Elementary School Principal at Colegio Americano de Torreon in Mexico
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Elementary School Principal
Colegio Americano de Torreon (Mexico)

Appointed - Leann Lear
Jun 4, 2019
Oct 1, 2019



Dear Search Associates Colleagues,

On behalf of the Administration of Colegio Americano de Torreon and the CAT Search Committee, we are pleased to announce that Ms. Leann Lear has been appointed to assume the role of Elementary School Principal beginning in August 2020.

Ms. Lear is currently in the leadership role of Elementary Principal at Colegio Panamericano Bucaramanga in Colombia, a position she has held since 2015. Prior to assuming the role of Elementary Principal in Colombia, Leann was a member of the faculty at Colegio Panamericano from August 2012-2015.  Additionally, she taught in Charlotte, North Carolina through the Teach for America program prior to joining the international school community.  

Ms. Lear earned her B.A. in Social Relations and Policy from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan and her Master of Educational Leadership from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 

 The Administration and Search Committee of Colegio Americano de Torreon in addition to Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in the Elementary Principal position, and to everyone who assisted and supported the successful search process.




seeks a


-- effective July, 2020 --


The American School of Torreón (CAT) is an accredited, private, independent day school serving the educational needs of the community of the Laguna Region known as the Comarca Lagunera. The Comarca Lagunera is the region where the two states of Durango and Coahuila meet and it includes the three cities of Lerdo, Gomez Palacio and Torreón. The school is located in Torreón.

Established in 1954, CAT is governed by a thirteen-member Board of Directors. The educational program includes a college preparatory curriculum taught mainly in English (some classes are in Spanish) that extends from Kinder to 12th grade and that results in the acquisition of an American High School diploma and the Mexican Bachillerato diploma for its graduates.


CAT Mission Statement

Colegio Americano de Torreón is a bilingual bicultural nursery to 12th grade institution based on the best teaching practices. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, we are dedicated to preparing our students to be socially committed leaders and responsible citizens who are successful in a global environment. Core classes are taught in English. Graduates earn a U.S. high school diploma as well as a Mexican “Bachillerato” certificate.

CAT Vision Statement

The vision of Colegio Americano de Torreón can be summarized in three words:  Excellence for life.

Shared Beliefs

Every CAT Student will:

  • Be prepared for university study anywhere in the world.
  • Be fully bilingual in English and Spanish with motivation to develop a third language.
  • Be highly qualified in the use of twenty-first century skills.
  • Be globally aware and respectful of diversity through a deep understanding of their own cultural identity.
  • Be socially proactive leaders and ecologically responsible global citizens.
  • Have the right to grow and learn in a safe and healthy environment.
  • Have parents who take an equal responsibility for being actively involved in their children’s education.
  • Have a staff who is highly qualified, compassionate and committed to their success.
  • Develop a love for learning
  • Have diverse opportunities to develop their athletic, artistic and intellectual talents.

Campus and Facilities

CAT is located on a 26-acre campus in a quiet residential neighborhood of Torreón. A new Early Childhood building is in the final stages of construction and will be ready for the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year in August 2019. There are multiple soccer fields, all of which have artificial turf. The school has a beautiful 8-lane swimming pool and several covered outdoor athletic courts. 

Other facilities at CAT include 7 science labs, 8 computer labs, a multimedia classroom, a multipurpose room and 2 libraries. Classrooms are equipped with LCD projectors, smart boards, wireless internet and Apple tvs.

Additional athletic facilities include 2 gymnasiums, 2 covered tennis courts, 4 soccer fields, a 6-lane 400m track, softball field, Taekwondo room, covered volleyball and basketball courts.

Most fine arts facilities are contained in the Art and Theater building. They include a multifunction auditorium with a capacity of 450 people, 4 music classrooms for band, choir and orchestra, art classrooms, a black box theater and a jazz and ballet room.

The CAT cafeteria has seating for 600 students where hot lunches are served daily.

Near the main campus, CAT owns a 4,000 square meter tract of land that was purchased for houses and/or apartments which might be built in the future for foreign hire teachers.


Student Body

The student body currently numbers 1,440, of which 520 students are in elementary grades of 1st through 6th. Approximately 97% are Mexican nationals.  The remaining 3% are composed of US and Canadian citizens, Korean, and several other nationalities. The opening of the new Early Childhood building next year will enable the elementary and MS/HS facilities to expand into the former Early Childhood classrooms. It is anticipated the student body will grow by another 100-200 students over the next several years as the number of Early Childhood students increases with the new facilities and the addition of a new section for 2-year old students.

Faculty and Administration

The CAT Admin Team consists of 22 members. A new position of Deputy Director of Academics has been added to the Admin Team for 2019-20. The Middle and High School Principal and the Elementary School Principal are assisted by Vice Principals. There is also a Principal for the Early Childhood program.

The school has a teaching faculty of 132. 38 of these are expatriates hired abroad and 94 are locally hired. Both foreign hire and locally hired faculty members benefit from a well-developed Professional Development program that brings in Professional Development experts to work with faculty members on the CAT campus.

Accreditation and Curriculum

CAT is currently accredited by the AdvancED, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and by the Secretary of Education of Mexico.

The CAT academic program includes both Advanced Placement courses and program requirements for the Secretaria de Educacion Publica (SEP). Students who follow the Bachillerato SEP: can gain entry to public and private Mexican universities. All CAT students attend colleges and universities after graduation. Approximately 90% continue in colleges and universities within Mexico, while approximately 10% continue their studies in the USA, Canada or other countries


CAT is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors. Members are appointed for as long as they have children enrolled in CAT. Executive officers of the Board are elected by the Board for two-year terms. Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, two additional members will be added to the Board, bringing the number of Board members to 15. All Board members must have children currently enrolled in CAT.

The Community

Torreón is a relatively small city with a population of approximately 680,000 as of 2015. The Torreón metropolitan area has about 1.4 million. Torreón celebrated its 100-year anniversary as a chartered city in 2007. The area was originally a center for ranching and later became a farming and processing center for cotton. Early residents were immigrants from Spain, Germany, France, China and the US. It is a welcoming city and people are very friendly. The city is at an elevation of 3,670 ft and has a dry desert climate with warm daytime temperatures and cool nights. Nearly any point in the city can be reached by car in ~25-30 minutes.

The Position

The Elementary School Principal reports to the Deputy Director and is responsible for guiding the operation of the Elementary School. General duties and responsibilities of the Elementary Principal include the following:

  • Promotes the Elementary School programs and provides leadership to the admission process for parents seeking admission to grades 1-6.
  • Assists the Director in the selection, recruitment and hiring of staff for the Elementary School.
  • Establishes the agenda and chairs regularly scheduled Elementary School faculty meetings, ensuring health communication of information and concerns.
  • Develops, supervises and assesses the Elementary School curriculum in accordance with the School’s mission and philosophy in coordination with the Elementary School staff and Deputy Director.
  • Evaluates and supervises teachers and instruction with appropriate documentation.
  • Works together with Director, Deputy Director and Principals in improvement of the staff evaluation protocol.
  • Designs and chooses professional development opportunities for staff in collaboration with the elementary administrative team and Deputy Director.
  • Communicates the School’s vision, goals, plans, and priorities with the Elementary staff, students, parents, and school community on a regular basis.
  • Collaborates with stakeholders to establish goals, develop a plan, and to set priorities for the Elementary School division consistent with the vision of the School.
  • Sets and communicates high standards for curricular/instructional quality and student achievement.
  • Demonstrates proficiency in analyzing research and assessment data.
  • Ensures the use of data from appropriate assessments and educational research to improve curriculum, instruction, and student performance.
  • Regularly observes staff and assists in the implementation of effective teaching and assessment strategies to promote student learning.
  • Plans and administers budgeting and purchasing according to all relevant internal requirements.
  • Screens, recommends, and assigns staff in a timely manner based on school needs, assessment data, and requirements of published School policy and regulation.
  • Manages the supervision and evaluation of staff in accordance with published School policy and regulation.
  • Implements, evaluates, and participates in the refinement, as necessary, of procedures for the security and safety of all personnel and students.
  • Ensures the maintenance of a clean and aesthetically pleasing Elementary division environment.
  • Establishes and enforces standards for appropriate student behavior according to School policy and regulation.
  • Works within professional and ethical guidelines to improve student learning and to accomplish school goals.
  • Follows the requirements of written School Policy and regulation.
  • Communicates effectively with stakeholders to support Elementary School goals.
  • Uses appropriate oral and written communication skills.
  • Collaborates with staff to create and implement a plan for a variety of relevant staff development activities that promote the achievement of the School and the Elementary goals, while furthering staff growth.
  • Shares effective teaching strategies and uses coaching skills to encourage professional growth.
  • Establishes and maintains a professional network with other administrators.
  • Demonstrates an appreciation of the Mexican Culture and Mexican people.
  • Able to communicate in Spanish.
  • Familiar with S.A.C.S. and their accreditation standards.
  • Collaborates with the Mexican Director to maintain good working relations with S.E.P.

Position Qualifications

Required Qualifications of the new Elementary School Principal include the following:

  • Graduate Degree in educational leadership
  • Administrative certification
  • Administrative Experience

Preferred Qualifications of the new Elementary Principal include the following:

  • Administrative experience in an international school
  • Knowledge and experience in strategic planning and accreditation
  • Expertise/experience in curriculum development
  • Knowledge/experience with ESL programs.
  • Familiar with Balanced Literacy and the Readers and Writers Workshop model.
  • Familiar with Everyday Math.
  • Familiar with the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP).
  • Ability to live and work in a small community
  • Experience with analyzing data to promote improvement

Desired Personal Characteristics of the Elementary Principal include the following:

  • Strong leadership skills, a confident leader with the ability to inspire others.
  • Collaborative leadership style, a consensus builder.
  • Personal integrity with professional ethics.
  • Conversant in Spanish with an appreciation of Mexican culture.
  • Culturally sensitive with good listening skills.
  • Approachable, accessible, friendly, visible
  • Commitment to excellence.
  • Sense of humor with a high energy level and proactive.

Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits are competitive and will be commensurate with the candidate's qualifications and experience.

Procedure for Filing Application

Colegio Americano de Torreón (CAT) has appointed Search Associates to act as consultant in the search process for the Elementary Principal. The deadline for applications is October 1, 2019. Applications will be reviewed by Search Associates as they are received, and dossiers of selected candidates will be forwarded to the Elementary Principal Search Committee on a rolling basis. It is anticipated that finalists will be identified and the candidate(s) together with his/her spouse, if applicable ,will be invited to Torreon for final interviews in November. Candidates should note, however, that in the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, CAT reserves the right to make an appointment early in the search process, even before the published deadline. For this reason, it is important that interested candidates apply as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit the CAT website at - http://www.cat.mx

Applications will be accepted in digital form only, as a single pdf file. The pdf file should be 5 MB or less in size. The following items are required:

  • Cover letter, two pages or less
  • Resume, generally not more than two pages
  • Names and positions of at least three current or recent supervisory referees, with accurate email addresses, Skype contact information, and telephone numbers.
  • Up to three (3) open letters of reference can also be submitted if available as part of the single, pdf.

Please email the requested materials as a single pdf attachment of 5 MB or less to:

Brent Mutsch                                                     Tel: 970-368-6879 USA – Mountain Time Zone

Skype – brentmutsch                                         Email: BMutsch@searchassociates.com

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Gary MacPhie is based in Toronto, Canada where he started his teaching career, and then spent 26 years overseas as a teacher, principal and recruiter in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.