Head of School at Gyeonggi Suwon International School in Korea
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Head of School
Gyeonggi Suwon International School (Korea)

Appointed - Mr. Stephen Lush
Apr 29, 2019
May 24, 2019


Dear Search Colleagues,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the Founder of Gyeonggi Suwon International School and the GSIS Search Committee, we are pleased to announce that Mr. Stephen Lush has been appointed the Head-of-School beginning in August 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Mr. Lush is currently a Deputy Principal at the United Nations International School in Hanoi, Vietnam, a position he has held since 2015. Prior to his current leadership position, he was an Elementary Principal at the International School Nido de Aguilas in Santiago, Chile (2012-2015), Elementary Principal in the Salem-Keizer Unified School District in Salem, Oregon (2004-2012) and an Assistant Elementary Principal  in the Chino Valley Unified School District in Chino, California (2001-2004) Mr. Lush  has also held a number of teaching positions in the USA.

Mr. Lush earned his B.A. in Liberal Studies from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. He earned his M.A. in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California and completed the Administrative License Program at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.  

 The Board of Trustees, the Founder of Gyeonggi Suwon International School, the GSIS Search Committee 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 successful search process.



Gyeonggi Suwon International School

Seeks: Head of School

Start Date: July 2020

Application Deadline Extended: 24 May, 2019

Overview of the School

Gyeonggi Suwon International School (GSIS) is an IB World School authorized to offer International Baccalaureate programs to students in pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.  GSIS is divided into two sections: Lower School (pre-Kindergarten through grade 5) and Upper School (grade 6-12).  GSIS is proud to be an IB World School and a Christian International School. The goal of GSIS is to provide a quality educational environment in which each student's gifts of intellect, personality, stature, and spirit are given the best opportunities for development toward maturity.  GSIS bases its philosophy on basic Christian beliefs. GSIS is a sister school of Taejon Christian International School, and was founded by Dr. Penland in 2006, who is currently the Head of School at TCIS and Founder at GSIS.

GSIS is an independent, not for profit coeducational day school located in Suwon, South Korea with a current enrollment of 425 students representing 25 different nationalities. Less than thirty percent of the enrollment are Korean national.  GSIS employs 73 faculty members of which over 50% have advanced degrees and come from eight different countries.  GSIS is a growing, dynamic, international community, that opened its doors in 2006, with the purpose of providing a high-quality international education for foreign children in Korea. 

GSIS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is also authorized and member of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer the Primary Years Program (PYP), the Middle Years Program (MYP), and the IB Diploma Program (DP).  GSIS is an active member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS and the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference (KAIAC).  GSIS maintains membership status with the Korea Council of Overseas School.

 School Mission

Gyeonggi Suwon International School provides international students a high quality internationally based education within a Christian environment utilizing positive educational experiences and biblical foundations for spiritual growth. The GSIS mission review task force has reviewed and renewed the current GSIS mission for the 2019-2020 school year which will commence in August of the 2019 school year to: “GSIS cultivates internationally minded learners to lead and serve for the glory of God”.

School Vision

Because each student is recognized as a person made in the image of God, Christian education should foster self-respect and self-worth as well as respect and esteem for others. For this reason, the goal of Gyeonggi Suwon International School is to provide a quality educational environment in which each student’s unique gifts of intellect, personality, stature, and spirit are given the best opportunities for development toward maturity.  GSIS bases it philosophy on basic Christian beliefs.


The Community

GSIS is truly a caring international school with a strong sense of community. The GSIS parent community (PTA) is active and supportive and initiates a myriad of activities and events that celebrate school life and supports social events. GSIS provides regular workshops and parenting sessions that encourage parent involvement in the school.

GSIS is located in Suwon, which is a “green city” with an abundance of hiking trails, bike paths, parks, and tantalizing restaurants that help make life fun and adventuresome.  Suwon is known also to be one of the safest cities in the world.  Shopping is convenient with first rate shopping centers such as Home Plus, Costco, E-mart and Lotte Mart all located nearby.  Transportation to Seoul and the outlying areas of Korea is easily accessible with buses and subway lines located nearby.

International churches are easily accessible and are encouraged for the GSIS community. GSIS is located also only 20 miles from Pyongtaek and is home to the largest US military base in the world. Suwon is also home to many professional sports teams such as soccer, baseball and basketball.  Life in Suwon is safe, clean, active and full of energy! 


GSIS enjoys an idyllic surrounding of six acres that is nestled near the countryside, yet close proximity to the city.  The school enjoys a large auditorium, with includes facilities for makeup, costumes and a drama classroom.  GSIS also enjoys state-of-the-art Sports Complex that includes two gymnasiums, a high-quality turf soccer field, dance room, two tennis courts, well-equipped heated swimming pool with natural light. GSIS also enjoys two beautiful libraries for lower and upper schools, spacious science labs, design technology classrooms, visual and performing art facilities and a cafeteria with a healthy selection of both Korean and Western food.

The Head of School serves as the Chief Administrator at GSIS and has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the school.


The Head of School reports to the Chair of the Taejon Christian International School Board of Trustees. An ex officio board member, s/he keeps the school board fully informed on all the aspects of the operation of the school and maintains open, effective communication with the Chair and other Board members. The Head of School performs or manages the performance of the following duties guided by the Board of Trustees School’s Constitution and By-Laws.

Vision and Leadership

The Head of School effectively directs school program, including academics; spiritual, co/extra-curricular, and community service programs. The Head of School fosters a challenging educational environment that strives to support, care for, and nurture each student and helps develop each student’s academic, moral, spiritual, physical and emotional growth.

The Head of School sets a standard of excellence for all aspects of the School’s program, including supervising and working with Directors/Division Heads to develop curriculum.

The Head of School is responsible for attracting, recruiting, motivating and supporting an outstanding and diverse faculty. The Head of School plays a leadership role in admissions.

The Head of School oversees the accreditation process and helps to ensure the school’s professional standing. The Head of School fosters a positive and safe school environment for the entire GSIS community. The Head of School is responsible to nourish a healthy, and collaborative relationship with Taejon Christian International School (TCIS).


The Head of School oversees the School’s business and financial management, including annual budget formulation, stewardship of resources, planning and financial forecasting and reporting.

The Head of School is responsible for hiring and supervising faculty and staff with the Board of Trustees approval.  The Head of School develops and administers operating and personnel policies for the School. The Head of School oversees the maintenance and enhancement of the buildings, grounds, equipment and facilities of GSIS.

Development and Planning

The Head of School works with the Board of Trustees to identify capital, staffing and faculty requirements needed for the School to achieve its mission. The Head of School works with the Board of Trustees and provides guidance on long-range strategic planning and implements Board directives and policies. The Head of School plays a leadership role in development and fundraising, including solicitation of major gifts, cultivation of relationships with the School’s supporters and potential supporters.


The Head of School maintains an environment of openness and trust, recognizing the needs, concerns and expectations of students, faculty and staff, parents and the wider GSIS community.

The Head of School represents and promotes GSIS in the Suwon community, Korea, East Asia, and worldwide through various strategies including networking with various associations.

The Head of School also represents and promotes GSIS to its various school constituencies, including students, employees, parents, alumni, friends, throughout the GSIS community.

Qualifications for the New Head of School

Required:  Strong spiritual Christian leader, graduate degree and/or administrative certification, successful experience as Head-of-School and/or principal.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • IB experience
  • International teaching and/ or administrative experience
  • Strategic planning experience
  • Expertise in budgeting and finance
  • Successful experience as a recruiter
  • Highly effective communication skills - writing/speaking/listening
  • Collaborative leadership style
  • Well developed interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills, marketing/advancement skills.  

Desired Characteristics:  The preferred candidate will be able to understand, respect, value, and appreciate the unique and special nature of the Korean culture.

Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits package is competitive and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application Procedure

The Board of Trustees has appointed Search Associates as its partner in its search for the Head of School with Dr. Brent Mutsch serving as the lead consultant. The deadline for applications for the position is May 24, 2019. Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials listed below as early as possible as the Search Committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is identified.

The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received. Finalists will be selected by the Search Committee and at least three finalists will be identified. Finalist candidates together with their spouse (if applicable) will be invited to Suwon to meet with the Board of Trustees, visit the school and meet with faculty, non-teaching staff, parents, students and administrators.

The new Head of School will be selected at the conclusion of the site visit, final interviews, and reference checks. The new Head-of-School will assume his/her professional responsibilities in July 2020.

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

  • A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Head of School position at the Gyeonggi Suwon International School.
  • A statement describing your management and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
  • A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
  • A one-page list of references with current addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
  • A maximum of four letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.

Total document size should be kept to less than four (4) MB if possible. Applications should be sent to: bmutsch@searchassociates.com. Additional information about Gyeonggi Suwon International School can be found on the school’s web site at: www.gsis.sc.kr.

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