High School Principal at The American School in Japan, Tokyo in Japan
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High School Principal
The American School in Japan, Tokyo (Japan)

Aug 18, 20
Sep 28, 20


High School Principal

Start Date: August 2021


General Background: Founded in 1902 and located in one of the most fascinating cities and cultures in the world, The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is one of the oldest and most well-regarded international schools in the world. ASIJ offers an enriched American curriculum to students of all nationalities culminating in Advanced Placement and other advanced topics courses in its high school. ASIJ’s student body consists of approximately 1,700 students representing nearly 50 different nationalities. Beyond its rigorous academic program, ASIJ focuses on educating the whole child, which includes preparing students to lead successful lives by offering diverse extra-curricular opportunities.

At ASIJ, we believe that a school should be a safe, child-centered place where educators are idealistic about the potential of every student and tenacious in their support for each child as they learn, take risks, make mistakes, and grow. We believe that every student has the right to learn and that we have an obligation to know, value, and care about them, while teaching them to know, value, and care for others. We believe that creativity and independent thinking happen when students are highly engaged, especially when purposeful assessment drives learning and when goals are clear, focused, and personalized. We believe that students excel in a learning environment where they receive high-quality feedback, opportunities for reflection, and a culture in which they frequently self-assess their own learning. We believe that students should learn through authentic experiences that challenge them to identify, understand, and solve complex multidisciplinary problems.

Position Summary: The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is seeking an experienced, dynamic school leader to assume the position of High School Principal (HSP). The HSP will provide social emotional, academic and administrative leadership in our High School community, which consists of 600 students and over 60 faculty members. They will focus on improving teaching and learning in line with the school’s mission, vision, and core values. The ideal candidate will be a caring and reflective individual, experienced in meeting the needs of all students and committed to supporting teachers in their professional growth. They will be a learning leader whose values, beliefs, and skills align with ASIJ’s Vision of Learning, Portrait of a Learner, and the school’s Strategic Design Framework.

ASIJ’s HSP is committed to the academic needs of high schoolers, recognizing the particular challenges and opportunities of developing a balanced rigorous academic program that celebrates innovative curriculum, personalized learning, standards-based learning and assessment practices as well as a robust Advanced Placement programming.


The HSP is a member of the school’s Leadership Team (LT), which consists of the Head of School; the Deputy Head of School for Learning; the ES, MS, and HS principals and associate principals; the Director of ASIJ’s Early Learning Center; the school’s CFO/COO; the Student Support Director (SSD); the Director of Technology; the Director of Advancement; and the Director of Admissions.


  • Graduate degree (MA required) in educational leadership with corresponding certification or credentials;
  • Exemplary record of leadership experience, including previous experience as a principal and/or associate principal at the high school level;
  • Exemplary record of teaching experience, including a minimum of 5 years of experience in high schools offering an American standards-based education or the IBDP, preferably in an international setting; and
  • An extensive record of engagement and collaboration as a learning leader in strategic initiatives, professional learning, curriculum review, curriculum development, assessment design and technology integration.

ASIJ will not consider applications from candidates without these required qualifications.



Administrative Leadership:

  • Challenge and assist our students to become a community of inquisitive learners and independent thinkers, inspired to be their best selves, empowered to make a difference;
  • Supervise and evaluate teachers, utilizing the evaluation process as an opportunity to appraise performance, improve teacher learning, and advance school priorities;
  • Provide leadership in the continuous improvement of programs across the High School, including the Advanced Placement program, academic policies, and bell schedule;
  • Create an efficient, productive and caring building atmosphere where all students, faculty, and staff have opportunities to be recognized for their best efforts;
  • Care for and support all students’ social and emotional well-being by providing pastoral care (e.g., placement, discipline, support, guidance and communication with parents);
  • Lead and participate actively in committee work specific to program development and decision making;
  • Provide leadership in creating schedules that support learning and optimize collaborative work within our faculty and staff;
  • Seek the involvement of faculty and parents in a wide variety of school activities and promote a parent volunteer program;
  • Facilitate parent information forums alongside other team members;
  • Oversee substitute arrangements including daily substitute facilitation and monitoring;
  • Advances open communication within the teacher, student, and parent community;
  • Model the importance and necessity in attending after-school student activity programs and parent events;
  • Lead, empower, and invest in ASIJ’s High School Teacher Leaders in their role both as leaders of collaborative teams and their role as partners in the school improvement process;
  • Work closely with Director of Student Support to facilitate a dynamic, impactful Student Support Team in the High School and further ASIJ’s efforts to become more inclusive;
  • Coordinate with our Personal Academic Counselors and College Counselors to ensure aligned and supported programs;
  • Commit to high standards of student safeguarding and well-being; and
  • Model the ASIJ professional standards.

Change Leadership:

  • Model and inspire others to challenge themselves through new professional opportunities, experiences, and learning;
  • Provide clear, actionable feedback, when appropriate, that motivates ASIJ’s HS faculty;
  • Recognize and effectively address embedded tensions, apprehensions, and paradoxes in ASIJ’s HS community, programming, and culture and controls the pace of change effectively and sensitively in all areas of responsibility;
  • Recognize and reinforce others’ contributions, accomplishments, and efforts; and
  • Recognize, support and develop teacher-leaders.


 Strategic Leadership:

  •  Design, support, and lead initiatives and actions that operationalize ASIJ’s Strategic Design Framework, which is illustrated below, and provide leadership to elevate and operationalize ASIJ’s Portrait of a Learner, which follows on the next page.

Personal and Professional Qualities

  •  Learner-centered Determined to ensure that all decisions, programs, and initiatives are based on the best interests of students;
  • Reflective practitioner Continually reflects on their own professional practice, modeling a willingness to accept accountability and the determination to develop, improve, and grow;
  • Leader by example Models ASIJ’s core values and other important qualities, including compassion, humility, sensitivity, sincerity, determination, honesty, grit, and passion;
  • Professional, diplomatic, and respectful – Able to build healthy relationships based on mutual trust and to resolve conflicts and build consensus through civil, professional discourse;
  • Self-motivated and directed – Holds exceptionally high standards for him- or herself, including a willingness to seek constructive criticism and adjust their ways of working;
  • Highly collaborative – Committed to developing highly collaborative, high-functioning teams and to sharing decision-making and distributing authority, when appropriate;
  • Results-oriented – Follows through and completes assigned tasks at exceptionally high levels, often inventing novel solutions to challenging problems;
  • Risk-taker – Models, inspires, and encourages risk-taking, when appropriate;
  • Outstanding communication skills – Excels in communications with all ASIJ stakeholders, verbally and in writing;
  • Listens actively – Possesses excellent interpersonal skills, including the abilities to actively listen and skillfully facilitate productive focused discussions;
  • Culturally sensitive – Committed to respecting and celebrating Japanese culture, while simultaneously working to honor ASIJ’s diversity; and
  • Integrity and excellence – Leads with integrity and a determination to achieve excellence.
  • Designer of future learning - Not only focussed on the day-to-day running of the school, but able to plan for the future with a constructivist, progressive pedagogy tailored to the complexities of the 21st Century.

Salary and Benefits: Salary is highly competitive and will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Benefits include housing, health insurance, life insurance, home leave, shipping allowance, and ongoing professional learning opportunities.

Recruiting Timeline: ASIJ hopes to appoint its new HS Principal in October or November 2020. As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we do not anticipate being able to bring finalists to Tokyo for a site visit as we normally would and expect the entire recruiting process to be virtual. Should border restrictions permit, we will gladly bring our appointed candidate to visit ASIJ in Spring 2021. The successful candidate will assume their new role in August 2021. Applications will be received until September 28, 2020. However, interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible; preliminary interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis and the school reserves the right to appoint a successful candidate when they have been identified.

Application: Interested candidates must have an active file with either ISS-Schrole or Search Associates in addition to the required qualifications detailed on page 2.

Search Associates Candidates: To apply for this position, please submit the following documents to <jobs@asij.ac.jp>:

(1) a letter of application clearly explaining your qualifications and interest in this HSP position at ASIJ;

(2) a link to a 2-3 minute video introduction (no more!) that shares your interest in the position and explains what you feel you can contribute to ASIJ. Please upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, your Google Drive, or another external hosting site, set permissions appropriately, and share the link in your letter of application;

(3) an updated CV or resume;

(4) a one-page philosophy of education and/or leadership that illuminates your beliefs and convictions, while also demonstrating your ability to write succinctly and purposefully.


ISS-Schrole Candidates: Candidates will automatically establish an ISS-Schrole file if they apply directly through the ASIJ Employment Page. After selecting Current Vacancies, please follow the link to View Vacancies on ISS-Schrole.

ASIJ does not prefer one recruiting agency over the other. However, we do expect all applicants to have a complete set of confidential references with one of these two recruiting agencies that we can easily access. ASIJ will not seriously consider applications from candidates who have not bothered to activate files with either Search Associates or ISS-Schrole. ASIJ will also conduct a thorough set of verbal reference checks for any candidate we seriously consider for the appointment.

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