Director at International School of Port of Spain in Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago < Back to Leadership Vacancies

International School of Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago)

Appointed - Barney Latham
Oct 14, 2016
Nov 18, 2016

International School of Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago

seeks a



- - Effective July of 2017 - -


The School

The International School of Port of Spain (ISPS) was established in 1994 to serve the needs of the expatriate and local communities. ISPS is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 


The International School of Port of Spain offers a full educational program for students from the age of four to pre-university and has a solid reputation for academic and extra-curricular excellence. ISPS is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to deliver the Primary Years Programme in the elementary grades, the Middle Years Programme in Grades 6-10 and provides an American style high school program in Grades 11 and 12, offering Advanced Placement courses. More than 90% of HS students go on to university and many have been accepted by the leading universities and colleges in all parts of the world. 



ISPS is a vibrant learning community dedicated to developing passionate learners who strive for excellence and pursue their unique potential. We encourage resilience, innovation and collaboration, preparing students to act with confidence and integrity as caring global citizens.



Inspiring thinkers and doers to shape a better world.



Difference makers, Future Shapers.



ISPS operates on a four-acre campus in a desirable suburb of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago is a welcoming country located below the hurricane belt in the southern Caribbean. Port of Spain’s proximity to the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean offer ample opportunities for outdoor sports, travel and adventure. The climate is tropical and this twin island nation is one of the most developed in the Caribbean, with ample resources of natural gas and oil.



The Board of Directors governs the school and is composed of four members from the school’s shareholders (the US Embassy, BP Trinidad and Tobago, Shell and EOG Resources Trinidad Ltd.) and three elected parent members. The Director reports to the Board. There are Principals for each section of the school. A Finance Manager, Admissions Director, and Operations Manager support the Director. 



ISPS has a standards based curriculum in grades Pre-K through grade 10 and in Grades 11 and 12 the school is guided by the Advanced Placement. The framework within which the school delivers its curriculum in the PYP and the MYP. The school is a center for PSAT, SAT and ACT testing. ISPS provides ESL services, learning support services, and extension services through the Student Support Services team.



During the 2016-17 school year, 80 faculty members teach at ISPS, including both international and local teachers. ISPS values a professional learning community and supports professional development for its faculty and staff. 




ISPS currently serves 421 students, with approximately 50% of its students from Trinidad and Tobago. The next highest percentage of students is American, with approximately 35 other nationalities represented across the school. ISPS families are a mix of local citizens, expatriates in the energy sector, and diplomatic workers from numerous countries. To be admitted to the pre-kindergarten a child must be 4 years of age before September 1. The school year begins in late August and ends by mid-June. 




ISPS moved to its purpose built campus in 1999. In addition to classroom facilities, ISPS has several mobile computer labs, 2 music rooms, a dance studio, 3 art rooms, a library, athletic fields with a full sized soccer pitch, a double gymnasium, four science laboratories, a covered outdoor basketball court, and a performing arts theatre. 



Tuition and other fees generate the majority of the school's income and the school has sufficient operating and capital reserves. The annual tuition fees for 2016-17 range from USD$ 11,470.00 to USD$ 15,179.00. There is a one-time capital contribution fee to all new students of $6,000. Funds from the capital fund are used for new capital projects.


Sport and After School Activities

ISPS has a comprehensive sports program and facilitates local basketball, football, volleyball and soccer leagues. Secondary students participate annually in the Caribbean Association of International Schools Sports Association with schools in Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. ISPS has a varied and rich after school activities program for all students, prekindergarten through grade 12.



Challenges and Projects

Strategic Planning and Financial Management

The school is enjoying stable enrollment. ISPS's dependence on enrolment is very high, and even a small drop can cause significant challenges in the operating budget. However, changing economic conditions, fluctuations in student enrollment, and school redevelopment require careful monitoring and planning. The School Improvement Plan is being developed and will need to be monitored and revised for the school’s future development. 


Curriculum Development

ISPS has made much progress in developing and implementing curriculum standards and benchmarks and scope and sequence documents.  The school continues the implementation of the MYP and careful nurturing will be required to ensure that the MYP is fully realized in teaching and assessment in the classroom.

Hiring and Retaining Quality Employees

The further development and implementation of appraisal and assessment systems for staff and faculty performance is critical so that ISPS can retain the best employees. 


Marketing and Communication

ISPS is committed to timely, proactive and transparent communication. Broad communications and marketing activities will need to be a focus in future years. 


 Required Qualifications, Experience and Attributes

  • An Advanced Degree (MA or higher)
  • At least 3 years of experience in a Senior Management position in an international school
  • Experience in the recruitment of staff
  • Experience in strategic planning and implementation
  • Demonstrated success in creating and implementing budgets
  • Prior successful experience with curriculum development and implementation
  • Experience with the evaluation of senior management
  • Prior successful experience meeting pre-established goals

Preferred Personal Skills and Attributes

  • Experience as a head of school (director, headmaster, superintendent)
  • Experience with the IB PYP, MYP and AP programs
  • Experience leading a school through the Accreditation process
  • Demonstrated strong leadership skills and an ability to engage with and inspire trust in faculty members, students, members of the ISPS community and the Board of Directors
  • Ability to maintain and enhance ISPS’ shared vision in a community of diverse cultures
  • Maintains a high ethical standard and ensures appropriate levels of confidentiality
  • Demonstrates familiarity and proficiency in technology
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills
  • Energetic approach to the position
  • Committed to student-centered learning
  • Current with research in international education
  • Well-developed communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Empathetic and compassionate, yet able to make difficult decisions in the best interests of students and the entire school community.
  • A team builder with an ability to bring together all sections of the school and constituencies into a single school
  • Conversational Spanish


Salary and Benefits

The Salary and Benefits package for the new Director will be competitive with other leading international schools in the Caribbean. Benefits include:

  • Appropriate housing
  • Annual round-trip airfare for Director and dependents to home of record
  • Comprehensive medical, disability and life insurances
  • Use of school-provided vehicle

Procedure for Filing Application

International School of Port of Spain has appointed Search Associates to act as consultant in the search for a new Director, with Ralph Jahr and Bridget McNamer being the lead consultants. The deadline for application is November 18, 2016. 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 as early in the process as possible. Finalist candidates with their spouse, if applicable, will be interviewed in Port of Spain by the Search Committee and the Board of Directors and will have the opportunity to visit the school and meet with all constituent groups. 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 at recruiting fairs in 2016-17.


Candidates who wish to apply should submit the information requested below in a single pdf file not to exceed 4 MB in size.

  • A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the ISPS Director position
  • A current résumé not to exceed two pages
  • A one or two-page statement outlining educational beliefs and leadership style
  • A one-page list of references with current phone numbers and email addresses
  • A maximum of three 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 and sent to Search Associates at the email addresses listed below. Also, please note that it is important to limit the size of the attachment to 4MB or less. Please send the attachment to:  and


For further information about the International School Port of Spain, please see the school's website:     Additional Link:




Ralph Jahr, Ph.D.                                                       Tel: 609-759-0431 – USA-Pacific time

Email:               Skype – ralph.h.jahr                                                   


Bridget McNamer                                                Tel: +31 61 454 8361 - Netherlands

Email:      Skype - bridgetmcnamer

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Ray Sparks's over 30-year career as an educator has involved working in Canada, Europe, and Asia.