Elementary Principal at Kaohsiung American School in Taiwan
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Elementary Principal
Kaohsiung American School (Taiwan)

Nov 5, 21
Nov 30, 21

Kaohsiung American School  - Elementary Principal Position Statement


Kaohsiung American School (KAS) is a private, not-for-profit day school established in 1989 for the children of expatriate families in Kaohsiung. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and offers the IB’s MYP and DP programmes. We receive annual grants and sponsorship from the US State Department.

At KAS, we provide holistic and relevant academic and co-curricular programs that meet the needs of each student. We embrace collaboration, creativity and professionalism as we model a balanced learning environment. We have a strong commitment to professional development which aligns with schoolwide and personal learning goals.

Kaohsiung American School moved to its beautiful, purpose-built campus in 2016. We are recognized as the premier international school in southern Taiwan. We currently enroll 800 students from 40+ countries, although most of our students share Taiwanese heritage and Mandarin as a first language. The Elementary enrolls 310 students from PreK to Grade 5, and includes 23 faculty members and 16 Teaching Assistants.

The Principal is the learning leader and administrative head of the Elementary School and is responsible for optimizing the learning of all students and for the on-going improvement of the division. The ES Principal works collaboratively with the Leadership Team of the school to live our Mission, achieve our KAS Learner Outcomes (the KASLOs), and develop a holistic teaching and learning program that meets our community’s high expectations.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • A demonstrated ability to improve student achievement.
  • An aptitude for building and maintaining positive relationships with learners, educators and parents.
  • Advanced degree in Educational Administration or a relevant MA/MEd
  • Current administrator certifications and elementary teaching certification.
  • Proven record of successful tenure as a principal, assistant principal, or in a formal teacher leadership role.
  • At least 5 successful years of experience as a teacher in the early years/elementary grades.
  • A range of experiences in US and/or international schools that have led to the development of multiple lenses and perspectives related to contemporary practices, including but not limited to: balanced literacy, standard-based grading and reporting, Multi-tiered Systems of Support, English Language Learning, Social Emotional Learning, and the use of data to support program improvement. Teaching or leadership experience in a Primary Years Programme would be a plus.
  • A sound understanding of child development and developmentally appropriate practices, Common Core State Standards, and the Reading/Writing Workshop models. Strong knowledge of research-based pedagogy and assessment, and awareness of adult learning theory.
  • Demonstrated understanding and respect for a diversity of cultures and needs of language learners.
  • Demonstrated experience with collaboration including presenting, facilitating, coaching and consulting in order to develop highly effective groups and Professional Learning Communities. Adaptive Schools or Cognitive Coaching training is preferred.
  • Life experiences that demonstrate, among other things, a growth mindset, versatility, adaptability and resilience.
  • A commitment to developing and supporting a diverse professional community that is growing its DEIJ principles and practices.
  • Superior organizational strategies and an aptitude for solving problems.
  • Effective communication skills utilizing a variety of mediums and techniques.


November 30, 2021 is the deadline for applications. Candidates should submit the following to Head of School Jim Laney Jr., in one PDF document:

  • Brief letter of application stating reasons for your interest in the position.
  • A current CV/ resume not to exceed two pages.
  • One page statement of philosophy of education and educational leadership.
  • List of four referees, including one from a current supervisor.

Candidates should note that in the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, KAS reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline. For this reason, it is very important that interested candidates apply as soon as possible.

Salary and benefits will be commensurate with experience and training. Additional information about the school may be found at the KAS website at www.kas.tw

NOTE:  Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible. In the event of an outstanding applicant, KAS reserves the right to make an appointment before the closing date for applications.


KAS challenges students to achieve academic excellence and prepares them to be balanced individuals, independent learners, and global citizens.


KAS strives to be one of the finest American international schools in the world. This means we embrace the three A’s: Academics, Athletics and the Arts. We offer a rigorous liberal arts curriculum in our state-of-the-art school campus.

KAS Learning Outcomes

  • Critical Thinker & Problem Solver
  • Effective Communicator
  • Active Learner
  • Ethical Global Citizen

 Lotus Pond is a five-minute walk from the KAS campus. Kaohsiung is a green, park-like city filled with cultural heritage.

Opportunities for the next Elementary School Principal include:

  • Enthusiastic and motivated students
  • The support of an effective administrative team that collaborates well together
  • A capable faculty that appreciates the school's commitment to excellence in education and to their own professional growth and development
  • Supportive parents and PTA who are proud of their school
  • A vibrant and welcoming community spirit
  • Playing an important role in a dynamic, active school with a growing sense of identity, purpose and direction
  • A school with active programs both locally and internationally, for students and for faculty
  • Living and working on ‘the Beautiful Isle’

Challenges for the next Elementary School Principal include:

  • Taking the time to get to know the community and to make a smooth transition
  • Guiding the faculty in adopting effective teaching methods and programmatic structures that strengthen learning experiences in our modern learning spaces.
  • Being a task-driven, detail-oriented, highly organized leader in helping to resolve current areas of concern including fiscal sustainability, curricular alignment, and school climate
  • Being a visible and vocal steward of the KAS philosophy of education and our unique identity as an educational institution in southern Taiwan
  • Being a willing and active team member in cross-divisional coordination and collaboration, and being an effective partner on the senior leadership team

Kaohsiung American School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and holds memberships in the East Asia Regional Council of Schools and other regional and global school associations.

ES Principal Job Description and Criteria for Annual Evaluation

The criteria for evaluation for international school principals were developed in 2012 by Dr James Stronge with the Association of American Schools in South America. The Elementary Principal’s job description is based upon these criteria.

Instructional Leadership

The principal effectively leads the development, alignment, and execution of a plan of action for monitoring the curriculum and implementing instructional and assessment strategies that enhance learning and teaching.

  • Ensures that the focus is on student development and achievement in the area of responsibility and contributes to school-wide growth.
  • Facilitates collaborative decision-making to analyze current achievement and growth data and instructional strategies to improve classroom instruction and increase student achievement.
  • Is knowledgeable about and promotes research-based instructional best practices in the classroom.
  • Ensures teachers use technology and other available resources for the successful implementation of effective instructional strategies.
  • Provides collaborative leadership for the design and implementation of effective and efficient schedules that protect and maximize instructional time.
  • Supports professional development and instructional practices that incorporate the use of achievement data and results in increased student progress.
  • Participates in professional development alongside teachers.
  • Demonstrates and/or supports the importance of professional development by providing adequate time and resources for teachers and staff to participate in professional learning (e.g., peer observation, mentoring, coaching, study groups, learning teams).

School Climate

The principal develops and nurtures an internationally minded, balanced, academically rigorous, positive, safe school climate.

  • Incorporates knowledge of the school community (e.g., social, cultural, leadership, and political dynamics) to cultivate a positive, engaging, and balanced learning environment.
  • Models and collaboratively promotes clear and appropriately rigorous expectations, mutual respect, concern, and empathy for students, staff, parents, and school community.
  • Utilizes collaboration, consensus-building and shared decision-making as applicable, to build relationships with students, staff, families, and the school community.
  • Models and encourages creativity and innovation by students, staff, and school community to promote growth and change.
  • Works with all students, staff, and the school community in a way that empowers students to take responsibility for their own growth and development.
  • Involves students, staff, and the school community to create and sustain a positive, safe, and healthy learning environment.
  • Implements and communicates best practices in school-wide behavior management that are effective within the school community.
  • Listens and responds to the concerns of students, staff, families, and community members in a visible and approachable manner.
  • Listens and responds to the concerns, including safeguarding and child protection  issues of all stakeholders, in a visible and approachable manner.
  • Ensures compliance with Taiwan law and KAS child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures.
  • Respects and promotes the concept of the “whole child” and the appreciation of international-mindedness and diversity.

Human Resources Leadership

The principal selects, orients, assigns, develops, evaluates, and retains quality instructional and support personnel.

  • Participates in the selection of a diverse, highly effective staff in an equitable and professional manner as per school and legal requirements.
  • Supports division-level and school-wide orientation and mentoring processes to assist all new personnel.
  • Implements teacher, TA and staff evaluation systems in accordance with policy, procedure, and legal requirements to ensure teacher and staff effectiveness.
  • Documents proficiencies and areas of growth through qualitative and quantitative data sources, provides timely formal and informal feedback on strengths and areas for improvement, provides support and resources for teachers and staff to improve job performance, and clearly documents and communicates performance-related concerns that may result in future employment decisions.
  • Makes appropriate recommendations relative to personnel assignment, retention, promotion, and dismissal consistent with established policies and procedures.
  • Recognizes teacher and staff contributions, provides them with professional development opportunities, and encourages leadership responsibilities.


Organizational Management

The principal supports, manages, and oversees the organization, operation, and use of resources for their area of responsibility.

  • Demonstrates and communicates a working knowledge and understanding of, and compliance with, school policies and procedures.
  • Ensures that rules and procedures are in place and enforced to provide a safe, secure, efficient, and orderly learning environment.
  • Monitors and provides supervision of all instructional and activity programs.
  • Identifies and plans for organizational, operational, and resource-related issues and resolves them in a timely, consistent, and effective manner.
  • Secures, monitors, and allocates resources under their control to maximize improvement aligned to the school’s mission and learning outcomes.
  • Involves staff and stakeholders in various planning processes, shares in management decisions, and delegates duties as applicable.
  • Uses data to evaluate and improve organizational effectiveness.
  • Ensures systems and structures are in place and used to support efficiency, consistency, and clarity in their area of responsibility.

Communication and Community Relations

The principal effectively communicates and collaborates, engaging stakeholders to promote understanding, support, and continuous improvement of the school’s programs and services aligned with the school’s mission/vision.

At the building-level...

  • Solicits student and staff input to promote effective decision-making and communication when appropriate.
  • Disseminates information in a timely manner to students and staff through multiple sources.
  • Maintains visibility and accessibility to students and staff.
  • Speaks and writes to students and staff in a clear, effective, and appropriate manner.
  • Collaborates with colleagues in the best interest of the whole school.
  • Advocates for students and acts to influence school decisions affecting student learning.
  • Communicates long- and short-term goals and the school improvement plan to staff within their area of responsibility.
  • Ensures the communication of applicable information with the head of school in a timely manner and maintains confidentiality.

With families and community...

  • Solicits input to promote effective decision-making and communication when appropriate.
  • Disseminates information in a timely manner through multiple sources.
  • Involves stakeholders in a collaborative effort to establish positive relationships.
  • Maintains visibility and accessibility.
  • Speaks and writes in a clear, effective, and appropriate manner.
  • Promotes effective school-family partnerships.
  • Collaborates and networks with stakeholders to effectively utilise the resources and  expertise available in the local, national, and/or global community.
  • Involves all stakeholders in a collaborative effort to establish positive partnerships.


The principal demonstrates behavior consistent with legal, ethical, and professional standards, engages in continuous professional development, and contributes to the profession.

  • Works within legal, ethical, and professional guidelines to improve student learning and to meet the school`s requirements.
  • Adheres to and models the school’s core values.
  • Models professional behavior daily, both in and out of school (e.g., confidentiality, attitude, appearance and demeanor, use of and behavior on social media, drug and alcohol use).
  • Is sensitive and culturally responsive.
  • Contributes to, enhances, and supports the development of the profession through service to the educational community (e.g., accreditation teams, interschool committees, instructor, mentor, coach, presenter, researcher).
  • Participates in professional growth opportunities and applies knowledge and skills to positively improve school effectiveness.

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.