Elementary School Principal at International School Bangkok in Thailand
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Elementary School Principal
International School Bangkok (Thailand)

Appointed - Dr. Michael Allen
Sep 16, 2019
Oct 14, 2019

Dear Search Colleagues,

On behalf of the Search Committee of the International School of Bangkok, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael Allen as the ISB Elementary School Principal beginning in August 2020.  The appointment has now been shared with the ISB faculty, staff, and parent community.

The following is information from the correspondence from Dr. Andy Davies, ISB Head of School:

“Michael Allen is currently the Elementary Principal at Shanghai American School (SAS) where he has been since 2013. Prior to SAS, Michael served as Elementary Principal at International School Nido de Aguilas in Santiago, Chile from 2005-2013, and as an Elementary School Vice Principal at San Roberto International School in Monterrey, Mexico from 2002-2005. Prior to these leadership experiences, Michael was an elementary school teacher.

Michael was born in Ontario, Canada and has earned a BA Degree and a Bachelor of Education Degree at the University of Regina, a Master’s Degree in Education at Framingham State College, and a Doctor of Education Degree at Nova Southeastern University.

We are very grateful to all those who took part in the selection process - Leadership Team members, ES Faculty, ES Team Leaders, ES Counselors, an ES parent interviewing group, and ES students. The comprehensive and insightful input we received was very valuable.

Current ES Principal, Kelly Armitage, will be leaving ISB in June 2020 to return to the United States to be closer to her college-age children and undertake educational consultancy work. We thank Kelly wholeheartedly for her many contributions to ISB, our students and our community. Kelly has been an outstanding ES Principal.

We also warmly welcome Caty Allen to the ISB family. Caty is currently an ES Math Coach at Shanghai American School and has also worked in gifted education, as an ES Classroom teacher and as a math consultant. Joining Michael and Caty are their children Billy and Ana-Sofia who will be seventh grade students here at ISB.

We look forward to welcoming the Allen family to our ISB community!”

Search Associates would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for this highly sought position and to everyone who assisted and supported the successful search process for the International School of Bangkok.






Seeks an Elementary School Principal

Starting July 2020

ISB Vision

Enriching communities through the intellectual, humanitarian and creative thoughts and actions of our learners

ISB Mission

Through outstanding teaching in a nurturing environment, ISB inspires students to

  • Achieve their academic and personal potential
  • Be passionate, reflective learners
  • Become caring, global citizens
  • Lead healthy, active, balanced lives

ISB Definition of Learning

Learning is the primary focus of our school and we recognize learning as a lifelong adventure. ISB values meaningful and transferable learning where we construct understanding by developing and applying knowledge, skills and attitudes.  As learners, we develop and show our understanding when we:

  • Apply our learning to new situations
  • Inquire to extend our learning
  • Create solutions
  • Communicate our learning effectively
  • Make connections across our learning
  • Reflect critically on our learning


Founded in 1951, ISB was the first international school in the Kingdom of Thailand. The school initially opened on the grounds of the US Embassy with 35 students, but with increasing enrollment moved to different campuses in the Bangkok area. Enrollment reached 3,650 students during the Vietnam War. In 1992, ISB moved to its present 35 acre purpose-built campus, 25 km from the center of Bangkok. 1,650 students are currently enrolled in the Elementary, Middle, and High schools.


ISB is proudly international in its student body, enrolling students from more than sixty countries. Students from the United States account for the highest percentage of enrollment, with students from Thailand, Japan, and Korea forming other major nationality groups. English is a second or third language for more than half of the students.

Academic Program

ISB provides a university preparatory program with English as the language of instruction. Graduates earn a U.S. high school diploma and most students elect to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma program.


Our school is part of the Next Frontier Inclusion network of schools.  This signifies our unwavering commitment to develop our capacity to support more diverse learning needs.   Therefore, we are seeking educators that not only embrace inclusion as a concept but successfully adjust their teaching to meet the needs of all learners.  This includes students who need a higher level of challenge as well as those who require more support or a different approach to their learning.

Child Safeguarding / Culture of Care

Safeguarding is a priority at ISB. Our Student Safeguarding Policy outlines the measures we take to create a safe and nurturing environment for all of the children we come into contact with in our work, as well as the procedures we use to ensure that we fulfill our professional and ethical obligation to identify children who are in need of help and protection and to take appropriate action to ensure their wellbeing. All employees and associates are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct that contains expectations about their relationships with children, social media use, and the use of children’s photographs and identifying information. 

Additionally, ISB recognizes that every person deserves to be treated with respect and care.  To this end, our Culture of Care, Learner Attributes, and ISB Values underscore all of our interactions.  We have worked hard to establish a positive, safe environment for learning and working and seek educators who embody these principles and values.


The Pre-K to 12 faculty consists of over 200 educators including librarians, counselors, psychologists, learning coaches and special education teachers.  Each of the school’s three divisions has a principal and one or more assistant principals. There is also a Head of School, a Deputy Head of Learning, and a Deputy Head of School/Chief Financial Officer. 


There are about 70 faculty members in the ES and around 640 students. The ES administration will consist of a principal and two vice principals. Other support staff includes 2 counselors, a psychologist/counselor, and a learning coach.


Spotlighting A Few Significant Programs or Aspects of ISB (in no particular order)

Professional Development

Trustees and Administration believe that teacher learning is as important as student learning.  ISB offers teachers and staff at all levels generous stipends for professional development.  It is our objective to see every faculty member improve their own professional practice each year and share their learning with each other.

Teacher Recruitment and Appraisal

It is widely recognized among Board members and leaders that teacher quality and performance is the most critical factor in student learning success.  Great care is taken in selecting a significant number of new teachers annually across the whole school from a significant application pool. The school has a well-implemented teacher appraisal system. Administrators spend an unusual amount of time visiting classes and discussing teacher performance.

Teaching and Learning Initiatives

In addition to the standard anchor documents describing Mission and Vision, Learner Attributes, and our  values, ISB has a Definition of Learning that is taken very seriously across the school. Because it is a learning focused school, ISB has invested heavily in curriculum development work.

Emphasis on Results and Output, Not Process and Input

The board and leadership team employ data guided decision-making to the fullest extent possible.  As an example, the Head of School prepares a succinct “Learning Scorecard” with measurable indicators of success, a dashboard on which the board can see if the indicators are being met, sustained, need improvement or if immediate action is needed. Each Board meeting features a report on one or more of the key performance indicators in the Scorecard

Finances, where “Learning Comes First”

It’s a cliché, but it really is true at ISB: if whatever is under consideration supports learning, the finances will follow with the full support of the CFO. The school has been very well managed on the finance and operations side with sufficient resources to support any program improvements.


  • Ensure a strong focus on student learning
  • As part of an administrative team, oversee learning programs in the ES and help implement the school-wide strategic learning plan
  • Ensure consistency and alignment of curriculum while using a detailed knowledge of the latest research in pedagogy, assessment and reporting
  • Foster rich collaborative relationships with students, staff, and parents
  • Collaborate with Admissions Office regularly to support prospective and incoming families through the admissions process
  • Supervise and evaluate staff while providing constructive feedback on teaching and learning
  • Recruitment of all Elementary School staff
  • Collaboratively plan professional development programs
  • Lead the Team Learning Goal process with all Elementary School staff
  • Prepare and manage the Elementary School annual budget
  • Create a school schedule that maximizes optimal student learning in all areas
  • Effectively communicate with various constituencies
  • Practice positive student discipline procedures
  • Implement and lead the utilization of systems to collect and analyze student data
  • Effectively use technology for efficient and effective administrative practices
  • Lead Instructional Assistants to maximize student learning
  • Work collaboratively to build strong, supportive solutions based teams
  • Work collaboratively with other divisions to best serve our PK-12 students
  • Manage change smoothly
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School


  •  Have immovable commitment to improving student learning
  • Be lead teacher and learner
  • Be an unwavering advocate for an inclusive environment that embraces diversity
  • Feel comfortable with continuous growth
  • Ability to motivate and inspire
  • Ability to reflect and demonstrate growth mindset
  • Be culturally aware and globally minded
  • Be positive, proactive, reliable and collaborative
  • Be able to think innovatively and implement change based on improving learning
  • Have strong organizational skills
  • Have abundant energy and stamina for the role
  • Model humility and a sense of humor
  • Ability to build and maintain a strong, positive organizational culture within the ES


  • Experience as a learning-focused leader
  • Experience as a principal (at least 3 years)
  • Teaching qualifications and prior experience as an elementary teacher (5+ years)
  • Administrative/Education  Leadership certification
  • Strong academic background (at least a master’s degree is required)
  • Demonstrated capacity to encourage excellence in teaching and learning, and an enthusiasm for professional learning on a continual basis
  • High level of professional proficiency in written and oral English with strong and concise communications skills
  • In-depth understanding of and training in “Workshop” approach to teaching and learning, specifically in the area of literacy
  • The ability to engender trust in his or her leadership
  • Be student-centered, open, approachable, positive and supportive of school initiative
  • Have training and experience in staff supervision and evaluation
  • Demonstrate excellent analytical, decision-making, and planning skills
  • Preferably have a diversity of overseas international school experience and demonstrated success in a multicultural school environment
  • Demonstrated experience in improving instruction, program development, faculty development and faculty evaluation
  • Good understanding of assessing and teaching for understanding
  • Support innovative practices that create meaningful student learning
  • Experience with early years learning programs
  • Ability to work collaboratively with school constituencies from diverse backgrounds
  • Strong consensus building skills
  • Empathic, trustworthy, open-minded, approachable, dedicated, energetic
  • Creative problem solver
  • Support the well-established distributed leadership model in use within the ES

Salary and Benefits will be competitive with other large international schools in Asia.

Procedure for Filing Application

International School of Bangkok has appointed Search Associates to act as a consultant in the search for a new Elementary School Principal.  Interested candidates should send an application AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY, but no later than 14th October 2019.  Candidates should note, however, that in the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, ISB 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.

On campus interviews are tentatively planned for early November. Skype interviews will take place earlier.

Candidates should submit the following information in the format requested:

  •  A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in this particular position
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages
  • A list of references of immediate supervisors including current email addresses and phone numbers
  • A maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.

Please note that all materials must be scanned into a single pdf attachment of 4MB or less and sent to Search Associates at the email addresses listed below. Please send the complete application to both: bmutsch@searchassociates.com and nhudson@searchassociates.com.



Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Nick Kendell has worked in Asia, Australia, and Africa as an educator and administrator.