Head of School at Tokyo International School in Japan
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Head of School
Tokyo International School (Japan)

Appointed - Dan Reynolds
Mar 13, 2018
May 15, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I’m pleased to report that the Tokyo International School has hired Daniel Reynolds as its new head of school, effective in August 2019.

Here is the announcement about Dan’s appointment from the TIS search committee:

On behalf of TIS Board, it is with great pleasure that we announce that Daniel Reynolds has been selected to serve as the next Head of School at TIS (in August 2019).
Those of you who had the pleasure of meeting Daniel when he visited TIS recently will already know that he is a bright, thoughtful, engaging leader with strong communication skills. The Board is confident and enthusiastic about his ability to honor our past and also take us successfully into the future.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Daniel and his lovely wife, Kako, to TIS.

And a message from Dan to the TIS Community:

I am very excited to be joining you next school year and I would like to thank everyone for the great hospitality when I visited a few weeks ago.  For those who did not get a chance to come to my presentations here is a little about my background.
I am from Canada and have been in international education for over two decades. I am currently the Deputy Head of School at an international school in Switzerland and prior to that I worked in the United States as an Upper School Director. I also worked in three international schools in Japan over a span of twenty years and held a variety of roles including Principal, Activities Director and Curriculum Coordinator.
My wife Kako is from Nagoya and our son Jonah attends McMaster University in Canada. We are very excited to be coming back to Japan and specifically a great school like TIS.

This was a long and intensive search which drew several strong applicants.  I know you join me in wishing TIS a successful new era with Dan at the helm.

Kind regards,

Bridget McNamer



Tokyo International School

seeks a Head of School

effective July 2019

The School:


Tokyo International School (TIS) is an established, non-profit, primary and middle school situated right in the heart of Tokyo. The school campus is located in one of the world's most exciting cities on the doorstep of some of the city's most famous landmarks.

TIS is an international school in the truest sense. Our multinational faculty currently serves 355 boys and girls from 58 nations. Our admissions policy ensures that we stay true to the international families which we serve and to the international ethos which we value. Our curriculum is international and our programs draw upon effective, research based practices from leading education systems throughout the developed world.

What the TIS School Board believes sets TIS apart from other schools is that we successfully combine contemporary yet rigorous teaching, learning and assessment practices, with family-like relationships between teachers, students and parents. This creates a very special, friendly, open, learning-focused climate based on mutual respect.TIS is an extraordinary school with wonderful teachers, and one which fosters learning that pushes the boundaries of creativity, academics and innovation.

Mission statement:

To nurture confident, open-minded, independently thinking, well balanced inquirers for global responsibility.

Vision Statement:

Tokyo International School is the new standard in twenty first century learning and teaching. We achieve this through:

  • Academic and all around excellence
  • Critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration
  • Embracing information, media and technology literacies
  • Being a truly international, culturally diverse community
  • Aligning learning with 'real life' experiences
  • Fostering resilience and adaptability


Our values are embedded in The IB Learner Profile. The entire school community is nurtured and expected to be: inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers (courageous), knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced, reflective.

Accreditations and Affiliations:

TIS is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools. The school is a fully authorized, International Baccalaureate World School delivering the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program and Middle Years Program. We are an Apple Distinguished School. TIS is also one of a handful of international schools worldwide recognized by Columbia University Teachers College (New York) as an official Reading and Writing Project School. We are also a member of educational organizations such as the East Asia Council of International Schools and the Japan Council of International Schools.

Campus & Facilities

The current campus is located in Minami Azabu within the Yamanote Line. The location is considered central Tokyo. The campus is comprised of two main buildings: the Primary School and the Middle School. The Primary School building is a modern, stylish, purpose built facility opened in 2013. The Middle School (and Grade 5 classrooms) are located in an older building with a more industrial feel.

There is a modern, well equipped gymnasium with a stage and theatre lighting, and an all- weather surface track and play structure. The facilities include spacious classrooms, multipurpose rooms, staff rooms, a performing arts studio, library and a fleet of school buses. Due to our central Tokyo location space is limited. There are, for example, no swimming pool, cafeteria nor playing fields.

Curriculum & Pedagogy

The TIS curriculum is designed within the frameworks of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program and Middle Years Program. This structure brings together the very best teaching practices from education systems around the world and delivers them in a cohesive way which is meaningful, challenging and transferable when our students move to their new schools. The IB programmes at TIS develop a strong academic foundation and a lifelong love of learning, and teach students life skills such as empathy, tolerance, leadership, self management, and global citizenship. Teaching in the school empowers students to make decisions and take ownership of their own learning. Learning emphasizes; inquiry, agency, collaboration, critical thinking, goal setting, self assessment and compassion which reflect our guiding statements.

The school curriculum is well defined and is aligned to that of leading developed nations, including the USA, Australia and the UK. Our literacy follows the Columbia University Teachers College 'workshop' approach ensuring that our students receive the highest standards of literacy instruction. Our mathematics program is based on the USA curriculum: the Common Core with an emphasis on the Standards of Mathematical Practice such as precision, mathematical thinking tools and problem solving. Academics in the school is complimented by a rich arts program, an exciting after school program, physical education, field trips, scientific inquiry, technology and much more.

International Baccalaureate:

TIS's commitment to the IB and our expertise in IB philosophy and teaching practice is deeply rooted at all levels of our organization. Our Board Chair is the IB Ambassador for Japan and has been integral to the implementation of the IB Diploma in Japanese schools. Our Board member with responsibility for education worked for the IB in the Cardiff office for many years, where she led IB initiatives and authored key IB documents. We are committed to developing IB leadership capacity in our faculty and as such we actively support our teachers to become part of the International Baccalaureate Educator Network (IBEN). We currently have five members of IBEN on staff including both of our divisional principals and IB coordinators. Our school is an agreed teacher training center for the University of Tskuba's IB Educator and Leadership Certificate programs.


  • 1994 Preschool was established in Shimo-Meguro (enrollment 5)
  • 1994 Primary School established Meguro Honcho (enrollment 12)
  • 1997 Primary School moved to Mita 4 chome (enrollment 145)
  • 2002 Middle School was established (enrollment 190)
  • 2003 TIS became accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • 2004 TIS moved to Mita, Minato-ku (enrollment 235)
  • 2004 TIS became accredited by the Council of International Schools
  • 2005 TIS became authorized to deliver the IB Primary Years Program
  • 2007 TIS became authorized to deliver the IB Middle Years Program
  • 2013 TIS moved to a purpose built facility in Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku (enrollment 355)
  • 2013 TIS became a Columbia Teachers College (NY) Reading & Writing Project School
  • 2016 TIS awarded Apple Distinguished School Status
  • 2017 TIS awarded non profit, official school status by Tokyo City.

Future Aspirations & Challenges

Plans are in place to expand the middle school and open a senior school. The aim is to be a full PYP, MYP, DP IB World School in the future. The earliest this is predicted to occur is 2024. Future challenges will include efficient and strategic use of funding, raising revenue, the design of a new campus, increased staffing and resources, and the implementation of the Diploma program.


TIS is governed by the TIS School Board.The Board is committed to a collaborative, learning-focused approach to governance. We strive for continuous improvement in all aspects of the organization so that TIS will continue to move further towards its vision.The representatives include:

  • Ikuko (Bea) Tsuboya,Board Chair (school owner)
  • Ryo Tsuboya, Vice Chair
  • Carol Inugai Dixon, Education
  • Agnes Ouellette, Secretary (parent)
  • Chiyu Abo, Legalities
  • Shonosuke Beppu, Auditor
  • Lyle Andrews, Human Resources (parent)
  • and the Head of School (at present Lorraine Izzard).


Although a formal leadership hierarchy is in place, a distributed, consultative approach to leadership is valued and encouraged. All staff members are viewed as learners and with the potential to lead initiatives; sharing ideas, teaching and learning from one another irrespective of the institutional hierarchy.

In addition to the Head of School, formal leadership positions include a Middle School Principal/Middle Years Programme Coordinator, a Primary School Principal, a Primary Years Program Coordinator, a Business Manager, Human Resources Manager and an Operations Manager.

Faculty & Staff:

TIS has 38 highly experienced teachers. The faculty is comprised of fully qualified teachers educated in developed nations, each holding a minimum of a Bachelors degree. More than half hold a Masters degree. Most teachers are certified in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. The teaching faculty includes two IB workshop leaders, two trained literacy coaches, two Apple Distinguished Educators and three Mathematics Specialists in International School certified teachers. There is a well qualified and experienced Support Team including English support teachers, learning support teacher, and a school counselor. Teaching competency and pedagogical knowledge is high.

There is a comprehensive auxiliary staff including a full time school nurse, teaching assistants, student assistants, office staff, receptionists, IT staff, admissions team, maintenance team, bus drivers and bus monitors. Additional outsourced staff include cleaners and some after school club providers.

Student Demography:

  • Represent 58 nationalities
  • No dominant culture
  • Students whose language proficiency in English is native or near native comprises 50% or more of the class.
  • A maximum of 20% of any nationality per class (except English language nations)
  • The ratio between boys and girls in the class is kept to 1:1 as much as possible.
  • The students' social language of choice heard in the playground is mostly English

Selection Criteria:

Required qualifications, experience and vision:

  • A Master's degree or Doctorate in the field of education
  • Qualified teacher status
  • An internationally recognized qualification in educational leadership
  • A minimum of fifteen years of school experience generally
  • A minimum five years of experience teaching or leading within a reputable IB school.
  • A minimum of five years experience as a principal or director overseeing a division of at least two hundred students.
  • A minimum of five years of experience in education outside of his/her home country.
  • Experience in school administration directly or indirectly (budget management, HR, accounting etc.).
  • Experience in educational settings catering for English as an additional language learners
  • A commitment to our school mission, vision and guiding statements
  • A commitment to the IB programmes
  • A commitment to the Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

Desirable Knowledge & Experience:

  • Knowledge and experience of more than one IB program
  • Knowledge and experience of the IB Diploma Program
  • Experience expanding an international school in terms of divisions and/or grades
  • Experience on a leadership team including principals from middle and high school
  • Experience of working closely and collaboratively with a school board
  • Experience in an international school in East Asia or South East Asia.
  • Experience in several schools
  • Experience in a school which embraces information and media technologies
  • Experience in international school accreditation

Required Personal Attributes:

  • A passionate, energetic and friendly disposition
  • High learning expectations for students and teachers.
  • A high level of intercultural competency for a truly international school with 58 nationalities and no dominant national culture.
  • A flexible, open-minded person who lives our school's mission and vision in daily practice.
  • A collaborative team member who believes in and can practice distributed leadership, but who can make the 'tough' decisions when necessary.
  • A principled, caring person of high integrity.
  • A highly effective communicator in speaking and writing
  • A vision for the future in education and the real world

Child Safety:

TIS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Successful candidates will be required to undergo relevant background checks.

Salary & Benefits:

Salary and benefits are competitive within the region for international schools and will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

Application Procedure:

Tokyo International School has appointed Search Associates to assist in the search for a new Director, with John Magagna and Bridget McNamer as the consultants leading the search.

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2018.

Candidates are asked to submit the requested materials as early as possible as the TIS Board reserves the right to close the search immediately if the right candidate is identified.

The review of files will begin as soon as applicants are received. Semifinalist candidates will be selected by Search Associates and their application and supporting materials will be forwarded to the TIS Search Committee on a rolling basis. The Search Committee will interview selected semifinalist candidates and two to four finalist candidates will be identified by mid to late-July.

Finalist candidates (and their spouses/partners if applicable) will be invited to Tokyo in early September and will have the opportunity to meet with the students, parents, faculty, staff, administration and Board. The new Head-of-School will be appointed shortly after the conclusion of the site visits and the interviews of the finalists has been concluded.

Candidates who wish to apply for the Head-of-School position at Tokyo International School should submit the following information in the form and manner requested.

  • A letter of application no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the TIS Head-of-School position.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages.
  • A one or two-page statement articulating your philosophy of education.
  • A one-page list of at least four references who have served as your immediate supervisor with their current telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.
  • A maximum of four letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) which may already be in your possession.

All materials must be scanned in to a single pdf attachment of 5 MB or less and sent to: bmcnamer@searchassociates.com

Thank you for your interest in this opportunity!

Did You Know…?

CEO of Search Associates, Jessica Magagna, was born in Morocco and attended the American Community School in Iran while her father was headmaster.