Director  at American International School of Bamako in Mali
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Director
American International School of Bamako (Mali)

No longer accepting applications
Jun 10, 19
Aug 23, 19

 

Vacancy Announcement

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF BAMAKO, MALI

Seeks a Director

Effective July, 2020

 

The American International School of Bamako (AISB) is an independent, coeducational, private day school which offers a full U.S. educational program from pre-kindergarten (age 2) through grade 12. The School was established in 1977 to serve the needs of American and international community students seeking an English-language education. The school year is divided into 2 semesters.

 

INTRODUCTION TO MALI

Mali and AISB

Mali is a country of friendly, diverse people whose rich music and art has attracted large numbers of foreign visitors over the years. Of the numerous ethnic groups making up the population, 80 percent speak Bambara, but because of 80 years of French colonialism, French is the official language of Mali and used widely in schools and government.

Living in Bamako

Bamako is located on the northern and southern banks of the stately Niger River, with a population of around 3 million, it is growing faster than almost any other city in Africa.  A growing international and diplomatic community is looking for a sound international school. Mali has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that is expressed in arts, drama, music, and dance. Bamako has been called "the most African of all African cities". The population remains strongly aligned with its authentic identity.

 

At 12 degrees above the equator, Bamako temperatures vary from 77° to over 100° Fahrenheit (25° to 44° Centigrade) with an overall hot, sunny and dry climate. There are two dominant seasons: The cool season between end of November and end of February and the dry season from March to May. The weather will not prevent the new Director to spend outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking around Bamako, cruising on the Niger River, visiting beautiful National park and visiting the charming zoo.

The Director’s spacious house has a garden and swimming pool and is a short five-ten minute drive from the school in a quiet but developing part of town opposite a very large green space.

Bamako is economically burgeoning with a modern downtown emerging from the old colonial neighborhood. You can find almost everything in Bamako from grocery shopping to furniture and accessories. Bamako has a number of good restaurants that serve variety of international cuisine. The new airport was inaugurated in December 2017 and is a hub for international connection flights toward Europe, other African cities and recently USA and Canada. Bamako also has modern clinics and a hospital such as Golden Life (American Investor). French language and even Bambara language classes are easy to arrange. The French Institute organizes courses for all levels and is accredited to deliver a diploma program.

Political Context

Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, was reelected for a second term as president in August 2018 with a majority mandate in an election that was described by international observers as “calm” and “free from fraud.” The international community works together with the government of Mali and other actors in the northern conflict to implement the peace agreements signed in 2015 in the hopes of ending the crisis that has handicapped the country since the coup in 2012. An international military presence in the north of the country, through the EU Training Mission, EUCAP, MINUSMA (UN) and Operation Barkhane (France), insures a relative stability.

Bamako feels like a secure capital in comparison to many other large sub-Saharan cities in Africa. The international community enjoys free movement and the local population is always very welcoming.

 

INTRODUCTION TO AISB

School Vision

All students achieve personal and academic excellence and engage positively with their local and global communities.

School Mission

The American International School of Bamako engages students in an international, English-medium university preparation program based upon American standards that encourages critical thinking and inquiry together with intellectual, social and personal growth. AISB welcomes students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds and ensures that all students experience an innovative and supportive international learning environment, and are empowered to meet successfully the diverse challenges of an ever-changing world.

Beliefs Statement

The AISB community works together cooperatively in support of student learning, growth and well-being, building upon the perspectives and contributions of each student, parent, teacher and member of staff.

We believe each person is a unique individual with dignity and worth, deserving of respect and humane regard.

We believe it is essential for ours to be an effective ethical community in which each and all are held accountable to integrity, honesty, compassion and mutual respect.

We believe in working together to foster students’ resourcefulness, creativity and self-expression.

We believe that learning and growth are life-long projects, and that good education prepares students to become life-long learners. Similarly, we believe that great institutions grow and improve continually.

We believe in providing a supportive and safe learning environment that inspires intellectual, cultural, physical and emotional growth in balance.

We believe our students should develop an awareness of and a respect for different cultures, locally and globally.

We believe that individuals require abundant opportunity to make their own meaningful choices, and direct their own learning and growth to become empowered individuals.

We believe that students need to develop a balance of skills that allows them to work effectively both collaboratively and individually.

We believe in a balanced academic program that fosters understanding, knowledge and appreciation of languages and literature, humanities, math, science and the arts.

Profile of AISB Graduates 

Our students are the ethical, critical and creative thinkers of the 21st century and they require the social, emotional and intellectual skills, habits and dispositions essential for citizens of a just, participatory, sustainable and democratic world.

1. Intellectual Skills and Dispositions   

  • Knowledgeable
  • Communication
  • Creative and critical thinking

2. Personal Skills and Dispositions

  • Self-understanding
  • Self-direction and empowerment
  • Self-regulation.

3. Social and Collaboration Skills and Disposition

  • Critically open minded 
  • Intercultural and social consciousness
  • Social and civic responsibility

The School status

In the school year 2018-2019, the American International School of Bamako (AISB) consists of 187 students from over 30 countries, largely from families who have come to Mali to work in development and diplomacy. Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is projected at 190. AISB has been recently re-accredited using MSA’s Excellence by Design protocol after a very inclusive self-study process followed by strong affirmation from an MSA visiting team in October 2018. In his closing remarks, Jean-Luc Aupoix, the Team chair, commended the students, parents, Board, faculty and staff of AISB “for the degree of cooperation and cohesiveness you display day after day for the benefit of the students’ learning and everyone’s well-being.

Facilities

To meet the growing demand for a physical environment and to match the school’s high-quality education, the AISB Board undertook a school construction process that culminated in April 2011 in moving into a new, expanded, purpose-built facility in Bamako that might well be the envy of much larger schools. The facility has a capacity of 300 students (with room to expand) and is located on a campus of 12 acres in a peaceful location on the banks of the Niger River.  Spacious classrooms for all early childhood and elementary grades are centered around green spaces and the secondary wing includes classrooms, two science labs, student lounge areas, and lockers.  The school also has a library, performing and visual arts facilities, a school store, a kitchen for lunch service, and a canteen seating area.  The campus has wireless Internet access throughout the buildings and uses cloud computing extensively.

Over the past three years new facilities have been added that include an aquatics center including two pools, a MakerSpace, an aerobics room and a Learning Lab. The Board has a rolling five year facilities plan that calls for renovations to the school eating spaces and a covered outdoor gym in the next year.

Curriculum

AISB offers a full U.S. educational program from pre-kindergarten (age 2) through grade 12.  The curriculum is similar to that of other American International Schools and is designed to prepare students for university in the US or elsewhere. Classes use up-to-date teaching materials from the United States and around the world. There are ample opportunities to use the greater-Bamako environment for meeting curricular objectives. In addition to the regular and Advanced Placement (AP) academic courses, French, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), Technology, Music, Drama, Art, and Physical Education classes are offered. The School has a 12,000-volume library.

AISB strives to create a technology-enabled learning experience. Elementary classes have access to iPads (K-5) and ChromeBooks (4-5). The secondary school operates 1:1 through a Bring Your Own Device program. Elementary faculty members each host a class blog (via SeeSaw in grades K-5) both as a means of communicating with parents, as well as engaging them in their child's learning journey.  In the Secondary School, Google Classroom and the Focus learning management system is actively used in the delivery of curricula content.

AISB uses the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) Standards and Benchmarks in most subject areas. These standards and benchmarks are developed based on the US Common Core Curriculum for Math and Language Arts and state standards from around the US. These Standards and Benchmarks are used by many American International Schools around the world, making the transition from one school to another more successful.

AISB is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.  AISB is also an authorized ACT, PSAT and SAT testing site and offers approved Advanced Placement high school courses.

The school has inherent international qualities due to its setting in the Republic of Mali, in French-speaking Africa, and due to the diverse international backgrounds of the school population. Modifications to the basic American program have been made to complement

the school's international setting and population. These modifications include but are not limited to, French Language instruction, English as a Second Language instruction, and inclusion of Malian culture, history and geography in the curriculum and in after-school activities. AISB recognizes that the education of students is much broader than the academic content that is determined by the curriculum. The classroom and campus atmosphere, the style of teacher interaction with the students, and the expectations placed on the students produce a long-term impact which will be reflected in the character traits that our students will hold as adults in the larger world.

An athletic program and a variety of extra-curricular and club/service activities are available for AISB students. The school participates in athletics and academic activities other international schools, organized through WAISAL, the West African International Schools Activities League. Students in the Secondary School are given a range of leadership opportunities through a Community-Based Engagement program, that encourages students to become involved in both the AISB and broader communities through event planning and service-learning projects based on a partnership model. The school actively promotes connections with Malian culture and society and seeks to do more of this in the future.

 

AISB’s Special Strength

  • Positive, friendly, supportive community atmosphere and working environment.
  • Highly diverse, multicultural, international student body – and enjoyment of that diversity.
  • Excellent teacher-parent communication.
  • Dedicated and creative teachers.
  • Organized and efficient operations.
  • Initiatives to develop its curriculum and educational programs.

Governance

The AISB Board of Directors consists of nine members. Of these, seven are voting members, four Americans and three non-Americans, who must be parents of students enrolled at AISB.  These numbers may be altered only if the required number of Americans or non-Americans is not available to stand for election.  There are two ex–officio non-voting members of the Board, a representative of the US Ambassador and the Director.

The major responsibilities of the Board of Directors are to advance AISB’s mission, develop and revise sound policies and oversee sound financial stewardship of the school. They have a responsibility to ensure the school’s well-being now and into the future.  One of their main responsibilities is to hire and evaluate the Director, who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school.

During the MSA accreditation visit, the MSA team commented that AISB’s Board of Trustees has governed with vision and dedication, supportive.

The Position

The AISB Board of Directors is seeking a full-time Director to preserve and support AISB’s special strengths mentioned above and to lead the school into the future, focusing on the following:

Excellence in Education

  • Lead AISB to continue to attract, retain and develop excellent teachers.
  • Lead AISB staff to continue to develop, improve, successfully implement and document the written curriculum.

Strategy and Growth

  • Lead the AISB Board in the development of a strategic plan
  • Lead revenue growth and manage finances so that the school can continue to develop the new campus while meeting building loan obligations.
  • Lead AISB to continue to grow enrollment toward full capacity of the new facility.

Community

  •  Lead AISB Board, parents, and staff to continue to foster and develop the strong sense of community, which is important to everyone at AISB.

Qualification and Experience

The school seeks a Director who is:

  • Motivated, experienced, and skilled in meeting the challenges described above.
  • An experienced and knowledgeable educator, with an M.A. degree, administrative credential, and an excellent record of success in previous positions of school leadership.
  • A strategic manager and an inspirational leader.
  • A team builder who can lead the school community in achieving a shared vision of the future.
  • A leader who is fair, objective, honest, and ethical.
  • A leader who is open-minded, flexible, and resilient.
  • An administrator with a record of proven success in recruiting and retaining excellent teachers, leading change processes, and managing finances.
  • A talented and approachable communicator with strong interpersonal skills and multicultural understanding and experience (A leader who has knowledge and abilities to work with his educational team and AISB communities to attract and serve the growing demand for international education and pave the way toward IB authorization in the future.)
  • Excellent written and spoken English and, if possible, with a strong level of French fluency.

Term and Condition

An initial three-year contract is offered.  The salary, benefits and terms of contract will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience sought in the candidate.

Note: AISB is a highly welcoming community, the Board and staff are serious about quality education, and Malians are wonderfully hospitable.  It is not surprising, then, that the previous two directors have both extended their initial contracts beyond the initial contract.

Procedures for making application

The American International School of Bamako has appointed Search Associates as its consultant in its search for a Director, with Brent Mutsch as the lead consultant.  The deadline for applications for the position is August 23, 2019.  Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials listed below as early as possible as the Search Committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is found.

The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received.  Finalists will be selected by the Search Committee and two or three finalists will be selected as early in the process as possible.  Finalist candidates together with their spouse (if applicable) will be invited to Bamako to meet with the Search Committee and the Board for final interviews and to visit the school campus and meet with faculty, parents, students, and non-teaching staff.  The new Director will be selected immediately after the conclusion of the school visit, final interviews, and reference checks.  The new Director will begin in August 2020.

Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file attached to an email:

  • A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Director position at AISB.
  • A statement describing your management and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
  • A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
  • A one-page list of references who have served as direct/immediate supervisors with current addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
  • A maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.

Total document size should be kept to less than three (4) MB if possible. Applications should be sent to: bmutsch@searchassociates.com   Additional information about AISB can be found on the school’s web site at www.aisbmali.org.

Brent Mutsch                                                                                                                                 

Telephone: 970-368-6879 USA – Mountain Time Zone

Skype: brentmutsch                                           

Email: bmutsch@searchassociates.com

Did You Know…?

Search Associates has 22 Senior Associates with offices around the globe, each bringing a wealth of experience in international education.