Head of School at Taihu International School, Wuxi in China
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Head of School
Taihu International School, Wuxi (China)

Appointed - Tony Moniz
Sep 20, 13
Oct 31, 13

Taihu International School, Wuxi, China

seeks a


Effective 1st August 2014


Taihu International School is privately owned by Daria Duncan-Weber and was founded in 1999 to serve the expatriate community in and around the city of Wuxi. Currently Chinese law stipulates that foreign –owned schools may not admit Chinese students who do not hold foreign passports.

The school is the only one of its kind in the city which is authorised to offer all three IB Programmes – PYP, MYP and DP and also the only international school in the city with international accreditation status. There are currently 173 students on roll from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Following the resignation of the current Head of School, who is now in his eighth year of loyal service, TIS looks forward to welcoming the new Head of School who will lead TIS through a period of continued enrolment growth and consolidation, building upon the excellent foundation of systems and curriculum development already in place.

TIS is accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Council of International Schools and the NCCT (National Centre for Curriculum and Textbook Development) affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education. TIS is also a member of the regional international school organisation, ACAMIS (Association of Chinese and Mongolian International Schools).


"Knowledge comes from learning, wisdom comes from the lifelong search for knowledge ".


"The school aims to:

  • foster an international community of learners in an English language environment using an international curriculum with an emphasis on excellence,
  • create a spirit of community service, and develop the inquiry skills needed to ensure we are adaptable and prepared for global change.
  • sustain a community that is exposed to the experiences of others through diverse cultural interactions "


Over the next 5 years the Board of TIS, in partnership with the new Head of School, is committed to:

  • Working on increasing enrolments and ensuring fiscal responsibility to create long-term financial stability.
  • Building upon, strengthening and developing curriculum and systems even further to optimize educational outcomes.
  • Consolidating and capitalizing on the already solid reputation of TIS to ensure that it increasingly becomes the school of choice for expatriate families in Wuxi.
  • Planning for school expansion and the development of new/alternative premises or a possible High School campus as the school is looking to outgrow the present premises.


Taihu International School is an IB World School and is therefore fortunate to belong to a worldwide community of schools, which offers a high quality international programme. The curriculum draws on best practice from a range of national educational systems but is underpinned by the curriculum standards from Texas in the USA for all subject areas other than Mathematics, which from October 2013 will follow the standards of the Singapore Mathematics Curriculum. Students are taught global responsibility and are encouraged to become active, compassionate, lifelong learners. A full activity programme, including sports, arts, games and the performing arts, field trips and community service opportunities, supplements the challenging academic programme.

Modern textbooks and teaching materials from several countries are used. The programme includes instruction in Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Mandarin (Chinese), Korean, French and German, IT, Health, Music, Art, Physical Education and Drama.


As of September 2013 enrolment stands at 173 students. Approximately 60% of our students are from Korea, the remaining students coming mainly from Europe (the second largest national group is Germany),USA, Australia, New Zealand, Africa (Burundi) and several Asian countries . There is also a significant trend of enrolments from Chinese students with foreign passports or green cards. Almost all students are from families working for foreign companies in and around Wuxi and the nationalities represented are a direct reflection of the proportion of foreign investment from the various countries.


TIS has a full-time Head of School and a Deputy Head (who has a partial teaching load), 24 expatriate teachers and 9 Chinese teachers, several Teaching Assistants, Administration Department, a clinic staffed by a full-time doctor , and a Marketing Manager.

Faculty from overseas are housed in comfortable, safe and modern housing which is in the vicinity of the school, next to Taihu lake and also near to supermarkets, restaurants, banks and other amenities and is a 20- minute car drive to the city centre.


The school moved to a purpose-built campus in 2007, with a well-resourced library, two science labs, a computer suite, indoor multi-purpose gymnasium hall, Astroturf football/playing field, basketball court,two brand-new adventure playgrounds and a separate age-appropriate Kindergarten playground. Lunches are catered (Western and Chinese food) by the European catering company Eurest, cooked at their on-site kitchen within school.


Since the school is privately owned and run, it is governed by a 3- member Board of Directors – the owner, Daria Duncan-Weber, her husband Bernhard Weber who is the Vice President of a large German household appliance company, and the Head of School (non-voting but who attends every Board Meeting). Parents have no direct involvement in governance but the school endeavours, primarily through communication between the Head of School and the PTA, to keep parents informed of school developments. Also through this channel the Head of School informs the Board of parental opinion on important issues.

Income is derived solely from tuition fees, which range from USD 25,153 per annum for PYP to USD 27,840 per annum for MYP and DP. There is a paid door-to-door school bus service at a cost of USD 326 per school year.


Wuxi is the second largest city in the Province of Jiangsu and, with a population of 6.3 million, lies halfway between Nanjing (the Provincial capital of Jiangsu) and Shanghai and is situated conveniently on the high-speed train route, so that Shanghai is only a 40 –minute train ride away. Wuxi has a small airport, offering mainly domestic flights and most international travellers coming in and out of Wuxi use Shanghai Pudong Airport or Shanghai Hongqiao airport. Wuxi is situated in what is known as the prosperous Yangtze River Delta and is a major centre of light industry, the textile industry, software and electronics. As such it is home to some of China's largest recorded foreign investment projects, such as Bosch and SK Hynix. In Wuxi there are two languages spoken – the standard Putonghua and also the local Wuxi dialect, which is related to Shanghai dialect.

Wuxi is well equipped with modern, foreign supermarkets (Carrefour, Metro etc) and a foreign-run clinic.

The school itself, as with faculty housing, is situated next to the picturesque Taihu Lake. Summers can be hot and humid and winters similarly cold so it is a city of extremes in terms of climate but air quality compares favourably with the larger cities such as Beijing.


The Board of TIS is seeking a Head of School who is outgoing, professional and entrepreneurial, who will relish the challenge and the adventure of leading the school forward to its next stage of development, not only academically but also in its role as a focal point of the school and larger community.

This challenging and unique opportunity will give the successful candidate the chance to print their own personal stamp on the future academic, social and physical development of the school in this vibrant and growing city, in essence to be a co-visionary with the Board.


The Board of TIS welcomes applications from individuals with a minimum 5 years of experience as a Head of School of a small to medium-sized international school of good standing. We welcome candidates of any nationality, male or female and preferably with accompanying spouse and/or family. Since this is a situation involving considerable responsibility, creative leadership and flexibility, we are seeking an individual who would ideally demonstrate many of the following personal and professional qualities:

  • Cultural sensitivity, ideally with a working knowledge of China (or another Asian country) and the knowledge of (or willingness to learn) at least one foreign language.
  • A grounded sense for business and for the importance of marketing in the school's success and development.
  • A good level of financial acumen and some experience in budget development /management.
  • The ability to engender a general feeling of goodwill and fairness in the school community.
  • A unifying, empathetic and calm mediator in times of challenge.
  • Flexible, resilient, consistent and open-minded.
  • The ability to effectively delegate as appropriate, yet encourage an atmosphere of collaboration and openness.
  • Direct experience in at least two of the three IB programmes and a teaching track record, which demonstrates experience in both Primary and Secondary schools.
  • Strong people skills and an open-minded, welcoming attitude.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to function well, as the school's representative, in a wide range of social situations, both in the expatriate community and in Chinese official situations.
  • A keen eye for identifying new and innovative opportunities for the school's development, especially during times of challenge.
  • A good listener and communicator.
  • A caring attitude towards children and a natural passion for education.
  • Experience in instructional supervision and the ability to mentor and oversee professional development, which benefits the individual and the school.
  • The ability to appreciate the role of each employee of the school and to effectively supervise their work.
  • A healthy ambition to see the school succeed.
  • The ability and drive to develop and implement the goals of the school in partnership with the Board.
  • The position does not include teaching responsibilities but the willingness to take on some form of minor classroom involvement from time to time would be a distinct advantage.
  • The Board welcomes applications from experienced Head of School, including mature educational leaders and those in the initial phases of their career as a Head.


The salary and benefits package will be competitive for international schools in the region and will be commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the individual.


Taihu International School (TIS) has appointed Search Associates to act as consultant in the search for the new Head of School, with Gez Hayden being the lead consultant. The deadline for applications is 31st October 2013.Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the 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. The Search Committee will select finalists as early in the process as possible. Finalist candidates, together with spouse or partner (if applicable) will be invited to Wuxi for final interviews, to visit the school, and meet with the Board, parents, students and non-teaching staff. The new Head of School will be selected immediately after the conclusion of the site visit and the final interviews. The new Head of School will take up the position on 1st August 2014.

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

  • A letter of application, referring directly to the required personal and professional qualities as listed above, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you believe you are a good fit for the position of Head of School of TIS.
  • A statement describing your leadership and educational philosophy, no more than two pages.
  • A current CV with attached photo in low resolution, no more than two pages.
  • A one-page list of references stating position/relationship to you, current addresses, email addresses and phone numbers.

The total document size should be kept to less than three (3) MB if possible. Applications should be sent to ghayden@searchassociates.com .Additional information about Taihu International School can be found on the school website at http://www.wuxitaihuinternationalschool.org/

Gez Hayden, Senior Associate, Search Associates
Dong Fang Tian Jun
Nanjing 210046 ,CHINA


T +86 25 85322927
M +86 13905167114
F +86 25 84320702
Skype gez.hayden


Facebook: Search-Associates-Gez-Hayden

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