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

Appointed - Preston Emerton
Aug 26, 2020
Oct 7, 2020



American Nicaraguan School

Managua, Nicaragua

is seeking a

Director General (Head of School)

Effective August 2021

The Opportunity

The American Nicaraguan School (ANS) is on a mission to become one of the top international schools in Latin America.  With a laser-like focus over the past six school years, ANS has implemented research-based practices in curriculum development, instructional strategies and assessment practices to ensure that students have the opportunity to receive a world-class education and fulfill the Mission to develop “…..critical thinkers and ethical individuals capable of realizing their leadership potential.” As the School continues on this ambitious journey, it seeks a Director General who will guide and inspire all stakeholders to contribute to this improvement process.

Nicaragua’s natural beauty is impressive with beautiful coffee plantations to the north and spectacular beaches to the south.  With abundant sunshine, clean air, bountiful tropical fruits and vegetables and a low cost of living, Nicaragua is an attractive country in which to live, work and play.

The School

The American Nicaraguan School (ANS) is a private, non-profit, coeducational day school serving 800 students from Pre-K through Grade 12. It was founded in 1944 and has students from 37 nationalities. Parents of students, who make up the governing body for the school, come from local and international businesses, as well as the diplomatic community. ANS is fully accredited by Cognia and completed its last on-site accreditation review in 2017. The educational program follows a U.S. standards-based model and offers a strong Advanced Placement program at the high school. Nearly 100% of its graduates attend four-year college and universities and are accepted into excellent schools in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  

ANS is an active member of the Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA), which provides many opportunities for its students to participate in academic and athletic events with students from other international schools in Central America. ANS is also a member of the Tri-Association, which is an excellent resource for professional development opportunities for staff.

The Mission

"The mission of ANS is to provide its multicultural student community with a US-accredited college preparatory program, based on democratic and universal values, that develops critical thinkers and ethical individuals capable of realizing their leadership potential by making meaningful contributions to society."

The Community

Approximately 55% of the students are Nicaraguan, 30% are from the U.S., 6% from Korea, and the remaining 9% represent students from 34 other countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The School enjoys positive parent support and is considered by many people to be the premier K-12 educational institution in the country.

The Campus and Facilities

The School is located on a beautiful 26-acre open campus that takes advantage of the lush tropical climate of Managua. Over the past five school years, ANS has undertaken a major renovation project. The High School building was purpose built in 2010, and the Primary School classrooms have been remodeled. The Middle School facility will be the main focus of the 2018 Master Facility Plan, as well as an upgrade of sports and fine arts facilities and science laboratories. ANS has campus-wide wireless access, science and computer labs, a library, covered gymnasium, three soccer fields, a swimming pool, cafeteria for elementary students, and a food court for Middle School and High School students.


The Curriculum

The curriculum is college preparatory while providing students opportunities to excel in athletics and leadership activities. There is a very strong community service program that attracts the active participation of over 90% of its students. English is the language of instruction at all grade levels. High School students can partake in the Global Studies Program that provides students with a global perspective on humanities through courses in Human Geography, World Religions, and a third language, including Mandarin and/or French. These courses, in addition to the 16 Advanced Placement courses offered in the high school program, prepare ANS graduates for post secondary education in universities around the world.

The Faculty and Administration

The professional staff consists of 115 members at ANS.  About half are locally-hired teachers and the other half come from predominantly the U.S. and Canada.  There is a strong administrative team in place including principals in the primary school, middle school and high school, as well as assistant principals, instructional coaches, curriculum support personnel, a school psychologist, counselors and learning support professionals..  

The Governance Structure

The Board of Directors is composed of seven members, six of whom are elected to three-year terms by the parents with children in the School. The seventh member is appointed by the US Ambassador to Nicaragua. The Board meets on a monthly basis, and there are Standing Committees for Finance, Facilities, and Policy.

The Academic Calendar

The school year follows a typical US school calendar, with classes beginning mid-August and ending in early June. ANS observes major US and Nicaraguan holidays, with extended holidays during Christmas and Easter. There are approximately 180 instructional days plus some additional days for professional development for the administrative and instructional staff.

The Role

The Director General is responsible for providing leadership to the American Nicaraguan School's work across Pre-K through Grade 12, ensuring the achievement of the ANS mission and implementation of a standards-based learning system.

The Director General reports to the ANS Board of Directors and serves as the Chief Executive Office of the School. In this role, the Director General is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the School. Working with the administrative team, the Director General is responsible to develop effective policies, practices, programs, and activities that promote a learning environment that creates a safe and caring school climate that ensures cognitive, social-emotional, psychological, and physical growth and development of ANS students as well as providing opportunities for continued professional growth for teachers and administrators.

The Director General will work annually with the Board of Directors to develop personal and professional growth goals which will serve to assess performance throughout the course of the school year.  The goals will be measurable and aligned with both the job description and emerging responsibilities associated with the leadership role.   

Description of Duties


  • Serve as the Chief Executive Officer of ANS and strengthen and develop a high performing Leadership Team at ANS, challenge assumptions, promote innovation in our educational and developmental processes and raise standards in all areas of ANS' operations from Pre-K through Grade 12.
  • Make policies recommendations to the Board when needed and implement existing policies and regulations.
  • Successfully recruit, retain and develop outstanding faculty and staff and allocate Human Resources to ensure the achievement of the ANS Mission. Ensure there is an evaluation process in place and is annually successfully implemented for professional staff members. Insure ANS compliance with all legal requirements of the Nicaraguan government.
  • Oversee the admission of new students and the annual registration process for returning students.
  • Maintain open, positive, and transparent communication with all school stakeholders and build and maintain the ANS brand.
  • Foster positive working relationships with local educational authorities, with other local schools and universities, and with international educational organizations.
  • Ensure implementation of Child Protection policies and provide safety and security oversight.


  • Develop the annual operations and capital budgets with input from the Chief Financial Officer, Principals, and Faculty.
  • Ensure that financial resources are acquired and managed effectively in promotion of the School's Mission and within the approved budget.
  • Support additional fundraising strategies to obtain resources to finance the ANS strategy and fulfill the Master Plan for upgrading and renovating identified sectors for the school campus.


  • Serve as the educational advisor to the Board of Directors in order for the Board to provide adequate financial resources to promote the Mission of the School.
  • Provide support to Principals and other members of the professional staff to successfully implement all curricular and co-curricular programs.
  • Ensure that ANS continues to meet and exceed educational requirements to maintain its US accreditation.

Required Qualifications

  • A proven record of outstanding educational leadership in a senior level position.
  • A graduate degree in Education.

Preferred Qualifications

  • International experience.
  • Spanish language skills.
  • Proven ability to create a positive teaching-learning environment as reflected through extensive “academic” preparation and experience.
  • Proven ability to work harmoniously with all stakeholders: Board of Directors, administrators, faculty and staff members, students, parents, and other community members.
  • Proven ability to successfully recruit and retain outstanding faculty members.
  • Proven ability to operate a school within a comprehensive developed and approved budget.
  • Proven experience in leadership positions within schools of at least 500 students.
  • Proven leadership in effectively working with teams of more than 100 faculty and staff members.

Personal Attributes

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Collaborative administrative style.
  • Consistently demonstrate honesty, integrity and compassion.
  • Ability to make tough decisions.
  • Openness to other points of view.
  • Cultural openness, sensitivity, and understanding and enjoyment of other cultures.

Salary and Benefits

The salary will be competitive and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. The Director General package includes:

  • Competitive salary.
  • Housing allowance.
  • Health insurance.
  • Shipping allowance.
  • Annual travel allowance.
  • Tuition for dependent children.
  • Professional development opportunities.

Procedure for Filing an Application

ANS has appointed Search Associates to facilitate the Head of School search with Dr. Brent Mutsch serving as the primary consultant.  The deadline for application is October 7, 2020. However, candidates are encouraged to submit a letter of interest and the requested material as early as possible as the Board reserves the right to accelerate the selection process if the right candidate is identified in advance of the application deadline.  Semi-finalist candidates will be selected by Search Associates and the applications and supporting materials will be forward to the ANS Search Committee on a rolling basis.  Candidates who wish to apply should submit the information requested below in the form and manner requested.

  • A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the ANS Director General position.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages.
  • A one or two page statement outlining your philosophy of education.
  • A one page list of at least four references with current phone numbers and email addresses.
  • A maximum of four letters of recommendation which you already have in your possession.

Final candidates (with spouses if applicable) will be invited to ANS, COVID-19 permitting, in  November and will have an opportunity to meet with the Board, Administration, faculty, students, parents, and support staff. The new Director General will be appointed shortly after the interviews have been completed.

Please send all materials into a single pdf attachment to <>.

For further information about the American Nicaraguan School, please see the School's website:

TEL: 970-368-6879 (MOUNTAIN TIME)

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