John Magagna, Founding Director of Search Associates, is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, with a Master of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also done additional post graduate work at Dartmouth College and Harvard University. Through the support of two Fulbright grants, John began his overseas teaching career at The American School of Tangier in Morocco. He subsequently became Headmaster there, and later moved on to become Headmaster at the Community School in Teheran and at Jakarta International School; he also served as Headmaster of Rutgers Preparatory School and La Jolla Country Day School in California.
He is a present member of the Board of Directors of The American School in Tangier and of Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School, an independent school located in Kingston, Pennsylvania; John is a past Director of the Near East/South Asia Council of International Schools (NESA), and The East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS). He has also served as a Board member of the Wilkes-Barre Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a past President and life member of the Board of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic Society.
John returned home from a very successful seven years as Headmaster of the Jakarta International School and founded Search Associates in 1990. He is the sponsor and organizer of the Search Associates' flagship Job Fair in Cambridge, Massachusetts John lives in Dallas, Pennsylvania and continues his interest in classical music, art, current events, tennis, downhill skiing, hunting, fishing and community service.
John Magagna is widely recognized for his expertise in conducting Head of School and Administrative searches around the world, having to date assisted with over 280 Administrative searches for American and international schools. One hundred percent of the candidates he has placed have completed their initial contracts and some 90 percent have chosen to renew. No one presently working in overseas school searches can come close to matching this experience or these results. Below are a few unsolicited comments by search committees with whom John has previously worked:
"Always, absolutely always, available for a call or responding quickly and professionally to emails. We threw him several curve balls… he handled these with aplomb and diplomacy; worldwide network of contacts; though didn't know all 80 applicants, was able to get very good firsthand references from a wide range of sources. We recommend John Magagna unequivocally for the task; you could not be in better hands."
- Douglas Marston, Board Chair, Zurich International School, Switzerland
"The American College of Sofia (Bulgaria) retained John Magagna to conduct a worldwide search for a new President…one candidate was clearly 'outside the box'…Board took John's advice and offered this candidate the job. He has turned out to be more than anything we could have dreamed of or realistically hoped for. We were very satisfied with the job John did."
-William J. Williams Jr, Chairman of the Board, American College of Sofia
"We recently engaged John Magagna to help us find a new headmaster…extraordinarily effective, produced some 60 applicants, patiently guided us through every step of the process…made the search infinitely easier for us because he knew all the "right buttons " to push; …without doubt the best in the business. You cannot go wrong."
-Larry Kardon, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees, American School of Tangier
"Always on top of things… Tremendous capacity to focus on individual searches while multi-tasking other things…Trusted and extremely well regarded throughout the academic community… Available at all hours, even when he travels…Assisted us in every way possible…[John] will do whatever it takes to make your search a success."
-Karen Thomas, Search Committee Chair, American School In Japan
"After much research, we chose John Magagna…International network and up to the minute information extremely useful…Rapidly responded to many e-mails and faxes…Mindful of our limited resources…Outstanding job…John Magagna has my highest recommendation, without any reservation."
-Elizabeth Baylies, Board President, Am. Com. Schools, Athens, Greece
The secret to a successful search is quite simple; it consists of experience, hard work, and commitment. John believes that no other organization can equal Search Associates "track record" in these critical areas; this is clearly borne out by the complete list of comments which many board members have written about his work.
Those schools which engage the Search Associates team will receive the best efforts of our entire group of eighteen seasoned consultants, most of whom have themselves been school heads/administrators for many years (an aggregate total of over 600!) in public and independent American, British, and IB International schools throughout the world - including those in Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam and Zambia.
If you are interested in receiving a full proposal for a Head of School or Administrative search, please contact John Magagna any time. Thank you.