Primary School Principal at American International School of Lusaka in Zambia
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Primary School Principal
American International School of Lusaka (Zambia)

Appointed - Darlene Huson
Sep 4, 2015
Sep 18, 2015

The American International School of Lusaka (AISL)

Lusaka, Zambia

seeks an

Primary School Principal

To begin July 2016


AISL Vision and Mission:

Inspiring Excellence. Encouraging Compassion. Creating Leaders.

The American International School of Lusaka is a diverse community that embraces Zambian and global perspectives to inspire students to achieve academic excellence and become successful, lifelong learners and leaders who are confident, compassionate, well-­-rounded, responsible world citizens. 

School Profile
The American International School of Lusaka (AISL) is a co-­
-educational independent day school founded in 1986. AISL is a US-­-Embassy sponsored school that is governed by a seven member Board of Directors representing parents all of who are members of the AISL Parent Association.  The Director is responsible only to the Board and only through official action by the Board in session.  The General Assembly of the Association meets once a year in September.

Accredited by the Council of International Schools and the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, AISL serves children of expatriate and Zambian families. Students’ families are employed in the diplomatic, NGO, local business, farming, mining and tourism industries.

As an IB World School, AISL is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to administer the IB Primary Years Programme (Pre-School-­- Gr. 5), the IB Middle Years Programme (Grades 6-­-10), and the IB Diploma Programme (Grades 11&12). Grade 11-12 students may select from a range of IB certificates and may earn a US accredited High School Diploma.

AISL consists of a Primary School and a Secondary School each with a principal, a part time assistant principal, and part-time IB coordinators (IB PYP, IB MYP, IB Dip) serving as the instructional leader. AISL is an active member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA). 

The academic year includes a minimum of 180 instructional days in two semesters. The first semester begins in early August and ends in mid January. Semester II begins in mid-January and continues until early June, closely following the North American school calendar.


AISL is proud of its international student body enrolling 580 students who are 3-18 years of age representing over 46 different nationalities. Currently, 301 students are enrolled in the Primary School (Early Learning Center and Kindergarten–Grade 5), while 279 students are enrolled in the Secondary School (Grades 6-­-12).  

Faculty, Administration, and Staff

Currently, 69 faculty members representing 16 different nationalities serve the AISL school community.  The Primary School consists of 29 faculty and 19 teacher assistants. AISL is fortunate to have a long-­-serving and deeply committed administrative staff, teacher assistants, and support staff. 

The structure of leadership at the school consists of the educational leadership team (director, the primary and secondary principals and three IB Coordinators) and the operations leadership team (director, the primary and secondary principals, the business manager, the admissions/ communications manager, the operations/security manager, and the information technology manager). A shared leadership model (coordinators, department heads, special assignments, etc.) is employed throughout the school.  


AISL has world-­-class facilities located on 23 acres of beautifully manicured gardens in the African countryside. The facility includes 48 classrooms, 3 swimming pools, a Performing Arts Center, 3 computer labs, an Early Learning Center, a full size Gymnasium, and newly constructed Secondary School Science Labs.

Lusaka, Zambia

Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. One of the fastest-­-developing cities in Southern Africa, Lusaka is located in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,300 metres (4,265 feet). As of 2010, the city's population is about 1.7 million. Lusaka is the centre of both commerce and government in Zambia. Zambia has experienced political stability for the past two decades. English is the official language of the city, but Nyanja, and Bemba are also common.

If you’re out to experience the ‘real’ Africa, Zambia is that diamond in the rough. The country boasts some of the continent’s best safari parks, and shares (with Zimbabwe) some of the region’s major highlights: Victoria Falls in Southwestern Zambia, Lake Kariba as well as Lower Zambezi National Park in Southeastern Zambia. It is also an angler’s dream, as fishermen hail from all over the world to try their luck on the mighty Zambezi River with the hopes of landing a toothy tigerfish or the rare, giant vundu. Avid birders also flock to Zambia to glimpse its fabulous diversity of birds, most notably Chaplin’s barbets.

In all of its natural beauty, Zambia is still a part of the developing world and with that comes challenges. Be prepared for occasional power cuts, water shortages, and an inconsistent Internet connection.

Quality primary health care is readily accessible. AISL provides professional educators with a membership to a local international standard clinic, an international healthcare policy (TIE), and medical evacuation insurance.

As a general guide, professional educators live in comfortable housing, own a vehicle, travel widely and stay for a quite a few years.

Title:  Primary School Principal 


  •  Possesses a MA, M.Ed, Ed.D, or Ph.D.  and current qualification/certification in administration or educational leadership.
  •  Experience as an elementary / primary school principal or assistant principal.
  •  Committed to team building and collaboration.
  •  Displays advanced level of intercultural sensitivity, international-mindedness, and engagement with host country cultures
  •  Highly effective communicator
  •  Critical thinker, creative problem-solver, transparent decision-maker
  •  Inspirational leader who achieves balance between a results-orientation and a people-orientation.
  •  Ability to provide informed instructional leadership - aware of current best practices in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, particularly in the context of the IB PYP.
  •  Strong management skills, including ability to prioritize and delegate.
  •  Actively models use of technology that enhances communication, organizational operations, and school improvement efforts.
  •  Comfort with living and working in the developing world.

Reports To: School Director


Job Purpose: The Primary School Principal provides leadership of the Primary School ensuring the delivery of the highest possible quality of education to students. The Primary School Principal is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day management of the Primary School, which includes administering systems and routines to support effective operation of the school.


Performance Responsibilities: 

Academic/Instructional Leadership

  • Set the academic vision and ensure alignment with the IB PYP.
  • Provide for the review, development, monitoring, and evaluation of the secondary school’s curriculum.
  • Ensure that student performance data is used to improve educational programs and student learning.
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of the secondary school master schedule that meets student and programmatic needs.
  •  Ensure appropriate balance, rigor and support for academics, arts, activities, athletics and service learning programs. 


Student Experience

  •  Monitors and manages student attendance and behavior.
  •  Supervises the maintenance of student records.
  •  Ensures the effective provision of student support services in the Primary School- Special Educational Needs, Counseling, English as an Additional Language, Instructional Coaching, etc.
  •  Oversees the delivery of the Primary School After School Activities Program. 
  •  Oversees the coordination of Primary School assemblies, school exchanges, and school trips.


Human Resource Management

  • Assign, organize and monitor primary school faculty and staff for greatest effect in realizing the AISL vision.
  • Supervise and evaluate primary school faculty and staff in accordance with the AISL Appraisal process.
  • Convenes regular professional development activities for and meetings with the primary school faculty.
  • Convenes a Primary School Leadership Team on a regular basis.
  • Assist and support the School Director in the recruitment of primary school faculty and staff.
  • Supervises the securing of substitute teachers


Fiscal Responsibility

  • Assist the Director in developing the budget as it relates to the support and development of the Primary School.
  •  Monitor budget lines associated with the Primary School.


Facilities Management

  • Ensure that the primary school physical plant is properly maintained and appropriately developed.
  • Communicate recommendations to improve the primary school facility that will enhance student experience and the delivery of school programs.


 Communications and Community Relations

  • Provide clear protocols and processes to ensure there is regular, quality communication between school and home.
  • Oversees primary school admissions.
  • Work with parents in a dynamic, thoughtful and proactive way.
  • Promote the school locally, nationally, and internationally.



  •  Serves on the Educational Leadership Team and the Operations Leadership Team.
  •  Assumes other responsibilities associated with a Primary School Principal assigned by the Director.


Compensation and Benefits
AISL offers an initial contract term of two years (renewable). The remuneration package is commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and is competitive within Africa. Benefits include housing, utilities, comprehensive health insurance, retirement contribution, professional development allowance, annual home leave, transportation at the beginning and end of contract, a shipping allowance, and tuition benefits for up to two Pre-School – Grade 12 dependents.

Application Procedure

Interested candidates should send an application no later than September 18th. The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received). Search Associates will select semi-finalists, and the Primary School Search Committee will invite 2-3 finalists to AISL to interview and meet with stakeholders in the community.  The Search Committee hopes to make an appointment by the end of October.

Candidates should note that, in the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, AISL reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadlines mentioned above and to bring the search to a close. For this reason interested candidates are encouraged to apply at the earliest possible time.

Applicants should send the following in single pdf file. Total document size should not exceed 3 mb, if possible.

  1. A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the position of Primary School Principal at the American International School of Lusaka, not to exceed two pages.
  2. A statement describing your leadership style, not to exceed one page.
  3. A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
  4. A one-­-page list of references (3-5) with current addresses, phone numbers and email addresses
  5. A maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession

Applications should be emailed to:

Ralph Jahr  - and

Bridget McNamer –


Additional information about AISL can be found on the school’s website at


Consultant’s Comments

A few years ago, a previous Head of AISL wrote “It is a gem of a school in Africa, with a strong culture of learning, in a safe, friendly and peaceful country” and that remains true today. AISL is a well-run school and has just gone through the CIS reaccreditation process, with a positive report expected soon.

Technologically, AISL is a very progressive school and has one of the largest Apple Mac IPAD installations in Southern Africa. AISL is also a regional IB training center.

AISL has developed strong connections to the broader Zambian community through the use of unique facilities (430-seat theatre, full-size gym, two 25 meter swimming pools), as well as through an extensive community service program.


Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Bill Turner’s international teaching career has taken him to Sudan, Italy, Qatar and the UAE as well as his home country of England. His very first teaching position was in rural Sudan.