Ralph Jahr began working with Search Associates as a consultant assisting with director and principal searches in September 2010. In addition to assisting with leadership searches, he also consults with school boards dealing with governance issues.
Ralph began teaching physics, math and physical science after graduating from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin in 1969. In 1972 he earned a MS in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The following year Ralph and his wife Ann moved to Tokyo, Japan where they worked at St. Mary's International School for four years. In 1977 they moved to the Antwerp International School in Antwerp, Belgium, where the first of their three sons was born. A decision for Ralph to move into administration in 1979 required Ralph and his family to return to the USA, and for Ralph to return to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for an additional MA and a Ph.D. in educational administration. His first superintendent position was in 1983, at the American Cooperative School in Monrovia, Liberia. In 1987, Ralph, Ann, and their three sons moved to IS-Manila, where Ralph was Deputy Superintendent until 1990, when he was appointed Superintendent of the American School of Kuwait. The Gulf War forced their return to the USA for a year. In 1991, they moved to Pakistan, where Ralph was Superintendent of Karachi American School until 1996. From 1996-99, he was Headmaster of Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
Ralph and Ann returned to the USA in 1999, when he was recruited to be a vice president at International Schools Services (ISS) to head administrator recruiting, and to oversee the Department of Educational Staffing. He remained with ISS for more than 11 years, facilitating more than 170 searches for school heads, directors, and superintendents. In addition, he helped many international schools establish and manage US 501(c)(3) foundations.
International education is Ralph's passion. Finding the match between talented administrators and international schools, looking for new leadership, and mentoring aspiring administrators is what he loves to do. Ralph has presented numerous sessions on Head of School Recruiting, How to Get Your First Head of School Position, How to Make a 501(c)(3) Foundation Work, and Administrator Opportunities in International Schools at AAIE, AISH, NESA, AISA, Tri-Association, NASSP, NAESP, and AASA conferences. He has also authored many articles in "Newslinks" on recruiting, interviewing techniques, résumé writing, and age restrictions for visa and work permits, as well as many resource documents for school boards and search committees.