Head of  School at American School of Marrakesh in Morocco
Morocco < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Head of School
American School of Marrakesh (Morocco)

Appointed - Dr. Casey Asato
Feb 4, 2019
Mar 31, 2019


On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Search Committee of the American School of Marrakesh, Morocco, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Casey Asato has been appointed the new Head of School beginning in August 2020.

Dr. Asato has over 20 years of experience in school leadership. He is currently the Head of School at Saint Francis School in Honolulu, Hawai
?i. Prior to this position, he served as the Director of Curriculum at Seabury Hall in Makawao, Maui, as well as other administrative and teaching positions in Japan, Perú, and the United States. Dr. Asato will be accompanied by his spouse Mariángela of Perú, a Fulbright Scholar and gifted teacher in her own right, and their infant daughter.

Dr. Asato earned his BSC in Finance from Santa Clara University in California, an MA in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai
?i at Mânoa, an MA in the Teaching of Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University, an EdD in Educational Professional Practice from the University of Hawai?i at Mânoa, and a Japanese language diploma from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. We are confident that his rich blend of hands-on skills and solid background in nurturing a positive school climate, developing leadership capacities throughout a school community, and supporting innovative program design and development, Dr. Asato will provide the American School of Marrakesh with strong educational leadership and management.

 The Board, the Search Committee, and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in the Head of School position, and to all of those who generously assisted and supported the search process. Please join us in warmly welcome Dr. Asato to the American School of Marrakesh!





The American School of Marrakesh  


Seeks A New Head Of School

Effective July of 2019 OR 2020

Below you will find information about this small but excellent school, located in one of the world’s most beautiful and livable countries


The School

The American School of Marrakesh (ASM) is a not-for profit, independent school in MarrakeshMorocco. It offers classes from kindergarten to 12th grade to approximately 400 students.

The American School of Marrakesh was founded in 1995 by Joseph A. McPhillips III, Head of School at the American School of Tangier for thirty-five years. Started as a branch of the American School of Tangier, which had been in existence since 1950, the American School of Marrakesh was intended by Mr. McPhillips to be a model institution, reflecting his personal belief in education and a belief in the Kingdom of Morocco.

Under the early leadership of Joe McPhillips and Mrs. Audrey Riffi, the school opened its doors in rented facilities in a villa with two teachers. It moved into its present purpose-built facility in stages. The Lower School opened on September 15, 2001, and the Upper School opened on March 27, 2002. Adding grades each year, ASM graduated its first senior class in 2008. Most of the graduates enroll in universities in the US, Canada, Europe and Morocco.

Designed by Charles Boccara and landscaped by Madison Cox, the present school facility is a tribute to the enduring nature of a school founded as a dream by Joe McPhillips and nurtured into successful pre-eminence in Marrakesh by the combined efforts of teachers, parents, staff, administrators, board members, and friends of the school.


An independent private institution located on the outskirts of Marrakesh, Morocco, ASM offers an English-language, American-system education from kindergarten through 12th grade. The school follows AERO standards (American Education Reaches Out). ASM is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Students must take four years of math, four years of English, four years of History, and four years of Science in order to graduate. Arabic is offered in Grades K-12 while French is introduced in Grade 2. Both languages are considered core curriculum classes that all students are required to take. To accommodate students who join the school with little to no French or Arabic, the School offers several levels: Advanced, Standard and Arabic/French for beginners. Most graduates attend universities in the US, the UK, Canada, Europe or the Middle East.


The School is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees elected for 3-year terms. The School is incorporated in the State of Delaware and registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a U.S. tax-exempt institution.


Marrakesh is the fourth largest city of Morocco with about 800,000 inhabitants. It is the major economic center of the region.

It lies at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, beautifully snow covered in the winter. Like many north African cities it is mainly divided into a medina, which is the old fortified city, and a modern city nearby (called Gueliz). The city has a wonderful climate with mild winters and warm summers.

Marrakesh History

The name “Marrakesh” probably has been derived from Berber words ‘mur(n) akush‘ which means the land of god. Until a few decades ago, the Arabs, Persians, and Europeans, called Morocco the Kingdom of Marrakesh. It was founded in the 11th century and was the capital of an empire that stretched from Spain to Senegal. In earlier times it was a major stop on the crossroads of trading caravans going in the direction of Timbuktu.

Experienced travelers would consider Marrakesh to be an extraordinary and fascinating city. Below are six photos of the city and places of particular interest.



Koutoubia Mosque, a national historic site, was constructed in 1230


The entrance to the famous Mamounia hotel, where Churchill painted many landscapes while trying to escape briefly from the pressures of war. A day pass can be bought to visit this historic place.

Villa Oasis & Majorelle Garden and Museum 

Villa Oasis was the private residence of Yves Saint Laurent and his longtime partner Pierre Bergé. Formerly owned by French painter Jacques Majorelle, the bold-colored garden was lovingly restored by the couple, who later added a museum dedicated to the rich culture of the Berber people of North Africa.


The Search

The Board of trustees plans to work closely with Search Associates to conduct a worldwide search in order to develop an extensive list of outstanding candidates. If the strongest candidate is available in 2019 the school will offer a contract to commence in July of that year. If on the other hand the strongest candidate is interested in a 2020 appointment, the school will offer a contract to begin in July of that year. Therefore, candidates may apply for either date, or can apply for both dates


Preferred qualifications for this position are as follows. (While it is not realistic to expect any one candidate to meet all of these preferred qualifications, this should provide an excellent guideline for the type of headmaster we are seeking.)

  •  A proven record of outstanding educational leadership, in the capacity of key administrator in Primary/Secondary education
  •  A strong work ethic and excellent organizational and administrative skills
  • An abundance of energy, initiative, vision, drive, imagination, stamina and good health
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills gained in an educational environment
  • Outstanding leadership abilities in motivating, inspiring and challenging both staff and students in order to strengthen and promote the vision and bring to life the values of ASM
  • Demonstrated ability to nurture and extend the collaboration and partnership between students, staff, board members, parents and the wider community
  • Experience or willingness to take responsibility for fund-raising from business and local government
  • Cross-cultural openness and understanding, together with a willingness to become part of the local community in order to promote the School’s interests
  • Fluency in English and possibly French, or at the least a willingness to learn French
  • Prior educational experience outside of home country, preferably in a developing and/or Muslim country
  • Appreciation of and desire to live and work in a multicultural atmosphere and flexibility in adapting to a new culture
  • Ability to create imaginative and vigorous "marketing" strategies to help attain growth
  • Ability to multitask and keep on top of many important challenges simultaneously
  • Ability to design realistic budgets and adhere to them
  • Ability to recruit and retain an excellent faculty, with some financial restrictions, and ability to hire OUTSTANDING and INSPIRING young teachers, administrators and interns, not necessarily certified or experienced, but who can make exceptional contributions to ASM
  • Evidence of ability to supervise, motivate, inspire and evaluate staff effectively
  • Candidate must be honest and direct, welcome participation of faculty and parents, and be capable of making difficult decisions
  • Conviction, after visiting ASM, that working at ASM and living in Marrakech will be a good match and provide a happy lifestyle, leading to the strong possibility of a five year commitment.
  • Previous experience in working and living in a Muslim Country.


Suitably qualified candidates for 2019  should send to John Magagna of Search Associates <jfm@searchassociates.com> (with a cc to < Admin@searchassociates.com> all the items below, collated together in a single pdf  to arrive as soon as possible, but no later than March 31, 2019.  Candidates for both 2019 and 2020 should adhere to the 31 March deadline as well.  Candidates for 2020 only should also apply promptly as the Board may make a decision by early April if the right candidate is identified early in the search. 

  •  a letter of application (no more than one page), briefly outlining why the candidate wishes to apply for this position and what specific skills, qualities and experience he/she can offer
  •  a CV (no more than two pages)
  • a statement of educational and leadership philosophy (no more than one page)
  • the names and full contact details of at least three professional referees (one of which should if possible be the leader (or board chair) of the applicant’s current organization)
  • a good recent head-and-shoulders photo (optional)

Applications will be reviewed by Search Associates as soon as they are submitted. The files of those candidates considered to be a good match for ASM will be forwarded promptly to the search committee of the ASM Board. The Board’s intention is to appoint a new school head for 2019 no later than early April. If the strongest candidate is only available for 2020, however, the board is willing to wait. Therefore, it is very important for all interested persons to submit applications in a timely fashion.

For additional information about ASM, please see www.asm.ac.ma.

The links below about Marrakesh will provide an extraordinary variety of information:



Did You Know…?

Since 1990, Search Associates has assisted over 50,000 educators to find jobs in international schools around the world.