Head of School at Kaohsiung American School in Taiwan
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Head of School
Kaohsiung American School (Taiwan)

Appointed - Jim Laney
Aug 2, 2021
Sep 5, 2021


Dear Search Colleagues,

On behalf of the Board of Directors at Kaohsiung American School, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Jim Laney as the permanent Head of School beginning in August 2022. Jim is currently serving as the Interim Head of School at KAS.  His appointment has now been shared with the KAS school community.

The following is from the community announcement made by the Board of Directors:

“Jim Laney is a well-known and well-respected Head of School having held leadership positions at several prestigious international schools around the world. He has a wealth of knowledge about IB, Common Core, technology, and STEAM, as well as inquiry-based curricula. Mr. Laney is a dedicated, committed, compassionate, transparent, and communicative leader who is guided by acting with integrity while understanding and valuing cultural diversity. His continuation from serving as the Interim Head of School to now being selected as the permanent Head of School will serve the school and community very well. 

We are excited that Mr. Laney accepted our offer for the permanent position for a three (3) year contract starting in the 2022-2023 academic year. We are grateful for his excellent stewardship of KAS through a challenging start to a school year due to COVID-related visa restrictions. The Board has already witnessed Mr. Laney lead with calm and transparent communication and has provided clear direction and uplifting support for faculty and students. Mr. Laney’s wealth of experience and leadership skills have already had a positive effect on KAS. We are fortunate to have him join the tireless efforts of the amazing KAS faculty and staff.”

Search Associates would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for this highly sought position and to everyone who assisted and supported the successful search process for Kaohsiung American School, Taiwan.

Warm regards,

Dr. Norma Hudson












Position posted- August 2, 2021                     Deadline: September 5, 2021


Kaohsiung American School (KAS) has the opportunity to hire a Head of School to start in the 2022- 2023 school year. Established in 1989, Kaohsiung American School is a private, non-profit, Pre-K to Grade 12 day school with a population of 800 students. Located in a major seaport and dynamic industrial city of 1.7 million people in southwestern Taiwan, KAS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and is a member of the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS), the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS), and the Council of International Schools (CIS). KAS receives regular visits and reviews from the overseas schools department of the U.S. State Department to ensure adherence to the highest standards of education and ethical behavior. In April 2015, KAS moved to a new purpose-built campus.

Kaohsiung is a livable, warm, and friendly city in southern Taiwan.  We are located in an urban environment that feels like a close-knit community in many ways.  KAS is located in the north section of our city near Lotus Lake and across the street from a train station, a perfect location for a school. We are just five minutes from the High Speed Rail, and a 25 minute cab ride to the Kaohsiung airport.

We have included pictures of our campus, our students, and our lives here at Kaohsiung American School.  You are also welcome to take our KAS Virtual Tour!


KAS Mission Statement

KAS challenges students to achieve academic excellence and prepares them to be:

  • Balanced Individuals- Academics, Arts, Athletic
  • Independent Learners- Passionate, Curious, Critical Thinkers
  • Global Citizens- Aware, Ethical, Cooperative

Job Description

The Head of School at KAS will possess the responsibility and authority for the overall management of the school within the policies established by the Board. The Head of School will collaborate with school leaders regarding the use of all programmatic, instructional, operational, and fiscal resources to accomplish goals set forth by the Board. The Head of School will provide leadership and support to the administration, faculty, and staff to achieve the vision and mission of KAS.

Required Attributes:

  •  Experience working in an IB school
  • A holistic, progressive educational pedagogy
  • Ability to recruit and retain high quality teaching & non-teaching staff
  • Meeting school financial and enrollment goals
  • Experience in a leadership role within a high-quality international school
  • Ability to navigate cultural differences and expectations
  • The capacity to be empathetic and navigate difficult communication scenarios
  • Alignment with the KAS philosophy and objective
  • Ability to build institutional identity (both internally and externally) through effective communication
  • Commitment to participatory decision making involving necessary stakeholders
  • Mission focused and the ability to inspire others to work collectively towards a vision

Desired Attributes:

  •  Experience working in a KG to Grade 12 school
  • Experience working in Asia
  • Experience developing and expanding facilities

KAS offers:

  •  Competitive salary
  • Annual return airfare for Principal and dependents
  • Settling in allowance
  • Housing allowance
  • Freight allowance
  • Free/subsidized tuition for dependent children
  • Professional development
  • Subsidized national health care
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Generous pension contribution

How to apply:

Candidates are asked to submit their applications as early as possible as the Search Committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is found. The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received. Initial Zoom video interviews of candidates will take place on a rolling basis and might be scheduled for selected candidates soon after their application is received by the Search Committee. Applicants are requested to send the following documents in a single pdf file which doesn’t exceed 4 MB (if possible) by September 5, 2021:

  •  Letter of application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact details of three supervisory professional references, one each of your last three schools, and one should be a current direct supervisor
  • An answer to the question, “Why is KAS the right school for you?”, in either a short written document or using another medium such as a portfolio, video, or other piece. (For the purpose of space, links to other medium are suggested.)
  • Up to three open letters of reference (optional)

Applications should be sent to: nhudson@searchassociates.com by the application deadline.

Further information about Kaohsiung American School may be found on the KAS website located here.

Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by the hiring school/organization if a candidate is under contract or otherwise encumbered in such a way that would preclude them from freely entering into a new employment contract, if offered, and being available for the start date stipulated by the hiring organization. Search Associates will contact the current employer/supervisor to request completion of a Search Associates Confidential Leadership Reference Form for all applicants who emerge in the search as a Finalist.

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 CEO.