Deputy Head at Tsinghua International School  in China
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Deputy Head
Tsinghua International School (China)

Appointed - Mr. Patrick Smith
Dec 1, 2021
Jan 15, 2022




Seeks an

Deputy Head

For July 2022 Start



Established in March 2009, Tsinghua International School (THIS) is an integration of Chinese and Western education and culture. Now in its thirteenth year, THIS is a public international school affiliated with Tsinghua University and Tsinghua University High School, the nation’s top university and one of the top high schools.

The school provides students with an education that focuses on the western progressive education philosophy with acculturation.  THIS has primary, middle and high school programs and currently a growing population of approximately 600 students.  The students come from more than 20 countries and regions including the US, UK, Canada, Korea and Hong Kong and must possess non-Chinese mainland passports.


Tsinghua International School’s mission is to "foster creative critical thinkers who are rooted in China and prepared to lead in the global community."  The school aims to develop the whole child, nurturing individuals of exceptional character who will make positive contributions to the world.  The Core Values of Collaboration, Integrity, Respect, Wellbeing, Leadership, Innovation and Literacy influence every aspect of school life.


The school offers an inquiry based, progressive form of education to all students that includes the use of project-based instruction, cooperative learning, Reader’s and Writer's Workshop, and interdisciplinary experiences mixed with other more traditional approaches. 


A hallmark of THIS is the requirement that students undertake advanced study in both the English and Chinese languages.  The school’s instructional language is English but Chinese language, history and culture are strongly supported at all grade levels.  Students who enter the school aim to graduate with two mother tongues and some also acquire a third language. 

Students at all grade levels are exposed to a variety of educational experiences designed to broaden their minds, strengthen their cultural awareness, practice critical thinking, acquire knowledge and skills and pique their curiosity toward further investigation.  High school students may participate in several of the 16 offered Advanced Placement courses each year.  The school also offers more than 40 elective courses across various disciplines allowing students to explore and find their passion.  Grade 12 students are eligible to participate in self-designed, teacher supported, Independent Study courses that take them beyond the normal high school content and contain an advanced research component. 



Students at THIS have a wealth of activities in which they can choose to participate. There are more than 30 clubs and organizations, three sports seasons filled with opportunities for athletes at every level, and after school programs that range from learning in the STEAM lab to working on their jump shot!  There are ample opportunities for students to not only participate but also to further develop their leadership skills.


The faculty consists of 18 Chinese language, culture and history teachers and 66 International teachers and counselors supported by both Chinese and International administrators.  The school promotes collaborative professional relationships both within departments as well as between departments and grade levels.

Joining the dynamic staff and student body at Tsinghua International School is your opportunity to influence the future as you support our students who will leave high school prepared to make a difference at universities and the world as a whole. 



Over the last 12 years Tsinghua International students have been admitted to a variety of highly rated universities in the United States, Canada, China, the United Kingdom and other European and Asian countries.  These include, St. Andrews, Tsinghua University, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, MIT, University of Chicago, NYU, Berklee School of Music, USC, University of Toronto, Rice, Brown, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Pratt, Edinboro (UK), Princeton, U of C at Berkeley, Brandeis, Penn State, Queen’s College and many others. 

College Counselors, teachers, students and parents work together to help students explore their options and find the best fit. 


THIS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is currently completing the self-study for the next accreditation cycle that will culminate in the Fall of 2022. 


Deputy Head

Position Description

THIS is seeking an Deputy Head who understands and supports Progressive Western education with an Eastern influence as well as Tsinghua International School’s, Mission, Vision and Core Values and School Wide Learner Outcomes.   The Deputy Head works collaboratively and under the direction of the Executive Principal, cooperates with the Chinese Vice Principal and supervises the Primary, Secondary Directors, the Director of College Counseling, the Curriculum Coordinator and all foreign staff members. While most responsibilities are delineated below, the individual must be flexible and willing to lend a hand when and where needed. 


School Climate

  • Provide a nurturing, caring and supportive environment for both staff and students.
  • Promote cross-cultural understanding among the students and staff and stress with foreign staff the importance of demonstrating respect toward the culture, traditions and laws of the home country. 
  • Ensure that cooperation and collaboration rather than competition are the primary focus throughout the school program.
  • Participate in school wide special events that may occur in the evenings and/or on weekends.
  • Ensure the Core Values and the School Wide Learning Outcomes play a prominent role in maintaining a positive school ethos and are an integral part of all curriculum units.
  • Work closely with the Chinese Administrators to ensure linkages between the Eastern/Western programs as well as ensure the Chinese cultural expectations are infused throughout the school. 


  • Promote progressive, inquiry-based education among the staff and community.
  • Encourage teachers to continue to innovate and lead in all areas but especially curriculum and instruction.
  • Manage, maintain and direct the Grade 1-12 academic program with the support of the Division Directors and the Curriculum Coordinator.
  • Assist teachers with the development of Understanding by Design Units of Study.  Provide support for the units through Atlas Rubicon.  Ensure that units are implemented throughout the school. 
  • Be supportive of the inquiry based instructional format with a focus on learning outcomes (standards) while encouraging the use of a variety of pedagogical approaches as appropriate to the goals of the lessons/units.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the curriculum.
  • Organize Professional Development based on school initiatives.
  • Work collaboratively with the Leadership Team.
  • Provide instructional support to teachers.
  • Supervise the ordering of textbooks and supplementary materials.
  • Support the development of established and yet to be established Professional Learning Communities and other committees.
  • Support the college admissions process by working with and supervising the Director of College Counseling.
  • Support the development of the internship program, curriculum-based field experiences and foreign exchange initiatives.
  • Utilize data from a variety of assessments to monitor student achievement of the standards and SWLO’s 

     Parent and Community

  • Maintain a strong, positive and informative relationship with parents.
  • Attend and participate in Parent Council meetings as needed.
  • Respond to parent emails and phone calls in a timely manner.
  • Participate in the twice-yearly parent/teacher conferences as well as other parent meetings as warranted.
  • Organize the curriculum afternoon/evening.
  • Support Parent Council initiatives.
  • Participate in Advisory Committee meetings. 

     School Management

  • Organize and participate in the interviewing and hiring of new foreign staff members and some local staff members.
  • Manage the evaluation process for foreign staff as well as decisions regarding contract extensions.
  • Work with the Support Staff to ensure a smooth transition of new teachers and other staff.
  • Maintain regular and ongoing contact with current and potential staff members especially during the summer.
  • Assist with the Student Admissions process including the testing of students and the academic recommendations regarding admissions.
  • Work with the secondary content departments, the Curriculum Coordinator and the IT team to develop student course selections.
  • Review the master schedule as it is developed by the Curriculum Coordinator or specific teachers and primary director.


  • Native speaker of English.
  • Due to the fact that this is an American program, USA administrators are strongly preferred.   Mandarin is helpful but not required.
  • Experience in a progressive education setting (use of and belief in Constructivism, Inquiry Based, Child Centered, Authentic Assessments)
  • Master’s Degree or higher in School Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction or a related area.
  • Strong background in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Certification in School Leadership or Administration
  • Minimum of five years teaching experience
  • Minimum of 3 years, experience as a Deputy head preferably at a K-12 school.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to fulfill a three-year contract.   


The salary will be competitive and will depend on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Benefits include housing and travel allowance, health insurance, professional development opportunities, and tuition for qualified school age children. Salary considerations and length of contract will be detailed during the interview process.


THIS has appointed Search Associates to facilitate the search with Ms. Xiaohang Sumner and Dr. Norma Hudson serving as the Senior Consultants. 

Candidates who wish to apply should submit the information requested below in the form and manner requested.

  • A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Deputy Head position at the Tsinghua International School.
  • A current CV not to exceed two pages.
  • A one-page list of at least four references who have directly supervised your performance with current phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
  • A maximum of four letters of recommendation which you may already have in your possession.

Candidates should send the requested information in a single PDF attachment.

Please send all materials to Ms. Xiaohang Sumner at: and Dr. Norma Hudson at:

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2022. However, candidates should note that the search committee will begin reviewing applications as soon as they are received from Search Associates. In the event an outstanding candidate is identified early in the search process, THIS reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline. For this reason, it is essential that interested candidates apply as soon as possible. For further information about THIS, please visit the website at

Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by the hiring school/organization if a candidate is under contract or otherwise encumbered in such a way that would preclude them from freely entering into a new employment contract, if offered, and being available for the start date stipulated by the hiring organization.  Search Associates will contact the current employer/supervisor to request completion of a Search Associates Confidential Leadership Reference Form for all candidates who emerge in the search as a Finalist.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Ray Sparks's over 30-year career as an educator has involved working in Canada, Europe, and Asia.