General Director at Lincoln School  in Costa Rica
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General Director
Lincoln School (Costa Rica)

Appointed - Daniel Allen
Nov 6, 2019
Dec 6, 2019





Lincoln School Costa Rica

Seeks a new General Director effective July 2020.

The School

Lincoln School was created in 1945 as an independent non-profit association to provide a bicultural and bilingual education in The Republic of Costa Rica, which is located in the heart of the Americas. Its capital is San Jose and its official language is Spanish. Costa Rica has been an army-free country since 1948. With a balanced social and economic structure, Costa Rica is one of the most stable countries in the region. One of the reasons that Costa Rica is known throughout the world is for its natural beauty, displayed in its beaches, mountains, forests, and volcanoes, housing 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Costa Rica is on course to become the first Carbon Neutral country by 2050.

Throughout the years, Lincoln School has become recognized for its tradition, diverse social environment, and academic excellence. The twenty-first century has brought the IB Diploma Program, an institutionalized service learning program, a focus on the arts and athletics, and state of the art technological facilities.


Academic excellence is Lincoln’s legacy and primary objective. Our school vision is to prepare students for success in a bilingual and multicultural world, through leadership, integrity and innovation.

The Lincoln School offers its educational program to approximately 1425 students in PK to 12 grade; 89% Costa Rican and 11% of other nationalities including US, Canada, Norway, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Great Britain, Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, China, and India.

Lincoln School facilities are housed on a 7 hectares (17.3 acres) campus with ample green areas and outdoor hallways. Structures include 3 academic buildings, library, cafeteria, theater, gymnasium, science and computer laboratories, and a sports field. Future infrastructure plans, in the short term, include construction of an Entrepreneurial Center and conversion of current classrooms to Entrepreneurial Studios.


The school is governed by a 10-member elected Board of Directors which takes great pride in providing excellent educational programs and facilities. The General Director is also a non-voting member of the Board. In addition to the General Director, school administration includes Preschool, Elementary, Middle School and High School principals. The teaching faculty is composed of 150 members, 22% US citizens, 74% Costa Rican, 2% Canadian and 2% other.

Mission, Beliefs and Strategic Goals


Lincoln School, the leading innovator in 21st century education, empowers students to positively impact local and global communities.

We Believe

  • In the role of education in creating a positive society.
  • In the potential of young people.
  • In building positive relationships.
  • We need to model behaviors we want to see in others.
  • Every individual deserves respect and fairness.
  • The most important resource in a school is its people.
  • The meaning in one’s life is the change you make in others.

Strategic Goals

  • Goal #1: Commit to being student-centered in our instruction and relationships.
  • Goal #2: Maximize the efficiency of school resources and service.
  • Goal #3: Communicate effectively with all stakeholders.
  • Goal #4: Provide students the opportunity to achieve a balanced life.
  • Goal #5: Review the potential impact of a more diverse student population.
  • Goal #6: Recruit, support, and retain local and international teachers of the highest quality.
  • Goal #7: Foster a mindset and shared culture of entrepreneurial education that is responsive to global challenges

At Lincoln school we are committed to Student-Centered Instruction. We define Student-Centeredness as teaching and learning with the potential to make an impact on our local and global communities. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals guide our instruction, and as a community we have established as a strategic goal to foster a mindset and shared culture of entrepreneurial education that is responsive to global challenges. Our methodology includes a process that we call the 3IR (identify, ideate, iterate, and reflect) and in the lower grades we have introduced play-based learning. Assessment at Lincoln encourages risk taking and at all levels we have adopted criterion referenced grading policies.

In addition to our core beliefs we also believe:

  • that practices and mindsets are more powerful than content.
  • in the importance of listening with empathy.
  • that to grow you must try, fail, and reflect.
  • that we can make an impact on our world and community.
  • in choice.
  • in teaching real-life skills.

Founders Scholarship Program

This scholarship (available to enrolling 6th, 7th or 8th grade students) is awarded every year to up to 2 incoming students. Students are selected through a competitive process which includes an admission exam, an interview and proven financial need. This program is financed 50% by the school and 50% by private donors.

Service Learning Program

This curricular program, which runs from PK to 12, is designed to teach students that service should be a life-long activity. Service Learning aims to build individual and collective capacity in our students to create a more environmentally friendly and just world. Through scaffolded experiences, the program moves from a teacher directed approach in the early years, to teacher facilitated Service as Action in the MYP years, to a student directed model through Creativity-Activity-Service in the Diploma program. Under a “CAS for all philosophy”, all students in grades 9 through 12, regardless of the academic program they are enrolled in, engage in experiences that are challenging, enjoyable and a journey of self-discovery. In addition, they identify an issue of global and local significance and through a service project each school year, they ideate, iterate and reflect on sustainable and ethical solutions to address the issue. With the built-in support of advisor teachers, Lincoln School Service Learning programs are an avenue for the development of international mindedness, social innovation and social entrepreneurship initiatives to create a positive impact in the world.

DP Program

The International Baccalaureate Program at Lincoln gives students the opportunity to enroll in either the full Diploma Program or individual certificate courses. Most students who opt for the IB Diploma, the most rigorous program offered at Lincoln, graduate with the IB Bilingual Diploma in Spanish and English, a feat accomplished by only 24% of test takers worldwide. All IBDP subjects at Lincoln, except for French and Spanish, are taught in English.

Lincoln School mandates that all students take three IBDP courses in 11th and 12th grade. All students are required to take DP Language and Literature or Literature in English and Spanish. Non-native Spanish speakers are required to take Spanish B. The third course is of the students’ choosing.


Student Life

Co-Curricular Program

The Cultural Co-Curricular program is a vital part of Lincoln School’s holistic education. It runs every day afterschool and offers the following options: Book Club, Coding, Drama, Ultimate Frisbee, Big Band, Strings, Audiovisual Production, MUN Program, Math Counts (seasonal), and GIN – Global Issues Network (seasonal). Lincoln School values the experience of traveling, therefore offers cultural and sports trips throughout the school year. Among these are: Harvard MUN, AASCA conferences and festivals such as Music, Theater, and Leadership; and cultural exchanges to countries like France, Mexico and Peru.




The athletic department currently runs on a yearly calendar, aligning Lincoln sports to Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA) standards at the varsity level. Sports offered are Basketball, Cross Country, Track & Field, Soccer and Volleyball. In addition, swimming and tennis competitions have been established with the aim of encouraging the participation of the students who practice these sports.



College Enrollment

All Lincoln graduates go on to university studies. Between 2015 and 2019 Lincoln graduates were accepted to and enrolled in the finest universities worldwide, including: 86 United States universities, 9 Canadian, 14 Costa Rican, 22 European and 9 other countries.

The Position

The General Director is the chief executive officer of the school with full responsibility for:

  • Sustaining the Strategic Plan
  • Implementing the policies of the Board of Directors
  • Directing all aspects of the operation of the school and its educational programs
  • Developing the annual budget (with the Chief Operations Officer) for presentation to the Board for approval
  • Increasing and maintaining school enrollment
  • Establishing sound fiscal policies and monitoring expenditures in relation to the budget
  • Maintaining high academic, moral and behavioral standards, working to form well-rounded individuals and building school spirit
  • Evaluating the performance of the administrative and academic leaders
  • Meaningful communication with the school constituencies, i.e., faculty, parents, and students
  • Representing the school in the wider community

Other specific responsibilities in the total operation of the school may be assigned by the Board of Directors as necessary.

Qualifications for the Position

The Board seeks a mature school administrator with extensive teaching and administrative experience and appropriate academic qualifications. Of particular significance:

  • Minimum Masters in School Administration
  • A proven record of visionary leadership in student-centered education, innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Leadership experience as a Head of School or as a highly experienced Principal in an overseas school or multi-cultural environment.
  • Solid experience of working with a Board and Directors
  • Experience in an overseas school, preferred
  • Fluent English language speaker with at least an intermediate command of Spanish
  • Experience with budget preparation and school finance
  • Experience with curriculum planning, instruction and staff development
  • IB DP experience required and MYP experience desired
  • Prior leadership experience with a proven ability to motivate and delegate utilizing team management and participatory decision-making skills
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit and develop a highly qualified staff
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills with the ability to build a strong sense of community
  • Well-developed communication skills, both written and oral
  • Knowledge of and experience with Latin American culture


The salary and benefits package will be competitive, and commensurate with the qualifications and previous experience of the successful candidate. Further details will be given to short-listed candidates.

Procedures for Filing Application

The Board of Directors in conjunction with Search Associates is conducting the search for the new General Director. Paul Poore, ( Senior Consultant at Search Associates, has been appointed as the consultant to assist the Board in the search process.

Initial application should consist of a cover letter which includes a statement of the candidate’s educational philosophy, curriculum vitae which includes a listing of all academic qualifications and professional experience, and the names, address and telephone numbers of three supervisors who are in a position to judge the candidate’s performance in each position.

The deadline for application is December 6th, 2019 (the Board reserves the right to close the selection process prior to the deadline if the right candidate is found). Candidate evaluation will be completed during the months of December and January, with interviews of finalists the last week of January 2020.

For additional information about the school, please visit:

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.