Director Search


Director Announcement

posted Oct 31, 2013, 8:52 AM by Suzanne, WARDINI   [ updated Oct 31, 2013, 9:50 AM ]

ISD Director Named

It is with great pleasure that the ISD Board of Trustees announces the appointment of Dr. Alan Knobloch as the next Director of the International School of Dakar, effective August 1, 2014.

Dr. Knobloch brings to ISD an outstanding record of accomplishment as an international leader and educator. His vision of 21st century student learning and his engaging communication style created immediate connections with members of the ISD community. He has the essential qualities, characteristics and experience to lead ISD to continued success in the coming years. 

It is an honor to be selected as the next Director of the International School of Dakar. ISD is a great school with a very promising future. It has wonderful students who are actively engaged both inside and outside the classroom. From discussions with the teachers and classroom visits, it is clear ISD has an exceptional faculty who along with the parents are committed to this remarkable school. My family is excited to join the ISD community.”

-- Dr. Knobloch

Dr. Knobloch brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from his roles as the Deputy Superintendent of the Shanghai American School in China, High School Principal at the Shanghai American School in China, Middle School Principal at the American International School in Saudi Arabia and Middle School Principal at the North Broward Preparatory School in the United States. He has also taught at several schools in the United States, as well as at the Singapore American School and at the American School of Niamey in Niger.

The appointment is the result of a rigorous, extensive and inclusive search process that included identifying the expertise, experience and characteristics needed of the next school leader, screening and interviewing a number of exceptional candidates and engaging the community in meeting and interviewing the final candidates. International recruitment firm Search Associates was a tremendous help throughout the entire process.

Thank you to the administration, faculty, staff, parents and students who contributed meaningfully to the Director search. You graciously welcomed our candidates, represented the wonderful character of our community and provided the Trustees with valuable insight and feedback. This process has reminded everyone what is special about ISD and has given us a wonderful opportunity to reaffirm our values and goals for our school.

The Board of Trustees has a transition team in place who will work closely with Dr. Knobloch, Interim Director Paul Olson, Elementary School Principal Ian Clark and Secondary School Principal Brad Bell, to ensure a seamless change in leadership in August 2014.

Dr. Knobloch, his wife and children will be visiting the campus in the coming months as part of the transition plan and we look forward to welcoming them to our ISD community. We are confident that he will carry on the work of Interim Director Paul Olson and lead ISD as we advance our mission to inspire students to become lifelong learners and responsible global citizens in a rapidly-changing world.

Sincerely,

ISD Board of Trustees

October 18, 2013

posted Oct 18, 2013, 6:03 AM by Suzanne, WARDINI

New Director Search Committee Update

Thank you to all the parents, faculty members, ISD students, and staff members who turned out to meet and interact with the prospective Director candidates over the past two weeks. We are fortunate to have had such strong candidates visiting our school and expressing a desire to be our next Director.

The Search Committee has received nearly 400 feedback forms and emails from faculty, staff, students and parents regarding the finalist candidates. Thank you!!! This strong level of community input strengthens the selection process and provides the Board of Trustees with a wealth of perspectives and insights as they hire the next ISD Director.

The Trustees have been carefully reviewing all of the feedback and interview notes. The Board of Trustees will be announcing the new ISD Director once we have a signed contract in place. We know there will be a thirst for information about the inner workings of the decision-making process, but we feel it is important to the selection process and the confidentiality of the finalists, that we keep that information private until we have reached a decision and agreement.

Thank you again for your involvement in this process. We remain committed to having the new Director named by the end of the month.

September 20, 2013

posted Sep 20, 2013, 8:42 AM by Suzanne, WARDINI   [ updated Sep 20, 2013, 8:53 AM ]

The Search Committee would like to thank the parents and faculty members who were able to attend the briefing we did this week on the search process, timeline, and how folks can help.  The feedback we have received so far has been very valuable and instructive and we look forward to getting more good ideas from the community (boardbox@isd.sn)

 The job opening officially closes today and the Committee will quickly be deciding which candidates we select for campus visits.  Stay tuned for an email on that next week.  In the meantime, included below are an updated MAILBAG section and a copy of the slide deck we presented at the parent and faculty briefings.


Mailbag:  Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

“How many finalists will be visiting ISD and when will we know who they are?”

In consulting with Search Associates (our recruitment firm) and those who have been through multiple Director searches in the past (our own Paul Olson), the consensus of the Committee was to aim for three finalists to come to Dakar for a two-day series of meetings and interviews.  We will finish the application and interview process the week of September 23rd.  The Search Committee will announce who are the folks visiting ISD that same week.

 “When will parents, students, faculty, and staff have a chance to meet the finalists?”

Very important question!  We are blocking off September 30th – October 11th on the schedule for the campus visit portion of the search process.  We have had to juggle the ISD school calendar (professional development days and the mid-October break) with our desire to have the top candidates come to ISD before other schools have a chance to hire them (!), while still continuing to meet our goal of having the new Director chosen before the end of October.  Details about campus visit process and information about how you can meet the candidates will be shared with the entire ISD community when they are finalized.  Stay tuned! 

“Wait, don’t we have a new Director now?”

Yes, we have a new INTERIM Director.  When the Director position became open in June, the Board of Trustees quickly tasked the Search Committee with finding both an interim Director and more long-term Director.  Our first priority was to find someone who could ensure that ISD was fully operational when our students, families, faculty and staff showed up for the Opening Ceremony. 

Within days of starting our interim search, we were fortunate to find Paul Olson who has brought years of experience and expertise running international schools with him to Dakar.  Unfortunately, Mr. Olson was clear with us from the beginning that he was not looking for a permanent Director position and would be returning back to the U.S. at the end of this school year.  This is why we are now actively engaged in the search for long-term ISD Director. 

“What are the criteria for selecting a new Director?”

Great question!   Based on “lessons learned” from past Directors, as well as the community feedback we have received, and the parent, student, and faculty surveys ISD conducted last year, the Search Committee developed a robust list of criteria that we are using in the search and evaluation of potential Directors.  Specifically, we are looking for candidates who have:

1.  Leadership experience in an international school setting at the Director or equivalent level position;

2.  Excellent interpersonal communications with key school stakeholders – students, staff, faculty, parents, Board of Trustees, and the larger community;

3.  Strategic thinker as it relates to marketing, accreditation, financials, budgeting and controls and strategic planning with the ability to set objectives and monitor progress;

4.  Highly effective management skills and experience, demonstrated team-building skills, and ability to inspire confidence and earn trust of faculty and staff;

5.  Extensive experience in financial planning and management, with the requisite skills to ensure, working collaboratively with the Board and staff, that the school’s assets are protected and adequately maintained;

6.  Proven educator with a steadfast commitment to ensuring the highest standards of educational excellence and with the expertise to guide the development and review of the education curriculum, as well as the growth and progress of the IB Program; 

7.  Track record of recruiting a talented teaching staff, as well as overseeing high quality faculty professional development;

8.  Willingness to be an “Ambassador” of the school in the community at-large and a willingness to embrace not only the host culture, but also all cultures from a learning opportunity perspective; and, who have a

9.  Experience living/working in developing country;

10.  Has working knowledge of French; and, who have a

11.  Higher education degree, M.A./M.Ed./M.Sc. or equivalent advanced degree.

“Why the rush to hire a new Director so quickly?”

The short answer is because we have to.  In consulting with Search Associates (our recruitment advisors), Interim Director Paul Olson (who has been through his fair share of Director searches himself), and various others involved in the search process last time, we learned that most Director candidates have already settled on their new post by mid-November.  The Committee felt it was important to be proactive and aggressive in reaching out to the “top tier” Director candidates – and not waiting until other international schools have had their say first.  Yes, that means this process is progressing quickly.  It also means that we are interviewing the best candidates in the job market before other schools have a chance to hire them.

(See “The Search Process Timeline” below for an overview of what happens when.)


The Search Process Timeline

                July – September 20th: Post job opening and receive applications
                August : Finalize evaluation criteria and process for selecting new director
                September: Evaluate received applications and conduct interviews with selected candidates
                September 20th 8:30 AM: PTO/Parent briefing on the search process (HS/MS Board Room)
                Late September: Select top tier candidates for campus visit to Dakar
                Early October: Conduct series of campus visits, give ISD community ample opportunities to interact with prospective candidates and offer feedback to the Search Committee
                Late October: Board of Trustees, in consultation with Search Committee, hires the new Director

Director Search Update

posted Sep 13, 2013, 6:26 AM by Suzanne, WARDINI   [ updated Sep 13, 2013, 6:30 AM ]

September 13, 2013

The Search Committee has spent this week continuing to conduct Skype interviews with those who have made the first round of selections. Those interviews will be completed next week as we look to settle on three final candidates who will visit ISD in early October. In addition to completing those Skype interviews, the Committee is starting to map out what those very important campus visits will look like and how best to collect the input and opinions of ISD community members.

The Search Committee will also be holding two briefings next week – one for faculty and staff on Tuesday afternoon and one for parents/PTO members on Friday morning (8:30 AM) – where interested members of the ISD community can hear more about the search process, timeline, and how folks can help. If you can’t make these meetings, you can always email us (boardbox@isd.sn) with any ideas, suggestions, or questions you might have.

Mailbag: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

“How many finalists will be visiting ISD and when will we know who they are?”
In consulting with Search Associates (our recruitment firm) and those who have been through multiple Director searches in the past (our own Paul Olson), the consensus of the Committee was to aim for three finalists to come to Dakar for a two-day series of meetings and interviews. We will finish the application and interview process the week of September 23rd. The Search Committee will announce who are the folks visiting ISD that same week.

“When will parents, students, faculty, and staff have a chance to meet the finalists?”
Very important question! We are blocking off September 30th – October 11th on the schedule for the campus visit portion of the search process. We have had to juggle the ISD school calendar (professional development days and the mid-October break) with our desire to have the top candidates come to ISD before other schools have a chance to hire them (!), while still continuing to meet our goal of having the new Director chosen before the end of October. Details about campus visit process and information about how you can meet the candidates will be shared with the entire ISD community when they are finalized. Stay tuned!

(See “The Search Process Timeline” below for an overview of what happens when.)

The Search Process Timeline
July – September 20th: Post job opening and receive applications

(NEW) September 20th 8:30 AM: PTO/Parent briefing on the search process (HS/MS Board Room)

August : Finalize evaluation criteria and process for selecting new director

September: Evaluate received applications and conduct interviews with selected candidates

Late September: Select top tier candidates for campus visit to Dakar

Early October: Conduct series of campus visits, give ISD community ample opportunities to interact with prospective candidates and offer feedback to the Search Committee

Late October: Board of Trustees, in consultation with Search Committee, hires the new Director

Director Search Update

posted Sep 6, 2013, 8:48 AM by Suzanne, WARDINI   [ updated Sep 6, 2013, 10:24 AM ]

September 6, 2013 Update

As our students are closing the books on their third week in school, the New Director Search Committee is already gearing up for mid-term exam time.  Following a thorough review of applications and resumes, we started the next phase of the search process this week by conducting a round of Skype interviews with selected candidates.  This interviewing will be ongoing for the next week or two as we continue to receive a considerable amount of interest in our Director opening.  All totaled, we have received 38 applications for the job posting, including three in the last two days. 

In an effort to keep the entire ISD community informed about what’s going on in the search process, we will be posting updates every week until a new Director is in place.  We will also be using this page to answer the questions we are receiving from interested students, faculty, staff, and parents (see “Mailbag” section below).  As always, feel free to email us (boardbox@isd.sn) if you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions about the search process.   

Mailbag:  Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

“Wait, don’t we have a new Director now?”

Yes, we have a new INTERIM Director.  When the Director position became open in June, the Board of Trustees quickly tasked the Search Committee with finding both an interim Director and more long-term Director.  Our first priority was to find someone who could ensure that ISD was fully operational when our students, families, faculty and staff showed up for the Opening Ceremony.  

Within days of starting our interim search, we were fortunate to find Paul Olson who has brought years of experience and expertise running international schools with him to Dakar.  Unfortunately, Mr. Olson was clear with us from the beginning that he was not looking for a permanent Director position and would be returning back to the U.S. at the end of this school year.  This is why we are now actively engaged in the search for long-term ISD Director.

“What are the criteria for selecting a new Director?”

Great question!   Based on “lessons learned” from past Directors, as well as the community feedback we have received, and the parent, student, and faculty surveys ISD conducted last year, the Search Committee developed a robust list of criteria that we are using in the search and evaluation of potential Directors.  Specifically, we are looking for candidates who have:

 §  Leadership experience in an international school setting at the Director or equivalent level position;

 §  Excellent interpersonal communications with key school stakeholders – students, staff, faculty, parents, Board of Trustees, and the larger community;

 §  Strategic thinker as it relates to marketing, accreditation, financials, budgeting and controls and strategic planning with the ability to set objectives and monitor progress;

 §  Highly effective management skills and experience, demonstrated team-building skills, and ability to inspire confidence and earn trust of faculty and staff;

 §  Extensive experience in financial planning and management, with the requisite skills to ensure, working collaboratively with the Board and staff, that the school’s assets are protected and adequately maintained;

 §  Proven educator with a steadfast commitment to ensuring the highest standards of educational excellence and with the expertise to guide the development and review of the education curriculum, as well as the growth and progress of the IB Program;

 §  Track record of recruiting a talented teaching staff, as well as overseeing high quality faculty professional development;

 §  Willingness to be an “Ambassador” of the school in the community at-large and a willingness to embrace not only the host culture, but also all cultures from a learning opportunity perspective; and, who have a

 §  Higher education degree, M.A./M.Ed./M.Sc. or equivalent advanced degree.

“Why the rush to hire a new Director so quickly?”

The short answer is because we have to.  In consulting with Search Associates (our recruitment advisors), Interim Director Paul Olson (who has been through his fair share of Director searches himself), and various others involved in the search process last time, we learned that most Director candidates have already settled on their new post by mid-November.  The Committee felt it was important to be proactive and aggressive in reaching out to the “top tier” Director candidates – and not waiting until other international schools have had their say first.  Yes, that means this process is progressing quickly.  It also means that we are interviewing the best candidates in the job market before other schools have a chance to hire them. 

(See “The Search Process Timeline” below for an overview of what happens when.) 

The Search Process Timeline

July – September 20th          Post job opening and receive applications

August                                      Finalize evaluation criteria and process for selecting new director

September                              Evaluate received applications and conduct interviews with selected candidates

Late September                      Select top tier candidates for campus visit to Dakar

Early October                          Conduct series of campus visits, give ISD community ample opportunities to interact with prospective candidates and offer feedback to the Search Committee

Late October                           Board of Trustees, in consultation with Search Committee, hires the new Director        

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