Assistant Head of School - Finance and Operations at Seoul Foreign School in Korea
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Assistant Head of School - Finance and Operations
Seoul Foreign School (Korea)

Appointed - Misty Shipley
Sep 24, 14
Oct 31, 14


Seoul Foreign School

Seoul, Korea

Seeks: Assistant Head of School – Finance and Operations

Effective: August 1, 2015

Application Deadline: October 31, 2014

Seoul Foreign School (SFS) is seeking a new Assistant Head of School – Finance and Operations to begin work in August 2015. Key roles of this exciting and dynamic position are primarily focused on leading and managing the finances and all non-academic school-wide operations of Seoul Foreign School.

SFS currently serves nearly 1,500 expatriate children from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade, drawn from over 50 different countries. With a distinct Christian philosophy, SFS continues its long standing reputation as one of the leading international schools in Asia. SFS is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS) and has offered the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma since 1980 and the IGCSE program from Cambridge since 2009.


Seoul Foreign School was founded in 1912 by missionary parents to serve the needs of English speaking expatriate children in Seoul. We continue to be the school of choice amongst the expatriate and diplomatic community in Seoul. The faculty is composed of over 250 teachers, counselors, librarians and classroom aides with separate elementary, middle and school principals and a British curriculum Headteacher. The school is primarily funded by tuition fees paid by the parents or their organizations.

The school campus of just over 24 acres is in a park-like environment within the city of Seoul, which has a population of more than ten million. The area surrounding the school is a relatively well to do one and has quite a number of Western-style homes. Accommodations for senior administrators include duplex-style townhouses of three and four bedrooms with moderately sized living and dining rooms and well-equipped kitchens. Each townhouse contains 1 ½ baths plus a garage for parking.

Administrative salaries and benefits are very competitive, including a comprehensive retirement plan that allows for considerable US dollar savings. The complete administrative package is in line with what one would expect of a top international school. Not surprisingly, turnover of administrators is very low at SFS. The initial senior administrative contract is three years in length, and is renewable in increments of up to three years following successful completion of the initial contract.


In addition to regular classrooms, instructional facilities include five computer labs, three libraries, dedicated science laboratories, two gymnasiums, an indoor swimming pool, an exceptional auditorium, and a world class performing arts facility. The school has a fleet of over twenty 50 and 45-seat passenger buses and four mini vans to transport over 1000 students to and from school each day. The school also maintains approximately 100 apartments on campus for overseas direct hired teachers.

Teaching materials and equipment are also in excellent supply. The school is fully networked and all academic areas have wireless access. Each classroom has access to the school’s Intranet and all classrooms contain SMART boards, or equivalent presentation devices. In excess of $500,000 is spent annually to enhance the school’s technological capacity. SFS is a 1:1 learning environment with our 1:1 laptop program beginning in Grade 4 and British School Year 6.

Our school term usually begins about the middle of August and normally ends in the second week of June. We generally schedule a full 180 student contact days and teachers have a 190 day contract. Senior administrators are expected to complete 210 calendar days of service. One member of the senior administrative team is ‘on duty’ to support the continued operations of the school throughout the summer months on a rotational basis. Yearly flights to/from home of record are provided for all overseas hired faculty and dependents.

SFS is accredited in the US by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and has been offering the full IB diploma for over thirty years. Academic programs at SFS are rigorous. The school’s enrollment policy attempts to ensure that the students who are enrolled can be successful. Students generally want to succeed, work hard and reap the benefits of that extra effort. SFS has, from its beginning, been a school with high academic standards where much is expected of students and of teachers.

Our faculty represents many different Christian denominations and we attend many different churches. We emphasize our areas of agreement and agree that our areas of difference are NOT crucial to our acceptance of each other in any way. All of us agree to respect each other's Christian positions. This makes for a happy, mutually supportive family atmosphere in our faculty and allows us to be open and honest in our relationships.

Our students are outstanding young people who, for the most part, want to learn. Our administrators and School Board are determined to give them the best instruction possible. SFS provides the kind of environment in which dedicated teachers and administrators find tremendous professional satisfaction. Time and time again, former faculty confidently recommend SFS to committed professional educators who seek a challenging and rewarding position in a non-judgmental Christian atmosphere.


Assistant Head of School – Finance and Operations

Key Roles

The Assistant Head of School – Finance and Operations is a member of the Senior Administrative Team. He/she works in close association with the Head of School and the rest of the Senior Administrative Team to lead and manage all aspects of the school’s finances as well as the non-academic, school-wide operations. This includes the supervision of six direct reports and over 100 employees. The operating budget of the school is in excess of USD $45 million. The next major phase of development for Seoul Foreign School will see the construction of a new high school and the subsequent demolition of the existing building.

Key Responsibilities

A.    Finance

  • Supervises and works with the Business Manager in the financial planning, preparation, administration, and analysis of the annual budgets for the operating and capital funds of the School;
  • Manages the Business Manager’s preparation and review of the annual audit of the School’s financial statements;
  • Oversees the Business Manager who is responsible for the overall operation of and the development of policies and procedures for the daily operations of the Business Office;
  • Manages the finances and short-term investments of the School to streamline operations and maximize investment returns following the investment guidelines established by the SFS Board Fiscal/Property Committee;
  • Develops of the annual salary and benefit packages for the various classes of employees, in conjunction with the Director of Human Resources;

B.    Operations

  • Oversees the Master Plan implementation and the execution of each Phase (Phase 1 pertains to the near-term construction of a new high school);
  • Supervises and coordinates with General Affairs regarding all facility planning, maintenance, repairs, renovations and relevant budget preparations and fund allocations/usage as well as quality of campus facilities overall;
  • Oversees the revision and development of Administrative Regulations, their approval through the Head of School, as well as the subsequent distribution to and implementation with faculty and staff;

  • Supervises all lease and purchasing systems through local and overseas purchasing;
  • Maintains appropriate insurance coverage for the assets of the school and appropriate liability coverage and reviews appropriate coverage, risks, security issues, and operating procedures on a regular basis to also ensure compliance with local regulations;
  • Supervises and evaluates the direct reports as follows:

    • Director of General Affairs regarding all aspects of finance, facilities management, transport, housing, and security;
    • Project Manager related to Master Plan implementation,
    • Director of Admissions(2) related to all aspects of enrollment and recruiting efforts,
    • Director of Summer Programs/PR/SERP including outreach to key entities in the community,
    • Manager of Spirit Shop related to sales and marketing to stakeholders, and
    • School Nurse as it pertains to health and safety on the campus;

  • Manages the school’s food service and catering operations; evaluates the performance of the outside food contractor and recommends changes as needed.

Key Requirements of the Ideal Candidate

  • Significant finance and leadership experience in a large school or other organization of similar scope;
  • Support for the Christian ethos of the school;
  • International experience in schools or other organizations;
  • Proven ability as a solid team player with a ‘can-do’ attitude and able to work flexible hours outside of the regular school day;
  • Proven ability as an innovative, results oriented, self-motivated, energetic, creative problem solver;
  • Experience in and proven knowledge of current approaches to finance and business offices;
  • Internationally-minded outlook, with a culturally sensitive understanding of other faiths;
  • Ability to engage in multiple tasks, to motivate and inspire others and to lead change successfully
  • Proven excellence in written and oral communication with a wide variety of stakeholders.

Key Reports

The Assistant Head of School - Finance and Operations reports to the Head of School.


The Assistant Head of School – Finance and Operation’s yearly appraisal is carried out by the Head of School.

To learn more about the application process, please visit the school website at or email Mr. Barry Benger, Seoul Foreign School Director of Human Resources (

Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us ( that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website. 

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Dr. Barry Drake has over 40 years' experience in administration and teaching in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South East and East Asia.