News: In Memoriam: Remembering Jim Ambrose, Past President of Search Associates - Nov 20, 2023
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Monday, November 20, 2023General News

In Memoriam: Remembering Jim Ambrose, Past President of Search Associates

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of a dear member of our Search Associates family, Jim Ambrose, due to a long-standing degenerative illness. Jim was a cherished friend whose contribution to our organization, as well as his profound impact on international education, will forever be remembered.


Jim played a vital role in the Search Associates family, joining us in 1997 to manage our Carmel job fair in California and oversee candidates from the West Coast. He subsequently served as President of Search Associates from 2009 to 2013. During his tenure, Jim played a pivotal role in shaping our mission and guiding our growth. In 2011, he made the selfless decision to step back from candidate registration, becoming an integral part of our Consulting Division, where he provided invaluable services to school boards, specializing in head searches, governance issues, and strategic/long-term financial planning.


Jim's journey in international education was both diverse and remarkable. He embarked on his career after earning his M.A. in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University in 1973 when he assumed the role of Principal at the Stavanger American School in Norway. His unwavering passion for international education led him to serve as a school leader in various countries, including Egypt, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Zambia.


In 1986, Jim assumed the position of Superintendent at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi, UAE, where he oversaw significant growth and development. Under his leadership, the school added a high school, achieved accreditation, and expanded following the First Gulf War. His dedication to education was acknowledged in 1997 when he received the prestigious "Superintendent of the Year" award from the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE).


Jim Ambrose's impact extended far beyond his role in school leadership. He was widely recognized for his expertise in school governance, contributing to educational resources and serving on the governing boards of organizations such as NESA, the International Educator (TIE), and the Commission of Elementary Schools, Middle States Association (CES-MSA). He was a sought-after speaker at professional conferences, a dedicated educator at the Principals Training Center (PTC) and the Academy for International Heads (AISH), and a trusted consultant to numerous international schools. His insightful articles regularly graced the pages of various publications.


Jim’s dedication to the field of international education and his unwavering commitment to Search Associates leave an enduring legacy. His wisdom, leadership, and passion have influenced countless individuals and institutions within our global community.


As we mourn his loss, we also celebrate the indelible mark Jim left on our organization and the world of international education. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.


Should anyone wish to donate in Jim’s memory, the following organizations were provided:


Jessica Magagna

CEO, Search Associates

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Harry Deelman was at various times headmaster of schools in a fascinating foursome of global cities: Buenos Aires, Rome, Dubai, and Bangkok.