Middle School Principal at International School of Busan in Korea
Korea < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Middle School Principal
International School of Busan (Korea)

Appointed - Mr. Nathan Swenson
Oct 7, 14
Nov 20, 14

Dear Colleagues,


I am delighted to announce that we have appointed both our new MS Principal and HS Principal. Please allow me to introduce our newest members of the BIFS family:


Our founding Middle School Principal is Mr. Nathan Swenson. Mr. Swenson will come to us from American International School of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) where he is the current Middle School Principal.  He has been an elementary and intermediate school principal in Minnesota for 10 years, and has experience as a federal programs administrator, district assessment coordinator, and curriculum director and has taught in elementary, middle and high school. Nathan is also currently an adjunct professor for St. Mary’s University in both their master’s level and administrative licensure programs. Nathan will join us in the fall with his wife, Amy, who is currently an elementary teacher at AISJ, and their 7th grade daughter.


Our founding High School Principal is Mr. Jamie Robb. Mr. Robb will join us from Kuwait, where he is the current High School Principal of the American International School Kuwait.  At AIS Kuwait, Jamie previously served in the roles of High School Assistant Principal and Head of Physical Education.  Prior to the move to Kuwait, he was posted as the School Effectiveness Lead (a position funded by the Ministry of Education for the Province) in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (Ontario, Canada).  Jamie has held Elementary and K-8 Principal positions in Canada, as well.  Jamie joins us with his wife, Karen, who is an elementary teacher at AIS Kuwait. Jamie and Karen have 3 boys, two of whom will come with them to BIFS.

Both Nathan and Jamie are excited and eager to be joining the BIFS community, and look forward to building relationships as they look to lead the Middle and High School divisions into our very promising future! Please join me in welcoming them to BIFS and Busan!


The future at BIFS is bright!




Kevin Baker

Head of School




seeks a

Middle School Principal

Effective July 2015


The School

The vision of Busan International Foreign School (BIFS) is for our students to develop and pursue their passions, to be successful and to contribute to a positive global future. To that end, BIFS is a diverse, supportive and dynamic international school that inspires and challenges students to explore, discover and thrive in the global community to which we belong. As a community we are “United in our Diversity, Thriving in our Individuality”.

To this end:

  • We are independent, non-profit and non-denominational with a diverse school community.
  • We provide a high quality, relevant curriculum that is continuously assessed, reflected upon and developed.
  • We create opportunities for students to maximize their learning potential.
  • We foster respect for the plurality of cultures.
  • We develop empathy through service to the community.
  • We understand that education is the shared responsibility of the wider school community.

Founded in 1983, BIFS, previously known as the International School of Busan (ISB), has a long history of serving the expatriate community in the greater Busan area. In 2010 the school moved to its current location in Gijang, an eastern suburb of Busan and part of the East Busan Tourism Zone. The new campus includes modern sports, technology, art, and music facilities.

Busan is the second largest city in South Korea. Located on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula, Busan is home to the country’s most popular beaches and beautiful mountainous landscapes. The expatriate community is growing as Busan is experiencing rapid growth in various industries such as transportation and shipping.

Busan International Foreign School is an IB World School with an authorized Primary Years Programme, candidacy status for the Middle Years Programme and is also authorized for the Diploma Programme for Grades 11 and 12. The BIFS is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Memberships include East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) and Korea Council of Overseas Schools (KORCOS).

The school currently has approximately 500 students, representing well over 40 different nationalities. BIFS offers early years education up to Grade 12. Students at BIFS take an active role in community service through fundraising and volunteer activities. Students also participate in international service trips as well as organizations such as Model United Nations and National Honors Society.


The Position

The Busan International Foreign School (BIFS) seeks an experienced and visionary educational leader to be its founding Middle Principal beginning in July of 2015.  Due to its growth, BIFS is separating out its combined Middle high school structure into two separate middle and high school divisions so that it can meet the developmental needs of its students and provide a structure for future growth. This is an exceptional opportunity for a forward-thinking internationally minded educational leader with a global perspective.

Organization and Governance

The BIFS is governed by a 10-member volunteer Board of Governors, which is comprised of qualified parents and members of the community. The Board of Governors responsibility is to establish and monitor policies for the school as well as ensure the Mission Statement and Vision remain the primary focus of the school. Under the leadership of our new Head of School, we are in the process of updating our strategic plan to ensure BIFS’ continued financial and educational success.  

The Middle School Principal will report directly to the Head of School and will serve as a member of the Senior Administration team.

Reporting to the Head of School, the Middle Principal will be expected to:

  • Celebrate, advance and be loyal to the mission and vision of BIFS
  • Demonstrate key attributes in line with the BIFS mission and vision
  • Ensure the continued development and improvement of the Middle School
  • Supervise the development and delivery of the School’s curriculum, especially as it applies to the Middle School
  • Assist the Head of School with any personnel matters
  • Assist with general administrative matters resulting in the effective operation of the School, especially as they relate to the Middle School
  • Develop, inspire, mentor, supervise and evaluate the Middle School faculty and staff to preserve high quality, consistency and innovation in the delivery of the program
  • Be a positive, collaborative and contributing member to the Senior Administration team
  • Possess a “student’s first” service mindset


Candidate Profile

Preferred criteria:

  • Advanced degree in education with an emphasis on administration, or the equivalent
  • A proven track record in educational leadership – demonstrated ability to be an innovative instructional leader as well as an effective manager – a builder and a positive change agent
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current educational practices for middle school aged students and public relations with parents and the wider school community
  • International Baccalaureate experience in an international school and passionate support for the IB philosophy, the IB learner profile and inquiry based pedagogy.
  • Experience as an administrator of a WASC and/or CIS accredited school
  • Prior experience as an educator
  • An overall management style characterized by teambuilding, appropriate transparency, approachability and support balanced by decisiveness and accountability
  • Proven ability as an innovative, results-oriented, self-motivated, energetic, creative problem solver and professional
  • A proven capacity to communicate orally and in writing to faculty, staff and parents with consistency, clarity and vision
  • The ability to multi-task, follow through, prioritize and delegate with confidence
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to reach out to many constituencies
  • Ability to build relationships and resolve conflict while preserving trust
  • Respect for and a keen interest in the local culture with a desire to be a “learner” and an active presence in the community
  • The ability to lead and work collaboratively with a talented team of teachers, administrators, and other school personnel
  • Evidence of an optimistic “can-do” attitude and the ability to work flexible hours outside the regular school day
  • Demonstrated ability to be decisive and to build trust with faculty and administrators
  • Experience in developing an outstanding faculty through recruitment, evaluation, and professional development
  • Experience with strategic planning, and program development
  • Demonstrated personal and professional integrity and a commitment to ethical behavior and leadership


Salary and Benefits

Busan International Foreign School invites applications from qualified candidates excited by its mission, vision and unique opportunities. Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with packages offered by similar international schools regionally and worldwide.


The new Middle School Principal of the Busan International Foreign School will assume responsibility during the month of July, 2015. Interested candidates should send an application at the earliest possible time but no later than November 20, 2014. (The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received.) Candidates should note that, in the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, BIFS reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline mentioned above and to bring the search to an early close. For this reason it is very important that interested candidates apply at the earliest possible time.

Candidates should send the information requested below. It must be submitted exactly in the form and manner requested. Please do not send any information other than that which is specifically requested here.

A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the founding Middle School Principal position at BIFS.

  • A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
  • A one-page statement outlining educational philosophy and leadership style.
  • A one-page list of references with phone numbers and email addresses.
  • A maximum of three letters of reference which may already be in your possession.

Please note that all the above materials must be scanned into a single PDF and sent in the same transmission to all of the e-mail addresses listed below. Also, please note that it is important to limit the size of your single PDF to 5MB.


With a cc: to



For further information about BIFS, please see the school’s website  www.bifskorea.org .

Did You Know…?

Search Associates responds to Child Protection recommendations with substantial changes to their candidate application. These changes will help us gather the most complete candidate profile possible, making the evaluation/hiring process for international schools more efficient and effective.