General Director at Colegio Panamericano in Colombia
Colombia < Back to Leadership Vacancies

General Director
Colegio Panamericano (Colombia)

Appointed - Anne Lang
Feb 4, 2022
Mar 7, 2022


Colegio Panamericano

Bucaramanga, Colombia

seeks a

General Director

Beginning July 18th, 2022


School and Position Profile

Founded in 1963, Colegio Panamericano is a progressive, non-profit school with a global perspective offering a Colombian and US diploma. We are committed to high-quality, international education and envision our graduates as socially responsible, adaptable, life-long learners and leaders capable of passionately pursuing their dreams. Our rigorous curriculum and exemplary faculty empower students to develop their intellectual, physical, and ethical potentials in preparation for a quality university education and a successful life. The school is based on a US educational model, using the Common Core Curriculum in Language and Math, the NGSS curriculum in Science, and the AP program in high school. To graduate, students must take the SAT and the Colombian state test (Prueba Saber). Most graduates will stay in Colombia for their university studies; however, around 20% will study overseas.

Our Vision

  • Social Responsibility
  • Adaptability
  • Life-long learning
  • Leadership
  • Passionate pursuit of Dreams.

The Setting

Bucaramanga is the capital of the department of Santander. Known as the "City of Parks," Bucaramanga has pleasant weather all year long. With a population of one million, the city is large enough to have all the amenities like shopping centers, hospitals, bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and markets, but small enough to move around quickly. The city is nestled in the Andes mountains, making it the perfect location for visiting pueblos in the area or rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, cycling, and hiking in and around the famous Chicamocha Canyon.

The school is located in a suburb of Bucaramanga called Floridablanca. The area around the school is a mixed commercial/residential area where teachers can find everything they need. This is also the neighborhood where most of the foreign-hired teachers live. Most teachers live within a five-minute walk to the school in modern, spacious apartments with 24-hour security and swimming pools. 

School Community

There are 750 students at Panamericano; most are Colombian, with approximately 10% being born outside of the country. Some students study overseas, but most attend one of the excellent Colombian universities. The academic sections are as follows:


Kindergarten – 150 students

Elementary – 270 students

Middle School – 148 students

High School – 182 students

The highly dedicated staff consists of 100 instructional staff and 80 administrative/operational staff. There are 22 foreign-hired teachers coming from the USA, Canada, UK, Venezuela, Australia, and Kenya. Many of our teachers have postgraduate degrees, and most of our Colombian staff have worked in the US and are bilingual.

Panamericano parents are highly committed to the school's success, many of them having graduated from the school. Student exhibitions, parent conferences, sports tournaments, and concerts are ways the school engages parents in school life. Each year the parents elect a classroom representative to the Parent Council. This council works with each section principal on social responsibility campaigns, special activities, and school improvement initiatives.  

The Campus

The school campus includes several academic buildings, including kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school sections. The coliseum offers indoor space for basketball and volleyball, and the school has a large natural grass soccer field. In addition, the school has several STEAM labs, a media center, a lower school library, administration offices, a school store and restaurant, and a multipurpose school auditorium. A master facility plan includes the construction of additional kindergarten and elementary classrooms, art studios, offices, and program spaces.


A board of directors governs the school and is elected by the a parent assembly. There are nine board members (all parents) and each member may serve a maximum of four years. In addition, the board of directors undergoes yearly board training and participates in regional conferences on governance.


The school is a member of the American International Schools in the Americas (AMISA), The Association of Colombian and Caribbean American Schools (ACCAS), and the Tri-Association. Colegio Panamericano is also accredited and authorized by the Colombian Ministry of Education. The school has been a Cognia accredited school since 1994. This accreditation was renewed after an onsite visit in 2019 and the next visit is planned for 2024. In 2018, Panamericano's STEM program was also accredited by Cognia, making it the first school in South America with this certification.

General Director Job Description

The general director is responsible to the board of directors for the school's effective leadership, including the management, supervision, and coordination of the various sections and departments. The director provides educational leadership to develop and maintain the best possible educational program and services.


Specific Responsibilities

Implement all school policies as described in the board policy manual.

  • Attend and participate in all meetings of the board and its committees, except when own employment or salary is under consideration.
  • Remain aware of the school statutes, board policy manual, all internal school policies, schedules, Colombian law, etc.
  • Make recommendations to the board of directors concerning staff needs, proposed salary and benefits, and other administrative policies.

Provide Educational Leadership

  • Implement teaching and instructional curriculum.
  • Evaluate and assess the educational program, activities and needs of the school.
  • Present plans for the improvement of academic programs.
  • Supervise the academic coordinators and principals to give clear direction to educational programs.
  • Plan and implement professional development.
  • Keep informed of educational theory and practices.

Direct all school operations (with support from the executive director).

  • Recommend facility improvement and oversee the master plan.
  • Prepare and present the annual budget, its revisions, and monthly financial statements to the board administrative committee and operate the school within approved budget guidelines.
  • Monitor the overall direction of the day-to-day business operations, including building, purchasing, enrollment, payroll, and other business activities involved in the total school operations.
  • Supervise the recruitment, appointment, assignment and evaluation of teaching staff and administrative personnel.
  • Act as the school's representative in the community to promote a harmonious relationship between the school and all stakeholders.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Graduate-level degree in education or administration
  • Previous experience in a senior leadership capacity
  • Fluent in both Spanish and English reading, writing, and speaking.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee the operational side of the school (e.g., transportation, food services, human resources, facilities, finances and development activities).
  • Understanding or experience with STEM and project-based learning.
  • Experience with school growth (e.g., marketing/admissions, facilities development, program staffing)
  • Demonstrated success in a similar international or multicultural setting.

Personal Attributes and Characteristics

  • Articulates a clear vision to all stakeholders.
  • Models and promotes school values: Social responsibility, lifelong learning, passionate pursuit of dreams, adaptability, and leadership.
  • Builds collaborative structures promoting stakeholder input, shared decision making, and distributive leadership. 
  • Advocates for student learning and wellbeing
  • Creates a positive climate and morale
  • Demonstrates outstanding interpersonal skills: Good listener, collaborative, people-oriented approach
  • Supports student cocurricular pursuits: Athletics, band, student clubs, activities, and after school programs.
  • Navigates the need to create high expectations with compassionate leadership in challenging times

Salary and benefits  The salary and benefits are competitive and will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.  

Application Procedure: Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file attached to an email to Paul Poore ( by March 7, 2022:

  • A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the General Director position at Colegio Panamericano
  • A statement describing your leadership and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
  • A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
  • Contacts (e-mail addresses and phone numbers) for at least three past and current supervisors. (We do not accept character references or non-confidential letters of reference from colleagues, friends, students, or parents).

While the deadline for submitting applications is March 7, 2022, we reserve the right to close the search earlier than the stated application deadline if a suitable and qualified candidate is found early in the process. Interested applicants should submit all required materials as early as possible.

Additional Resources:

School Website

Get to know our campus

Our GPS: A Pathway to the Future

Discover Santander

Colombia is ready to receive you!

Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by the hiring school if a candidate is under contract or otherwise encumbered in such a way that would preclude them from freely entering into a new employment contract, if offered, and is available for the start date stipulated by the hiring school. Search Associates will contact the current employer/supervisor to request the completion of a Search Associates Confidential Leadership Reference Form for all Applicants who emerge in the search as a Finalist.

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.