Founding Head of School at The New Montego Bay International School in Jamaica
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Founding Head of School
The New Montego Bay International School (Jamaica)

Appointed - Dr. Ginger Jewell
Jul 17, 2017
Sep 30, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the search committee for the Montego Bay International School and Search Associates, I write to let you know that Dr. Ginger Jewell has accepted the position as Founding Head of School of MBIS, effective immediately.  Ginger has recently completed her role as consultant to a startup charter school in Monroe, Georgia, so was flexible and able to begin her new role with MBIS right away.

Ginger has been involved with school startups for the past 10 years, including serving as one of a team of four that developed a school system from the ground up, from construction, to curriculum development, to hiring faculty and developing policies.  Her imprint as a startup specialist can be seen at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) schools and the Universal American School of Kuwait.  In addition to her Ed S in Educational Administration, Ginger is a Certified Educational Facilities Planner, a degree usually conferred on architects.  Its focus on designing learning environments includes the design and operation of both the physical learning spaces as well as the integration of pedagogies and educational philosophies.  She will put this background to good use in her new role in Jamaica.

There were many, many strong and passionate candidates for this role.   I am optimistic for the future of startup schools (especially in island nations!). 

Kind regards,

Bridget McNamer 


seeks a


for a start date in January, 2018



The Montego Bay International School endeavors to provide each student the opportunity to achieve his or her academic and personal best within an international educational environment based on the American Curriculum and implemented according to international best practice standards. The school will encourage leadership, character, and community service while embracing cultural diversity.

The Montego Bay International School’s goal is to open in September 2018 as a private, coeducational 7th to 12th grade, college preparatory day school. The second phase of the school will open after 2018 with grades K to 6. The school’s mission will be to provide an international education to host country residents, as well as dependents of the multi-national businesses located in Montego Bay and its surrounding areas. Plans to acquire accreditation will be an important focus in the initial years of the school’s operation.   It is the organization’s intention to apply for and implement The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) for grades 11 and 12 within the first 3 years of opening the school.


 The Montego Bay International School will offer a college preparatory program in an English-speaking, co-educational environment. Students will graduate with an American High School Diploma, and/or the IBDP diploma. The goal of the school is to provide each student with a high quality academic program within a caring environment, which fosters personal and intellectual growth in additional to opportunities for leadership and community service. Co-curricular activities involving fine and performing arts, sports and clubs for special interests will be available to provide for social development of the students and to establish a community focus. 

The school will offer students a safe and supportive community for creative exploration, out-of-the-box thinking and problem solving. Individualism and self-discovery, the respect of all cultures and the betterment of the school and local communityare all key factors in the school’s ethos.


MBIS is looking for a driven Head of School who has prior experience in opening a school from the ground-up. The Founding Head of School will assume his/her role in December 2017 and will work closely with the Montego Bay International School’s Board of Directors in the pre-operating 8 months till the school opens its doors.

The Founding Head of School for the Montego Bay International School, supported by the Board of Directors, will be the driving force behind the opening of the doors of this first-of-its-kind school, in Jamaica’s second city. S/he will be responsible for laying a steady, solid foundation for the school’s future success. Responsibilities of the Founding Head of School, in collaboration with the Board of Directors, include (but are not limited to):  assisting in the planning and build-out/of the actual school premises; formulating the school’s strategic plans, programs and budgets; developing the academic program (with assistance from a curriculum coordinator, also to be hired); establishing operational procedures (including financial operations); hiring initial faculty and staff.

The Founding Head of School will champion the school’s faculty, administrators and other members of the MBIS family, daily, to achieve academic, financial and educational success in the day-to-day school environment. S/he will lead the administrators and faculty in creatively thinking of new ways to better the school and life within the school community for all stakeholders.


  • Maintain a positive relationship with the Board through the development of strong communications challenge
  • Assist with the design and construction of the School
  • Lead the development of the school’s academic program
  • Promote positive community relations
  • Develop positive school and staff relations
  • Mobilize and motivate administration and staff in a manner that best serves the school
  • Recruit, retain, and train highly qualified teachers, locally and from overseas.
  • Select, assign, transfer, and terminate the employment of staff
  • Monitor the implementation of the educational policies of the school
  • Develop and recommend to the Board objectives for the academic program
  • Develop and recommend to the Board a long-range plan for the school
  • Develop and maintain adequate records for the school, including a system of financial accounts, business and property records, personnel records, etc.
  • Ensure that appropriate in-service training and professional development is conducted
  • Promote high standards of performance in educational achievement
  • Establish and maintain liaison with other educational institutions
  • Perform other responsibilities and duties as may be assigned by the Board


  •  An advanced degree in Educational Leadership
  • Experience as a head of school, preferably in starting a new international school
  • Prior experience in an American Curriculum environment and with the International Baccalaureate Programme
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, and personal characteristics necessary for working effectively with students, teachers, administrators, and parents
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of business and finance
  • Openness to new cultures and to working with people from different backgrounds
  • An incredibly motivated, and “motivating,” personality
  • A strong work ethic


The salary will be competitive and commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Benefits will include housing, automotive, health insurance, relocation allowance, professional development, and others typical for this type of position.


The Montego Bay International School has appointed Search Associates as consultant for this search, with Bridget McNamer as the lead consultant. 

The deadline for applications is September 30, 2017.  Candidates are asked to submit an application as early as possible, as the search committee reserves the right to close the search at any time if the right candidate is found.  The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received.

Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file attached to an email:

  • A letter of application describing your interest in the Founding Head of School position at the Montego Bay International School, listing your strengths as a candidate and how your qualifications and experience align with the profile of the desired candidate
  • A current resumé not to exceed two pages
  • A one-page list of at least 4 referees with current phone numbers and email addresses
  • A maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.

Total document size should be kept to less than four (4) MB if possible. 

This document should be emailed to:


Did You Know…?

CEO of Search Associates, Jessica Magagna, was born in Morocco and attended the American Community School in Iran while her father was headmaster.