Director at Colegio Maya in Guatemala
Guatemala < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Colegio Maya (Guatemala)

Appointed - Mike Johnston
Jun 16, 2015
Aug 25, 2015


Colegio Maya/The American School of Guatemala
Guatemala City, Guatemala

seeks a
- - effective July, 2016 - -

The School

Colegio Maya, The American International School of Guatemala, was founded in 1958 and is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, coeducational day school which offers an educational program from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 for students of all nationalities.  Colegio Maya is accredited by AdvancED and the Ministry of Education of Guatemala. With approximately 340 students representing 38 countries, Colegio Maya seeks to foster a community that inspires excellence in every learner by developing their unique mind, body and character to become independent value-driven citizens.


Instruction is in English with the exception of World Language classes.  Secondary students are encouraged to take challenging courses, some of which are included in Colegio Maya’s well developed Advance Placement (AP) class offerings.  The school year is broken into two semesters extending from the second week of August to the third week of December and from the second week of January to the first week of June.  

The community truly values diversity and seeks excellence.  Through educational programs and values, each student is encouraged to find his/ her own voice and to develop leadership capabilities.  Beliefs are based in actions: fostering, celebrating, creating, encouraging, preparing, stimulating and affirming.  "Non-negotiables" include small classes with an average size between 12 and 18 students, academic excellence, ongoing staff development, celebration of diversity, and a commitment to fostering social responsibility.

Colegio Maya Vision

A community that inspires excellence in every learner by developing their unique mind, body and character to become independent value-driven citizens.

Colegio Maya Mission

Colegio Maya serves a diverse international community, preparing responsible global citizens through a rigorous U.S. accredited college preparatory program.  Colegio Maya develops ethical values and inspires all students to achieve their unique potential for excellence through challenging academics, arts, sports, leadership, and committed participation in social service.  The Colegio Maya community holds all its members: students, parents, teachers, and staff, accountable for the success of every student.

The Setting

Guatemala City, the largest city in Central America, is located in the center highland region of Guatemala and is the capital of this fascinating country.  Often called "The Land of Eternal Spring,"  Guatemala City, at 5,000 feet above sea level, has pleasant weather all year-round.  Guatemala City is the heart of the nation's cultural, political, and commercial activities, and home to over three million people.  Its architecture is a mixture of old and new, with modern buildings, Spanish colonial structures, run-down neighborhoods and ancient ruins.  Guatemala's culture is a unique blend of indigenous and Spanish colonial influences.  About half of the population is mestizo (known in Guatemala as ladino), with the remaining groups including people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry.  Some of Guatemala’s rural areas have maintained a large indigenous Mayan population with a distinct identity -- speaking over 23 different languages, following traditional religious and village customs, and continuing a rich tradition in textiles and other crafts.  Other cities and rural areas are developing rapidly and are quickly becoming important manufacturing, cultural and social centers outside of Guatemala City.

Campus and Facilities

The school is located on the outskirts of Guatemala City but well within the metropolitan area.  The facility includes several academic buildings which serve the early childhood, elementary, middle and high school students.  The gymnasium complex includes a large multi-purpose room, four middle school classrooms and a cafeteria.  Within the school facilities there are science laboratories, a technology resource center, secondary and elementary media centers, an elementary and a secondary, computer learning center, a soccer/football field, and a covered outdoor court.  The completely renovated and enlarged elementary and secondary library complex houses more than 24,000 volumes.  In addition, students and faculty have access to more than 7,000 periodicals on line.  The state-of-the-art Performing Fine Arts Center was opened in 2006 and provides the school with a 336 seat theater complete with dressing rooms and ample set and costume storage space. It also includes classrooms for art, drama and music.


At the end of the 2014-2015 school year, enrollment was approximately 366 students (PK- grade 5: 170 students; grades 6-8: 85 students; grades 9-12: 111 students).  Of the total,  88 students were U.S. citizens, 72 students were host-country nationals, and 207 students were third-country nationals, representing 28 other countries.  Of the U.S. enrollment, 48 students were dependents of U.S. government direct-hire or contract employees, 10 students were dependents of foundation employees, and 30 students were dependents of other private U.S. citizens.


The School offers a complete U.S. curriculum.  Spanish is required for one class period daily for all students in grades 1-8.  Placement in Spanish classes is determined by the student's level upon enrollment.  All other instruction is in English except for world language classes. Graduation requirements include four years of language arts, science, math, social studies, and a foreign language, as well as physical education, and electives.  Presently, special services are offered for mild to moderate learning disabilities and English-as-a-Second-Language.  The student activities program is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum and is treated as such by the administration and staff.  The school is recognized and authorized by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education and is fully accredited by AdvancED.  

Faculty and Administration

In the 2014-2015 school year, there are 43 full-time faculty members and 6 part-time faculty members including 28 U.S. citizens, 8 third-country nationals, and 13 host-country nationals.


The School is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors elected for two-year terms by the Colegio Maya Association.  Membership in the Association is automatically conferred on the parents or guardians of children enrolled in the School.

The Position Description

The Director provides leadership and direction in planning, coordinating and evaluating the school’s staff and operations in a manner that ensures appropriate educational policies and programs to achieve the fullest possible development of each student.  Colegio Maya seeks an energetic, inspirational leader to:

  • Advance the school into the future while respecting its vision, history and strong foundations of academic excellence.
  • Manage the overall direction and all day-to-day decisions of the school including strategic, academic and financial operations. 
  • Encourage transparency and mutual respect while being able to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure and value accountability, and allocate resources to ensure results.
  • Develop a collaborative culture where high-caliber staff is valued, motivated and retained.
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively with the Board on matters of governance and policy.
  • Effectively represent the school to diverse internal and external audiences consistently enhancing the school’s visibility and prestige.

Job Qualifications

  • At least 6 years of classroom teaching experience and a minimum of 5 years of experience as a Principal or 3 years Director/Superintendent preferred.  Professional experience in Latin America preferred.
  • A MA/MS is required, a PhD in education or educational administration is preferred.
  • Energetic and enthusiastic about education and management.
  • A demonstrated commitment to academic excellence and accountability with a strong ability to formulate and communicate strategic and academic vision.
  • Significant experience in curriculum design and development, faculty/staff recruitment, management and retention, marketing and public relations.
  • Demonstrated success in budgeting and finance.
  • Successful record of team building, inspiring leadership, and engendering trust in complex and challenging situations.
  • Excellent oral and written verbal communication skills in English. Oral proficiency in Spanish highly desirable.
  • Dedicated professional, well organized, fair and honest with the highest degree of personal integrity within the school community as well as in private life.

Personal Skills

  • Puts well-being of the students as the number one priority.
  • Commitment to working successfully within a team structure;
  • Approachable, accessible, personable, patient and tolerant with students, teachers and parents.
  • Well-developed listening skills.
  • Open minded and receptive to suggestions from teachers, students, and parents
  • Knowing when to be strict and when to be friendly.
  • Ability to foster a close knit community among diverse stakeholders.
  • Commitment to community service learning projects and student leadership
  • Interested in wellness and physical fitness.
  • Actively involved in all school and extracurricular activities.

Salary and Benefits

The salary will be competitive and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

Procedure for Filing Application

Colegio Maya has appointed Search Associates to act as consultant in the search for a new Director, with Dr. Ralph Jahr being the lead consultant.  The deadline for application is August 25, 2015. 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.  Finalists will be selected by the Search Committee by September 29, 2015 or sooner.  Finalist candidates with their spouse, if applicable, will be interviewed in Guatemala in early October (or sooner) by the Search Committee and the Board of Directors and will have the opportunity to visit the school and will meet with faculty, parents, students, and non-teaching staff.  The new Director will be selected immediately after the conclusion of the site visits and final interviews. Current plans are to have the new Director, if possible, assist with the hiring of new faculty members for the 2016-17 school year.  

Candidates who wish to apply should submit the information requested below in the form and manner requested. Please do not send any information other than that which is specifically requested.

  • A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Colegio Maya position
  • A current résumé not to exceed two pages
  • A one or two-page statement outlining your philosophy of education
  • A one-page list of at least three references with current phone numbers and email addresses
  • A maximum of four letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) which may already be in your possession 

Please note that all materials must be scanned into a single pdf attachment of 4MB or less and sent to Search Associates at the email address listed below. Please send the application to:

< >  For further information about Colegio Maya/The American School of Guatemala, please see the school's website:

Ralph Jahr, Ph.D.                                                                                                  Tel: 609-759-0431
Search Associates                                                              
2008 Cove Lane                                                                                                   Skype – ralph.h.jahr
Roseville, CA 95747-8835 (USA)                                                Web:



Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Gary MacPhie is based in Toronto, Canada where he started his teaching career, and then spent 26 years overseas as a teacher, principal and recruiter in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.