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Banjul American Embassy School (Gambia, The)
Appointed - Sharon Sperry
Sep 28, 13
Nov 8, 13
Banjul American Embassy School
Banjul, The Gambia (West Africa)
-- effective August 1, 2014 --
The School and Community
Located on the west coast of Africa in The Gambia, The Banjul American Embassy School (BAES) is a well-respected Kindergarten through 10th-grade school that provides a well-rounded education to students of diverse nationalities. The school was founded in 1984 to meet the educational needs of the international community in this small West African nation.
The School provides a formal educational program in English for children between 3 and 16 years of age. A balanced curriculum prepares students in the core academic areas, while ample allowance is made for extra-curricular activities, which are considered a vital part of school life. It is the only school in The Gambia offering an American-based curriculum and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). Students enrolled in the high school program (grades 9-10) follow the correspondence curriculum of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Independent High School, with support from BAES faculty.
Location and Campus
BAES is located in the suburb of Fajara, one of the most attractive suburbs of Banjul. The school recently moved its main building into a new facility. It includes administrative offices, a computerized library, a fully networked computer lab, middle school classrooms, and a middle school teacher office all with wireless Internet access. Three other buildings include a science lab, an Early Childhood Center, and elementary classrooms. There is a large playground; a smaller soccer area for the younger students; and the basketball court and soccer field are being renovated.
The school has been given 6 acres of land in the Bijilo district to build a new campus. The architectural plans have been approved and work on some segments has been completed. There is a borehole for water, a guard house, a maintenance building and the property is enclosed by a concrete block wall fence, with sturdy security gates. Work continues on the project as funding becomes available.
The school is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. Six members of the Board are elected for two-year terms by the BAES Association while the remaining member is appointed by the U.S. Ambassador. The Director has nonvoting, ex-officio membership on the Board. Parents, legal guardians, the Director and teachers are members of the BAES Association.
The school demonstrates U.S. education abroad to a multiethnic, multicultural and diverse student body and otherwise increases mutual understanding through its emphasis on an American-based curriculum. An overseas-hired American administrator provides the leadership of the school. The school year extends from late August to mid-June with no less than 180 days of instruction. The school's objectives are based on a commitment to continuous and sustained improvements in curriculum, materials, physical facilities, financial management, and the professional development of staff. The academic program stresses individual achievement and attention
Faculty and Student Body
The current faculty comes from the US, Canada, UK, Europe, and The Gambia. All are experienced teachers and hold Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees and internationally respected teaching certificates. With a low student/teacher ratio, teachers have the opportunity to know all students and address their individual needs. The environment is friendly, safe, and secure. Field trips and local artists are used to enhance lessons and foster an appreciation of Gambian culture and society. The student body fluctuates between 60-80 students representing 20 different nationalities.
The Director is the chief administrator of BAES and is responsible to the Board of Directors. He/she is responsible for the organization, operation and administration of the total school program. Within limits of established policy, the Director shall make decisions involving the activities and personnel of the school. The Director shall organize the school and its employees into an efficient, democratic and cooperative institution of professionally trained workers with stress on the importance of teaching and learning. He/she shall provide educational leadership and supervision and shall also be responsible for the safety, welfare and general development of the children within the school. The Director will also be responsible for leading the school in the development and building of the new campus.
Required Qualifications for the Position
- Candidates must be in good health
- 5 years of previous administrative experience
- 2 years of experience living and working overseas
- Evidence of creating and implementing budgets
- Graduate Degree
- The Director must be willing to teach when necessary
- Previous experience in an overseas school
- Experience with construction and/or renovating existing facilities
- Experience with the accreditation process
- Experience in a developing country
- Candidates with a teaching spouse
- Previous experience dealing with a US Embassy
- Certification as an administrator
Salary and Benefits
The salary will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. An attractive benefits package includes housing, use of a school car, and health insurance.
Procedures for Filing Application
The Board of Directors of the Banjul American Embassy School has appointed Search Associates to act as consultant in the search for a new Director with Ralph Jahr being the primary contact. Candidates who wish to apply must apply through Search Associates to facilitate the application process and insure that credentials are provided to the Board / Search Committee in a uniform and consistent manner.
The deadline for applications is November 8, 2013. Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials as early as possible as the Search Committee/Board of Directors 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. Finalist candidates may be interviewed in Banjul by the Search Committee and the Board of Directors and may have the opportunity to visit the school and meet with faculty, parents, students, and non-teaching staff. The new Director will be selected immediately after the interviews of the finalist candidates have been completed. Current plans are to have the new Director, if possible, assist with the hiring of new faculty members for the 2014-15 school year.
Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file attached to an email:
- A letter of application addressing the following:
- An innovative solution to one of your most challenging situations in education
- Explain your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the school Director position at BAES
- A current résumé not to exceed two pages, addressing the desired professional qualifications as well as the desired personal qualities
- A one-page list of references with current phone numbers and email addresses
- letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession
Total document size should be kept to less than three (3) MB if possible.
Applications should be sent to: RJahr@searchassociates.com
Additional information about the Banjul American Embassy School can be found on the school’s web site at < www.baes.gm >.
Ralph H. Jahr, Ph.D. Tel: 609-759-0431
Search Associates Email: RJahr@searchassociates.com
12 Exeter Ct Skype – ralph.h.jahr
Princeton, NJ 08540 (USA) Web: www.searchassociates.com