Director at Windhoek International School in Namibia
Namibia < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Windhoek International School (Namibia)

Appointed - Mr. Ethan Van Drunen
Sep 29, 2020
Oct 24, 2020


Windhoek International School

Windhoek, Namibia

seeks a new


EFFECTIVE August 1st, 2021


Windhoek International School (WIS) is a not for profit company registered in Namibia. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors numbering not fewer than 7 and not more than 12.


Some Board Members are elected by parents and others are appointed directly by the Board itself.  The Board also includes a member of staff elected by his/her peers with full voting rights.


Board Members serve two-year terms but may be re-elected or re-appointed.


The Director, Primary Principal and Secondary Principal attend Board meetings as ex officio members.


Windhoek International School (WIS) was founded in December 1990, the year in which Namibia achieved independence. The school opened in January 1991.


The school was founded to serve the needs of the children of the international community in Namibia and of those Namibian families who are attracted by the unique international character of the school and who share its philosophy and objectives. There are several other schools in Windhoek for parents to choose from. Fees are low compared to other similar international schools in Southern Africa but within the city they are considered very high.

WIS has been an IB World school since the 1990s, offering the PYP and IB Diploma.  The average IB Diploma scores have been slightly above world averages. WIS is the only IB school in Namibia. The school also offers IGCSE courses to students in Grade 9 and 10.


The school is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Earlier this year WIS was reaccredited by NEASC.


The language of instruction is English and students are also offered French, German and Portuguese. The school is proud of its inclusive ethos.  We see diversity as a strength and WIS is without a doubt the most diverse community of learners in Windhoek.





WIS moved to the present spacious campus in 1994 and has steadily added facilities since then.  Student numbers have also grown.  What began as a small school in 1991 today enrols more than 400 students aged from 3 to 18. Generally, there are about 50 nationalities represented among the student body, including 55% Namibians. Students’ families are generally in business, tourism and a small number of diplomatic families. Students describe the school as welcoming and having a strong sense of community. They also feel that teachers work hard to meet their individual needs. The school employs 68 teachers and other educational specialists from 18 countries.



Namibia was colonized by the Germany and gained independence in 1990.

Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland and the Auas and Eros mountains. Windhoek is home to approximately 325,000 people, an extremely small capital by global standards. Despite the large increase in population over the last few years the city center is extremely clean, safe and trouble free. Traffic is generally light and it is easy to get around town. There is a wide range of restaurants, shopping is easy and goods are readily available. Windhoek is often referred to as “African light” as it is an easy place to live in.

Windhoek best suits people who enjoy an outdoors, relaxed and laid-back life style. The weather is warm and sunny for most of the year and the closest game reserves are only 20-30 minutes away. There are many places for people to go for a weekend away and enjoy some of Namibia’s beautiful natural attractions. Most staff buy a car so that they can travel and make the most of all the country has to offer. Other activities that staff enjoy are playing golf, going to the gym, eating out, cycling and spending time with friends.

Health care in Windhoek is of a an extremely high standard. A range of health and dental care is available in the city. The school provides local health insurance.

Some of Namibia’s best known and most outstanding natural attractions include the Namib Desert, the Fish River Canyon, Etosha National Park and the Kalahari Desert. Its people speak nine different languages, including some of the Khoisan languages which include the 'clicks' that present an enigma to most native English-speakers. Namibians are friendly and generally have an excellent sense of humour.

Namibia produces some of the world's highest quality diamonds.


WIS seeks a Director who is an experienced leader of learning with the capacity, drive, and resilience to lead an international school community. The Director should be visionary, flexible and build on the good work that the school has done in the last few years.

Areas that the school will be focusing on in the next few years are:

  •  Continue building on the improvements and work that has been done at the school over the last few years.
  • Developing a sustainable relationship between fees and salaries in order to maintain - and, indeed, grow – the school’s international character.
  • Ensure the school’s long-term financial stability.
  • Marketing the school to grow enrolment and income.
  • Preparing for an IB evaluation visit scheduled for October 2021 and actioning recommendations made after the visit.
  • Ensuring quality teaching and learning is taking place to educate the whole child in the 21st century and that teaching practices are consistent with the school’s mission and vision.



  • Postgraduate academic background with evidence of leadership learning.
  • At least three (3) years in a senior leadership role in an international school.
  • Proficiency in budgeting and financial management.
  • Teaching and leadership experience with at least one the IB programmes.
  • Proven record of effective Board – Director partnership, strategic planning, and strong stakeholder management.
  • Proven success in marketing and networking to grow enrollment. The successful candidate will be comfortable being the face/voice of the school and reaching out to local business and embassies to ensure WIS has a positive profile in the community. The candidate should be highly visible who can use media to raise awareness of the benefits of an IB education.
  • A track record of successful faculty recruitment and retention.
  • A proven record of promoting and implementing effective staff development programmes.




  • A visionary leader keeping the school’s mission and vision front and centre.
  • An enthusiasm to embrace and promote cultural diversity
  • Committed to continuous improvement
  • Highly visible in all aspects of school life.
  • Student-centered, ensuring an inspiring, innovative, and safe learning environment
  • Leads by example; with integrity, honesty and transparency
  • An excellent active listener.
  • Emotionally intelligent with high degree of cultural literacy.
  • Ability and willingness to delegate and share leadership where appropriate.
  • An approachable and strong communicator and collaborator, with the ability to create a strong sense of community with all constituent members.
  • Has a “hands-on" mentality and “can-do" attitude has the ability to “wear many hats”.
  • Is flexible and adaptable with a good sense of humour.




WIS offers a salary and benefits package commensurate with the candidate’s experience. 



WIS has selected Search Associates to assist them in the Director search, with Caroline Jacoby as the Lead Consultant. The deadline for applications is October 24th, 2020, GMT.

Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the required materials as early as possible as WIS reserves the right to close the selection process AT ANY TIME if the right candidate is found. The review of applications begins as applications are received. 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 WIS, listing your strengths as a candidate and how your qualifications and experience align with the position profile and the school’s areas of focus.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages.
  • A statement describing your leadership and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
  • A one (1) page list of four (4) referees who have been your direct supervisors, with current email addresses.
  • The total document size should be kept at (4) MB.


Applications should be sent to: Caroline Jacoby at


Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Gez Hayden led the first international school authorized to offer all three IB programs in China.