Head of School at International School of Hamburg in Germany
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Head of School
International School of Hamburg (Germany)

Appointed - Andrew Cross
Aug 29, 16
Oct 20, 16


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Search Committee and the International School of Hamburg Board we are pleased to announce that, after a world-wide search which attracted a large number of highly qualified candidates, Mr. Andrew Cross has been appointed as the new Head of School, effective January 1, 2017.

Andrew Cross joined ISH as Secondary Principal in 2012 and was named Acting Head in August of 2016. Andrew brings to the position an extensive international background in teaching and leadership, having taught English and Drama in Izmir, and English literature and Theory of Knowledge in Tokyo, Caracas and in Antwerp, where he was also department head of English. He commenced his leadership career at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo as Middle School Principal and from there accepted the appointment as Secondary Principal at ISH.

Andrew earned academic degrees in Canada and the UK, with a B.A. in English and History from Trent University, a B.A. in Education and a M.A. in English Literature from Queen’s University, while from the UK he earned a Master of Arts in Education from Bath University.            

The ISH Board describes Andrew as "a school leader who works with great enthusiasm, integrity, and boundless energy”, demonstrating a “dedication to educational excellence (that) will secure a positive development for our school “.  The ISH Search Committee, the Board, the ISH community, and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in the Head of School position at ISH, and to everyone who assisted and supported the search process.

        With sincere regards and appreciation,

        John Magagna, Founding President

        Gunther Brandt, Senior Consultant




seeks a


effective August 1, 2017


The International School Hamburg (ISH) is a successful and highly-regarded school, founded in 1957 (oldest international school in Germany) to meet the educational needs of the international community in Hamburg. The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. ISH is also a fully authorized IBDP and MYP school

The School provides a formal educational programme in English for children between 3 and 18 years of age. A balanced curriculum prepares students in the major academic areas, while ample allowance is made for extra-curricular activities, which are considered a vital part of school life. The School offers the International Primary Curriculum, the Pre-IB programme Middle Years Programme and the IB Diploma to qualify students for university study. A special programme is provided for students whose native language is not English. In the Junior School emphasis is placed on the acquisition of basic skills through the inquiry approach, and specialist teachers give instruction in music, library skills, physical education, information technology and German. 

The International School Hamburg is a non-selective school, which currently has students from over 50 different nationalities.

The teaching staff is international and has an average of 10 years’ experience at ISH. 



In January 2010 the School moved to a new purpose built facility located in one of Hamburg´s most attractive residential areas. The facility includes state of the art design and equipment of all classrooms, integrated multimedia equipment, leading edge library with search/research facilities, a double sized sports field, an integrated visual and performing arts facility, a 350 seat auditorium and other state of the art facilities. In August 2015 an extension of the premises were opened, offering more classrooms, meeting rooms and sport facilities.

Located in the North of Germany, Hamburg is a very attractive and dynamic city, famous for its harbour- one of the most important in Europe. Hamburg is a popular international posting and currently ranked 10th as the world’s most liveable city in 2016 by The Economist, offering a rich and diverse cultural life and excellent amenities. The School is close to the River Elbe and conveniently situated for access to public transport, the motorway and airport.

The school enrolment currently stands at 750 students and 120+ staff. Economic perspectives for Hamburg/Germany are expected to be positive.




The Head of School is the Chief Executive Officer, who leads and manages the school on behalf of the Board of Governors to whom s/he reports.

The Head of School has overall responsibility for:

  • Providing strong leadership to all constituencies of the school
  • Guiding the school with courage, integrity and well developed decisions through the next phase in its development
  • Providing vision and leadership for student learning
  • Implementing the school’s strategic plan
  • Initiating and driving all processes and projects that secure the school’s educational and financial future and strong community standing
  • Managing the school in accordance with the policies and guidelines established by the Board
  • Maintaining a leadership position among German and European international schools based on appropriate performance measurements
  • Maintaining the school’s status and relationships with accrediting organizations
  • Recruiting and evaluating highly qualified administrators, faculty, and staff with a focus on highest levels of performance
  • Preparing, planning, and managing financial budgets and targets
  • Representing the school in the local and international communities; being the primary spokesperson for the school to all key public groups


The Board of Governors is proud of the school’s achievements and is seeking to appoint a well- qualified, dynamic, and forward-looking leader who will build on the school’s many strengths and lead it forward into the next phase of its development.

The successful candidate will be an experienced and inspiring leader in education who, with regard to all or most of the following, is able to demonstrate:

  • Exceptional abilities in motivating, inspiring, and challenging staff and students to strengthen and implement the vision, live the values, and reach established goals
  • Ability to combine sound business acumen with a commitment to best practices and innovation in education
  • Proven leadership, administrative capacities, and communication skills in an educational environment
  • Ability to nurture and extend the collaboration and partnership between students, staff, governors, parents and the wider community
  • Commitment to international education and student learning as a leader in primary and secondary education in an accredited international or multi-cultural community.
  • Sound knowledge of international curricula, teaching methodologies, and assessment practices
  • Strong financial management skills in establishing budgets and setting strategic financial targets.
  • Ability to promote institutional advancement through fundraising from individuals, business, and local government
  • Native English speaker or or fully acquired fluency
  • Deep commitment to cross-cultural understanding, immersion in the local German community, and desire to learn German


  • The salary, benefits and terms of contract will be competitive and commensurate with the qualifications and experience sought in the candidate. The candidate should be available to start work on August 1, 2017, or earlier if possible.


ISH has selected Search Associates to act as our consultant to assist with this search.

Interested candidates should send an application AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE TIME but no later than October 20, 2016. (The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received.) Candidates should note, however, that in the event a uniquely outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, ISH 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 to Search Associates as 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 three 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) and sent IN THE SAME TRANSMISSION to Search Associates at all three of the e-mail addresses listed below. Also, please note that it is important to limit the size of your SINGLE PDF to 8 MB. 


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Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Gez Hayden led the first international school authorized to offer all three IB programs in China.