Head of School at Canadian Academy, Kobe in Japan
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Head of School
Canadian Academy, Kobe (Japan)

Appointed - Position Filled Jon Schatzky
Jun 19, 2014
Oct 15, 2014


Canadian Academy
Kobe . Japan

Seeks A New Head of School
Effective in July of 2015



The School

Situated in cosmopolitan Kobe, Japan, Canadian Academy (CA) is an international preK-12 coeducational day and boarding school, founded in 1913. Following World War II, Canadian Academy evolved to serve the broad international community in North East Asia.  Today, more than 40 nationalities are represented at our school, providing a unique cultural mix and an inspired learning environment. We have been an IB diploma school since 1980 and are now a three programme IB World School. Canadian Academy is governed by a Board of Trustees who are committed to our mission and core values that transcend the mobility of our community. The result of this stability is a college preparatory program with an outstanding reputation, faculty, and facility.

Our philosophy is enshrined in our school Mission Statement:

Canadian Academy inspires students to inquire, reflect, and choose to compassionately impact the world throughout their lives.

This is supported by our Core Values:

We believe that:

        embracing human diversity provides opportunities for enrichment.

        the health of our planet depends on the actions of each individual.

        compassionate actions benefit communities.

        what we envision can be achieved through knowledge, creativity, and passion.

        critical inquiry is an essential component of more profound learning.

        leading by example is the essence of integrity.

        open, respectful, and inclusive communication builds trust.

        challenging experiences are opportunities for learning and growth.

        lifelong learning leads to self-discovery and personal meaning.

        flexibility is necessary for success in a world of accelerating change.

Accreditation and Academic Program

Canadian Academy is an English language private international school for expatriate and Japanese children. The school is approved by the Japanese Ministry of Education, accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), and the US-based Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

We are certified to award both the International Baccalaureate and US high school diplomas. In the 2013-2014 school year, 90% of our graduating seniors sat for the IB Diploma with stellar results.  The average Diploma score was 33.  The Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) were accredited in 2011.  Please see our website for additional details regarding our curriculum.

Faculty and Student Body

We believe the strength of CA resides in our dedicated faculty and our engaged student community. Our current faculty, a mixture of expatriate and local hires, includes 75 full-time, and 11 part-time members.  18% are Japanese nationals and 82% hail from other countries.  The average tenure of the teaching staff is 6 years, although we have members of our faculty who have been associated with our school for more than 25 years.

Our current enrollment is 583, with 360 students in the secondary school and 223 in the elementary school.  In recent years, we have experienced a slight decline in enrollment primarily due to the posting of fewer expatriate employees in Kobe based multi-national companies. Overall, our student body is made up of as many as 40 different nationalities with about 17% North American, 7% European, 55% Asian (including 30% Japanese) and 20% representing the rest of the world. Approximately 20 students, in grades 8-12, live on campus in our boarding house. Nearly all graduates (over 95%) attend university with many accepted at highly selective colleges and universities in North America, Japan, Europe, Australia and India.

The parent community is primarily business-related, including areas of high technology/computers, communications, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products.  While annual student mobility is approximately 10-15%, about 30% of the students attend CA for their entire elementary/secondary education.  As the leading international school in the area, we have a stable base for future enrollment, with possible additional untapped opportunities among international Asians living in Japan and expatriate university professors.


Campus Facilities and Technology

Canadian Academy's nine-acre campus is a purpose-built facility, located on a residential man-made island in Kobe. The school building includes the original structure, completed in 1990, housing grades 1-12, and the Early Learning and Activities Center (ELAC), completed in January 2008. In addition to fully equipped classrooms addressing the academic and extracurricular needs of our community, we have two state-of-the-art theaters, an audio-visual media center, full library facilities, a modern cafeteria, two full sized gyms, a fitness center and a beautiful authentic tea ceremony room. These facilities provide flexibility for scheduling a variety of athletic and artistic events. Our outdoor athletic facilities include soccer fields, two tennis courts, a basketball court and elementary school playgrounds. All of our fields have artificial turf.  Gloucester House, one of only a few international dormitories in Asia, consists of two separate living units (houses) and a recreation center. It provides a living option for students from outside the Kobe area.

CA has robust wired and open wireless networks, allowing students to fully participate wherever they may be in the school. We run a one to one laptop program from Grades 3 to 12, supplemented by two computer tech centers. Currently we are moving towards using iPads in the lower elementary school.


Setting and Location

Canadian Academy is ideally located in the residential area of Rokko Island, a modern urban center, which also boasts a hospital, parks, shops, hotels, restaurants and other schools. Rokko Island is a suburb of Kobe, the sixth largest city in Japan. Kobe was one of the first Japanese ports to be opened to foreign trade in the late Edo period and it remains one of Japan’s most attractive cities. Kobe is part of the Kansai region of Japan, which includes Osaka, recently singled out for its numerous fine restaurants by Michelin Guides, and Kyoto, home to seventeen world heritage sites.  Both cities are less than an hour by train from CA.  In a 2009 survey reported by the Wall Street Journal, Kobe was ranked as the second best city for expatriates in Asia.  It also ranks as one of the safest cities in the world. Companies headquartered in Kobe include ASICS, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Kobe Steel, as well as over 100 international corporations with Asia or Japan headquarters in the city such as Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly and Nestlé. The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef as well as the site of one of Japan's most famous hot spring resort, Arima Onsen.

Future Directions for Our School

Canadian Academy is a very stable school with an excellent reputation, focused leadership, outstanding faculty and strong long-term support from the local community. Our core planning team has invested significant time and effort developing a strategic plan we can all be proud of. The challenge will be to provide dynamic leadership to:

  • maintain or increase enrollment in the face of a changing expatriate community;
  • inspire a multicultural group of staff, students, and parents as we “think outside the box,” with visionary leadership regarding operational issues, while preserving the best of our academic         traditions.

Responsibilities of Head of School

The Head of School is responsible to the Board of Trustees and in accordance with the policies of the Board of Trustees performs the following duties:

  • Organizes and administers the school
  • Provides for continuous supervision, appraisal and evaluation of the educational program for the purpose of continuous educational improvement.
  • Is a member of the Board of Trustees and Council and the Board Standing committees, as             well as the PTA Executive Committee,
  • Assumes responsibility for the professional growth of the faculty by encouraging professional         reading, summer study, special courses, one-year study leaves, conferences, and other appropriate activities,
  • Interprets the Board of Trustees policies in the school and community,
  • Is responsible for faculty recruitment and contracts, personnel records, orientation, evaluation of professional staff and all other matters related to personnel,
  • Is responsible for preparation of the budget, keeping proper accounts, and action on financial         and accounting matters within policies set by the Board,
  • Assumes overall responsibility for school decorum,
  • Secures and maintains community understanding of school activities through a comprehensive, continuous program of involvement and interaction.

Preferred Qualifications

  • demonstrated ability to pursue and foster educational excellence in alignment with our Mission and Core Values
  • knowledge of and experience with the three IB programs
  • previous successful teaching and leadership experience in international school setting
  • at least five years experience as Head of School/Deputy Head
  • appropriate graduate degree and educational leadership credentials
  • has experience with and commitment to inclusive and comprehensive strategic planning
  • extensive experience with change management and a futures orientation
  • experience with standards-based performance appraisal systems
  • demonstrated success with recruitment, development, evaluation, and maintenance of a strong faculty
  • knowledge of and experience with human resources, marketing and community relations
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • ability to maintain and enhance relationships with the our Japanese hosts as well as with the diverse foreign community in Kobe
  • long term interest with a minimum three year commitment

If a candidate’s dossier does not have the above qualifications, there should be a compelling reason why this candidate believes he or she would be an ideal person to join and lead our school community.

Desired Personal Characteristics

  • a visionary leader who inspires and leads by example
  • someone who is appreciative of cultural diversity and demonstrates cultural sensitivity
  • competent as a public speaker and able to effectively represent the school to external parties
  • energetic, organized and impressive work ethic
  • a demonstrated interest in community service
  • tolerance for ambiguity with a sense of humor
  • a devotion to the highest principles of international-mindedness
  • a considerate and compassionate individual

Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits are competitive and will depend on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.  Benefits include housing, utilities, use of a car, health insurance, payment of Japanese taxes, home leave, transportation at the beginning and end of contract, shipping and retirement contribution.

Application Procedure

The Canadian Academy has selected John Magagna of Search Associates to act as consultant for the search process.

Interested candidates should send an application AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE TIME but no later than October 15, 2015. (The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received.)

Candidates should note, however, that in the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, CA reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline mentioned above. For this reason it is VERY IMPORTANT that interested candidates apply as soon as possible.

Candidates should send the information requested below. It must be submitted EXACTLY in the form and manner requested. Please DO NOT send any 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
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages
  • A one-page statement outlining educational beliefs and leadership style
  • A one-page list of references with phone numbers and email addresses
  • A maximum of four letters of reference which may already be in your possession

Please note that ALL the above materials must be scanned into a SINGLE PDF ATTACHMENT (low resolution preferred). Please note that it is important to limit the size of your SINGLE PDF to 4MB. (No photographs, color, etc): The PDF should be sent to Search Associates at both of the E-mail addresses listed below, IN THE SAME TRANSMISSION.


AND a cc to:



  • Only one e-mail containing only ONE pdf (NOT word.doc)
  • 4MB or less
  • Send ONLY what is requested
  • Specifically, send your PDF attachment to:


AND a cc: to


For further information about the school please go to website  www.canacad.ac.jp



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.