Middle School Principal at American International School, Vienna in Austria
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Middle School Principal
American International School, Vienna (Austria)

Appointed - Dr. Jacob Dibbert
Jun 16, 2019
Sep 15, 2019

Dear Search Colleagues,

On behalf of The American International School  Vienna and their Search Committee we are pleased to announce that Dr. Jacob Dibbert has been appointed as Middle School Principal starting in August of 2020.  Jacob ( Jake ) Dibbert joins The American International School Vienna with extensive experience as a Middle School Principal, a role he describes as his passion. Jacob has served  at Middle School level as Associate Principal and Principal at American School in Dubai since 2010 and earlier  gained leadership and teaching experience in Dhaka, Brussels, and Hong Kong, primarily at elementary level. In his journey across Europe and Asia Jacob is accompanied by his wife Jennifer, an accomplished early childhood teacher, and their children Jackson, Peter, and Evelyn.

Jacob’s career in well established international schools received its foundation in his academic path which began at Luther College, where he earned a B.A. in Elementary and Special Education. An M.Ed. in Educational Leadership at the University of New England,  and an Ed.D. at Northeastern University further build these learning foundations that thereafter launched his international career. Throughout his work as teacher and leader Jacob continued to be a learner through professional affiliations and in program domains such as adaptive schools, the IB PYP program, systems and design thinking, and social entrepreneurship, to name a few.

Steve Razidlo, AISV Director, announced Jacob’s selection from a strong field of candidates as the unanimous choice of the school’s search committee, a decision that included the participation of Kathy Miner,  AISV’s incoming Director for 2020. AISV, the Search Committee, and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in the Middle School Principal position and to everyone who assisted and supported the search process.  


Dr. Gunther Brandt
Senior Consultant
Search Associates





AIS Vienna seeks a dynamic learning leader who is an exceptional communicator with experience in teaching and leadership at the Middle School level. AIS is a European international school with a rich history, and the Middle School Principal will join a leadership team, faculty, and students in implementing the values and ambitions embedded in the school’s mission. The successful candidate will further shape a vision for middle level education that sustains and enriches the unique developmental needs and aspirations of young adolescents.


  • curriculum experience with current best practice in teaching and learning
  • exceptionally skillful communicator, verbally and in writing
  • consistently fair and objective in relations and decisions
  • solution-focused, promotes design and project learning, innovation
  • experience with shaping advisories, pastoral care, advocating for student agency
  • demonstrated skills in staff development and growth
  • able to work collegially with a diverse and experienced staff
  • experience with standards-based assessment practices
  • knowledge of health, social-emotional learning, child protection
  • experience advocating for inclusion of diverse learners
  • working experience with diverse accreditation models, served on teams
  • technology skills in systems and applied in teaching and learning


  •  B.A. with teaching credentials
  • M.A.in Educational Leadership or related field, administrative certification
  • Five or more years of teaching experience at MS level
  • Leadership experience at MS level in international schools
  • Open to change, thinks in possibilities
  • Good listener, sees strength in diverse views.
  • Values-driven leader of high integrity
  • culturally sensitive, engages locally and internationally
  • balanced, resilient, sense of humor
  • proficiency in a second language, ideally German, though not required
  • international mind-set

School Information


The American International School · Vienna has served the international school community for 60 years. We offer comprehensive opportunities for learners from across the globe. We intentionally nurture students in an inclusive school environment, challenge them to strive for personal excellence through exploration of their passions, and foster respect through compassion for others and for our world.

AIS today proudly serves almost 800 students from Pre-Kindergarten (age 4) through Grade 12. Our student body represents nearly 60 countries, celebrating diversity within our school walls which mirrors the growing diversity of the planet and the world capital of Vienna. From classrooms to sports fields, from concert halls to volunteer outreach, each student develops intellectually and interculturally while practicing commitment, leadership, and meaningful self-reflection.

Set within the rich cultural context of Austria and beauty of the Vienna Woods, our students excel in a standards-based curriculum taught by talented, experienced staff. Students at AIS access rigorous learning opportunities, and are eligible for an IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma or standard U.S. High School Diploma. We maintain an excellent level of English, and provide both English as an Additional Language (EAL) and other supports for learners with specific needs.

AIS · Vienna recruits the best professionals, ones who are open to new ideas, care deeply about the students they serve, who continuously look for ways to improve their practice, and who are willing to contribute to the holistic student opportunities we provide. We offer a competitive package, including a generous professional development allowance. Should you be a candidate who wishes to work and play hard, who always looks for ways to meet the diverse needs of students, and who takes great pride in the job that you do, think about a career at AIS.


AIS is located in the Neustift-am-Walde area of Vienna, adjacent to the famous Vienna Woods (Wienerwald), and provides an instructional setting amidst the beauty of the surrounding hills, forest, and countryside. On our 11-acre premises there are seven interconnected buildings housing Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.

Overall, there are more than 70 classrooms, seven science labs, art studios, music rooms, four computer labs, two libraries, a theater, two gyms, a cafeteria, health unit, and a separate sports hall (which houses three indoor tennis courts or two basketball courts or ten badminton courts). There are various offices for counseling, the International Baccalaureate program, divisional offices, technology, and faculty departments. The exterior facilities include a soccer field (with additional “fun court” for various track & field activities), a running track, two elementary playgrounds, and an outdoor amphitheater.


The School is governed by a 10-member Executive Board, eight of whom are elected by the Parents' Association that sponsors the School, one who is appointed by the U.S. Ambassador, and the Director (ex-officio). Membership in the Association is automatically conferred on the parents or guardians of children enrolled in the School. The School is incorporated under Austrian law and is affiliated with the Office of Overseas Schools, U.S. Department of State. The Executive Board sets general policies and is responsible for hiring the School Director, who oversees the operations of the school.

Leadership Team and Roles

The Middle School Principal serves on the greater Senior Leadership Team, along with the Elementary School Principal, High School Principal, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Events Office, Director of Admissions, Director of Development, Business Manager, Human Resources Manager, and Director of Technology.

Middle School

The Middle School years are a time of significant physical, emotional, and social changes for young adolescents. The Middle School program includes Grades 6, 7, and 8, and is designed to help students be successful through this period of adjustment and transition. Our veteran faculty is organized in teams and class sizes are small enough so that students are able to receive individualized attention.

Middle School is a time for students to explore their interests and develop their talents. It is a time when they are discovering who they are and who they want to be. Our academic program allows for students to make choices about what electives they want to study. Our co-curricular program is inclusive and designed to stretch student interests and support risk-taking.

Parents are frequently contacted with updates on their child's progress. Report cards are issued each trimester, with parents and students able to monitor progress through the online grade book. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for October, with student-led conferences taking place in early June. Parents are encouraged to keep in close touch with teachers via email, telephone calls, or personal contact. Teachers meet frequently to discuss the needs of individual students, as well as to plan course content so that the curriculum is accessible for each student and the transitions are as smooth as possible.

Our Middle School program is based on the American system, but with an international flavor.

Core subjects include Language Arts, Transition Mathematics and Algebra, Humanities, Social Studies, Science, and Modern Languages including German, Spanish, and French. We have strong programs in the arts and music, computing, and health and physical education. English as an Additional Language is offered for students whose native language is not English. Most students in the Middle School take German every year, from beginner to native speaker levels.

Co-curricular activities include interscholastic soccer, basketball, track and field, volleyball, cross-country, and softball. Students are also encouraged to join in the play, student council, chorus, band, and strings. Exploratory courses in computing, sports, dance, knowledge bowl, art, badminton, and sewing are also offered.

A typical student takes English, Science, Math, Social Studies, Physical Education, German, and a mixture of required and elected courses such as health, computing, music, drama, and art. The exact course titles vary from grade to grade. French and Spanish are available for students in grades 7 and 8. Classes meet on alternate days for 75 minutes.


Our program is divided into fall, winter, and spring seasons. Each season we offer competitive programs for our Middle and High School students. Students interested in playing on a team need to attend a ‘try out’, which is held for each sport at the beginning of the season.

Coaches are encouraged to be as inclusive as possible without compromising the program. It is important to remember that this is a competitive program; placement on a team cannot be guaranteed.

AIS competes in the International Schools Sports Tournaments (ISST) for High School, the Sports Council for International Schools (SCIS) at the High and Middle School levels, and the Danube Valley Athletic Conference (DVAC) for Middles School ‘B’ teams.

Important information such as travel details, game schedules, coach contact information and tournament information can be found on our Teams and Schedule page. For a Navigation Guide to this page please click here.

For a year view of all MS/HS Athletics and Activities please click here.

Athletics, Activities and Events are under the responsibility of the Events Office Team.


Participation in the Arts contributes to the total success of the student. Although a quality product is often inherent in artistic endeavors, it is the process itself that is the primary focus.

We believe that it is through direct and personal participation in the process of creating art that lasting involvement and appreciation emerge

Student Life

After School Activities (ASA)

The ASA program is fee-based and offers a wide variety of activities for all students but is particularly aimed at Elementary School students. We offer 30 different activities, some with multiple opportunities to attend. Registrations are done online and currently there are about 500 students taking part in the program. Many of the instructors are AIS teachers or staff members. Instructors are paid directly by the students with a portion of the profits being paid back to the school.

Academic Activities

The HS offers academic teams in Robotics, Knowledge Bowl, Math Team, and Speech and Debate. In the MS, Robotics, Math, and Speech and Debate are offered. The teams meet weekly during their two-month season and take part in an end-of-season competition. The coaches receive a stipend based on the amount of time required in each season, and all teams are coached by AIS teachers.

Service Learning Activities

Service Learning centered activities are offered in the HS. They include the Environment Club, NHS, Amnesty Youth International, Romanian Children’s Relief and Habitat for Humanity. These activities meet regularly, and students are committed to attend and support them. In addition to the Service Learning activities, AIS also has an extensive Service Learning program within the MS curriculum. Each grade level in the MS has a grade level leader and a yearlong project.


In the HS there is currently a Chess club, an Economics Club, a Venturing Club, a Rainbow Club, as well as many others. These clubs meet less frequently, and attendance is not mandatory. The clubs are student-driven, although a faculty member acts as a sponsor. Students are given the opportunity to start their own clubs under the guidance of the HS Principal.


The American International School of Vienna (AIS) has appointed Search Associates as a consultant in the Middle School Principal Search, with Dr. Gunther Brandt as the Lead Consultant. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2019
. Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the required materials as early as possible and the AIS search committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is found. The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received, and candidates should send the information listed below in a single PDF FILE attached to an email:

  • A letter of application describing your interest in the Middle School Principal position at AIS, listing your strengths as a candidate and how your qualifications and experience align with the profile of the desired candidate.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages
  • A one-page list of at least 4 (four) referees who have been your direct supervisors, with current phone and email addresses
  • A maximum of three letters of reference scanned at low resolution that may already be in your possession

The Total DOC size should be kept at less than (4) MB if possible. Applications should be sent to

admin@searchassociates.com and to gbrandt@searchassociates.com

Interviews for finalist candidates will include visits to the AIS Campus. 

Did You Know…?

Search Associates is a family-owned business founded by John Magagna, former international educator. After working with her father for ten years, daughter Jessica Magagna is now CEO.