High School Principal at Dubai American Academy (GEMS) in United Arab Emirates
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High School Principal
Dubai American Academy (GEMS) (United Arab Emirates)

Nov 21, 18
Dec 9, 18

Thank you for your interest in Dubai American Academy. We encourage you to fully explore our website, facebook, and twitter channel to discover for yourself how DAA takes our students on a journey through a world-class educational experience, empowering them to become the next generation of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Dubai American Academy

Dubai American Academy (DAA) is GEMS Education's flagship American school. Offering both an enriched American Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Diploma to students from around the world, DAA prepares its students for success in the world's most prestigious universities and colleges.

DAA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the Council of International Schools (CIS), and authorized by the International Baccalaureate (IB). We are the only American curriculum school in Dubai to receive the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) rating of Outstanding, and have received this rating since 2011.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, DAA is one of the most sought after American schools in Dubai.  The school's outstanding heritage is coupled with its future-fluent program which embeds creative design, edge robotics and digital fluencies at its core.  Through teaching, learning and innovation, students develop a mastery of multiple literacies and fluencies to support genuine world-class learning, personal growth and future readiness. DAA offers a diverse range of extra-curricular, athletic, and leadership opportunities to enrich the holistic development of each student.

Our staff teaches and inspires excellence in academics and life-long learning skills by continually reviewing and building an enriched American curriculum, promoting student achievement, encouraging integrity and nurturing a desire to learn.

At GEMS Dubai American Academy, we believe:

  •  In the individual's unconditional worth and potential
  • That by demonstrating compassion and fairness in working and living with individuals, we earn their trust and respect
  • School should cultivate imagination and instill an appreciation for learning as a joyful, lifelong pursuit
  • An atmosphere of trust enables children to question, to take risks, to collaborate, to assume responsibility for independent work and to pursue individual interests
  • That honesty and integrity are best taught by being modeled
  • Significant accomplishments are achieved through perseverance and hard work
  • That all children require patience, nurturing and love to achieve full potential
  • That quality education empowers the individual and expands options throughout life, and that educators, students and parents do this by building bridges of trust, communication and common goal
  •  That our commitment to advocating, teaching and respecting a diverse student body from cultures throughout the world, fosters peace, justice and global understanding


Dubai American Academy is a vibrant international community, deeply rooted in a culture of kindness, that creates and empowers leaders and independent thinkers with integrity, character, and drive.

Identity Statement

Dubai American Academy offers an enriched American curriculum to students of all nationalities culminating in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and/or an American high school diploma. Beyond its rigorous academic program, DAA prepares students to lead successful lives through the exceptional diversity of its community and the extra-curricular experiences that contribute to the development of the whole person.

Academic Performance

DAA has a long history of helping students to achieve excellent IB results.  From our very first year of offering the IB Diploma program, DAA’s students have scored significantly above the world averages in both individual subjects and overall results.  Our program has grown substantially over the years to include all students who wish to undertake the challenging diploma program.

Once again, DAA’s graduating students earned outstanding IB results and preferred university placements around the world. The exam results are released by the International Baccalaureate Organization in July. Highlights of DAA’s students’ results include:

  •  82 % of the graduating class elected to complete the challenging IB Diploma program, which at DAA is open to all students who wish to complete the requirements;
  • DAA had 120 full diploma students;
  • DAA diploma students earned a mean score of 34+, which is well above the world average of 30, and significantly higher than other IB schools in Dubai (The IB minimum passing grade is 24);
  • DAA students took exams in 43 subjects scoring higher than the worldwide average in 31 subject areas;
  • The average exam grade across all DAA candidates who passed the diploma was 5.43 (exams are graded on a 1-7 scale);
  • Thirteen DAA students achieved a score of 40 or higher with one student earning an almost perfect 44. Only 4.4% of students worldwide earn 40 points or more, which puts this impressive accomplishment into perspective.

Dubai American Academy welcomes approximately 250 college and university admissions representatives throughout the school year to speak with interested students. An electronic copy of our High School Profile can be found here.

Student Life

At Dubai American Academy there is a strong emphasis on developing a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and on acquiring team skills to learn and compete co-operatively with others. Dubai American Academy offers its students a variety of sports catering for the different talents within the student population.

The year is broken down into three activity seasons which  provide a range of opportunities for our students. All sports and activities are provided with skilled, experienced and passionate coaches to help our students reach their personal best in whatever activity they choose. Our athletes compete locally against other international schools in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi regions. Additionally, all Junior Varsity and Varsity teams travel to the Middle East South Asia Conference (MESAC) which is an international conference comprised of six leading schools in the UAE, Qatar, Oman and India.


Located on 23 acres of land in the Al Barsha area of Duabi, GEMS Dubai American Academy provides state-of-the-art facilities for student life and learning. Beyond the academic classroom there are expansive opportunities for extraordinary growth.

The 70,000m2 campus includes a full provision for athletics and performing arts, with a 50m Olympic pool, 400m running track, a large gymnasium, playing fields and shaded playgrounds, theaters, and dedicated studios for music and arts for all grade levels.

At every step, we create an engaging and student-friendly environment where every aspect of design affirms the aspirations of students.


The Position

Our school is interested in hiring an experienced High School Principal who will not only be an outstanding instructional leader for our well established program but also a valuable contributing member of the Senior Leadership Team. The High School Principal will report to the Superintendent.

  •  Embrace and encourage the ethos and standards of excellence as defined in the GEMS Core Values.
  • Ensure that GEMS policies, procedures, and codes of conduct are followed at all times.
  • To model and encourage DAA’s Culture of Kindness and to perpetuate the school’s mission and values.
  • To commit time and leadership for the successful implementation of DAA’s School Improvement Plan and to develop division-specific actions for our strategic priorities.
  • To ensure that all teachers and support staff have a clear understanding of their performance expectations (e.g., job descriptions and faculty handbook) and to assist faculty towards becoming master teachers.
  • To willingly mentor all faculty as well as encourage their professional growth and career advancement.
  • To demonstrate role-model traits that enable others to recognize the principal as an instructional leader.
  • To instill a sense of common purpose and common pursuit toward consensus goals with regards to the decision-making process.
  • To communicate effectively with students, faculty, staff, parents, colleagues and in the community (e.g., verbal, nonverbal and written communication).
  • To seek the involvement of faculty and parents in a wide variety of school activities.
  • To develop the leadership capabilities of teachers and to share leadership responsibility when appropriate.
  • To ensure that curriculum documentation spells out content and skills, instructional methods and assessment practices.
  • To use assessment results to determine whether curriculum and instructional goals and student performance outcomes are being met.
  • To create an efficient, productive and caring building atmosphere where all students (and faculty) have the opportunity to be recognized for their best efforts.
  • To ensure that all of the School’s resources are identified and being used to serve students and faculty members alike; help both to reach their full performance potential.
  • To assume the responsibility for sound financial management including accurate program budget planning and fiscal accountability.
  • To have a personal commitment to seek constant professional learning and professional growth and to be a life-long learner.
  • To accept the importance and necessity in attending after school student activity programs and parent events.
  • To willingly take on all responsibility for the “mechanics” of the assignment; activities such as building a master class schedule, accurate record keeping, office accounting, etc.
  • To be a willing and active participant in committee work.
  • To carefully review all student admission applications in accordance with policies established by DAA policy and implementing regulations.
  • To perform other activities as might be required for the general welfare of the school and/or as requested by the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent.

Qualifications / knowledge:

  1.  Current North American teacher and administration certificates
  2. Master’s Degree in Leadership and/or Administration


  1.  Proven ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing
  2. Proven ability to collaborate effectively
  3. Strong work ethic and willingness to contribute to the general welfare of the total school program
  4. Positive and professional disposition supportive of both DAA and the GEMS organization


  1.  Teaching and administration experience, including significant experience with high school-aged children (minimum 10 years preferred)
  2. Proven record of successful operation and management experience
  3. Proven record as an instructional leader with a deep understanding of teaching and learning in the high school grades
  4. Experience with the successful implementation of an enriched, standards-based American curriculum


Compensation for this position will be commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and is very competitive globally.


Interested candidates, please apply via email. We ask that you please include:

  •  A one-page cover letter explaining your experience as a candidate and why you are interested in applying for this position.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages and including a recent picture.
  • A one-page statement outlining your educational philosophy and leadership style.
  • A list of at least three professional references with the school, phone numbers and email addresses of school leaders you have served with.
  • Name your PDF file as follows: LastName.FirstName
  • Write High School Principal Search Candidate with your name in the subject line

 Send your completed email to superintendent_daa@gemsedu.com


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…?

Senior Associate Bridget McNamer holds an M.A. in international relations and economics from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.