Director General at American Nicaraguan School in Nicaragua
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Director General
American Nicaraguan School (Nicaragua)

Appointed - Jeff Keller
Jun 26, 2014
Sep 1, 2014


American Nicaraguan School

Managua, Nicaragua

seeks a new

Director General

-- effective July, 2015 --


The School

The American Nicaraguan School (ANS) in Managua, Nicaragua was founded in 1944. It is a non-sectarian, non-profit, private day school supported by tuition and fees. The program is co-educational, non-residential, and extends from Nursery (K3) through Grade 12.


Campus and Facilities

Located on a 26-acre campus in Managua, Nicaragua, facilities include 26 buildings, 78 classrooms, 5 computer labs, campus-wide wireless Internet connection, 5 science labs, 315 instructional computers, 23,000 volume library, 3 food courts, 3 outdoor athletic fields, 2 multi purpose open-air courts, 3 courts in the Covered Athletic Area, swimming pool and 1 covered basketball court in the Elementary School. There are 2 maintenance workshops and 9 storage facilities.  There are also eight apartments for teachers located on school grounds.

A new High School building was constructed using many features that will enable technology integration and reinforce the necessary skills for the 21st century. The school offers: campus-wide wireless access, a library/media center, a technology center, video conferencing facilities, science laboratories, a fine arts, drama, and music department, and extensive athletic facilities, including a multi-purpose covered athletic area with a capacity for 3,000 people. 22 Middle School classrooms have been equipped with air conditioning as part of the school’s commitment to improve its facilities over a 15-year period, with Elementary School classrooms soon to follow.


Total Pre-K to 12 enrollment is approximately 980 students. Student nationalities by citizenship include United States citizens (32%), Nicaraguans (48%), and third-country nationals representing 27 other countries (20%). The great majority of the US students and third-country nationals are actually dual national Nicaraguans. Approximately 5% of the students are affiliated with embassies, international organizations, and foreign businesses, which pay the educational costs for the children of their employees.


The calendar consists of two semesters with 182 days of classroom instruction. The first semester commences mid August and finishes in mid December; the second semester commences in the middle of January and concludes in the middle of June.

Faculty and Administration

The instructional staff of 121 professionals includes 59 US citizens, 52 Nicaraguans, and 10 of other nationalities. The faculty consists of 20 recruited and 101 locally hired faculty members. The Director General works closely with the school's Leadership Team. The Leadership Team consists of the Assistant to the Director General, and principals at each academic level. Additional administrative support comes from the Business Director, IT Director, HR Director, and the Communication & PR Director. The school also employs approximately 70 office support staff and 70 maintenance staff.


The educational program is that of a United States college-preparatory school. The primary language of instruction is English. Emphasis in the secondary school (grades 7-12) is in preparation for entrance into colleges or universities in the US, Nicaragua, and other countries. To that end, ANS offers a wide variety of AP courses. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), a division of AdvancED. ANS is scheduled for an AdvancED accreditation visit in the spring of 2017. The Nicaraguan Ministry of Education also accredits ANS locally.





The American Nicaraguan School is operated by the “Asociación Pro-Escuela Americana” and is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. The Director is responsible only to the Board and only through official action by the Board in session. Six of the members are elected, and one is appointed by the US Ambassador. The US Ambassador and the Nicaraguan Minister of Education are honorary Presidents of the Association. The General Assembly of the Association meets once a year in October.

The Community

Nicaragua, with a population of about 6 million people is generally thought to be among the safest places to live in Central America. Managua the capital has just over 1 million people and most of the remaining population lives on a 100 kilometer-wide strip that runs along the Pacific Coast. The official language is Spanish. English is spoken by many business and government officials, and by a whole generation of Nicaraguans who have lived in the United States.

Nicaragua is marked by dramatic scenery with mountain ranges punctuated with volcanoes, the two large lakes in the western basin, low coastal plains and lovely, unspoiled beaches. The coastal regions of Nicaragua, including Managua, have a tropical climate with an average temperature in the mid-80s. There are just two seasons, rainy (from May to October) and dry. Nicaragua is lucky to have some of the best and most abundant resources in Central America. Its volcanic soil is perfect for growing crops, and so every day there are more varieties of locally grown fruits and vegetables available in the supermarkets.

Day trips from Managua to colonial towns or to rainforest canopy tours provide families the opportunity to enjoy the rich culture, history and natural offerings of Nicaragua. Recreational opportunities outdoors abound especially for those who like to get off the beaten track. The Nicaraguans are friendly and open to Americans and all foreigners. Managua has a small town feel to it and most ANS families are well known to each other. Managua is a two-hour flight from Miami, Florida, and many ANS teachers can afford to spend holiday breaks in the US.

The Position

As Chief Executive officer of the school, the Director General is expected to exert leadership in all areas related to the academic program and the management of the school. The authorities and duties of the Director General are enumerated in Board policies. He/she is responsible for managing the school in accordance with sound principles of curriculum and educational instruction, communications, business and financial management, and organizational development. He/she takes part in all Board meetings, except when specifically excluded, and has a voice but no vote. The Director General is the chief advisor to the Board of Directors in all policy-level matters, not just in those related to academic questions.

The Director General is empowered by the Board to administer the approved policies of the American Nicaraguan School. In the absence of policy, or in an emergency, the Director acts in accordance with sound educational or organizational principles, but must bring such actions to the attention of the Board at the earliest possible time.  The Board understands the different roles of the Board and administration, and that it is the duty of the Director to manage the day-to-day operations of the school. 

Job Description

The Director General is the CEO and responsible for all programs on campus, including development, revision, oversight, and evaluation. The Director General is responsible to ensure the continued accreditation of the school by AdvancED as well as ensuring the safety and security of the school community while on campus. Specifically, the Director is responsible for the following:

  • Ensure that school policies are effectively monitored and enforced
  • Identify existing policies that need revision or areas where new policies are required, and make recommendations to the Board for action
  • Serve as a conduit for policy recommendations which may arise from the community
  • Provide the Board with input on the viability of proposed new policy
  • Advise Board on educational issues
  • Present an Annual Report to the Board
Supervision and Plant Management
  • Responsible for selecting, developing, evaluating, supporting, and terminating staff for the purpose of achieving the goals of the school
  • Provide orientation for new staff
  • Oversee and evaluate supervisory staff
  • Oversee physical plant, maintenance, and inventories
  • Oversee educational materials, including maintenance, inventories, and improvements
Financial Management
  • Responsible for budget development and management
  • Responsible for budget oversight including approval of purchases and expenditures
  • Responsible for evaluation of overall financial performance
Business Management and Development
  • Initiate development of a strategic / long-range plan and work with the Board to regularly assess / revise the plan to meet the school’s future needs
  • Develop and manage ongoing facility usage
  • Devise a development plan in conjunction with the Board of Directors that supports and enhances the academic program
Instruction and Academic Leadership
  • Provide input to make admission decisions
  • Be the final administrative arbiter for disciplinary action
  • Responsible for the development, revision, evaluation, oversight of curriculum, including promotion of technology integration
  • Coordinate the preparation of the school calendar
  • Facilitate communication within the school
  • Facilitate communication with parents and the community
  • Act as key spokesperson for the academic philosophy, standards and program of ANS, locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Promote the school in Nicaragua using the press and other media

Position Qualifications

Required qualifications of the new Director include the following:

  • Graduate degree in education or related field
  • Head of school experience
  • Minimum three years of classroom teaching experience in schools below the college level
  • Prepared to make a long-term (3-5 year) commitment
  • Experience in strategic planning
  • Expertise/experience in curriculum development and evaluation
  • Well-developed communication skills, both written and verbal

Preferred qualifications of the new Director include the following:

  • Administrative certification and 5 years of experience as a Director
  • Previous experience at an international school - preferably in Latin America
  • Knowledge of Spanish and willingness to work towards fluency
  • Knowledge of Advance Placement (AP)
  • Knowledge of school accreditation process
  • Demonstrated success in recruitment and retention of faculty
  • Demonstrated success in finance and budget development / implementation
  • Experience in development work and/or marketing
  • A proven track record in promoting a positive image of the school

Personal Attributes

Desired personal characteristics of the new Director include the following:

  • Strong leadership skills and a confident leader with the ability to inspire others
  • Collaborative leadership style, a team builder, consensus builder
  • Culturally sensitive, with well developed interpersonal skills
  • Well developed technology skills
  • Good listening skills, an ability to delegate, and good organizational skills
  • Approachable, accessible, friendly, visible, sensitive, tolerant, and politically aware
  • Commitment to excellence, and equally focused on the Elementary and Secondary schools
  • Willingness and ability to network with school and local communities
  • Flexibility and a well-developed sense of humor
  • Supportive of the complete school program, with equal support of Fine Arts and athletics
  • High energy level, proactive, an enthusiastic advocate of the school

The Director General will guide the continued improvement of the school’s academic program.  He/she will be technologically literate, have a high energy level and a passion for to push all students to achieve academic excellence. Academic leadership skills leading to measurable improvement in student learning are valued characteristics of the new Director General.

Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefit package for the Director General is competitive and will be commensurate with the candidate's qualifications and experience.

Procedure for Filing Application

The Board of Directors of the American Nicaraguan School (ANS) has appointed Search Associates as its consultant in its search for a Director General, with Ralph Jahr as the lead consultant. The deadline for applications for the position is September 1, 2014. 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 2 or 3 finalists will be selected as early in the process as possible. Finalist candidates together with their spouse (if applicable) may be invited to Managua 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 General will be selected immediately after the conclusion of the site visit, final interviews, and reference checks. The new Director General will begin in July 2015. The Board is hopeful that the successful candidate will assist with new faculty recruitment in January - February 2015.

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 General position at ANS.
  • 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 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 . Additional information about ANS can be found on the school’s web site at < > .

Ralph Jahr                                                           Tel: 609-759-0431 USA – Eastern Time Zone

Skype – ralph.h.jahr                                            Email:

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