Upper Primary Principal at Hong Kong International School in China/Hong Kong
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Upper Primary Principal
Hong Kong International School (China/Hong Kong)

Oct 26, 22



This is an opportunity to lead the Upper Primary for one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious and well-established international schools, the Hong Kong International School (HKIS).

Founded in 1966, HKIS is one of Hong Kong’s oldest international schools, and it continues to set the standard in Asia for an American college-preparatory K-12 education. HKIS is home to approximately 2,880 students from over 40 different nationalities and 550 faculty and staff across two campuses in Repulse Bay (Lower and Upper Primary) and Tai Tam (Middle and High School).

About the role

Hong Kong International School seeks an Upper Primary Principal starting August 2023. The Upper Primary Principal is an educational leader who motivates and empowers faculty and staff to achieve the school’s vision to inspire a socially engaged community of collaborative, creative, resilient learners to reach their full potential by providing an exceptional educational experience for students from Grades 3-5. This vision is embedded within the framework of the HKIS mission, which recognizes the school’s Christian grounding and the cultural and religious diversity of the student body. To realize the vision, the Principal works collaboratively with schoolwide administrators, faculty, and parents to meet student needs, monitor progress toward school goals and foster a sense of community.


Recruitment, Supervision, Evaluation, and Development of Staff

  • Recruit and retain top quality faculty to ensure they are able to effectively carry out the mission and goals of HKIS and meet the unique needs of Upper Primary students.
  • Supervise and evaluate faculty to ensure student learning objectives are met through the ongoing improvement of best practices in instruction.
  • Provide leadership and support to develop teachers’ professional development in the best instructional and assessment practices through coaching, modelling, and in-service workshops.
  • Foster a sense of collegiality through effective team planning and decision-making, involving faculty in Upper Primary goal setting and planning. Develop the leadership capabilities of teachers so that instructional leadership becomes a shared responsibility.

Curriculum and Programs

  • Provide leadership to coordinate and support curriculum development and monitor the achievement of curriculum goals to ensure that learning outcomes are met and consistency across teams and between grade and subject levels is established.
  • Provide leadership for standards-referenced assessment and reporting tools and systems.
  • Ensure that the school’s Christian ethos and philosophy of service to others are embedded into the curriculum and program offerings.
  • Assess programs using student learning data to ensure they are effective and remain relevant for students, meet parent expectations and are in alignment with R-12 and schoolwide goals.
  • Set annual and long-range goals for program improvement, involve faculty in goal setting and motivate their efforts to ensure goals are met.

Community Relations and Development

  • Develop a strong sense of community within the Upper Primary and HKIS community. Maintain and nurture a positive school climate, where all students and employees feel valued and have the opportunity to be recognized.
  • Ensure timely and effective communication between the school and home about individual student progress and school goals.
  • Actively support extra-curricular activity programs and school events.

Financial and Facilities Management

  • Responsible for sound financial management including accurate budgeting for programs and capital expenditures.
  • Ensure fiscal accountability so that the school’s resources are effectively and properly allocated.
  • Assist the Facilities Management team in the management of the Upper Primary facility. Collaborate with the Facilities team in planning for short and long-range improvements and maintenance to ensure that the facility best supports students and their learning, faculty, and staff.

Other Responsibilities

  • Advocate and nurture a positive schoolwide culture conducive to student learning, collaboration, and staff professional growth.
  • Establish and monitor policies that promote methods and a culture that encourages student self-reflection, self-discipline and a sense of responsibility for behavior and decisions.
  • Demonstrate and model an appropriate work/life balance and encourage this with employees and throughout the school.
  • Contribute to and support schoolwide decisions. Engage others in advocating for supporting change in a positive manner.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Align systems, structures, and programs with the Lower Primary and Middle School to ensure consistency in practice;
  • Promote and support PreK-12 alignment and a one-school approach;
  • Work collaboratively with faculty and a large administrative team of forward-thinking professionals;
  • Lead the continued development of authentic, integrated units supported by unique, innovative learning spaces;
  • Develop innovative programs that promote choice and enhance opportunities for student leadership and performances;
  • Enhance the system of collecting and utilizing student data to inform personalized instruction.

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree or certification in educational leadership or administration;
  • Experience managing and supervising a team of 40+ faculty within a robust performance appraisal system; experience with performance-based compensation preferred;
  • Experience in a diverse school setting, with proven success working with a diverse student population from a variety of cultural, social, and religious backgrounds. International school experience an advantage;
  • Proven track record of implementing a major program change or initiative;
  • Experience in a church-related and American educational system preferred;
  • Solid conceptual and applied knowledge of current research and trends in education, particularly as it relates to Primary Schools;
  • Demonstrated success in working with teachers on continuous improvement initiatives.


  • A passion for the age group educated in the division and the ability to articulate their developmental needs;
  • Ability to develop a vision and translate it into actionable steps;
  • An effective supervisor with the ability to balance supporting employee growth with ensuring performance standards are being met;
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with an ability to prioritize and make sound decisions;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with an ability to develop positive and respectful relationships;
  • Conversant and practiced in various approaches to improving instruction;
  • Strength in curriculum development and evaluation;
  • Skilled communicator; highly developed ability to write for and speak to large groups, as well as interpersonal skills in listening and providing feedback, and in addressing and resolving interpersonal conflict;
  • Group leadership skills, including a repertoire of strategies for involving people in decisions and building teams;
  • Servant leader with a strong commitment to the mission and Student Learning Results;
  • An identity grounded in the Christian faith and an understanding of religious education curriculum and programs in Christian schools;
  • Understanding of Lutheran theology and its application to education is desirable.


  • Leadership (leading, deciding, initiating, taking action, supervising);
  • Collaboration & Teamwork (supporting, cooperating, building school climate and team spirit);
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills (relating, interacting, presenting, persuading, and influencing);
  • Vision & Strategic Planning (creative, innovative, forward thinking, change oriented);
  • Organizational Management (planning and organizing);
  • Ability to uphold HKIS’s Christian grounding and lead with Christian values;
  • Has a sense of humor and maintains and good work/life balance.

As a school grounded in the Christian faith, HKIS seeks candidates with a solid grounding in the Christian faith with a deep respect for the spiritual lives of all and a shared interest in the complex questions of faith and spirituality in an increasingly connected world.


Salary and benefits are very competitive and commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

How to apply

Interested candidates please visit our website (www.hkis.edu.hk) for application.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Diana Kerry was an international educator and administrator for 25 years in various countries, including Iran, France, Thailand, and Indonesia.