Principal / Head of School at International School of Africa in Djibouti
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Principal / Head of School
International School of Africa (Djibouti)

Appointed - Mr. James Anderson
May 21, 18
Jul 2, 18


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Search Committee of the International School of Africa in Djibouti, Djibouti, we are pleased to announce that Mr. James Anderson has been appointed as the Principal/Head of School beginning in August 2018.

Mr. Anderson is currently an Educational Consultant / Teacher Trainer serving second language learners worldwide. He has also held administrative and teaching positions in Azerbaijan, Taiwan, Russia, Kuwait and in the USA.

His academic preparations include a BS from the University of Georgia, and a MEd in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Mr. Anderson will be accompanied by his wife Lesi Anderson who was recently Director of Curriculum at the European Azerbaijan School in Baku, Azerbaijan. Lesi has also worked for many years at other international schools.

The International School of Africa Board of Trustees, the ISA Search Committee and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in the Head of School position, and to everyone who assisted and supported the search process.

Ralph Jahr and David Cramer
Search Associates



International School of Africa

Djibouti, Djibouti

Seeks a

Principal / Head of School

Beginning August 2018


The School, City, and the School Community

The International School of Africa (ISA) is a private Pre-K – 7th Grade school serving international, diplomatic and host country students. The school is located in a newly developed residential and commercial area just outside of Djibouti city, the Capitol of Djibouti. Situated in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti’s strategic location hosts a number of expatriates from around the world. The United States, Germany, France, Italy, China, and Japan all have a military presence in Djibouti. Djibouti's status as a model of stability in an otherwise volatile region is one of its greatest assets.

 ISA Mission Statement

The International School of Africa (ISA) is a community of learners with a focus on preparing students for college and careers. Our goal is to inspire and empower students to excel both academically and socially by embracing diversity while preparing them to be productive citizens and future leaders. ISA strives to provide a nurturing and safe environment which fosters a rigorous and technology based academic curriculum that encourages students to have a world view and to become lifelong learners.

Description of the academic program / curriculum / grade levels and accreditation status

ISA curriculum is fully in place for grades Prekindergarten through grade 7. It follows the American Common Core standards and is taught primarily in English. Arabic and French are also used as part of ISA’s tri-lingual orientation of instruction. As a newly opened school (2016), the accreditation process has been initiated and may take several years to complete.


Faculty and Staff

For the 2017-2018 school year, 10 faculty members taught at ISA. The majority of the faculty have advanced degrees and currently represent a diverse background of experiences from the U.S., France, Lebanon, Uganda, Yemen, Egypt, and Djibouti. ISA is creating an active professional learning community where faculty members can collaborate, plan and discuss professional development activities. 

ISA Students

Approximately 20% of the student body are US citizens. The student body numbers approximately 200 with 17 nationalities represented.

ISA Facilities

  • 20 classrooms (64m² each) fully equipped with interactive board
  • 1 indoor playground for Kindergarten students
  • A standard football field with artificial grass
  • A big shaded core area
  • 1 canteen
  • A 2-floor administration building
  • 2 Buses for students and faculty transportation
  • Books and uniform store
  • Nursery

Governance Structure

An Advisory Board of Trustees governs the school through private owners. The Chairman and two other board members are from the U.S. with requisite experience in teaching and administration at the K-16 level. The Advisory Board monitors school operations with zero interference in operational management.

Job Description of the Principal

The Principal is responsible for providing leadership to the International School of Africa’s work across Pre-K through Grade 7 and beyond as the school grows. He/she also ensures the achievement of the ISA Mission and implementation of a standard-based learning system. 

The Principal reports to the ISA Advisory Board and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school. Working with the administrative team, the Principal is responsible for developing effective policies, practices, programs, and activities that promote a learning environment that creates a safe and caring school climate that ensures cognitive, social-emotional, psychological, and physical growth and development of ISA students, as well as providing opportunities for continued professional growth for teachers and administrators.

Required Qualifications

  • An advanced degree (MA or higher)
  • Prior administrative and teaching experience
  • Evidence of building and successfully implementing a balanced school budget
  • Proven ability to manage and actively develop all teachers and staff

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience living and working in Africa
  • Proven experience recruiting and hiring quality international teachers
  • Experience in strategic planning and implementation in a third-world environment
  • Proven ability to work harmoniously with all stake holders: Board members, administrators, faculty and staff, students, parents, and other community members

Desired personal Characteristics

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Collaborative administrative style
  • Committed to student-centered, inquiry-based learning
  • Ability to make tough decisions
  • Openness to other points of view
  • Cultural openness, sensitivity, and understanding and enjoyment of other cultures
  • Creative in finding solutions with limited means
  • Consistently demonstrates honesty, integrity and compassion


Salary and benefits

The salary and benefits are competitive and will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. 

Procedure for Filing Application

International School of Africa (ISA) has appointed Search Associates as consultant in the search for a new Principal with Ralph Jahr and David Cramer being the lead consultants. The deadline for applications is 2 July 2018. Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials as early as possible as the Search Committee/Board of Trustees 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. The Search Committee will conduct Skype interviews of selected candidates soon after their applications have been received. Finalists will be selected by 20 July or before. Depending upon time and availability, a site visit may be scheduled for the finalist candidate(s) and their spouse. The new Principal will be selected immediately after the interviews of the finalist candidates have been completed.


Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file attached to an email:

  • A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Principal position at ISA.
  • A current résumé not to exceed two pages, addressing the desired professional qualifications as well as the desired personal qualities.
  • A one or two-page statement outlining your philosophy of education.
  • A one-page list of references with current phone numbers, email addresses and the position they held when you worked with them.
  • A maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.

Total document size should be kept to less than four (5) MB if possible.

Applications should be sent to: and to


Additional information about the International School of Africa can be found on the school’s web site at:


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