Associate Principal (Pre-School) at Mission Hills International School in China
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Associate Principal (Pre-School)
Mission Hills International School (China)

Appointed - Anna Packman
Oct 3, 14
Feb 1, 15

  Administrative Opening: Associate Principal (Pre-School)

School: Mission Hills International School

     (1 Mission Hills Road, Shenzhen, PRC)

Role: Associate Principal (Pre-School)

Start Date: January 5, 2015 or sooner


I. School Description

Mission Hills Group (, owner and operator of Mission Hills in the heart of the Pearl River Delta and the tropical island of Hainan, is the pioneer in China’s fledgling hospitality, sports and leisure industry. Mission Hills’ properties sprawl over 40 They include 22 championship golf courses designed by renowned players and architects from five continents, five-star resorts, award-winning spas and volcanic mineral springs, an international convention center, golf academies and Asia’s largest tennis facility. Mission Hills is also the official training headquarters of China’s Tennis and Golf Associations.

In recognition of Mission Hills’ mission statement that echo the value of learning, intellectual development and the pursuit of excellence, we intend to further extend our outreach by building a pre-eminent world-class K-12 school for 1900 students in Shenzhen. Mission Hills International School will be a bi-lingual, co-educational day and boarding school for students in Pre-School (age 3) to University entrance.

 Our Phase 1 plan is to open a Pre-School for 3 – 5 year olds in September 2015. The program will be located in a spacious, modern and well-equipped stand-alone facility adjacent to the site of the new school building.

In September 2016 we will open Phase 2 in state-of-the-art-facilities with a Lower School (Grades 1-6) and an Upper School (Grades 7-12). The campus will be purpose built for Mission Hills specifications, located on property currently owned by Mission Hills and immediately adjacent to the resort in Shenzhen and MH Centreville. The campus is located in a tranquil, serene, and ecological friendly environment.  By car, it is only 30 minutes from Shenzhen City Center, 1.5 hours from Hong Kong and 1.5 hours from Guangzhou. A nearby MTR station is due to open in 2018. 


School Vision

To build a pre-eminent and innovative International School where all students recognize and achieve their fullest potential.


School Mission

To empower our students to pursue excellence in its' many forms and to acquire the skills necessary to become critical thinking self-actualized problem solvers and compassionate global citizens




The curriculum will be designed to help every student acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to reach their full potential. We will design the learning process to be consistent with the Mission of the School and by doing so students will be challenged to become critical thinking, self-actualized problem solvers and compassionate global citizens.

Curriculum in the Pre-School and Lower School programmes will be internally designed. However, we will draw curriculum strands and content from the “Full Day Early-Learning Programme” and from “The Ontario Curriculum: Elementary” Both are published by the Ministry of Education in Ontario (Canada). We will also draw curriculum strands and content from the Chinese Primary School curriculum.


Much of our pedagogical approach in the Pre-School and Lower School will be derived from the International Baccalaureate’s PYP programme and from the Common Ground Collaborative. The approach speaks to the need to build a child-centered programme of learning through inquiry and to balance that with guided and explicit instruction. The multi-pronged or holistic approach calls us to identify standards which define what we want students to understand (knowledge), be able to do (skills), and how to act (attitudes).


Upon entry into the Upper School in Grade 7, it is our intention that all MHIS students will be fully enrolled in the International Baccalaureate’s MYP Programme. In Grade 11, it is our expectation that all students would be fully registered in the IB Diploma Programme.


Putonghua and English Mastery

We believe that meaningful and early exposure to more than one language will provide our students with advanced cognitive development. Language instruction will not be taught in isolation but will be a natural part of everyday interaction. All students will pursue a single programme taught in both Chinese (Mandarin) and English. Bilingual mastery of Chinese and English is the goal for every student. The time devoted to each language is dependent on the age of the student with the ratio shifting as the student advances from the Early Childhood programme to the Lower School and to the Upper School.

Specifically, in the Pre-School Programme (K1-K3), our ratio of Chinese/English instruction is 60/40. In the Lower School (Grades 1 – 6) the division will be 50/50. Upon entry into the Upper School the balance is shifted in favour of English with the introduction of the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years (MYP) and Diploma Programmes (DP). In Grade 7 and 8 the model supports Chinese to English in a 30/70 proportion and in Grades 9 - 12 Chinese is mainly taught as one among the subject areas.

II. Position Overview

Mission Hills International School seeks an Associate Principal (Pre-School) for the 3 – 5 year old programme.  At capacity, the Pre-School will register 300 students. Reporting to the Head of School, the Associate Principal will serve as the instructional leader and supervisor for the teachers and assistants in the division and is expected to guide the development of an effective, holistic, well-organised and enjoyable learning experience for the children in the programme. As a key member of the school’s Leadership Team, the Associate Principal will be expected to contribute to the overall development of the school’s vision/mission strategy and the establishment of a broad set of policies, regulations and procedures. As a collaborative and welcoming school leader, the Associate Principal will also make meaningful contributions toward building a sense of community and positive culture within the school. Inherent in the position are responsibilities for curriculum development, organisation of after-school activities, personnel management, health and safety procedures and facility operations.

Major Duties:

  • Ensure development and delivery of a high quality, international school, dual-language curriculum plan that is consistent with the school’s identified mission statement, core values, pedagogical thrusts and language protocols.
  • Lead teachers in the development of integrated units of inquiry ensuring alignment with the 3 grade levels in the Pre-School.
  • Provide professional leadership in organising, administering, supervising and evaluating the school programme and the educators responsible for delivering the programme.
  • Coordinate with the Lower School Principal to ensure a seamless transition for students from Pre-School to Lower School.
  • Establish an optimal learning environment within the school that is characterised by its collaborative and cooperative nature.
  • Engender a sense of belonging and respect within the MHIS Pre-School.
  • Prepare and manage the academic budget for the Pre-School programme
  • Organise the purchase of equipment and resources for the programme.
  • Develop and implement the Pre-School daily and master schedule.
  • Develop and implement a communication plan for Pre-School staff and parents
  • Lead parent information sessions and help them achieve a clear understanding of the nature of the programme.
  • Use appropriate and effective techniques to encourage parent involvement.
  • Assist and support the Head of School in the recruitment of teachers and support staff.
  • Enable staff to realize their potential through use of an effective professional growth, development and appraisal plan.
  • Assist and support the Head of School in the recruitment of students.
  • Create, lead or oversee relevant school committees.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School.


Required and Preferred Qualifications and Experiences:

  • Teaching qualifications and appropriate certification (required). Master’s degree in educational administration or program development/curriculum (preferred).
  • 5+ years of relevant teaching experience with international school experience (required)
  • Previous leadership experience with demonstrated strong organisational, administrative and interpersonal skills (required).
  • Demonstrated understanding and well versed in the principles and practices of early childhood frameworks such as IB PYP, Reggio Emilia, or Montessori (preferred).
  • Excellent communication skills and a high level of proficiency in written and oral English and Chinese (required).
  • Experience and understanding of best practice in dual-language settings (preferred).
  • A positive, caring, community-minded team-player with a passion for early childhood education (required).

Compensation and Benefits:

Mission Hills International School offers an initial contract term of two years (renewable). The salary and benefits package will be competitive within Asia. Benefits include a gratuity upon successful completion of the contract, furnished housing, relocation allowance, annual flight, medical insurance, and a professional development allowance.

III. Application Procedure:

Applications should be received by 1 February, 2015. The following application materials are required:

  • Letter of application
  • A current CV with photograph and the contact details of 3 professional referees (at least one from an administrator at your current school)
  • One-page statement of educational philosophy and leadership style


Include all documents in a single PDF file and forward by email to:

John Jalsevac

Head of School,

Mission Hills International School

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…?

Search Associates is a family-owned business founded by John Magagna, former international educator. After working with her father for ten years, daughter Jessica Magagna is now CEO.