Director at Santa Cruz Cooperative School in Bolivia
Bolivia < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Santa Cruz Cooperative School (Bolivia)

Appointed - Mrs. Susan Zapata
Sep 9, 14

Santa Cruz Cooperative School

Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Seeks a New Director

Effective July of 2015



Santa Cruz


The city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra is located in the eastern part of Bolivia at 416 m above sea level. It is part of the province of Andrés Ibáñez and the capital of the department of Santa Cruz. The city of Santa Cruz is located not far from the eastern-most extent of the Andes Mountains and they are visible from some parts of the city.




Situated on the Pirai River, the city of Santa Cruz and its metropolitan area are home to over 70% of the population of the department.


Today the city is Bolivia's most populous, and the Department of Santa Cruz, ranked second in total population, produces nearly 35% of Bolivia's gross domestic product, and receives over 40% of all foreign direct investment in the country. This has helped make Santa Cruz the most important business center in Bolivia. 





The city has a tropical savanna climate, with an average annual temperature around 23 °C (73 °F). Although the weather is generally warm all year round, cold wind patterns, called "surazos", can blow in occasionally (especially in the winter) from the Argentine pampas making the temperature drop considerably. The months of greatest rainfall are January and February. The average annual rainfall is 912 mm (36 in).


About the school



Santa Cruz Cooperative School is a private American Overseas Day School offering English-language instruction by licensed and experienced English-speaking teachers to students between Pre-Kindergarten and 12th Grade.


Founded in 1959, SCCS was originally established to serve the children of the Gulf Oil Company personnel. In 1970, SCCS became the cooperative it is today. Since then, providing students with the best resources possible in material and infrastructure has been a constant goal for SCCS. 















SCCS’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for undergraduate studies at colleges and universities around the world. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Bolivian Ministry of Education.  As such it is able to offer both American and Bolivian High School Diplomas.


The American curriculum is based on the Common Core Standards, and the Bolivian is based on  standards set down by the Bolivian Ministry of Education. SCCS is a college preparatory school where on an average over ninety-nine percent of the graduates go on to university. Top graduates of SCCS are accepted to some of the most competitive universities in the United States as well as other regions in the world. SCCS also offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses which give students an opportunity to earn college credits.




SCCS’s faculty of close to 50 FTE is comprised of teachers from North America and Bolivia.



At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, enrollment was approximately 590 students (Kg-grade 12), with approximately 80% of those from Bolivia and the majority of the rest from North America.


Campus/ Facilities

Key features/ facilities include:

  • Large classrooms with air conditioning
  • Multimedia classrooms from pre-kinder through high school
  • Internet access in all classrooms
  • Medical Care Center with a full-time doctor 
  • Science laboratories in the secondary division
  • Four computer laboratories
  • ESL/SSL Center
  • Library Media Center
  • Cultural Center for events and school functions
  • Two Student Counseling Centers
  • Sports/theater complex 
  • Weight room for secondary 
  • Sports field with lights for night games
  • Multiple playgrounds in elementary school
  • Full-service cafeteria with nutritionist on-site


Living in Santa Cruz and Bolivia


For more information on living in Santa Cruz and Bolivia, please see: 


For more information about SCCS, please see: 


REPORTS TO: Board of Directors

The Director, with the support of the Board of Directors, manages the day-to-day operation of the school organization; formulates and carries out the short-term objectives to advance the board's long-range plan; establishes operating procedures (as established by school policies, local and national laws) and supervises the hiring, firing and evaluation of all staff members. 

  • Is directly responsible to the Board of Directors and will work with the Board in long-term planning and help develop short-term (one-year) objectives to meet the goals of the long-term plan. 
  • Assist in preparing the annual budget and submission for approval. 
  • Initiate and direct the development of school policies.
  • Provide monthly reports with respect to the organizational objectives and other issues of the school. 
  • Provides the Board with adequate information to help it reach sound decisions and establish policies. 
  • Monitor budget and assist in identifying, planning and implementing long-term financial stability. 
  • Implement the overall education policies and objectives of the school. 
  • Maintain positive community relations by keeping abreast of the changing environment, accepting input from others and participating in appropriate community associations. 
  • Represents the organization in all dealings with other organizations, individuals and the public. 
  • To maintain positive school and staff relations by developing sound personnel practices, working for good morale, delegating work properly, being impartial in personnel matters and by implementing procedures for staff evaluation. 
  • To select, assign, transfer, and terminate the employment of instructional and non- instructional personnel except where a conflict of interest may arise. 
  • To organize the administrative and supervisory staff, including instructional and non- instructional personnel in the way that best serves the school’s interest. 
  • Carefully review and update school procedures contained in the school’s security and crisis manual.  
  • To maintain a positive relationship with the Board by participating in resolving differences of opinion, accepting policy and helping with the implementation of regulations. 

Preferred qualifications of the new Director include the following:

  • Graduate degree in education or related field  
  • Head of school experience  
  • Minimum five 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
  • Well-developed communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Previous experience at an international school - preferably in Latin America 
  • Knowledge of Spanish (preferably)  and willingness to work towards fluency 
  • Knowledge and experience of school accreditation process
  • Demonstrated success in recruitment and retention of faculty 


Personal Attributes Desired

  • Strong leadership skills and a confident leader with the ability to inspire others
  • Commitment to excellence, and equally focused on the Elementary and Secondary schools
  • Culturally sensitive, with well-developed interpersonal skills
  • Good listening skills, an ability to delegate, and good organizational skills
  • Approachable, accessible, friendly, visible, sensitive, tolerant, and politically aware
  • Willingness and ability to network with school and local communities
  • High energy level, proactive, an enthusiastic advocate of the school




Preferred qualifications for this position are as follows.  (While it is not realistic to expect any one candidate to meet all of these preferred qualifications, this should provide an excellent guideline for the type of Director we are seeking.)

Interested persons should send a cover letter not to exceed two pages explaining your interest in the school and why you believe it would be a good match for your talents.  A resume not to exceed two pages should also be included. Up to 3 letters of reference already in your possession may also be included. The search committee strongly prefers that all materials should be contained in a SINGLE PDF.

Applications will be reviewed by Search Associates as soon as they are submitted. The files of those candidates considered to be a good match for SCCS will be forwarded promptly to the search committee of the SCCS Board.


The goal is to appoint a new Director no later than early November. Candidates should note that the Board reserves the right to make an early appointment should the right candidate be identified early in the search process. Therefore it is very important for interested persons to submit an application at the very earliest time. Please respond as follows: 


                        WITH A CC TO                  



Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Diana Kerry was an international educator and administrator for 25 years in various countries, including Iran, France, Thailand, and Indonesia.