Superintendent at Cebu International School in Philippines
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Cebu International School (Philippines)

Appointed - Dr Gwyn Underwood
Sep 13, 2015
Nov 20, 2015

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES - Leadership Re-Launched



Cebu International School (CIS), Cebu, Philippines, seeks a principled, ambitious and innovative Superintendent effective July 01 2016, enthused to lead the School in consolidating its position as the centre of excellence in the Cebu City community, and motivated to nurture its sound financial status.

Cebu International School

Cebu International School is a co-educational day school, with grade levels from Pre-School 3 (3 year olds) to Grade 12. Founded in 1924, originally as the Cebu American School, it has served the host country and expatriate community for 90 years. Cebu International School is a non-stock, not for profit, registered corporation in the Philippines, and is governed by a Board of Trustees elected from the parents who are registered Corporation members. The student body is represented with over 23 nationalities with the top 4 coming from the Philippines, Korea, North American and Japan. There are approximately 340 enrolled for the upcoming school year.


The mission of CIS is to recognize and nurture potential, and empower all members of its community to have a positive impact on our changing world.



CIS will proudly be able to celebrate its place in the international education arena. Our students will be globally competitive and empowered to have a positive impact on a changing world. We envision a collaborative, safe and supportive school environment with a strong culture of high achievement. What we think, say and do will be guided by universal moral values.

Key Role

As the CIS Board of Trustees’ Chief Executive Officer, the Superintendent is the responsible leader of the School, nurturing the educational and financial operations of the School, within the frameworks of its International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes, and of business objectives set by the Board of Trustees. The Superintendent is expected to consolidate the sense of community among the CIS community’s constituents.

Location and School Community

Cebu is the “Queen City of the South” which means that it is the principal city in the southern region of the Philippines and the regional centre for the Visayas-Mindanao. Cebu International School is located north of the downtown city centre, in a spacious area located in Pit-Os. Cebu has an international airport and is a popular tourist destination, therefore direct international flights into Cebu come from Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.

The CIS community is made up of both host country and expatriates, with nearly 40% coming from a predominantly Filipino background, with a number of the children in these families holding both Filipino and another country’s passport.

Governance and Management

A ten-member elected Board of Trustees, of whom the majority must be residents of the Philippines, governs the School. The Superintendent is responsible for the operation of the School, reporting on it to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees sets CIS policy, which the Superintendent must implement.

Faculty and Enrolment

Cebu International School offers a stable work environment hiring both host country and expatriate faculty. In addition to the Superintendent, the School currently employs 28 expatriate teachers/administrators and 21 host country teachers. Of the 340 enrolled students, 40% are significantly Filipino (either Filipino passport or dual Filipino passport holder).

Campus and Facilities

CIS is located in Pit-os on 4 hectares and has lovely views of the hills covered in lush vegetation. Running along the boundary on one side of the school grounds is the local river, and we have a small garden area used as a mangrove nursery and herb garden. There are two major buildings, plus an open-air gym, two playgrounds and two swimming pools, a field and ample parking spaces. The campus is completely wi-fi accessible and, except the gym, air-conditioned, with classrooms, art rooms, science laboratories, computer rooms, libraries, dance studio, music practice rooms, clinic and cafeteria etc. The facilities are extensive and the CIS website ( has photos that reflect the range of facilities on the campus. The site is completed gated with security in place for 24/7.

Curriculum and Accreditation

CIS is fully authorised to offer and implement the IB PYP and the IB Diploma Programme. The Council of International Schools, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Philippine Accrediting Association, accredits CIS.

School Improvement Plan (Strategic Plan)

The school’s improvement plan is tied to the accreditation recommendations and also to the identified needs of the school.  CIS is scheduled for a Preparatory WASC/CIS Visit in April 2016 and, after that visit and in the 2016-2017 SY, the current three-year Strategic Plan will be revised and a new one developed.   The current Strategic Plan goals are centered on the following:

  • Governance:Through their demonstration of a solid understanding of good governance, the Board of Trustees will develop structures for themselves and the school to ensure continuity of leadership and the long term financial health of the school.
  • Teaching and Learning:  Through the use of the best practices in curriculum, assessment, instruction, and professional development we ensure students receive a quality international education.
  • Community Relations:Through building collaborative partnerships we strengthen the idea of being responsible to the rest of humanity, caring for each other, the service ethic and the environmental ethos of our school community.
  • Finances:Through sound fiscal management the long-term health of the school is assured and the corporation is able to address current and future program as well as plant needs.
  • Human Resources: Develop a plan to address the issue of remuneration of faculty to be more commensurate with that of quality international schools in SE Asia in order to recruit and retain high quality teachers and administrators.
  • Facilities and Resources: Through a commitment to effective management we will ensure the efficiency and cost effectiveness of all school services, the quality and safety of all facilities, and the fiscal sustainability of the institution.
  • Technology:Through a commitment to providing the most up-to-date and effective technological tools for teaching and learning, we will ensure our students, faculty and staff have the knowledge, understanding and tools necessary to accomplish the tasks they need to accomplish to excel in their academic pursuits.

Superintendent Profile...

a.         Qualifications

  • Masters Degree in Educational Administration, Educational Leadership or equivalent

b.        Required Experience

  • Teaching and administrative credentials.
  • Experience in an administrative capacity in an international school.
  • Demonstrable personal and professional commitment to the ethos of the IB Programmes and the IB Learner Profile.
  • Experience in recruiting/retaining high quality teaching expatriate and host country staff.
  • Proven experience of sound financial management in schools.
  • An advanced degree (MA or higher) in educational leadership.           

c.         Preferred Experience

  • Previously the Head or Deputy Head of an IB programme international school offering at least one of the IBPYP and IBDP.
  • A history of successful classroom teaching experience.
  • Demonstrable experience leading schools to academic excellence
  • Experience in curriculum development leadership
  • Familiarity with accreditation processes.

d.        Personal Skills and Attributes

  • An infectiously energetic and committed team leader, reliable, positive in outlook and an enabler by nature.
  • Focused on student learning, confident and goal oriented.
  • A pragmatic, versatile, and creative entrepreneurial innovator, principled in implementing solutions.
  • Proactive in analyzing, planning and implementing strategic action.
  • Consultative in style, leading responsibly and responsively, through empowering the team yet to take balanced but difficult decisions.
  • An inclusive, articulate communicator who listens to and hears community members and their concerns and is able to address concerns and solve problems.
  • A visionary with the ability to embrace the bigger picture while paying appropriate attention to detail.
  • A nurturing leader, open, communicative and participative 

Salary and Benefits

CIS offers an attractive salary and benefits package for the new Superintendent. Salary will be negotiated with the successful candidate. Benefits include paid housing, full comprehensive international medical insurance, moving allowance expenses, annual round trip flight, private use of school provided car, free tuition for dependent children and generous annual professional development.

Application Procedure

Cebu International School has appointed Gez Hayden of Search Associates to act as Lead Consultant in the search for the new Superintendent. The deadline for applications for the position is November 20, 2015. Applicants should follow the procedure below.

  • Candidates are asked to submit to Gez Hayden a letter of application 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 and the Board of Trustees will interview finalist candidates in Cebu. They will have the opportunity to visit the school and meet with faculty, parents, students, and support staff. The new Superintendent will be selected immediately after the conclusion of the site visits and final interviews.
  • Candidates should send the information listed below as a single Microsoft Word (NOT PDF) file attached to an email. This format allows the Consultant to form a single file of application and references, for the review of the Search Committee.
  1. A 1-page maximum letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Superintendent position at Cebu International School.
  2. A 2-page maximum statement describing your management and educational philosophy.
  3. A current résumé not to exceed two pages, with photograph (small file size)
  4. A 1-page list of references with current addresses, phone numbers and email addresses
  5. Total document size must not exceed two (2) MB. Applications should be sent to Gez Hayden directly, at  

Please e-mail as a SINGLE MS Word File. Applications comprising separate documents will not be considered.

Before a contract is signed with any candidate, he or she will be required to undergo a medical check and appropriate police and background checks.

The Board of Trustees of Cebu International School reserves the right to appoint a candidate before the application deadline has elapsed, should this prove desirable.


Job Description


Reports to: Board of Trustees, Cebu International School.

Key Job Objective:

To contribute to the growth and profitability of the school by directing, administering, organizing, executing, and coordinating the various operational related activities to support academic goals within the frameworks of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes as well as business objectives set by the Board of Trustees by performing the following duties and responsibilities personally or through the subordinate staff :

Leadership / Strategic Planning

  • He/she shall be the chief executive officer of CIS, with the right to speak (but not to vote) on all matters before the Board.
  • He/she shall be responsible for carrying out, representing, and articulating the mandates implicit in the CIS Mission & Philosophy.
  • He/she shall be responsible for developing and proposing long-range planning and strategic goals, proposing new initiatives and policies, and, following Board approval, implementing the actions necessary to achieve them.
  • He/she shall be the instructional leader of the school and strive for educational excellence by ensuring that modern curricula are provided and approved with programs developed in line with IB expectations and guidelines, high standards of achievement insisted upon, superior faculty and staff recruited, retained or terminated, and school facilities safe, well-maintained, and appropriate to the school’s educational goals.
  • He/she shall be responsible for organizing and executing the efficient administration and overall operation of the school in accordance with educational, financial, and legal requirements.
  • He/she shall manage and direct members of the school faculty; ensure that faculty members effectively guide, coordinate, and execute the operations and activities of the educational system; secure their assistance in formulating internal objectives, plans and programs; evaluate their job performance; and offer advice and support.

Superintendent and Board of Trustees Relations  

  • Attends all meetings of the Board of Trustees, and reports/is accountable directly to the Board of Trustees.
  • Prepares the agenda for Board meetings in consultation with the Board Chair.
  • Keeps the Board informed of the condition of CIS’ educational standards and accreditations.
  • Prepares and submits recommendations to the Board relative to matters requiring Board action, placing before the Board such necessary and supporting facts, information, and reports as are needed to ensure informed decisions.
  • Submits to the Board a clear rationale for any procedure or action, which would involve departure from established policy.
  • Maintains and acts as custodian of comprehensive school records, including financial accounts, business and property records and documents, personnel records, student scholastic records, and Board papers.
  • He/she shall carry out policies, school regulations, and such other tasks as are entrusted to him/her by the Board of Trustees.
  • Is entitled to act on his/her own discretion in emergency situations or in the absence of established Board policy, provided such action is reported to the Board as soon as practicable and is not contrary to law.
  • Ensures effective communication between the Board and the faculty/staff;
  • Executes all decisions of the Board of Trustees.

Financial Management

  1. Submits to the Board a clear rationale for any procedure or action, which would involve the expenditure of substantial, unbudgeted funds.
  2. Ensures that CIS funds, finances, and physical assets are properly administered and safeguarded.
  3. Oversees the development and implementation of appropriate budgetary procedures; assists with the preparation of the annual proposed operating budget, and submits it to the Board for discussion and approval. 

Faculty / Staff

  • Defines or approves the duties/responsibilities of all teaching and non-teaching personnel.
  • Delegates authority commensurate with the faculty/staff member’s responsibilities.
  • Ensures that the school is staffed efficiently and effectively to deliver high quality educational programs, curricula, and auxiliary services.
  • Coordinates, guides, and delegates the activities of the school faculty/non-faculty members in an atmosphere of collaboration and support.
  • Oversees the regular appraisal of all teaching and non-teaching personnel.
  • Listens to the concerns and suggestions of the teaching/non-teaching school staff ensuring issues being raised are attended to on-time and providing feedback, may it be favorable or unfavorable.

Student Welfare

  • Ensures the school provides a safe and secure environment that fosters and maintains all traits essential in building character driven behaviors for all students and CIS staff.
  • Maintains the culture of providing equal opportunity for each student the essential facilities needed for academic success.                                          
  • Promotes parent-school collaboration for the student’s academic advancement and personal development.
  • Revisits all emergency preparedness plans regularly.

 Community Relations

  • Establishes and maintains positive relationships and public relations with members of the CIS community and other community groups with an interest in the affairs or educational programs of the school.
  • Cultivates a harmonious and a trustworthy relationship with school parents giving them the assurance of a fair opportunity to be heard.
  • Leads and participates in fundraising efforts/campaigns as determined by the Board of Trustees.
  • Represents the school in dealings with other school systems, professional organizations and associations, colleges and universities, business firms, local government agencies, and the general public.
  •  Works with auditors, attorneys, consultants, contractors and other parties as appropriate.
  • Receives and addresses concerns, comments, or complaints concerning the school from CIS employees, students, school parents, Board members, and members of the public.
  • Promotes a positive image of the school within the CIS community as well as within the local and greater Cebu area.
  • Responds to the concerns of school parents, staff and students, and liaises with the people most knowledgeable about particular concerns in seeking solutions to problems.
  • Promotes the understanding of the IB curriculum framework through regular meetings with parents.


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.