Head of School at Fukuoka International School in Japan
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Head of School
Fukuoka International School (Japan)

Appointed - Robin Schneider
Jul 24, 2016
Oct 15, 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,                                                                                                        

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Fukuoka International School (FIS) in Fukuoka, Japan and Search Associates, we are pleased to announce that after a worldwide search which produced a large number of highly qualified candidates, Mr. Robin Schneider has been selected as the new Head of School for the 2017-18 academic year.

Mr. Schneider is currently Deputy Head of School at the International School of Helsinki (ISH) in Helsinki, Finland, a position he has held since 2015. He was previously High School principal at ISH from 2011-15. Robin has also held administrative and teaching positions in Japan, Korea and in his home country of Canada.

Mr. Schneider earned his B.A. in Science and Mathematics from the University of Lethbridge, in Lethbridge, Canada, and a second B.A. from Christian Heritage College in Queensland, Australia. His M.A. in Educational Leadership was awarded by Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA and he is currently working on an Ed.D. through Bath University in the UK.

Robin, his wife and their 4-year old son will move to Fukuoka to begin the 2017-18 academic year.

The Fukuoka International School Board of Directors and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in the Head of School position, and to everyone who assisted and supported the search process.

Ralph Jahr and John Magagna
Search Associates



Fukuoka International School

Fukuoka, Japan

Seeks a

Head of School

Beginning July 2017


The School and the City

Fukuoka International School (FIS) is a private, coeducational day school offering the internationally recognized International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to all grade 11 and 12 students as well as providing students with a FIS high school diploma. FIS offers classes from PK-grade 12. The School was founded in 1972 with a high school program added in 1990. The school year is divided into two semesters for Secondary and three trimesters for Elementary extending approximately from August 25 to June 20. There are 180 "teaching and learning days" in the school year.


A separate section of FIS is the Fukuoka International Community School (FICS), an English language school, which operates outside of the regular school hours. The Head of FICS reports to the FIS Head of School (HOS).


Fukuoka City is the biggest city in Kyushu with a population of 1.5 million, located in the heart of the Fukuoka Plain in the northern part of Kyushu. The city is bordered on three sides by mountains and an opening into the Sea of Genkai to the north. The climate is comparatively mild with an average annual temperature of about 17?. Fukuoka was recently ranked the 7th most livable city in the world by Monocle, an international lifestyle magazine based in London.


Organization and Accreditation

The School is governed by a Board of Directors and Board of Trustees, comprised of business leaders, representation from multiple consulates, and parents of students, in compliance with Japanese law. FIS is accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education as a School Juridical Body, "Gakko Hojin." It is also accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). FIS is authorized as an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and Primary Years Program (IBPYP) school. The School is also a member of the Japanese Council of International Schools (JCIS) and the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS).


Faculty and Student Body

FIS has 32 full-time teachers, inclusive of the Head of School and four part-time teachers. In addition, FIS has 5 teacher aides. There are 11 different nationalities represented on the teaching staff, not including the teacher aides. Our enrollment as of March 31 2016 was 226, with 104 students in the secondary school and 122 in the elementary school. For the last five years, on a year on year basis FIS student enrollment numbers have been steadily growing.


Vision Statement

"Inspirational high quality education for the future globally minded citizen"


Mission Statement

The mission of Fukuoka International School is to create a dynamic learning environment in which students can be educated to high international academic standards. We strive to be a model of unity in diversity in which the individual is respected and each student is challenged at his/her own level.

We believe this can be best accomplished by:

  • Nurturing a spirit of inquiry and self-motivation in learning.
  • Developing students' analytical, critical and creative thinking ability.
  • Teaching skills required for life in the future.
  • Cultivating a strong sense of self worth and respect for others.


Expected School Wide Learning Results (ESLR's)


FIS students will exchange, understand and articulate ideas clearly, creatively and effectively by:

  • Using appropriate language to express themselves orally in formal and informal situations.
  • Applying appropriate techniques to communicate in writing.
  • Presenting ideas using a variety of media.
  • Striving for proficiency in English.



FIS students will demonstrate self-motivation in learning by:

  • Setting and adhering to challenging educational and personal goals.
  • Raising meaningful questions that extend learning.
  • Initiating and committing to projects that demonstrate individual creativity and appropriate risk taking.
  • Seeking and reflecting on information from a variety of sources.


Critical Thinking

FIS students will apply knowledge and skills by:

  • Evaluating ideas from multiple perspectives.
  • Selecting and applying appropriate problem-solving strategies.
  • Connecting learning across the disciplines and to the world outside the classroom.
  • Positively contributing to global and community matters.



FIS students will exhibit awareness of self and others by:

  • Valuing physical, social, and emotional health.
  • Taking responsibility for their own actions, supporting others and making responsible decisions.
  • Recognizing personal strengths and developing areas in need of improvement.
  • Demonstrating courage and integrity in all aspects of their lives.



FIS students will contribute positively to society by:

  • Showing respect for the perspectives of other individuals and cultures.
  • Working collaboratively towards common goals.
  • Engaging in acts of charity and community service to benefit others.
  • Honoring the role of family

Responsibilities of Head of School

The Head of School is a member of the Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees, is responsible to the Chair of the Board and performs the following duties:

  • Organizes and administers the school
  • Is responsible for the administration of school educational     programs
  • Is responsible for the professional growth of the faculty
  • Is responsible for faculty recruitment and contracts, orientation, evaluation of professional staff
  • Is responsible for preparation of the budget and action on financial and accounting matters
  • 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 statement
  • Knowledge of and experience with the IB programs
  • Previous successful teaching and leadership experience in an international school setting
  • Appropriate graduate degree and educational leadership credentials
  • Experience with and commitment to strategic planning
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to maintain and enhance relationships with members of the diverse school community
  • Long term interest with a minimum three-year commitment
  • Experience with WASC Accreditation or other accrediting body


Personal Qualities

  • A visionary leader who inspires and leads by example in a fair manner
  • Appreciative of cultural diversity (including that of Japan) and demonstrated cultural sensitivity
  • A demonstrated interest in service learning programs, education beyond the classroom
  • Ability to address challenges with confidence and consistency
  • Strong team leadership to achieve growth and bring positive change


Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits are competitive and will depend on the qualifications and experiences of the successful candidate. Benefits include housing, health insurance, pension, home leave, transportation at the beginning and end of contract, shipping and retirement allowance, professional development including Japanese language training, and tuition and fee allowances for dependent children.


Procedure for Filing Application

The Fukuoka International School (FIS) has appointed Search Associates as its consultant in the search for a new Head of School with John Magagna and Ralph Jahr serving as the lead consultants. The deadline for applications is October 15, 2016. Candidates should note, however, that in the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, FIS reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline. For this reason, it is very important that interested candidates apply as soon as possible. The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received. Skype video interviews of candidates will take place on a rolling basis and might be scheduled for selected candidates soon after their applications are received by the Search Committee. Site visits of finalist candidates with their spouse, if applicable, could take place in late October or early November 2016. The new Head of School will be selected immediately after the interviews of the finalist candidates have been completed.

Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file attached to an email:

  • Letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Fukuoka International School Head of School position.
  • Current résumé not to exceed two pages, addressing the desired professional qualifications as well as the desired personal qualities.
  •  One or two-page statement outlining educational philosophy and leadership style.
  • One-page list of references with current phone numbers and email addresses. This should include the current Chair and Treasurer of the Board of Directors at your present school if possible, plus former board members or others as desired.
  • Maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession

Total document size should be kept to less than five (5) MB if possible.

Applications should be sent to:  RJahr@searchassociates.com , and JFM@searchassociates.com

Additional information about the Fukuoka International School can be found on the school’s web site at < www.fis.ed.jp >.

John Magagna                                                       Tel: 570-696-4600 USA – Eastern Time Zone

Skype – johnfmagagna                                         Email: JFM@searchassociates.com

Ralph Jahr                                                             Tel: 609-759-0431 USA – Pacific Time Zone

Skype – ralph.h.jahr                                              Email: RJahr@searchassociates.com

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Ray Sparks's over 30-year career as an educator has involved working in Canada, Europe, and Asia.