school facility. 
Upper School Principal
The role of the Upper School Principal is that of a leader of professional learning and as such he is a member of the school leadership team.  Duties include collaborating with the Director to: support the professional growth and efficacy of the MYP and CIE teaching staff; conduct interviews of potential hires; contribute to the development of school policies and communicating school policy and procedure to the relevant teaching staff; oversee the coordination of co-curricular programmes; serving as a model of the school culture by promoting the values and philosophy that underpin good professional practice; and actively working to build relevance between the VIS guiding statements and everything we do as a school community.
 
Meet our School Principal – Justin Brown
 
Justin Brown has worked as a professional educator for nearly 20 years as a Special Educator, Assistant Principal and Principal, most recently at one of US News and World Report's top 100 US High Schools.  His innovative work has been featured at NEASC innovative schools' conferences, in ASCD Magazine and has been a focus of regional interest. As both a parent and a life-long learner he brings his passion for nurturing vibrant learning communities to the VIS Upper School as we grow along with our students. In addition to serving as Upper School Principal, Justin serves as University and transition Counselor for students preparing to graduate VIS.
MYP Assistant Principal/MYP Coordinator
The role of MYP Coordinator/Assistant Principal is that of a leader of learning and as such she is a member of the school leadership team.  Currently, the MYP Coordinator role extends beyond curriculum responsibilities to include duties of an Assistant Principal. These additional duties include: supporting the professional growth and efficacy of teaching staff; conducting interviews of potential hires; contributing to the development of school policies related to teaching and learning; communicating school policy and procedure to the teaching staff; coordinating and in some instances, facilitating weekly MYP meetings; serving as a model of the school culture by promoting and celebrating the values and philosophy that underpin good professional practice; and actively working to build relevance between the VIS guiding statements and everything we do as a school community.
 
Meet our Assistant Principal/MYP Coordinator – Deirdre Jennings
 
Deirdre Jennings has led teachers in developing and implementing the MYP curriculum in her role as MYP Coordinator at VIS for the last six years. Deirdre also teaches integrated sciences and Cambridge physics.  Prior to coming to VIS, Deirdre worked at international schools in Tanzania and Kuwait. 
PYP Assistant Principal/PYP Coordinator
Coordinator/Assistant Principal is that of a leader of learning and as such he is a member of the school leadership team.  Currently, the PYP Coordinator role extends beyond curriculum responsibilities to include the duties of an Assistant Principal. These additional duties include: supporting the professional growth and efficacy of the PYP teaching staff; conducting interviews of potential hires; contributing to the development of school policies related to teaching and learning; communicating school policy and procedure to relevant teaching staff; coordinating and in some instances, facilitating weekly PYP meetings; serving as a model of the school culture by promoting the values and philosophy that underpin good professional practice; and actively working to build relevance between the VIS guiding statements and everything we do as a school community.
 
Meet our PYP Assistant Principal/PYP Coordinator – Kate Benson
 
During her 15 years as an educator, Kate Benson has had the privilege of working with students on four continents as a teacher, Technology Coordinator, PYP Coordinator and Assistant Principal. Kate Benson holds a Master’s degree in Cross Cultural teaching with a focus on multilingualism. She is passionate about supporting educators in developing student agency in order for children to find personal relevance in their work and become active participants in their learning. 
Meeting of Stakeholders
There are three levels of school governance. The school is governed by the Meeting of Stakeholders (founders) whose authority is outlined in the school bylaws. The bylaws reflect the standard Lithuanian governance relationship of non-profit public institutions.
 
The Meeting of Stakeholders is responsible for changing the by-laws of the school, hiring and dismissing the Director, electing and recalling the School Council, approving annual financial reports of the school, setting the school fee guidelines, approving information made available to the public and reorganisation or liquidation of the school.
 
The Meeting of Stakeholders also considers the annual budget of the school, audit and selection of auditor and other questions pertaining to the competence of the Stakeholders Meeting
 
Meet our Stakeholders
 
Rebecca Juras has served as Director of Vilnius International School for more that 8 years. In addition to working in an administrative role, Rebecca has taught kindergarten, fourth grade and humanities at the school.  She received a B.A from Macalester College and a Master of Education from the University of Virginia. 
 
Liisa Leitzinger is from Finland, where she studied law and marketing. She began her career working with patents and trademarks at an intellectual property firm. Liisa moved to Lithuania in 1995 and graduated from the history faculty at Vilnius University. Her diploma work concerned the 1918 – 1940 political relations between Finland and Lithuania.
 
Liza Lerche Jensen is a co-founder of Vilnius International School. She and her husband are entrepreneurs who started numerous businesses in manufacturing, retail and real estate sectors in Lithuania.  These include UAB Metalco and UAB Living Scandinavian Design.  Liza currently lives in California with her husband and two sons, Kasper and Nicholas.
 
Torben Pedersen is from Denmark and has lived in the Baltics for 20 years, finally settling in Lithuania.  He works in field of audit and financial management and serves on the Board of Directors of several companies.  
School Council
The bylaws also provide for a five-member advisory School Council who serve a two-year term. The role of the School Council includes community oversight of the School, long-term development responsibilities, reviewing school financial reports, and providing strategic recommendations for the upcoming period of activity to the Head of School.
 
Any member of the school community is eligible to become a member of the School Council through election/approval by the Meeting of Stakeholders. The bylaws stipulate that the School Council must meet at least once a quarter.
 
Meet our School Council Members
 
Kjetil Hanssen is the General Director of  Schage Real Estate.  He has lived in Vilnius for over 20 years. He is the father of two children attending VIS.
 
Riku Honkasalo is a senior advisor of education for the Finnish National Board of Education.  His background is in political science and he is the spouse of a Finnish diplomat. Riku has four children studying at VIS.  

Eugenijus Filonovas 
is a lawyer specialising in energy, infrastructure projects and mergers and acquisitions.  He is also the parent of an MYP student at VIS. 

Viktorija Beatrice Radzevičienė
 has a daughter in grade 5 and she has been a parent at VIS for almost 7 years. Her professional strengths lie in the area of investment, project management and real estate development.
 
Saulė Balčiūnienė’s expertise is in the area of human resource management; specifically organizational change, coaching and performance management. She has been the head of HR at several local and multinational companies.  Saulė has two children at VIS.  
 
Parent Teacher Association
 
The school has a formal organisation called the Parent Teacher Association, or PTA, which is comprised of a group of active parents. The PTA serves a public relations and outreach function by helping organize school, parent community outreach, charitable and other similar activities. 
 
Ongoing events include monthly coffee mornings, quarterly parent education events, and quarterly parent social evenings.  The PTA also organizes and International Family Picnic and Yard Sale on the first Saturday of June.