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May 30, 21
Sep 15, 21
The American School of Tangier
Head of School Position Description
Founded in 1950, the American School of Tangier (AST) began operations just six years after King Mohammed V, Roosevelt, and Churchill met in Casablanca, and six years before Morocco’s independence from France in 1956. AST is the oldest international school in North Africa. AST’s legacy of successfully serving Moroccan and international youth for over a half century inspires continual reinvention of programs enabling AST to keep pace with the 21st century. True to its Mission, the face and structures of AST programs evolve with the times.
AST Head of School is a position of respect and responsibility in Tangier, and beyond. The role has been filled by Omar Pound, son of Ezra Pound, John Magagna (Founding Director of Search Associates), and by Joseph McPhillips - legendary head for 35 years until 2007 who developed a legacy of academic excellence and legendary annual dramatic productions that continue today.
Drama production Metamorphosis, June 2019
The Head of School position is a complex role of interface between American and Moroccan cultures. A core objective is to fulfill the Bi-Lateral Education Agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States Government which posits cross-cultural educational exchange as a benefit to both countries. In the last five years, AST has been awarded three USAID-ASHA awards for two projects: The AST 21st Century Learning Project, and the AST Sustainable Development Project. With these funds, comes the responsibility of not just the project implementation, but accompanying public diplomacy in Tangier and Morocco.
The next Head of School will be welcomed by a school ethos of community, and of caring for the students. Many of the staff have been with the school for over a decade and, with 70% of the students being from local families who attend AST PK to grade 12, there is a family feeling as teachers collectively own the success stories embedded in each graduation.
A thriving alumni network supports the school with traditional spirit and financial support, most recently for upgrading the library and providing a scholarship for a HS senior in need.
Main entrance to the Administration Building
The Mission of AST is powerful and unites the school. It is focused on students and ends with a metric of success.
The Mission of the American School of Tangier is to equip our students with the tools and knowledge to become successful, global citizens in a creative community environment.
AST will fulfill this mission by providing:
- An American-style education with a thorough grounding in the liberal arts, sciences, and technology,
- A highly competitive preparation for university acceptance around the world, especially American universities,
- A commitment to lifelong personal development,
- Community leadership that inspires responsibility, open mindedness, empathy, and resilience.
AST will be successful when its students and faculty inspire lives of character, leadership, and service for the city, the country, and the world.
International Day Festivities
AST has four divisions - Primary, Elementary, Middle and High School. Each Division has an age-appropriate distinctive program philosophy that supports the Mission through implementation of the FALCONS traits:
AST Profile 2020-2021
Organization: AST 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. The school year consists of two 18-week semesters extending from August to January, and from January to June. The school calendar follows a semester system with grades reported in January and June. Students attend school for 175 days, with 10 additional teacher work days.
Curriculum: The curriculum is that of a U.S. college-preparatory school, with instruction in English. AST employs an American content and standards framework, including the Common Core Mathematics and Language arts, and the Next Generation Science Standards. French is taught as a foreign language beginning in grade 6. Arabic is required by law for Moroccan students beginning in KG3 and is open to all students. AST has adopted a STEAM curriculum framework that ensures integration of hard and social sciences, technology, engineering/English, arts, and mathematics/mindfulness. Performing and visual arts are integral to most subject area instruction.
Extra-Curricular Activities include
- Athletics and Team Sports - MASAC Conference
- Model United Nations
- Student Council
- After-School Club program: Arts, Sports, Music, Chess, Math Counts, etc.
Faculty: In the 2020-2021 school year, there are 49 full-time and 2 part-time faculty members. The full-time faculty members include 13 U.S. citizens, 22 host-country nationals, and 16 from 9 different countries. 41% of teachers are from the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Enrollment: At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, enrollment was 378 K1(age 3) through grade 12. This year there are 26 U.S. citizens, 280 host-country nationals, and 72 third-country nationals from 23 countries. Of the U.S. enrollment, all are dependents of private U.S. citizens. Although designated a US State Department school, currently no U.S. government dependents attend the school because consulate and embassy are located in Casablanca and Rabat.
Facilities: The school is located on a 15-acre site in the center of Tangier City. Facilities include an English library, science labs, computer lab, language lab, Makerspace - Imagination lab, gymnasium, dance studio, visual arts studio, swimming pool, soccer field, and extensive grounds. The University of New England (UNE) has a satellite campus on the AST grounds, which opened in January, 2014. Though usually 40, there are currently no U.S. students from UNE studying at the Tangier campus due to Covid restrictions.
Finances: In the 2020-2021 school year, about 95% of the school's income derives from tuition and 5% from donations and grants. Tuition fees includes after-school programs, and college counseling services.
Development: A 2016 USAID-ASHA grant has enabled a new classroom and learning commons wing that opened in September 2018. The school was awarded an additional ASHA grant with which to resource and implement the AST 21st Century Learning Project in the Middle School. Most recently the school adopted seven of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to advance environmentally friendly practices within the school. The AST Sustainable Development Project has recently received an additional ASHA grant to be be implemented over the next few years. In addition to campus renovation of drainage, electricity and water, the project includes restoring the school’s 20-acre waterfront property bordering the Straits of Gibraltar to native flora, as well as building a Marine Biology Station on the property, a marine laboratory at school, a butterfly garden, and an Edible School project of extensive gardens.
View from school Cherifian Rocks property
AST PRIORITIES FOR HEAD OF SCHOOL
- Monitoring of student achievement
- Teacher capacity development – 21st century pedagogy
- Mindful admissions and staffing decisions
- Community engagement
- Development of sustainable practices
- Administration if USAID-ASHA projects
QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE AST HEAD OF SCHOOL
Preferred qualifications for this position are as follows.
- A record of effective educational leadership in K-12 education
- Capacity to motivate, inspire and challenge staff and students to demonstrate the AST mission in action and to embody the AST FALCONS traits
- A strong work ethic, excellent organizational and administrative skills, an abundance of energy, initiative, vision, drive, imagination, stamina and good health
- Focused on student learning. Uses student achievement data regularly with Principals and Teachers to collectively seek ways to increase achievement, as well as to make curricular and staffing decisions.
- Genuine interest in furthering the USAID-ASHA projects, and responsible for project-tracking via quarterly reports. (Financial reporting is handled by the CFO.)
- ASHA 2017: The AST 21st Century Learning Project
- ASHA 2018: The AST Sustainable Development Project
- Experience or willingness to spearhead fund-raising and grant writing
- Willingness to be part of the local community to promote the school’s interests
- Experience leading a school through the accreditation process.
- Ability to design realistic budgets and adhere to them
- Fluency in English and French, or at the least a willingness to learn French
- Ability to recruit and retain an excellent faculty, with some financial restrictions, including outstanding and inspiring young teachers, administrators and interns, not necessarily certified or experienced, but capable of exceptional contributions to AST
- Evidence of ability to effectively supervise, motivate, inspire and evaluate staff effectively
- Experience leading an international school in a third world country demonstrating cross-cultural empathy, flexibility and adaptability
- Demonstrated ability to nurture collaboration and partnership between students, staff, board members, parents and the wider community, including AST’s sister schools, The American School of Marrakesh and The American School of Benguerir
- Candidate must be honest and direct, welcome participation of faculty and parents, and be capable of making difficult decisions
- Conviction, after visiting AST, that working at AST and living in Tangier will be a good match and provide a happy lifestyle, leading to the strong possibility of a five-year commitment.
View looking west from campus across the gardens.
American School of Tangier has appointed Search Associates to facilitate the search with Dr. Gunther Brandt, John F. Magagna and Caroline Jacoby serving as the Senior consultants. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2021. However, candidates should note that the search committee will begin reviewing applications as soon as they are received from Search Associates. In the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, AST reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline. For this reason, it is essential that interested candidates apply as soon as possible. For further information about AST, please visit the website www.ast.ma
Candidates who wish to apply should submit the information requested below in the form and manner requested.
- A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Head of School at American School of Tangier.
- A current resume not to exceed two pages.
- A one-page list of at least four references who have directly supervised the performance of the candidate with the current phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
- A maximum of four letters of recommendation which you may already have in your possession.
Candidates should send the requested information in a single PDF attachment.
Please send all materials to Dr. Gunther Brandt, John F Magagna, Caroline Jacoby and Sarah Putnam at: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ;
firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
The intention is to appoint a new school head by late November 2021.
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.
Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by the hiring school/organization 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 being available for the start date stipulated by the hiring organization. Search Associates will contact the current employer/supervisor to request completion of a Search Associates Confidential Leadership Reference Form for all Applicants who emerge in the search as a Finalist.