Intermediate Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School, Quito in Ecuador
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Intermediate Principal
Academia Cotopaxi American International School, Quito (Ecuador)

Appointed - Position Filled
Oct 4, 13
Oct 31, 13






(Grades 3-5 and 6-8

Effective August 2014


The Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, is seeking a new Intermediate Principal to be the key educational leader for Grades Three through Eight. This is an extraordinary leadership position offering the unique challenge of leading a division spanning the upper elementary grades (Grades 3-5) as well as the middle school grades (Grades 6-8). With a division enrollment of 223 students, and an overall school enrollment of 770, this position will be highly desirable to both experienced principals as well as aspiring principals. 

The ideal candidate will welcome the challenge of developing an innovative vision that addresses the needs of two developmental age groups, and building a cohesive and collaborative team of teachers.  Various aspects of this role will be enticing to the right candidate - leading innovative instructional practices that foster critical thinking, creativity, and digital citizenship; developing a culture of service to others, international mindedness, and a mindset towards learning; working with a dedicated team of teachers and a supportive parent body; and joining a team of leaders focused on implementing a forward-thinking strategic plan. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success living in a multi-cultural environment and working with a diverse community, a solid understanding of the developmental needs of students in this age span, and a successful track record of leading and using contemporary instructional practices and technology integration in today’s global digital landscape. He or she will be an avid learner who is interested in learning Spanish and respecting Ecuadorian culture, an individual with polished leadership and communication skills, who enjoys working collaboratively, and has a sincere passion for this age range. 
Academia Cotopaxi has been blessed with a long history of success, and at this exciting time in its journey, at the beginning of a new strategic planning period, with a solid enrollment, in well-maintained facilities, and a positive reputation, it has a very bright future. The right candidate will enjoy a warm and happy school, a supportive leadership team, and an important leadership role that has immediate impact. 
Interested applicants should submit the following:
  • cover letter, not to exceed 2 pages, including the reason for your interest in this specific position
  • an up-to-date resume not to exceed two pages
  • a statement of leadership philosophy, not to exceed two pages
  • a list of at least 3 references including current or past supervisors (with phone numbers and email addresses)
  • Candidates are also encouraged to send letters of reference already in their possession and/or an up-to-date college or university placement file. 
Please submit the documents directly to Madeleine Maceda Heide, Director, at Candidates are encouraged to get their documents in as soon as possible and no later than October 31st. Interviews will begin immediately and a final decision is expected by December 1st, 2013.   



School Mission:
Academia Cotopaxi prepares students to be responsible and active contributors to a global society. The School offers an English-language, college-preparatory education in a safe, secure and caring international school environment, partnering with parents to provide the very best for our students. 
School Values:
The following are shared valued within the school community: Respect, Friendship, Positive Attitude, Honesty/Integrity, Responsible Stewardship, and Leadership.
School Description:
Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, Ecuador currently enrolls a total of 770 students from early childhood through grade 12.  The top two nationalities enrolled are Ecuadorian and American, as well as students from 25 other nationalities. The school has two campuses – the Cumbaya campus is home to an early childhood program in Spanish called IMAGINE, for students aged 18 months through 5 years old, and the Quito campus houses students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 as well as a branch of the IMAGINE program. The Quito campus was constructed in 1991 and includes 75 classrooms, a library, large auditorium, music complex, indoor pool, gymnasium, covered courts and soccer field, two cafeterias, four computer laboratories, art rooms, three playgrounds and a large parking garage. The Cumbaya campus has 9 classrooms, a large outdoor playground, smaller play spaces, a library, multipurpose hall, kitchen and dining area. 
The professional staff of 64 is highly trained, experienced and committed to a quality education for students.  The current teaching staff is 57 % United States citizens, 26% Ecuadorian, and 16% other nationalities. The school is an authorized IB school, offering the inquiry-based Primary Years Program (PYP) in the Elementary Grades and the highly academic International Baccalaureate (IB) in Grades 11 and 12. Between Grades 6 through 10, the school offers a highly engaging academic program following American-based standards and best instructional practices. Students also attend specialist classes in Art, Music (general music, band, piano and strings), Physical Education, Technology and Spanish.  High school students may choose from three options - the IB diploma, the American or the Ecuadorian diploma. School-wide support services include English as a Second Language and a Special Education Program to support students with mild disabilities.  The needs of highly able students are met through differentiated instructional practice. 
Academia Cotopaxi is recognized by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education and is a member of the Association of American Schools in South American (AASSA) and of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB).  The school is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/Advanced Ed). 
Ecuador is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world and offers excellent travel opportunities with its Pacific coastline beaches, the Andean mountain range, Amazon rainforests, and the world famous Galapagos Islands. Quito is a beautiful city, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, with a historic center named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a population of 2,200,000. At 2,850 meters (9,350 feet), it is the second highest capital in Latin America.  
(Grades 3-5 and 6-8)

Key Areas of Responsibility:
The Principal is the educational leader of his/her division who promotes the success of all students by:
  • Working collaboratively as a member of the Leadership Team to assure overall organizational excellence in service to the mission and strategic plan
  • Facilitating the development, articulation, implementation and stewardship of a vision of learning that reflects best practice educationally and is supported by the school community 
  • Leading the planning and implementation of the division’s curriculum content and performance standards
  • Advocating, nurturing and sustaining a learning community supported by appropriate professional development opportunities 
  • Ensuring management of the division, its operations and resources for a safe, efficient and effective learning environment
  • Acting with integrity, fairness, and care, in an ethical manner with respect for diversity
Qualifications and Skills:
  • Possess relevant advanced graduate degrees and administrative certification 
  • Previous experience in a leadership role in a comparable sized institution
  • Contemporary knowledge of current educational research, important trends, innovations,  and best practices
  • Experience in and adaptable to living in a multi-cultural environment and working with a diverse community
  • Interest in learning Spanish and Ecuadorian culture
  • Excellent  interpersonal and communication skills, enjoys connecting with others
  • Successful experience as a teacher and/or leader in relevant grades with a solid understanding of the developmental needs of students from Grades 3-8, their parents and families
  • Experience in leading other educators towards innovative instructional practices, including active leadership for technology integration, and faculty supervision and evaluation
  • Demonstrated experience as an instructional leader, including standards-based curriculum, digital citizenship, service learning, project-based learning and other best practices
  • Familiarity with Primary Years Program and promoting inquiry-based learning
  • Successful experience in working collaboratively and communicating effectively with diverse community
  • Creative, alternative thinker, open to new ideas and different perspectives, solution-focused, risk-taker
  • Able to bring laughter, appreciation, and joy to difficult situations
Duties and Responsibilities:
School Faculty & Staff 
  1. Promotes a climate of collegiality with the faculty, staff and students by encouraging ideas.
  2. Communicates often with the division faculty and staff in an effort to facilitate collaborative decision making at the division and school wide level.
  3. Conducts formal and informal observations and evaluations of the faculty and staff following the school’s guidelines and policies.
  4. Promotes specific professional development activities for faculty & staff within the school’s guidelines.
  5. Plans and implements a master schedule which ensures that each  student receives the full benefit of the available programs
  6. Provides for the most effective and efficient utilization of the faculty and instructional aides who are assigned to this division.
  7. In conjunction with the general school orientation, conducts effective orientation programs for all new and returning faculty that promote the school’s Mission Statement and shared values
  8. Approves and coordinates special activities and projects.
  1. Develops positive rapport with the student body while maintaining an orderly environment conducive to learning.
  2. Ensures that discipline is carried out in a constructive, fair and educational manner. a. Develops and implements discipline policies and procedures in conjunction with the school faculty. b. Communicates discipline policies and procedures to students, faculty and parents.
  3. Establishes and implements appropriate standards for student safety.
  4. Promotes a sense of school community through the use of school assemblies and other activities.
  5. Involves students in the operation of the school where appropriate.
  6. Affirms and oversees procedures for the maintenance and security of accurate student records.
  7. Participates as a member of the Student Referral Team and as a member of the School’s Admissions Committee.
  8. Conducts effective orientation programs for all new and returning students and their parents in conjunction with the general school orientation.
Curriculum Development and Instructional Practice 
  1. Serves as the instructional leader of the division, and leads implementation of contemporary teaching and learning practices, technology integration, and 21st Century skills
  2. Creates opportunities for faculty and staff to develop curriculum together, to engage in collective inquiry, to use data to plan for instruction, and to learn from one another.
  3. Supports the Curriculum Director’s work in developing and implementing curriculum. a. Working with faculty and the Curriculum Director, plans, organizes and oversees the development, implementation and evaluation of a curriculum focusing on student learning through the collection and interpretation of student data, including results of standardized testing b. Ensures that the school's curriculum development guidelines are appropriate for the students served.  c. Provides for the vertical and horizontal articulation of the curriculum throughout the  Intermediate School in alignment with the School’s Mission and Core Values. d. Establishes and oversees procedures for evaluating student progress on a regular basis and reporting progress to students and parents.
  4. Plans, organizes and oversees the development and implementation of the division’s counseling program and curriculum, which ensures that each student receives the support he or she needs to gain the most from the division's programs.
  5. Oversees the administration of all testing programs conducted.
  6. Assures the implementation of school improvement initiatives, based on the Strategic Plan and the annual School Improvement Plan.
General Responsibilities
  1. Serves on the Director’s Leadership Team, collaborating effectively with all members of the team to ensure that school-wide services and programs such as finance, operations, maintenance, health services and transportation are effective for all.
  2. Supports the After School Activity Coordinator’s role as it relates to the Division
  3. Assists in the recruiting of faculty and other employees as the need arises.
  4. Plans and implements a two-way communication structure that ensures that students and parents are kept current on major issues and have input in the decision-making process.
  5. Plans, organizes and oversees the development and implementation of division-level emergency procedures that are coordinated with the school wide emergency  procedures 
  6. Ensures a clean, healthy and safe learning environment  a. Supervises the maintenance of the divisional facilities, and collaborates with identification and reporting of facilities issues across the entire school plant.
  7. Engages in the activities that are necessary to maintain the school’s accreditation.
  8. Prepares and manages the division’s budget.
  9. Attends Board meetings and orientation programs as needed.
  10. Attends PTO sessions as needed.
  11. Provides general supervision as needed in the division.
  12. Coordinates the ordering of educational supplies and materials.
  13. Seeks to improve personal professional competence through  participation in relevant professional growth activities 
  14. Informs the Director of major developments in the division.
  15. Performs other duties as assigned by the Director or designee.
Salary and Benefits:
The initial contract is for 3 years, renewable by mutual agreement.  A local contract will need to be signed at arrival to the country per Ecuadorian regulations.
  • Salary is competitive with good savings potential
  • Yearly allocation for Professional Development
  • Annual Housing Allowance with basic furnishings provided
  • Retirement plan 
  • Tuition for up to two (2) dependent children 
  • Shipping Allowance
  • Travel Allowance 
  • Re-signing Bonus 
  • Annual Home Leave 
  • Local health insurance policy with international provider 
  • Life Insurance 
  • Long Term-Disability plan 
  • SuperMaxi cash bonus card 
  • Interest-free vehicle loan 
  • Bereavement, maternity/paternity and sick leave


Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Robert Barlas is the author of the Teaching Overseas Handbook.