Since 2004, Search Associates has proudly represented The American College of Sofia (ACS), Bulgaria, one of the oldest American educational institutions outside the continental United States. ACS opened in 1860, and despite a 50-year hiatus during World War II and the subsequent communist period, the school has continued to provide a world-class college preparatory curriculum and produce graduates who can serve Bulgaria and the world. ACS President Dr. Richard Tucker Ewing, Jr. comments on the uniqueness of the school and its history:
"I feel privileged to be a part of this extraordinary school that has such a storied past, powerful new presence, and bright future … its creation during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire; its fateful move to Sofia; the visionary leadership of Floyd Black; the years of exile during WW II and the subsequent communist era in Bulgaria, when the ACS flame was kept alive by a devoted group of trustees, alums, and former school leaders; and the determined and joyous reopening of the School against all odds in 1992. Since then ACS has reestablished itself as one of the great schools in Eastern and Central Europe, with graduates sought after by top universities around the world."
Dr. Ewing describes ACS as "a green oasis within metropolitan Sofia." The campus, resting on 52 park-like acres, currently consists of six recently-renovated, Classical-style buildings, one building closed for renovation, and a brand new, modern Campus Center under construction, due to open early next year. Inside are 62 classrooms, three computer labs, three science labs, and a 415-seat theater (under renovation), a 180-seat concert hall, a student dormitory, a 1276-square-meter multi-purpose gymnasium, a rock climbing wall, a dance studio, and a fitness center. Also enhancing campus life are outdoor basketball courts and playing fields.
ACS is accredited by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science as well as the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The teaching staff of 89 is comprised of 61 from Bulgaria, 25 from North America, one each from the U.K., New Zealand, and Romania. Dr. Ewing describes his staff:
"In the almost two years I have now served as Head of School, I have been so impressed by my extraordinary colleagues here at ACS, so dedicated to celebrating that which is great and good in human knowledge and experience and to sustaining our school's commitment to character development and service as well as educational excellence."
Currently 800 mostly Bulgarian students are enrolled in Grades 8–12, with 2% from North America and the U.K. Students in Grades 8–12 have the option to board. In addition to participating in the Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) component of the IB Programme, students may enjoy other extra-curricular activities such as dance, theater, art, sports, hiking, camping, peer tutoring, and community service. About his students, Dr. Ewing exclaims,
"What an amazing group of young people they are: smart, hard-working, ambitious, thoughtful, poised, and extremely well-spoken."
ACS is interested in hiring singles, couples, and interns. ACS will also consider teachers certified in non-English speaking countries, newly-certified teachers with exceptional personal qualities, and outstanding, experienced teachers without certification. However, all teachers must hold an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching. Non-teaching spouses are welcome, but the school cautions that it would be difficult for them to find employment. Teachers need not be certified, nor is there an age limit to obtain a work visa in Bulgaria.
In addition to a moving allowance, benefits include an allowance for housing, utilities, and furniture. A full tuition benefit is provided for up to two children whose ages fall within the grade levels of the school. ACS covers airfare at the start of employment and then at the end of the two-year contract. An additional round-trip airfare for each additional year is awarded upon renewal of contract. Generous support for professional development is offered, and fully-covered health insurance includes worldwide coverage, emergency evacuation, dental, life, and long-term disability. Because of Bulgaria's reasonable cost of living, ACS's salary and benefits offers great potential for savings. The school has much to say about other special benefits:
"Our students … are unusually bright, curious and motivated; they routinely gain admission to some of the world's most competitive universities, and our teachers describe the experience of working with them as a career high-point … The College also offers … personal enrichment … and ready access to the cultural riches of Southeastern Europe."
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Please Note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.