Head of School at The Liger Leadership Academy in New Zealand
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Head of School
The Liger Leadership Academy (New Zealand)

Appointed - Daniel Cooper
Mar 21, 2022
Apr 17, 2022






Dear Search Associates Colleagues,

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Liger Leadership Academy (LLA), Queenstown, New Zealand, I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel Cooper as the school's new Head of School to commence in July 2022.

Daniel is originally from Christchurch, and is returning to New Zealand with his wife and two sons after 16 years of living and working in international schools across Asia and Europe. Daniel is currently the MYP Coordinator at United Nations International School (UNIS) Hanoi and is part of the school's senior leadership team.  Daniel worked at UNIS for 6 years. Prior to that, Daniel worked at Copenhagen International School in Denmark for 10 years.

Daniel has a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning from the University of Auckland and is currently completing a Masters in Educational Leadership at the University of Auckland.

Daniel's passion for project-based, experiential learning and the promotion of entrepreneurship is closely aligned with the philosophy of the Liger Leadership Academy. He is excited to work with the LLA in Cambodia and to grow the New Zealand campus.

Search Associates would also like to thank all applicants who showed interest in this position.



Caroline Jacoby







The Liger Leadership Academy 

Queenstown, New Zealand 

seeks a 

Head of School 

To begin July 2022 


The Liger Leadership Academy, New Zealand opened in Term 1 (February) of 2022 and provides students with a rich project and experiential-based learning environment in which all students will be prepared, inspired, and empowered to become catalysts for effective change in their communities. The academy shares a common ethos, set of values, and vision - and draw inspiration from - its sister school, the Liger Leadership Academy, Cambodia. 


The Head of School is responsible for the effective general management of Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) New Zealand, providing academic leadership and strategic vision, and for the successful, high quality implementation of the LLA education model in a New Zealand context.  



Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) educates promising youth of today to develop socially conscious, entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow. The academy will provide a residential scholarship program for economically disadvantaged students that combines a comprehensive, internationally competitive education with an innovative STEM and entrepreneurship curriculum. Liger believes a meaningful investment in the right few will change the lives of many. 



  • Integrity  

  • Stewardship 

  • Determination 

  • Appreciation 

  • Optimism 

  • Ingenuity 


More information about the Liger vision and stories of Liger’s programmes may be viewed in the following videos: 


The Liger Leadership Academy Vision (1 minute) 

Our Story in New Zealand Story (18 minutes) 

Our Story in Cambodia: Our Learning Model (4 minutes) 



The School 

LLA is located in Queenstown, New Zealand. The school operates as a not-for -profit charitable trust. Currently the majority of students are from Queenstown and are all day students. Future plans include building a purpose-built facility that includes boarding facilities so that students from all over New Zealand, and potentially from other parts of the world, may attend LLA. As the school expands, students will work towards earning their National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) – New Zealand’s High School leaving certificate. 



LLA currently enrolls about 30 students in years 7-9. It is anticipated that enrollments will increase to 50-60 students at the beginning of next school year in February, 2023. The majority of LLA’s students are on some form of scholarship. 



Faculty and Staff 

Teachers are known as facilitators, which reflects their role in students’ project and experiential-based learning. There are currently five facilitators. Student – teacher ratios are low and facilitators develop close relationships with their students.  


Some support is provided to the Head of School from Liger Management Group personnel in terms of finances, marketing and recruitment. 


Queenstown, New Zealand 

Queenstown is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It is known as an adventure hub and attracts tourists from all over the world. Lovers of the outdoors enjoy the many opportunities the town and the region offer. 


The Position: Head of School 

The Head of School reports to the Board, which comprises the two founders and the CFO of the Lider Management Group. 


The Head of School’s responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Strategic and Budgetary planning 

  • Staffing – recruitment, supervision and retention 

  • Teaching and Learning 

  • Representing LLA to both the school community and the wider community. 

As the school is small, the Head of School is expected to work in a hands on manner with students, facilitators and parents. The successful candidate will be someone who has a passion for experiential learning and entrepreneurship. They should be someone who while a skilled leader and administrator, still wants to be involved in teaching and learning on a daily basis. 

The Head of School will work hand-in-hand with his/her counterpart in Cambodia and in the future, there is expected to be student and facilitator relationships and travel between the two schools.  



Salary and Benefits 
LLA offers an initial contract term of three years (renewable). The remuneration package is  

commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and a school of this size. Benefits including a housing allowance, health insurance, relocation package and tuition benefit for children at LLA. 



Qualifications / Experience 

  • Minimum 3 years’ experience as a school leader.  

  • Minimum 2 years in a leadership role in a project-based learning education environment. 

  • Experience working in an international school. 

  • Master's degree, or equivalent, in an education-related field with a current teaching or administrative license 


Essential Characteristics 

  • Open-minded 

  • Brings multiple perspectives of education to the position 

  • A passion for working with teenagers 

  • An excellent communicator 

  • An effective collaborator 

  • Inspiring leader  



Application Procedure 

The Board of Directors has appointed Search Associates as its partner in its search for a Head of School, with Caroline Jacoby serving as the lead consultant. The deadline for applications for the position is April 17th, 2022. Candidates should submit the requested materials listed below as early as possible as the Board of Directors 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. Zoom video interviews of selected candidates will take place on a rolling basis. Finalists will be selected by the Search Committee and subsequently be invited to LLA (to visit the school and meet with the search committee, Board of Directors, faculty/staff, students and parents. If this is not possible due to Covid-19 restrictions, the visit will be conducted virtually. The Board of Directors will select the successful candidate at the conclusion of the finalist visits, final interviews, and reference checks. The Board is planning to make an appointment by May 2022.


Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file attached to an email: Total document size should not exceed 4MB.


  1. A letter of application, not exceeding two pages; 

  1. explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the position of Head of School at Liger Leadership Academy. 

  1. the expertise you bring to the position. 

  1. A statement describing your leadership style, not to exceed one page. 

  1. A current résumé - not to exceed two pages. 

  1. A list of 3-5 referees with current contact details 


Applications should be emailed to: cjacoby@searchassociates.com 


Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by the school 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 semi-finalist.



Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Bill Turner’s international teaching career has taken him to Sudan, Italy, Qatar and the UAE as well as his home country of England. His very first teaching position was in rural Sudan.