Director / Head of School at International School Rheintal in Switzerland
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Director / Head of School
International School Rheintal (Switzerland)

Appointed - Liz Free
Feb 10, 2020
Mar 6, 2020


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Board of the International School of Rheintal ( ISR ) in the (CH) St. Gallen-(LI) Liechtenstein- (A) Vorarlberg region of Switzerland, we are pleased to announce that ELIZABETH FREE has been appointed School Director, effective August 1, 2020.

Liz Free is currently a member of the leadership team of the British School in the Netherlands ( BSN ) in The Hague,  a group of five schools on four campuses, with a total enrollment of over 2500 students. In her capacity of founding and heading the school’s own internal International Leadership Academy ( ILA ) since 2016, Liz has been instrumental in shaping a culture of learning across all divisions of BSN. The ILA also serves as the European home of professional learning and development for international school staff.

Prior to BSN, Liz served as Head of Professional Development for Oxford University Press, Head of Primary and Assistant Principal of the British School of Boston, and as Independent Consultant and teacher in the U.K. Liz earned a PGCE ( Primary ) from the University of Wales where she also earned a B.A. ( Hons ) in English. In addition, she received a Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Development from Exeter University as well as gaining further  professional credentials through the International Leadership and Management Programme at Bath University and the Strategic Leadership Programme at Oxford University. In nominating Liz to the full Board, Chair of the Board Heiner Graf described Liz as a “fast thinker, good listener, entrepreneurial, and charismatic, energized in an inviting style"

Liz will follow the long-serving and deeply committed tenure of ISR Founding Director Meg Sutcliffe who has taken the school to its established position in the St. Gallen - Liechtenstein - Vorarlberg region,  including  its CIS accreditation and the authorized status as a full continuum IB World School. 

The International School of Rheintal community, its search committee, and Search Associates would like to thank all the excellent candidates who expressed an interest in the Director position and everyone who supported and assisted the search process.

Gunther Brandt

Senior Consultant

Search Associates





International School Rheintal ISR

CH-St. Gallen, LI-Liechtenstein, A-Vorarlberg



Seeks a Director – Head of School

Beginning July 1,2020



ISR will have its first change of director since its founding in 2002, with continuous development under a stable Board highly supportive of the Head. A new sustainable school building which includes two gyms is scheduled to open in 2023 (see pre-project sketch below). We are a full continuum IB World School authorized to offer the PYP, MYP, and DP; the school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS). A positive school community with a family atmosphere is enhanced by a safe and beautiful natural area, a wonderful place for family life.

Founded in 2002, the International School Rheintal is a non-profit, independent, co-educational day school located in the heart of Alpenrheintal in eastern Switzerland bordering Liechtenstein and Austria. It is an exciting and safe area for families and one of the strongest economic areas in mid Europe with a wide diversity of exporting and finance industries. Due to our non-profit status, all our income is invested back into the school for the benefit of our students.

Pre-project of the new ISR Building with two Gyms in Buchs SG, Switzerland


Our school has a strong 18-year history of supporting young people to pursue their dreams and ambitions, in all walks of life, and in all corners of the globe. We deliver an outstanding education that prepares our students to be successful and inspires them to make a difference; an education that will equip them with the skills and attitudes to tackle the global challenges they will face.


In our rapidly changing world we imagine that our students will need the passion and courage to go on learning throughout life and the creativity to dream of a better world. At ISR, we are committed to providing every student with the individual support they need to flourish, to discover pleasure in learning, to become autonomous and intrinsically motivated, and, ultimately, to become architects of their own futures.



  •  CIS Council of International Schools
  •  IB International Baccalaureate Organization (PYP, MYP and DP)


Key Facts

  •  Serves students aged 3 to 18
  • Student-teacher ratio: 6,5:1
  • Maximum class size for 1 teacher: 18 students in double classes and 22 students in separate classes
  • Approximately 135 students from 35 different countries
  • Official language of instruction is English, native German language programs


Our Curriculum

  •  An International Baccalaureate (IB) flagship school
  • Primary (PYP), Middle Years (MYP), and Diploma (DP) Programs encourage personal and academic development and support students to become inquisitive, life-long learners
  • Integrated use of technology throughout all grade levels


The Faculty

  •  Dedicated team of university and college-educated, credentialed and highly professional international teachers
  •  Approximately 30 full- and part-time teachers from 15 different countries


Sports and Activities

  •  Wide selection of cultural, creative and physical after-school and special interest activities
  • Mother tongue programs
  • Music lessons and performance opportunities
  • Extensive sports program can be built up in the new building


Community Life

  •  Parent Teacher Association (PTA) welcomes and helps arriving, departing and residing families
  • Large number of volunteer and parent development opportunities
  • Social and sports activities organized by the parent community
  • Annual community events including ‘International Dinner’ to celebrate cultural diversity
  • Connections with local communities for fieldtrips, workshops, theater and fairs


Special Services

  •  English as an Additional Language (EAL) support to acquire linguistic competence
  • Access to outstanding personal counseling for all students
  • Learning support to help students meet their potential
  • Access to robust health services


Career and University Planning

  •  Choice of several IB courses
  • Detailed, individual career and university planning from grade 9 onwards
  • Expert guidance with worldwide university applications




The International School Rheintal (ISR), founded in 2002, is a well-established, full continuum IB World School that is recognized as a small but mighty school in the group of the Swiss International Schools. New challenges in a complex and competitive market will require strategic attention to ensure the continued progress of ISR.


The next Director will be an experienced, collaborative leader with the ability to build a cohesive culture as well as the capacity, integrity, and commitment to advance the school’s vision of guiding students to be knowledgeable, engaged, and independent learners.






  •  Head of school experience or leadership experience as Principal/Division Head in international schools
  • A graduate degree (MA, MS, Ed.D., Ph.D.) in education, or educational leadership
  • IB programs experience in international schools, strong pedagogical leader
  • Proven track record of collaborative leadership and success
  • Skillful communicator
  • Demonstrated commitment to a multi-year tenure of service



  •  Aligning strategic priorities and facilities planning as a systems thinker, including the ability to develop and implement a long-term strategic plan in partnership with board of trustees, along with experience in financial planning and management
  • Organizational management skills and proven ability to lead a diverse, international team
  • Creating a culture where high aspirations for excellence and a love of learning go hand in hand
  • Capability to build strong academic success foundations for the school starting with the ability to identify, recruit, develop and retain highly qualified teachers
  • Advancing the school through marketing, networking, and developing mutually beneficial partnerships
  • Fostering channels of communication and support within the school community, to create a positive and inclusive school environment
  • Demonstrated ability to manage change



  •  Alignment with ISR values of empowerment in community, creativity in effort and responsibility in thinking
  • A collaborator at heart, with demonstrated ability to work harmoniously and effectively with all key stakeholders - teachers, students, parents and the board
  • An ambassador for the school, able to position and promote the school’s standing in a competitive market; a visible and engaged leader in the life of the school
  • Supportive, empathetic and compassionate, yet able to make difficult decisions in the best interests of students and the entire school community
  • Internationally minded and culturally sensitive, with a commitment to developing minds, building character and creating community
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, which include being approachable, being a good listener, and being an effective communicator verbally and in writing (fluency in English required, beneficial in German)



  •  The compensation package will be internationally competitive and commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications. Further details will be provided to finalist candidates.



The International School Rheintal (ISR) has appointed Search Associates as a consultant in the Director Search, with Dr. Gunther Brandt as the Lead Consultant. The deadline for applications is 6th March 2020. Candidates who are submitting their applications after this announcement with the new deadline should follow the instructions below: Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the required materials as early as possible and the ISR nomination 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, and 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 ISR, listing your strengths as a candidate and how your qualifications and experience align with the profile of the desired candidate.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages
  • A one-page list of at least 4 (four) referees who have been your direct supervisors, with current phone and email addresses
  • A maximum of three letters of reference scanned at low resolution that may already be in your possession

The total DOC size should be kept at less than (4) MB if possible. Applications should be sent to and to

For further information on the school please see




Did You Know…?

Many international schools start recruiting in September for the following school year.