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American International School of Niamey (Niger)
Appointed - Tim Kruger
Jun 27, 2021
Aug 6, 2021
The American International School of Niamey, Niger
seeks a new Director
commencing July 2022
The American International School of Niamey (AISN), established in 1982, is an independent, coeducational day school offering an educational program from Nursery through grade 12. The school year consists of two semesters that begin in mid-August and end in early June.
AISN is fully accredited from PreK - Grade 12 by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) and is a member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA). AISN is scheduled to have their next accreditation visit in April 2022.
- Educate students from diverse cultures to achieve excellence in their intellectual and personal development.
- Provide a dynamic and enriched American curriculum taught by qualified, dedicated, and caring staff.
- Work in partnership with families to prepare students to flourish in higher education and become responsible, productive global citizens.
- Strive towards continuous and sustained improvement in the quality of its educational services.
The school is not for profit and is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors, six of whom are elected by the AISN Association for two-year terms. Membership of the association is automatically given to all parents of AISN students and faculty members. The seventh member of the board is appointed by the US ambassador.
The curriculum is similar to that of most U.S. public schools. AISN uses the AERO standards and standardized achievement tests (MAP) are administered biannually. Class sizes are small. Depending on the numbers at each grade level, students are often grouped in multi-age level groups. In addition to language arts, reading, math, science, and social studies, the curriculum includes music, French, and physical education. All students in grades 1-12 receive three periods per week of French language instruction. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten receive two periods of French language instruction per week.
AISN has a strong community-based education program. High school students are involved in service-learning projects with a graduation requirement of 30 hours of service hours. The curriculum ensures that every individual student at AISN is challenged academically. The Learning Support Program at AISN focuses on strengthening academic skills within the context of a student’s emotional, social, and cognitive development, taking a collaborative approach to meeting the needs of students of all levels of English Proficiency and students with mild to moderate special needs.
There are 16 full-time faculty and 3 part-time faculty members. The Director is supported by two Senior Leadership Team members who both also have teaching roles.
PreK – Grade 12 enrolment is currently around 110. About one third of the students are from Niger. The others are expatriates whose parents work for diplomatic missions, NGO’s or business. The majority of students are in the Elementary School. Middle School and High School students are grouped in multi-aged groups. AISN offers a High School Graduation Diploma. The school works with the philosophy, “We teach kids, not subjects” and tries to offer classes to meet individual student’s graduation requirements as well as their interests. Students have the opportunity of taking AP classes online for an extra fee. Graduates usually attend university in the US, Canada, the UK or Europe.
The property on which the school is located is owned by the US government and leased annually for a nominal sum. The school shares boundary walls with the French and US embassies. Many other embassies are located close by. The school consists of four single-story, air-conditioned buildings with nine classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab, and a multipurpose room, new Pre-School, cafeteria, toilet blocks, administration offices, locker rooms, gym, and dance studio. The playground area includes a grass athletic field and covered basketball, volleyball courts and tennis courts, along with an assortment of other playground structures.
The cafeteria and community center, known as the AISN Rec. Center includes a dining hall and cafe, pool, tennis court, and a full-service kitchen. Dinner service and special activities, such as Happy Hour, Quiz Night and Open Mic Night, are also held here after 5:30 pm. All students, parents, and official U.S. personnel are members of the AISN Rec Centre. Memberships are also available for a fee to the greater Niamey community. The Rec. Center is an important part of the community in Niamey. The AISN Director is responsible for overseeing the running of the Rec Center.
Life in Niamey
Niamey is a small, calm and quiet capital city with a large international community. It is often referred to as a great “family post” because of its small size, lack of traffic, relatively good housing, good hotels and restaurants and choices of schools (American; French, of which there are several to choose from; Turkish). Supermarkets stock most items needed, although prices are increasing. The cost of living in Niamey is generally low. This tool can help you compare it with where you currently live. Most of the neighborhood roads are not paved and are not well maintained, however driving around town is not difficult.
Several European and North American embassies and consulates are represented; clubs, sports, events, religious activities (exercise, soccer, tennis, horse riding, fashion shows, art exhibits, mosques/churches, etc.) are available. There are three large, international hotels in town that all have gyms, pools, events, spas and restaurants which can be accessed for a fee.
Air France, Ethiopian, Turkish, Aire Cote d’Ivoire, ASKY and Air Burkina all fly in and out of Niamey.
Niamey has thus far been spared from a major attack by non-state actors/extremists and even elections, although flawed, remained relatively calm. However, there are regular instances of violence, displacement and insecurity in areas bordering Mali, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Travel outside the city of Niamey is restricted for security reasons. The AISN community report feeling safe and secure in the city and move around the city comfortably.
There are three good medical centers/facilities for non-major medical needs, however government clinics are of a poor standard and are not recommended. Niamey is not a good fit for someone with an underlying serious medical condition.
The climate is hot and dry for the majority of the year, with a marked rainy season from. June- October.
French is the official language in Niger. Being a French speaker makes it easier to develop friendships outside the Anglophone community and also to communicate with Francophone parents. It is also helpful, though not essential, for shopping and daily life.
DIRECTOR POSITION PROFILE
AISN seeks a Director who is an emotionally intelligent, experienced leader of learning who can guide the School mission. While s/he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the School and the Recreation (Rec.) Center, s/he must also be able to effectively delegate. The Director should be an excellent communicator who is empathetic and has a proven record in building strong relationships in the community. AISN is a small school who is looking for a Director who can take on many roles. The Director reports to the School’s Board.
Areas for the new Director to particularly focus on are:
- Recruitment, development and retention of talented teachers.
- Hiring and supervising talented staff for both school administrative positions and Rec. Center roles.
- Developing strong and supportive roles between teachers and senior leadership and with the wider community.
- Developing clear communication with all constituent groups.
- Providing direction for the middle and high school experience; especially ensuring academic rigor in the high school
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE
- A Master’s degree in Educational Leadership or similar and a teaching degree.
- Experience in a Senior Leadership role in an international school.
- Experience living and working in the developing world.
- Experience working in a small school environment.
- Experience developing budgets, long-term financial planning and higher-level financial oversight.
- Experience working in a challenging security setting.
- The ability to speak French would be advantageous.
ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTES AND SKILLS
- An excellent listener
- Clear and open communicator
- Emotionally intelligent with a high degree of cultural literacy
- Excellent relationship builder
- Is willing and able to “wear many hats”
- Visible and active in all aspects of school life
- A sense of humour
- Patience and flexibility
- Ability to work closely with key US embassy personnel.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
AISN offers a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with position expectations and market benchmarks.
AISN has selected Search Associates to assist them in the Director search, with Caroline Jacoby as the Lead Consultant. The deadline for applications is noon GMT, August 6th, 2021.
Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the required materials as early as possible as AISN reserves the right to close the selection process AT ANY TIME if the right candidate is found. The review of applications begins as applications are received.
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 Applicants who emerge in the search as a Finalist.
Candidates should send the information listed below in a single PDF file attached to an email:
- A letter of application describing your interest in the Director position at AISN, highlighting your strengths as a candidate and how your qualifications and experience align with the position profile and the school’s areas of focus.
- A current resume not to exceed two pages.
- A one (1) page list of four (4) referees who have been your direct supervisors, with current email addresses.
- A statement describing your leadership and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
- The total document size should be kept at (4) MB.
Applications should be sent to: Caroline Jacoby at email@example.com