Middle School Principal at Nishimachi International School in Japan
Japan < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Middle School Principal
Nishimachi International School (Japan)

Nov 18, 20
Dec 13, 20

School Details

Nishimachi International School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational day school founded in 1949 to provide an excellent education for expatriate and Japanese children. Nishimachi's educational philosophy is grounded in a spirit of internationalism and humanism that allows children to learn in a supportive caring environment. The program extends from Kindergarten through Grade 9. We provide students with an education in English and a minimum of one lesson per day in Japanese which helps our students not only in their language skills but also develops international perspective and understanding. Nishimachi has an outstanding reputation both internationally and within Japan.


The campus is located in central Tokyo and is comprised of seven buildings: The Matsukata House, the Ushiba Memorial gymnasium/auditorium, the Kindergarten building, the elementary building housing grades 1-2, and the upper elementary/middle school building housing grades 3-9, the Yashiro Media Center and the newly renovated Green Building.

The Yashiro Media Center contains a library of 20,000 volumes, 65% in English and 35% in Japanese.

A new building was added to complement Nishimachi's outdoor education center, Camp Rioichiro Arai, in May 2011. It is located in Kazuno in Gunma Prefecture, 150 kilometers northwest of Tokyo.

Position Qualifications

Job Title: Middle School Principal
Position to Begin: 2021-22 School Year
Responsible to: Head of School
Working relationships: Works in collaboration with Executive Leadership Team (ELT*) and the Principals’ Team (PT*), and all faculty and staff
*ELT: Head of School, MS Principal, ES Principal, Dir of Business Operations
*PT: Head of School, ES Principal, ES Assistant Principal, MS Principal

Job Summary:
The Middle School principal is a senior-level leadership position that requires initiative, creativity, and a collaborative spirit to ensure global best practices in teaching and learning are implemented across the Middle School. Responsibilities include ensuring the educational advancement, public image, and growth of the MS, exercise supervisory responsibilities for the organization and administration of the overall MS program, following the educational philosophy of Nishimachi International School, and promoting the policies and regulations established by the Board of Directors under the direction of the Head of School. The MS principal is responsible for leading curriculum improvement, professional development, teacher evaluation, and management of the educational program budget for grades 6 to 9. Additionally, Nishimachi International School is currently planning for an expansion into a high school. Experience with transition management is helpful.

Please send a cover letter and resume, addressed to Karen O’Neill, Head of School through the Search Associates portal. If you do not have an account with Search Associates, please send this directly to koneill@nishimachi.ac.jp

Position packet PDF please click here.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Advanced degree in educational leadership
  • Demonstrated leadership experience as a divisional principal in a MS of similar size, or assistant principal in a middle school of 300+ students, or other leadership roles.
  • Minimum of four years of relevant experience in a middle school and international setting
  • Understanding and experience with U.S. Common Core standards-based teaching and learning
  • Collaborative, effective, and pragmatic skills as an administrator
  • Thorough and demonstrated understanding of and love for working with Middle School students with great energy, warmth, and humor
  • Approachable and open to feedback with the ability to be discerning and discreet. 
  • Experience with managing and empowering colleagues
  • Strength in building and maintaining connections and community between colleagues, divisions, parents, and students
  • Well-versed in and committed to equity and inclusion practices with experience in guiding students, colleagues, and parents in their growth in these spaces
  • Enthusiastic community-builder and connector — highly visible and engaged around school and within the local community
  • Effective, efficient, and thoughtful communicator with the willingness to engage in difficult conversations with candor and tact

Skills and Knowledge:

  • Commitment to a student-centered approach to teaching and learning
  • Knowledge of current student assessment practices for middle school students
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to synthesize the ideas of others, and to facilitate team building
  • Proven ability to prioritize work challenges, to capitalize on opportunities, and make plans to achieve outcomes
  • Commitment to a growth mindset about students, teachers, and parents
  • Knowledge of and ability to lead others in implementing current and emerging trends appropriate in K-12 education
  • Ability to connect and communicate effectively with parents and the wider school community

Specific Responsibilities

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment – responsible for:

  • Maintain a consistent school-wide approach for teaching and learning in the MS division.
  • Enable and inspire teachers to effectively use formative and summative assessment to enhance learning outcomes.
  • Provide direct support on both a needs-based and proactive basis to teachers and teams to maximize learning for all students.
  • Work with subject teams to identify and support curriculum, instruction, and assessment for their units of learning

Well-being and Pastoral Care - responsible for:

  • Organize and lead middle school-wide student assemblies
  • Provide leadership, guidance, and direction for pastoral structures such as Advisory in middle school
  • Collaborate with teachers and counselors on matters related to student discipline and student protection
  • Collaborate with students, families, and teachers on recurring or major student matters
  • Lead, supervise and/or oversee middle school events, such as dances and field trips

Operational – responsible for:

  • Work with other members of the Educational Leadership Team and Principals’ Team to drive the school’s strategic initiatives forward.
  • Ensure that all teachers have equitable access to the available support and resources. 
  • Collaborate and coordinate efforts with the Director of Learning and the Director of Digital Learning to provide an integrated approach to curriculum, instructional delivery, and assessment.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Benefits upon request.

Guiding Statements

Our Mission: To develop learners and leaders who know, care and take action to bring value to others and to make a positive impact on the world.

Definition of Learning: At Nishimachi, learning is a complex process that transforms our understandings, attitudes and approaches.

Nishimachi Learner Expectations - All members of the Nishimachi community, including students, teachers, support staff, parents and the larger community, are part of the continuous process of growth and learning. We are all learners; we all realize the value of the following expectations for learners:

  • We make connections: We cultivate meaningful connections between people, cultures and ideas.
  • We take ownership: We take initiative, we explore our own questions and accept responsibility for our actions.
  • We pursue challenges: We take risks and persevere.
  • We act ethically: We respect differences, are empathetic and work to find solutions on a global and local level.
  • We are creative: We use multiple processes to think, innovate and reflect.

Nishimachi Graduate Statement: Nishimachi learners will know, care, and take action to bring value to others and make a positive impact in the world. They will do this through ethical actions and leadership that empowers and inspires others, and through strong collaboration and communication. They will think flexibly and resourcefully and be proactive, reflective, and accountable for the decisions they make. They will think globally, understand other cultures, value differences, and show compassion.

Faculty and Student Body

There are 61 faculty members from all over the world. Our teachers come to Nishimachi with an average 8 years of experience and remain at Nishimachi on average for 10 years. Of the current staff, approximately 52% have advanced degrees.

Current enrollment is 475 students (ES 355; MS 120) representing 38 countries. The largest groups are from the U.S., Japan, and Australia. Approximately, 50% of all students hold dual or multiple passports.


The school features a unique, rich international curriculum taught in English based on the U.S. Common Core standards. Our mission is to educate students to be leaders, innovators, and motivated thinkers who will contribute to a diverse and changing world. The program is complemented by music, physical education, art, drama, exploratory, service learning, and outdoor education programs. Environmental education field trips for grades 4 to 8 are held during the year at the school's lodge and campsite “Kazuno”, and students in Grade 9 have a number of challenging learning activities, such as climbing Mt Fuji, visiting Kyoto and Hiroshima, and participating in a service-learning trip to Kirivorn School in Cambodia. Grades 2-5 participate in off-campus swimming programs and grades 4-9 have 3 or 5 days of ski school in Niigata. We also offer an optional summer school program. The school year begins in late August and ends in June.

Governance and Accreditation

The school is a non-profit foundation governed by seven directors and fifteen trustees. It has been fully accredited by by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since 1986 and the Council of International Schools (CIS) since 2006. The accreditation by CIS and WASC is based on a self-study and the report of a visiting evaluation team. The study systematically evaluates the total school operation by involving the faculty, staff, students, and community. It also provides a common international evaluation criteria link with schools in the United States, in Asia and the Pacific as well as schools in Australia and Europe. Nishimachi is also a member of the Japanese Council of International Schools (JCIS), EARCOS, AAIE, and WIDA.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Ray Sparks's over 30-year career as an educator has involved working in Canada, Europe, and Asia.