High School Principal at International School of Stavanger in Norway
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High School Principal
International School of Stavanger (Norway)

Appointed - Kevin Gilmore
Dec 22, 2015
Jan 8, 2016

International School of Stavanger, Norway

seeks a

High School Principal

effective August 2016

The School and Community
A whole child approach that is inclusive in nature is an essential part of the ethos of International School of Stavanger, Norway. The International School of Stavanger, currently in its 50th year, provides an English language education based on an international curriculum for approximately 650 students residing in Norway.  The School is governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees.  Founded in 1966, International School of Stavanger is located in a beautiful, cosmopolitan and cozy city of approximately 130,000 residents, surrounded by fjords on the southwest coast of Norway.  Stavanger is the fourth largest city in Norway, the land named by the United Nations twelve times in the past fourteen years as the number one “Most Livable Country in the World.”  The school was founded to provide schooling for dependents of the North Sea petroleum industry initially, but it has also had the pleasure of serving dependents of a large local NATO base, as well as members of the local community. 
Geographically, Norway is renowned for its nature, scenic beauty and is an optimal location for those who value clean water, fresh air and a love of the outdoors.  Because of its location on the southwest coast of Norway, Stavanger’s climate is impacted by the Gulf Stream, which, somewhat surprisingly, makes snow in town a rare occurrence.  Ample amounts of rainfall, though, are common in town and just two hours’ drive inland there are a number of ski areas. Norway is a large country with a small population of approximately 5 million people and the country presents vast areas open for hiking, skiing, bicycling and water sports.  The love of the outdoors is characterized by the Norwegian expression:  ´There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.
Although positioned far north, direct flights from Stavanger to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London and many other cities provide connections to the rest of Europe and beyond.

The International School of Stavanger is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS), and is a non-sectarian, non-profit Norwegian foundation, supported by tuition.  In 2014, the school successfully fulfilled its fifth ten-year recruiting cycle and is proud of its long history of “school improvement through accreditation.” The school’s first accreditation was granted in 1974. The school is also authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), through the University of Cambridge, and is approved by the US State Department and authorized by the Kingdom of Norway.

ISS Guiding Statements
Vision Statement: Inspire a community of responsible, globally-engaged, empowered learners.

Mission Statement:  ISS provides an internationally-accredited, engaging and challenging English-language education in a supportive, multi-cultural environment where students have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

Aim: To enable students to become self-determining, respectful, responsible, contributing global citizens who will succeed in continuing educational programs and beyond.

Our Values

Learning:  At ISS, we believe everyone is capable of learning and achieving. Developing a passion for and love of learning is key to students becoming lifelong learners. Students are encouraged to reflect and develop an awareness of one's own learning process. In preparing for an ever-changing global community we inspire learners to develop collaborative, creative, critical thinking and technological skills.

Well-being:  At ISS, we value the whole child and believe students leading physically and emotionally healthy, ethical, active and balanced lives in a safe environment will contribute to their self-esteem and enable them to become more effective learners.

Community:  At ISS, we celebrate the spirit of belonging and a sense of community at the school, local and global levels. Respecting diversity and valuing international and intercultural understanding, the school fosters actions intended to make positive contributions to a more equitable and sustainable world.

Students and Campus

It is apt that in our 50th year the International School of Stavanger welcomes students from fifty nationalities. The largest three nationalities are students from the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom.  All continents except Antarctica are represented. The High School enrolls nearly 200 students; the majority of the graduating class each year enters European or North American universities. Students also routinely apply to and get acceptance from universities in other continents each year. Current and former employees of the school regularly point to the students as being one of the real joys of working at the school.  They are a wonderful group of individuals who are a daily reminder to their teachers and principal that it was a wise choice to become educators.
The campus was built in 1982, with substantial additions added in 1994, 1999 and 2011.  It consists of one large building with extensive sports fields and playgrounds attached to the campus.  The school has excellent classroom facilities and special purpose areas including science labs, a school-wide wireless computer network, a one-to-one iPad programme in the Middle/High School, mobile laptop and iPad carts, computer labs and extensive technology innovation efforts, art classrooms, gymnasia, a beautiful 370-seat theatre, two libraries, and a cafeteria offering a nutritious and delicious menu to keep students and staff healthy. The school is situated on a15 acre lot and offers a wide variety of sports and other activities.

The Faculty

In the High School, there are over 35 faculty members, a few of whom also cross over into the other sections of the school.  In the High School office, the Principal is assisted by a full-time Office Manager, a full-time Guidance Counselor and an IB/Examinations Coordinator who also has part-time teaching responsibilities. 

The Curriculum

The school consists of Pre-school through Grade 12, all under one roof.  High School instruction centers on a college preparatory program and the school is proud of the fact that while it offers both the International Baccalaureate and the IGCSE external examination options, neither of those are mandated and both offer open entry for any admitted student wishing to take part. The school has had consistently fine examination results from its students.  Typically over 90% of the students elect to go for the full IB Diploma programme.  Results for IB and IGCSE examinations can be found on the school’s website, www.isstavanger.no, as well as curriculum guides, handbooks, calendars, newsletters and various other links.

Co- and Extra-Curricular Activities

For a school of its size, International School of Stavanger offers a wide range of activities for its students.  Because of its fine theater facilities, drama and music have long played an important part in the extra-curricular offerings.  Activities incorporated within the High School curriculum include chorus, band, yearbook, and Model United Nations. High School students have the opportunity to travel to many destinations representing the school.  International School of Stavanger is a member of the Northwest Council of International Schools (NECIS) sports league and athletes compete in local Norwegian leagues and then travel throughout Europe for tournaments.  Students also undertake educational field trips to various locations within Europe as part of their ´Horizons Week`, attend other activities such as Model United Nations conferences in Lisbon and The Hague. Service learning is valued in the school with an increasing number of activities taking place each year, including supporting the `School for Life` project in Thailand and the Cameroon Service Project. The high school has an active Student Council that organizes activities for the student body throughout the school year.

The Position

The High School Principal has overall responsibility for the planning and day-to-day administration of the educational and co-curricular program in the High School (which includes grades nine through twelve).  Reporting to the Director (Head of School), s/he will provide leadership to ensure an excellent, well-managed educational program.  S/he will achieve this through routine management of the school in accordance with the policies and procedures set by the Board of Trustees and the Director.  Primary responsibilities include: long- and short-term curricular assessment and planning, teacher supervision and evaluation, student care and discipline, communication with the school community, budgeting and facilities oversight.  The High School Principal is a member of the School’s Leadership Team, which includes the Early Childhood/Primary School Principal, Middle School Principal, Director of Technology, Finance and Operations Manager and the Director.


  • Views education as both a profession and a vocation, has personal and professional integrity, enjoys connecting with students and has compassion and empathy for students
  • Demonstrates cultural sensitivity and diplomacy
  • Has an optimistic and curious outlook on life and a sense of humor and fun
  • Is transparent and has the ability to agree without being obsequious and disagree without rancor
  • Is collaborative and is committed to brining talented individuals together to ensure that the sum of the parts is greater than the individual pieces
  • Leads by example rather than authority
  • Is resilient and determined, and has the professional courage to challenge us all to improve and develop
  • Has the ability to walk on water


Specific tasks and responsibilities of the position include the following:

  • Setting the tone and spirit of the High School
  • Conducting/monitoring day-to-day operations of the High School
  • Serving as a member of the Leadership Team management structure and working with Examinations/IB Coordinator, Guidance Counselor, Office Manager and High School Pastoral and Curricular leaders
  • Involving parents appropriately in school affairs
  • Communicating with stakeholders regularly
  • Implementing The Strategic and Operational Plan goals and action items that relate to the High School
  • Developing High School goals in conjunction with the Director
  • Carrying out the policies of the Board and decisions of the Leadership Team
  • Developing and successfully implementing the master schedule for staff and students in the High School in coordination with the Middle and Early Childhood/Primary School Principals
  • Committed to developing middle level leaders and leadership, promoting a team approach and shared ownership of the academic and pastoral programmes
  • Attending designated Board meetings
  • Willingness to follow the school’s emphasis on well-being/flourishing and HSSE
  • Working with the High School Advisory Program
  • Taking responsibility for High School discipline
  • Undertake a limited teaching responsibility
  • Assisting with faculty recruitment and orientation of new staff 
  • Evaluating and supervising teachers and support staff in the High School
  • Monitoring curriculum and coordinating its appraisal, in conjunction with the middle-level curriculum leaders
  • Guiding appraisal and professional development of High School staff
  • Orienting substitute teachers
  • Developing and overseeing the High School budget, in conjunction with the Director and Finance Manager
  • Assisting with High School admissions
  • Possessing strong IT skills and visionary ability to help guide the school in continuing appropriate electronic evolution
  • Working within the laws of Norway, particularly regarding work environment and education, (Orientation assistance will be available for successful candidate.)
  • Attending activities in and outside of the school day
  • Other duties as deemed necessary by the Director

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Minimum of earned Master's Degree in educational administration or equivalent and certification or equivalent
  • High School Teaching and Principal experience, (minimum of three years’ experience at principal or assistant principal level) preferably in an international school
  • Experience in and strong knowledge of European, North American and international school educational philosophy in general, and High School philosophy and practices in particular
  • Experience with and desire to work in an inclusive, multi-cultural environment
  • Current knowledge in learning and assessment methodologies, “learner-centered” classrooms, program development and evaluation and differentiated instruction for a range of students with special needs
  • Knowledge and experience in IB and preferably IGCSE programs
  • Strong, inspirational leadership skills are essential: outstanding communication skills and the ability to motivate and delegate effectively
  • Personal commitment to co-curricular programs
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Outstanding technology skills with the ability and enthusiasm to guide the technological improvement of the High School program
  • Experience with curriculum mapping tools
  • Native level fluency in written and spoken English (due to our increasingly international student body, fluency in another language would be seen as a positive attribute)
  • Applicants of all nationalities are welcome to apply
  • Due to Norwegian government requirements, the successful candidate’s university documents/diplomas/transcripts and a clean police statement must be submitted for approval (this process is only necessary for the candidate who is offered and accepts the position)


Salary and Benefits
The salary and benefits package is competitive and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.  The initial contract is for a period of three years, but the School is looking for a candidate willing to stay longer to provide continuity.


We are looking for an individual who understands our context and vision, mission and philosophy and is enthused by the prospect of helping it to develop and grow.  At the end of the day it is all about ´fit´, when you have what we are seeking and we have what you are looking for then great things happen within our school community. 

More information about our community can been found at the following locations:

Website (www.isstavanger.no)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/isstavanger)
Instagram (www.instagram.com/isstavanger/pages) 
Twitter (www.twitter.com/isstavanger)

If you believe that you may be a good ´fit´ for our school please submit an application using the procedure outlined below:

Application Procedure

ISS will be conducting the search and we would like to extend our thanks in advance to all qualified candidates who would consider applying and potentially moving into this position.  The students and employees of the school will be the beneficiaries of the new principal’s skills.
Candidates who wish to apply for the position should submit a cover letter that includes a specific expression of interest in the position and indicates strengths the candidate feels qualify him/her for consideration for the position. 
Candidates should send the information requested below via e-mail, with the following subject line: 

ISS – High School Principal Position

  • A letter of application
  • A current resumé
  • A one-page statement outlining educational beliefs and leadership style
  • A one-page list of at least three referees with phone numbers and e-mail addresses 

All the above materials should be scanned into one PDF attachment and sent to gjones@isstavanger.no
The deadline for applications is January 8, 2016 with finalists being selected by mid January with on-site interviews will be arranged as soon as possible thereafter, with the intention of the final selection being completed by the end of January/early February. The School reserves the right to conclude the search prior to the dates indicated above if the right candidate is found.
The application letter of interest should be addressed to

Gareth L Jones, Director
International School of Stavanger
FAX +47 51 554300


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 Gary MacPhie is based in Toronto, Canada where he started his teaching career, and then spent 26 years overseas as a teacher, principal and recruiter in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.