Superintendent at International Schools Group - District Office in Saudi Arabia
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International Schools Group - District Office (Saudi Arabia)

Appointed - Dr. Michael Mack
May 11, 2018
Jul 31, 2018



Dear Colleagues and Friends,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of International Schools Group (ISG) in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia and the ISG Search Committee, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Mack has been appointed Superintendent of International Schools Group beginning in August 2019 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Dr. Mack is currently Superintendent of the Lakewood School District in Marysville, Washington, a position he has held since 2014. Prior to his current position, he was Executive Director of Human Resources for the same school district. Previous international experience includes the International School of Latvia where he was Director. He has also held administrative and teaching positions in the USA.

Dr. Mack earned his B.S. in Industrial Arts from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from Seattle University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Washington State University.

The Board of Trustees of International Schools Group (ISG), the ISG Search Committee, and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in the Superintendent position, and to everyone who assisted and supported the search process.

Brent Mutsch and Ralph Jahr
Search Associates






International Schools Group

Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia

is seeking a

Superintendent (Head-of-School)

Effective August 2019

Our Mission

The International Schools Group (ISG) is a not-for-profit organization of accredited schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offering a rigorous, world-class education across multiple operational divisions. At ISG,"We inspire innovation and compassionate action". This mission will be achieved through excellent programs implemented by dedicated professional educators in a safe and nurturing environment.

Our Learning Principles

  • Students learn best with voice and choice.
  • Learning is a reflective practice.
  • Learning requires a safe, collaborative environment.
  • Learning requires feedback for growth.
  • Learning inspires passionate engagement.
  • Learning from failure requires a growth mindset.
  • Appropriate challenge engages and motivates learners.

Our Core Values

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Acceptance
  • Commitment to Act

Our Assessment Beliefs

Purpose: The purpose of assessment is to improve learning.

At ISG we believe that:

  • The student is the first and most important user of assessment data.
  • Reflection is integral to deep learning.
  • Assessment should be aligned with adapted standards.
  • Feedback to students should be timely, targeted, accurate, actionable, ongoing, and embedded in the assessment process.
  • Assessments should give students opportunities to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
  • Creating and upholding structures that support teacher collaboration around assessment practices will enhance student learning

Our Profile of Graduates

  • Leadership - inspire and motivate others
  • Collaboration - purposeful and effective interaction with others
  • Individuality - self-development, confidence, and motivation
  • Open mindedness - embrace and respect diverse ideas to refine perspective(s), balance judgment, and inspire compassion
  • Balance - well-roundedness, focus, and sustenance of a healthy mental and physical lifestyle through an efficient and proficient use of time
  • Integrity - willingness and desire to do the right thing
  • Growth mindset - belief that talents may be learned and perfected through perseverance
  • Critical thinking - apply multiple perspectives and deep reasoning to real world situations

Our Schools

The International Schools Group (ISG) consists of three divisions: the American Division schools, of which there are three; the British Division schools, of which there are two; and the International Division, consisting of one school, is engineered to follow the U.S. curriculum.

ISG currently operates six individual schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enrolling approximately 4,500 students. Driven by the Mission, Beliefs and the Graduate Profile, ISG schools are learning-focused and student-centered.

The student population is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and represents more than 40 different countries. Both the American and British Divisions are staffed with primarily western-trained educators. The International Division delivers education to a diverse student population with an equally diverse faculty and staff that have been prepared through a variety of professional preparation programs.

Our Curriculum

American Division

The American Division schools (Dhahran Elementary/Middle School, Dhahran High School and ISG Jubail) follow a U.S. standards-based program inclusive of courses in English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Elective courses are offered at each of the schools and include offerings in: art, choral music, instrumental music, physical education, technology and world languages (Arabic, French and Spanish).

British Division

The British Division schools (Dhahran British Grammar School and Sara Village School) follow the British National Curriculum. Dhahran British Grammar School is organized into the Foundation Stage, Key Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4. Students are class-based while in the Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2. In Key Stages 3 and 4, students are engaged in specialist lessons. Specialist subjects include; Arabic, art, business studies, design technology, French, geography, history, information and communication technology, mathematics, music, PSHE (personal, social and health education), physical education and science. Key Stage 4 students (Years 10 and 11) take an IGCSE program of study leading to examinations in Year 11. Year 12 and 13 students may apply to sit the Cambridge A-Levels.

Sara Village offers a Foundation Stage through Year 6 program on the purpose-built BAE Systems residential community located south of Dhahran. Students completing the Sara Village program generally transfer to Dhahran British Grammar School.

International Division

The International Division, consisting of ISG Dammam, follows a U.S. curriculum with an integration of other subjects that meet the learning needs of a diverse student population.

Core courses include:

English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Students also choose from a variety of elective offerings. A distinctive element of the International Division is the commitment to the National Languages Program from which students have the opportunity to study Arabic and French.

Advanced Placement (AP) and AP Capstone Program

Dhahran High School and ISG Dammam offer a range of excellent Advanced Placement courses in high school. Our rigorous AP courses challenge our students to excel and allow them the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school. In addition to stand-alone AP courses, Dhahran High School also offers the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma. AP Capstone is an innovative diploma program that gives students an opportunity to apply critical thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and research skill in a cross-curricular context. To earn an AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn a 3 or higher on six Advanced Placement exams, including AP Seminar and AP Research. Students may choose the remaining four necessary AP classes from the additional AP courses that we offer.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

The Dhahran Baccalaureate Center (DBC) is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer the two-year program culminating in the awarding the IB Diploma. Students begin the program in Grade 11 (American Division) and Year 12 (British Division). In addition ISG Jubail has recentlybeen authorized and will begin offering the IB Diploma Program commencing in the 2018-2019 academic year. Successful completion of the program will lead to the IB Diploma which has served as currency for post-secondary options across the world.

The Faculty and Administration

The professional staff consists of 665 members at ISG. About 68% are locally-hired teachers and the other 32% come from predominantly the United States and Canada. There is a strong administrative team in place including principals in the Elementary School, Middle School and High School, as well as assistant principals, instructional coaches, curriculum support personnel, school psychologist, counselors and learning support professionals.

The Governance Structure

The ISG Board of Trustees is composed of up to thirteen members who represent various stakeholder groups and commercial companies within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Trustees serve two-year terms with the potential for serving multiple terms to ensure continuity in Board governance.

ISG Board member responsibilities for the District include:

  • Creating the structure which will provide the means for educational excellence across the entire organization.
  • Working collaboratively with the administration and community to develop a shared-vision for excellence at each of the ISG schools.
  • Adopting academic standards that when successfully achieved will provide students with multiple options for post-secondary education.
  • Ensuring that assessment systems are designed and implemented to measure academic performance and make the necessary adjustments to ensure continuous improvement.
  • Partnering with senior administration in the implementation of strategies that lead to mission-achievement.
  • Providing financial oversight to ensure that ISG resources and needs are aligned and balanced.

Superintendent Job Description

The International Schools Group Superintendent is the Chief Executive Officer of the organization and is expected to provide leadership to successfully achieve the mission of ISG within the framework of existing Board Policies. In addition to a collaborative working relationship with the ISG Board of Trustees, the Superintendent works with the entire leadership team to establish appropriate immediate, intermediate and long-term direction for ISG and the schools that operate within the organization.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees and all Board committees.
  • Provide expertise to the Board of Trustees in regard to governance and policy development.
  • Develop and cultivate positive relationships with local and national governmental entities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Create and cultivate strong relationships both within the ISG community as well as with organizations key to the success of ISG.
  • Supervise and evaluate curricular and instructional effectiveness as measured by student performance and ISG goals.
  • Engage in all fiscal management discussions and decisions and implement decisions in support of the strategic vision and plan for the school.
  • Recruit, develop and retain high quality faculty, staff and administrators.
  • Oversee all human resource functions of the organization with an emphasis on supporting continuous improvement within each operational entity.
  • Assist with all aspects of campus facilities planning and related financing.

Ideal Qualifications in the New Superintendent

  • Advanced education related degree
  • A minimum of five years of demonstrated success in leading an international organization to higher levels of achievement and success
  • Expertise in the development of organizational capacity
  • Strong knowledge of education curricula
  • Demonstrated understanding of financial management concepts and practices
  • International leadership experience preferred

Ideal Personal Attributes and Experiences in the New Superintendent

  • Personal qualities of integrity, fairness, transparency and trustworthiness
  • Embraces a collaborative leadership style
  • Ability to manage and work with a diverse team and build a coherent, strong and aligned team
  • Consistently visible and engaged with stakeholder groups
  • An excellent communicator with extraordinary interpersonal skills
  • Successful problem solver with a track record of success in multi-faceted organizations who is able to successfully handle conflict
  • Experience with and sensitivity toward multi-cultural environments
  • The ability to lead and manage a large, complex and multifaceted organization.

Salary and Benefits

The ISG Board of Trustees is committed to attracting and retaining a highly qualified candidate. Salary and benefits will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and will be highly competitive. The initial term of the contract will be a minimum of three years, but the Board's desire is to retain the Superintendent significantly longer.

Procedure for Filing an Application

ISG has appointed Search Associates to facilitate the search with Dr. Brent Mutsch and Dr. Ralph Jahr serving as the primary consultants.The deadline for applications is July 31, 2018. However, candidates are encouraged to submit a letter of interest and the requested material as early as possible as the Board reserves the right to accelerate the selection process if the right candidate is identified in advance of the application deadline. Semi-finalist candidates will be selected by Search Associates and the applications and supporting materials will be forward to the ISG Search Committee on a rolling basis. Candidates who wish to apply should submit the information requested below in the form and manner requested.

  1. A current resume not to exceed two pages.
  2. A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the ISG Superintendent position.
  3. A one or two page statement outlining your philosophy of education.
  4. A one page list of at least four references with current phone numbers and email addresses.
  5. A maximum of four letters of recommendation which you already have in your possession.

Final candidates (with spouses if applicable) will be invited to ISG in late September/early October and will have the opportunity to meet with students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators and the Board of Trustees. The new Superintendent will be appointed shortly after the interviews have been completed.

Please send all materials in a single pdf attachment to and

For further information about the International Schools Group please visit the schools’ websites:


Ralph Jahr                                                         Tel: 609-759-0431 USA – Pacific Time Zone

Skype – ralph.h.jahr                                           Email:


Brent Mutsch                                                      Tel: 970-368-6879 USA – Mountain Time Zone

Skype – brentmutsch                                           Email:

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.