Head of School at Jerusalem American International School in Israel
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Head of School
Jerusalem American International School (Israel)

Nov 21, 18
Dec 18, 18



Jerusalem American International School - JAIS
Jerusalem, Israel

seeks a new

Head of School

- effective July, 2019-

The Jerusalem American International School in Israel (JAIS) is seeking a new Head of School beginning in July 2019.  The Head of School will be responsible for all aspects of the school’s operational management, ensuring that standards of excellence are set and maintained.

JAIS is a secular school, serving students in Preschool through 8th Grade.  The school opened in 2001 with eight students, and has grown since then to an enrollment of around 100 students. JAIS is located on the campus of the Israel Goldstein Youth Village in the San Simon neighborhood.  JAIS offers a world-class education to the international and local community in Jerusalem.

JAIS is the branch school of the Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel (WBAIS). As a branch school, legal and fiduciary responsibility resides with the WBAIS Superintendent and School Board with a significant amount of autonomy.

 The Position

The scope of responsibility for the Head of School includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Supervising the overall academic program and all business and financial aspects of the school operation.
  • Working with the JAIS Advisory Board to develop a long-term vision for JAIS that continues to enhance the elementary school while strengthening the middle school.
  • Offering leadership to the staff, students, parents and other stakeholders.
  • Providing a supportive and holistic learning environment.
  • Being an inspirational leader, who works to reflect the core values of the school.
  • Operating with a significant amount of autonomy while recognizing that the ultimate responsibility resides with the Head of School at WBAIS.

Qualities sought

JAIS seeks a new Head of School with the vision, experience and drive to successfully take JAIS into the future.  It is important for the new Head of School to have:

  • The ability to encourage the “all around education” of JAIS and go to the next level in fostering a student led learning environment
  • A strong financial and strategic acumen
  • Experience with admissions work and data driven decision making and budgeting
  • Experience in creating positive social, emotional environments
  • Interest in new challenges and determination to operate effectively in Jerusalem
  • Success in identifying, motivating and retaining quality faculty and staff
  • An understanding of curriculum, curriculum development and a variety of instructional methodologies appropriate to both elementary and middle school levels
  • Experience in teachers’ professional development

The new Head of School is required to have:

  • An advanced degree in education or a related field
  • Proven track record as a school administrator (superintendent, principal or assistant principal) in a multicultural or international setting
  • Experience with successful financial stewardship of an organization or school
  • An understanding of a US-based curriculum and a US educational philosophy
  • Successful teaching experience in an elementary or middle school environment

Salary and Benefits

Salary for the Head of School’s position is competitive and will be commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications and experience.


JAIS seeks

  •  to cultivate individual excellence through critical thinking, creativity, and initiative
  • to nurture a community built upon diversity and mutual respect
  • to capitalize on the unique setting of our locale to encourage students to become active and responsible global citizens



Motivating students to take personal responsibility for their learning, find inspiration through academic inquiry, and embrace the challenge of reaching their full potential


Nurturing a sense of community built on shared responsibility, empathy, and active participation in society through the practice of supporting others


Recognizing the worth and dignity of ourselves and others through reflection and active inclusion

JAIS at a Glance

  • Faculty: 22 outstanding, bright, and dynamic teachers willing to try new ideas, and look forward to challenges.
  • Average enrollment over the past 5 years has been 90 students, this year's enrollment is 105.
  • Accreditation: Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).
  • Campus and Facilities: JAIS leases three buildings within the tranquil Goldstein Youth Village  of Jerusalem.  The Youth Village allows JAIS use of their 500 seat auditorium, full size gymnasium, indoor, olympic size swimming pool and plentiful green spaces. Over the past two years JAIS has renovated most of the classrooms to create modern well-equipped learning spaces.
  • Technology:  Each classroom is equipped with Smartboard and Apple TV technology. Ipads are available for student use as well as a 1:1 laptop program for students in grades 3-8.  
  • Academics: With the low teacher to student ratio, JAIS students excel across all academic areas, scoring well above the national norms on the Standardized MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing.
  • Specials: JAIS believes in educating the whole child and offers a wide range of specials for all students. Special classes include art, music, French, Spanish, swimming, physical education and yearbook.
  • ELL Program: Services to students who are English language learners (ELL), with a specialized program designed to accelerate English language acquisition.
  • Learning Support: JAIS has a strong learning support program that successfully works with students who have a range of needs.
  • Field Studies and Community Service: JAIS believes in connections and outreach to our greater community.  
  • After School Activities: Courses include but are not limited to: drama, tennis, yoga, hip-hop dance, ceramics, Capoeira, Lego robotics, soccer, baseball, coding, and game strategy.


A seven-member Advisory Board oversees the school and reports, via the Advisory Board Chair, to the WBAIS School Board. The Advisory Board is comprised of two members from the US Consulate, two members of the US community, and three members from the school community. The Chair of the Advisory Board reports on a regular basis as an ex-officio member of the WBAIS School Board and to the WBAIS Head of School.

School Community

The school community is made of 85 percent truly international families who work for NGOs, consulates, international aid missions and journalists.  The faculty is mainly local (giving the school continuity) but with international backgrounds, originating from countries such as the U.S., U.K., France and New Zealand.

Opportunities and Strengths

  • JAIS is a small community school that is truly international and has a good heart.  The faculty, staff and parents all pull together to support the school.
  • Over the past few years, significant renovations have been completed on campus including a new library space.
  • Faculty and students are growth-minded and relish opportunities to grow and learn.
  • JAIS has a strong elementary program and an innovative middle school program.
  • The school has the opportunity to be a “lighthouse” of  child-centered education and tolerance in the region.
  • JAIS enjoys benefits of the partnership of the much larger parent school, WBAIS.
  • There is a possibility to develop JAIS into a “feeder school” for  the WBAIS high school as the high speed rail network comes online.


  • JAIS enrollment has ebbed and flowed with current events and the influx of Consulate and NGO employees. There is a need to stabilize enrollment.
  • There is a need to grow and improve the program within the financial restraints of a small school budget.
  • The campus is situated within a larger campus of several schools.  Sharing space and facilities can take continual patience
  • There is a desire for reinvented outdoor play spaces for students, there will be a need to work with the community in creating these spaces.
  • Productively navigating the political and cultural currents of Jerusalem in a way that honors the school's secular and non political tradition is a continual endeavor.

Application Procedure

Interested candidates should send an application as soon as possible. The search committee has a goal of completing this process by the end of December 2018. Review of files will begin immediately and the school reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is found.

Additional information about the school can be found at the JAIS website at www.jerusalemais.org

Please submit information in the form and manner requested below.  Please DO NOT send any information other than the information requested at this time:

  • 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/CV not to exceed two pages.
  • A one-page statement outlining educational beliefs and leadership style.
  • The names, current email addresses and telephone numbers, and positions of at least four confidential references, at least two of whom should have served as your supervisor. By submitting this information you agree we may contact these references directly.
  • U.S. citizenship preferred (the Status of Forces Agreement only allows for U.S. citizens to have tax-free status in Israel.  Other nationalities will be subject to local taxation and be required to obtain an Israeli work permit.)

Please scan all of the above documents into a single PDF attachment and send to Sarah Wikenczy, Head of School Search Committee at the email address below:



Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us (Admin@searchassociates.com) that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website.


Did You Know…?

Search Associates is a family-owned business founded by John Magagna, former international educator. After working with her father for ten years, daughter Jessica Magagna is now President.