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Head of School
B.D. Somani International School (India)
Appointed - Geoff Fisher
Jan 2, 2019
Apr 30, 2019
On behalf of the Board of B.D. Somani International School (BDSIS) in Mumbai we are pleased to announce the appointment of Geoff Fisher as the school’s first permanent Head of School, effective August 1, 2019. The appointment follows Geoff Fisher’s initial selection as Interim Head for 2019/20, as announced in March of 2019.
Geoff Fisher has held leadership positions in schools in South America, Europe, North Africa, and Asia. He is currently the Head of Academy in the Aga Khan School in Hyderabad India where he previously served as Principal of the Kodaikanal International School, India’s first IBDP School. Other leadership positions included the Head of College of the UWC Maastricht, Scotch College in Adelaide, the British International School in Cairo, Antwerp International School, and St Andrew’s Scots School in Argentina.
Geoff’s journey has impressive academic foundations that include a B.Sc. with Honors in Science from Australian National University, a Master of Science from Melbourne University, and a Doctorate in Education from Bath University where he also served as Visiting Academic in the University’s Centre for Education in an International Context. His career has encompassed, predictably, the full range of curricula from the IB Continuum to AP, national systems, as well as bilingual and multilingual contexts. Geoff was a Founding member of the Latin American Heads Conference, since 2013 served as Adjunct Professor at Endicott College, and contributed significantly to projects and school reviews within national and international systems.
The BDSIS Board and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who have expressed interest in the Head of School position, to commence in August of 2019.
B. D. Somani International School
Re-Launched for July 1, 2020
In order to create the opportunity for a more comprehensive search that will produce a highly experienced group of candidates, Search Associates and the BDSIS Board have agreed to RE-LAUNCH THE SEARCH for the first-ever Head of School for 2020. In December of 2018, the search for the Secondary Principal was completed with the appointment of Dr. Colleen Boyett who will assume her role in July of 2019 (see the announcement on the Search website). In addition, since the re-launching of the search for 2020, an Interim Head appointment for 2019/20 was explored by the B.D. Somani Board of Trustees which, in March of 2019, resulted in the selection of Dr. Geoff Fisher as Interim Head of School for 2019/20. Geoff Fisher’s appointment is separately announced under FILLED POSITIONS on the Search website. The search for a permanent Head of School for July of 2020 remains active and continues to represent a unique opportunity for leadership in this exceptional school. We invite candidates to take advantage of the gift of time and consider submitting their application for the permanent Head of School position to commence in July of 2020.
The B.D. Somani International School (BDSIS) is a co-educational day school located in southern Mumbai. Currently, the school offers an international curriculum in English to over 1,000 students from the age of 3 to 18. Students are predominantly Indian and most have English as their first language. Founded in July 2006, BDSIS became the first school in southern Mumbai to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Since then the school has successfully introduced the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIS) for Grades 8 to 10. The lower grades use international progressive philosophy to prepare students for life-long learning and the IB Diploma.
The school attracts families who live throughout South Mumbai and desire an international education that predominantly leads to tertiary studies abroad. BDSIS has a Managing Board that currently bears the ultimate responsibility for the school and drives major policy, strategic and infrastructure decisions. The day-to-day activities are managed by two principals: Primary Principal (responsible for Reception to Grade 5) and Secondary Principal (responsible for Grades 6 to 12).
Located in one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Mumbai, the school is situated at the nexus of history, culture and geography of the city. The school’s facilities include large, well-furnished classrooms; cutting edge laboratories; well-stocked libraries; art, music, theatre and sports facilities (including the largest school field in South Mumbai). The school aims to develop informed curiosity and a deep passion for learning among its students and faculty.
Vision and Mission
B.D. Somani International School offers its students an internationally recognised curriculum in an Indian setting. The school focuses on social as well as intellectual development of the students to equip them to take their place in the global community of the 21st century. In an atmosphere that values academic excellence, the school seeks to encourage respect for individuality and self-awareness. At B. D. Somani, we aim to nurture and develop the potential of each of our students and to prepare them to become dynamic, caring and productive members of a democratic and interdependent society.
Within the Primary School, the curriculum is centred on building effective communication, collaborative problem-solving and reasoning skills. The learning environment requires practical application of skills, authentic and constructivist experiences, research, discussion and debate. The emphasis is on higher order thinking rather than simplistic rote learning. The arts, outdoor physical activity, IT skills and Hindi, French and Marathi are valued and embedded throughout the curriculum. As students move up to Middle School from Primary, they are confident, articulate and ready to take risks and face challenges whilst being equipped with the necessary skills to be life-long learners and thinkers.
In Secondary School, the curriculum is geared towards delivering a holistic education to all our students as they transition to classrooms with individual subjects taught by specialist teachers. As the students move on to the IGCSE program, there is an emphasis on research skills, teamwork and intellectual discovery. BDSIS offers a total of 18 IGCSE subjects out of which students study 8 subjects (4 mandatory and 4 optional). These subjects range from Science to Humanities to vocational subjects to provide a wide choice for all learners.
The school believes the IGCSE program to be the perfect bridge between the middle school and the IB Diploma Program. The curriculum gives students an opportunity to implement skills acquired in earlier years and to develop the traits and attitudes needed to succeed in the IB Diploma Program. Within the DP, in addition to building the components of the IB learner profile, students also practice skills related to research, spoken and written expression and academic honesty. Some of the key subjects offered include English, Hindi, Economics, History, Spanish ab initio, French ab initio, Italian ab initio, Geography, Business Management, Environmental Systems and Societies, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, and Mathematics. All DP subjects offered are available in standard level (SL) and higher level (HL), including Further Mathematics HL. Although BDSIS is a non-selective school for admissions, the average IB score is 35 points with 20% of our students receiving 40 points or higher.
Although the main faculty body is Indian, the institution is focused on providing extensive opportunities for professional development to ensure, in turn, the optimal growth of a student’s personality and intellectual curiosity. The faculty consists of caring, creative, enthusiastic, open-minded and motivated individuals who aim to facilitate the process of learning through exploration and encouragement. Most teachers have earned training and credentials from local institutions with further training opportunities offered within the school via external workshops and professional conferences.
Although it is considered the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India, Mumbai boasts a rich culture with historical roots dating back to the third century. The city is studded with historic sites, museums, art galleries, theatres, parks and beaches. Being one of the largest cities in the country, Mumbai offers a blend of traditional and international festivals, food, music and theatre. The city’s history as a major trading centre and as a city of migrants has led to a wide range of cultures, religions and cuisines coexisting together. This unique blend of diverse cultures and ideas has promoted an international, secular and welcoming atmosphere within the city. As a transportation hub, Mumbai offers easy access for explorations around India itself as well as South East Asia and the Middle East.
HEAD OF SCHOOL Position Description
The Head of School position at the B.D. Somani International School (BDSIS) is a new position for the school which, since its founding in 2006, has been led by two principals with responsibilities for Reception- Grade 5 (Primary Principal) and Grades 6-12 (Secondary Principal). BDSIS is governed by a Managing Board of Trustees with the ultimate responsibility for driving strategic decisions and managing the long-term future of the school. The Head of School is accountable to the Managing Board.
The Head of School will be responsible for all aspects of the school’s operations and works closely with the trustees on strategic goals. BDSIS is seeking a principled and inspiring leader with the capacity, motivation, and commitment to implement the school’s mission and values.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
- Undergraduate and advanced degrees in education and leadership
- Outstanding experience as a leader of teaching and learning
- Leadership experience as Head of School, or equivalent experience
- Significant international curriculum experience (IBDP essential)
- Experience in Asian international schools or similar settings
- Knowledge of integrated information technology and IT systems
- Capacity to work collaboratively with a leadership team
- Effective, data-based decision-maker
- Organized administrator able to delegate and drive accountability
- Ability to lead and develop faculty and staff
- Experience with accreditation
- Works collaboratively and strategically with trustees
- Experience managing university advising and students/family admissions
- Exceptional learning expectations for students, faculty, and self
- High level of intercultural competency, and in the Indian context
- Visible, actively engaged in the life of the school
- Collaborative team player and team leader
- Flexible and open-minded, sense of humor
- Principled and caring, of highest integrity
- Effective communicator in writing and speaking
- Visionary and innovative
- Perseverance and stamina
- Careful and reflective listener
- Committed to child protection and safety
In the interest of identifying the best candidates for this position, BDSIS has chosen Search Associates to assist in this process. The deadline for applications is April 30, 2019. Candidates should note, however, that the BDSIS Search Committee will begin the review of applications as soon as they are received. In the event that an outstanding candidate is identified early in the search process, BDSIS reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline. For this reason, it is essential that interested candidates apply as early as possible.
Candidates should send the information requested below in a single PDF attachment. Please DO NOT send information other than that which is specifically requested.
- A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in this particular position; and discuss specific talents and skills which you can contribute.
- A current resume not to exceed two pages, along with a head and shoulders portrait or photo (optional).
- A one-page or two-page statement outlining your educational beliefs and leadership ability and style
- A one-page list of references with phone numbers and email addresses
- A maximum of three letters of reference which may already be in your possession
Please note the that ALL the above materials should be scanned into a SINGLE PDF ATTACHMENT (low resolution preferred) and sent to Search Associates at both e-mail addresses listed below. Also, please note that it is important to limit the size of your SINGLE PDF to 6MB.
Applications should be sent to
email@example.com and a cc to Dr. Gunther Brandt - Senior Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org