Elementary School Principal at International School of Dusseldorf in Germany
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Elementary School Principal
International School of Dusseldorf (Germany)

Appointed - Heather Collins
Nov 18, 2015
Dec 9, 2015


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of Simon Head, Director, and the Search Committee of the International School of Dusseldorf, I am pleased to announce that after an extensive worldwide search, which resulted in a large number of very qualified candidates, Ms. Heather Collins has been appointed as the new Elementary School Principal at ISD beginning in July 2016.

Ms. Collins is currently Lower School Assistant Principal and also served as Interim Principal at the American School of Brasilia, Brazil, a position she has held since 2013. Prior to her current position, Ms. Collins was an elementary teacher at ASB and a learning specialist, French teacher, and librarian at various schools in the US, Canada, Syria, Mexico, and Colombia. She holds an MA in Educational Leadership from Aurora University and a BEd and BA from Queen’s University, Canada.

Mr. Head, the Search Committee and Search Associates would like to thank each candidate who applied for this prestigious position and to all who assisted and supported the search process.


Julie Ryan

Julie Ryan, Senior Associate




International School of Düsseldorf, Germany

seeks an

Elementary School Principal

from August 2016

The School

The International School of Düsseldorf (ISD) is a well-established, not-for-profit, forward looking, K-12 IB World School (PYP, MYP, DP), in one of the most desirable locations in Europe. We are an international community of learners who work together to inspire our students to be confident, creative and critical thinkers.  The school is accredited by both the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).


An exciting place to work and learn

We value creativity, willingness to challenge assumptions and research-led practice, so we offer teachers outstanding opportunities to develop their professional knowledge and skills.  The best professional development happens in the classroom so we provide teachers with support to investigate new ideas and techniques, try them out, and to share their learning and experiences with colleagues.  Each member of faculty has an annual personal professional development allowance as well as additional financial support for matters such as IB programme training. 

Desirable location

ISD is a very attractive location whether you are interested in an international adventure or settling longer term.  Düsseldorf is a bustling Rheine metropolis in the heart of Europe.  We are in the charming and historic suburb of Kaiserswerth with excellent transport connections: ten minutes from the airport, 20 minutes by tram from the main station and at the centre of one of the best developed motorway systems in Europe.  Germany has a strong economy and stable government, and Düsseldorf is a safe city well-endowed with cultural institutions, some of the best shopping in Europe, and a plethora of restaurants to suit all pockets and tastes. 

We are an international community of learners

Internationalism at ISD means demonstrating the open-mindedness, flexibility and curiosity which enables us to appreciate not only our many differences, but also our common humanity.  We strive to overcome barriers and use our gained understanding to care for each other and to cooperate for the common good.

The strong working relationships among teachers and between teachers and students are among our most valued assets.  The school has approximately 1100 enrolled students. Currently, the Elementary School has 409 students representing over 50 nationalities among staff and students.  There are approximately 84 members of staff (academic and support) within the Elementary section.


Leading innovation in learning for a better world: Our goal is to deliver an outstanding education that prepares our students to be successful and inspires them to make a difference; an education that will equip them with the skills and aptitudes to tackle the global challenges they will face.

We have focused our vision around how we can provide every ISD child with access to success and the support needed to meet their personal needs and interests. 

Our learning principles

We believe that

  • learning happens best when all participants form positive relationships, set high expectations for their learning and feel secure in taking risks
  • learning is most effective when the participants are inquisitive, active, and engaged in authentic learning tasks; when learners collaborate, evaluate their own thinking and have opportunities to act on feedback
  • the learning process results in constructing new understanding and leads to action


The Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The PYP focuses on the total growth of the developing child, touching hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development. It is a transdisciplinary programme of international education designed to foster the development of the whole child as an inquirer, inside and outside the classroom. The programme provides a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children and prepares them towards becoming active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

Our teachers work towards preparing students to become internationally minded citizens with attributes outlined in the IB Learner Profile.  There is an integrated approach to teaching and learning, and a variety of differentiated teaching methods are drawn from a range of exciting learning tasks and strategies applied to all key learning areas. Specialist teachers plan and work collaboratively with classroom teachers to implement a trans-disciplinary programme of inquiry. This is achieved by integrating subject areas so students can make connections within the programme.

Elementary School Principal

The position

The Principal of Elementary School will provide professional leadership and administration to motivate the performance of instructional and support personnel in order to provide the best possible opportunities for student growth and development, both educationally and personally.

The Principal will foster a holistic, forward-thinking, creative learning environment by providing visionary leadership in a collaborative manner

Professional experience and personal qualities

The ideal candidate will demonstrate creativity, energy and drive, the highest integrity and ethical standards and a passion for teaching and learning. In addition, he/she will be innovative and should have many of the following skills and experience:

  • An excellent and extensive record of experience as a school administrator in a senior leadership role
  • Classroom teacher certification/qualification at Elementary level;
  • Master’s degree in Educational leadership or equivalent;
  • In depth knowledge of and experience with the PYP and/or constructivist learning theory and its implementation;
  • Past experience working in an  international school and/or with families in a multicultural environment
  • Leadership qualities and the ability to motivate staff is essential;
  • Demonstrated ability to work and plan collaboratively with colleagues, staff, parents and students;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English, both verbal and written;
  • Strong organizational, time management and multi-tasking skills;
  • The maturity and commitment to exercise sound judgment;
  • IT competent;
  • The ability to assist in the selection, professional development and retention of first class teaching staff, as well as the ability to build an inclusive community of students, parents and professional staff and set high performance standards
  • Experience in managing a budget and delivering against financial targets

Compensation Package

The salary for the Elementary School Principal is commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and is competitive. The position includes German mandatory medical insurance coverage for the principal, spouse and qualifying dependents 18 years or under who reside with the principal full time.  In addition, the school offers a retirement contribution, professional development allowance, biannual home allowance and a relocation allowance and flights.

The initial contract will be two years with an option to extend beyond the initial contract. The contract is renewable at the discretion of the Director. Salary and benefits for this post are competitive and will be commensurate with the responsibilities of this prestigious position.

Application Procedure

The International School of Dusseldorf (ISD) has selected Search Associates to assist in this search process.  The deadline for applications is December 9, 2015.  Candidates should note, however, that the search committee will begin reviewing applications as soon as they are received.  In the event that an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, ISD reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline.  For this reason, it is recommended that interested candidates apply as soon as possible.

Candidates should send the information requested below, in a single PDF attachment not to exceed 6MB

  • A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Elementary Principal position at ISD
  • A current CV/résumé not to exceed two pages
  • A one or two-page personal statement outlining your educational beliefs and your philosophy of leadership
  • A one-page list of references with accurate and current contact details, including position, phone number and e-mail address (if you are a candidate with Search Associates please state that in your letter).
  • A head shot photo (optional)

Applications should be submitted to:

with a cc to:

For more information on the International School of Dusseldorf, please see the school website: http://www.isdedu.de


Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Harry Deelman was at various times headmaster of schools in a fascinating foursome of global cities: Buenos Aires, Rome, Dubai, and Bangkok.