IST Head of School search information

About IST

The International School of Tucson is a pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade school with a strong language programme and a full-immersion preschool. It is a genuinely international school with 34 full-time staff from all over the world and 180+ children enrolled in one of four programmes (French, German, Spanish or Chinese) for language and culture, while Math, Science, Art and Music curricula are taught in English.

Ours is a young, dynamic school with strong international academic standards accredited by Cambridge Assessment International Education; we are one of 10,000 schools in 160 countries using the Cambridge curriculum to prepare our students for their future as citizens of the world.

IST is operated by a non-profit organisation and is a private, independent school in order to protect its vision, educational independence and international values. We ensure a diverse student population by keeping fees as low as possible and granting tuition assistance or raising scholarships for over half of our students.

IST also has a small on-site nursery with about forty under-3s to which faculty and staff have priority admittance.

About the position of Head of School

IST seeks a Head of School that embraces IST’s mission of “opening the world” for its students and is attracted by the innovation opportunities offered by a small but agile school and a dedicated community of faculty and families.

The Head of School:

  • Supervises all aspects of the school’s day-to-day running, including leadership, mentorship and evaluation of the faculty and staff, budgeting and oversight of financial controls, and and oversight of marketing and development activities.
  • Provides academic leadership in support of the Junior (Elementary) and Middle-school programmes.
  • Exerts oversight of the pre-school & nursery programmes with the assistance of the Preschool Director
  • Collaborates with broader Tucson communities as the public face of IST
  • Embraces IST’s mission of delivering a first-class international, language immersion education in Tucson.
  • Maintains regular reporting and open dialogue with the Board of Trustees

Starting Date: Priority consideration will be given to applicants available for the 2018/2019 academic year. Outstanding candidates interested in the position but not available until July 2019 are strongly encouraged to apply; an interim appointment for 2018-19 may be considered if a stellar candidate who is not available this summer emerges in the candidate pool.


  • A deeply held conviction of the value of bilingualism
  • A outward-looking personal philosophy aligned with our international ethos that values our place in the global family
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities in academics, managing a school community and mentoring staff
  • Prior successful administrative experience of a school (or section of a school) of commensurate size and budget.
  • Familiarity with the Cambridge curriculum (preferred) or other international education programmes
  • Willingness to commit to a 3-5 year contract
  • (If not a US citizen) Eligible for work visa

Compensation and benefits

Salary is in the range of USD$80,000-100,000 depending on experience and qualifications. Performance bonuses of up to USD$20,000 may be awarded for achieving agreed targets. Additionally:

  • Assistance with relocation will be provided.
  • A standard benefits package is offered.
  • Children of staff receive tuition-free admittance to the school, and discounted admittance to the nursery.
  • A work visa will be sponsored if the successful applicant does not have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

Note that Tucson has a below-average cost of living by US standards and ample affordable housing in the urban core (including the immediate school neighbourhood) as well as more rural settings.

About life in Tucson

A diverse and welcoming community, the Tucson metropolitan area is home to over one million people as well as the University of Arizona, a research university with more than 40,000 students. IST is centrally located in midtown Tucson, close to the University and Medical Center.

Tucson is a lively bike-friendly city with a vibrant arts community and is rare among US cities of its size in having its own symphony orchestra and opera, as well as an award-winning independent art-house cinema and a busy rock concert calendar. It’s also the 4th ranked US city in number of museums per capita covering everything from airplanes to wildlife.

Tucson’s rich agricultural history and culinary scene led to it being the first city in the US to be designated a UNESCO “World City of Gastronomy”. It boasts an excellent selection of coffee shops, brew pubs, food trucks and “the best 23 miles of Mexican food”.

Surrounded by mountains, Tucson is a popular travel and relocation destination thanks to over 350 days of sunshine a year, ample outdoor opportunities year round and national events such as the Tucson Gem Show, the El Tour de Tucson cycling race and the Tucson Festival of Books.

Inquiries and Applications

For further information or to apply please email If you are an applicant, please contact us by February 5th and include:

  • your CV/resumé
  • a short cover letter/e-mail explaining your interest in our school and how you feel you can best contribute to its mission

Three professional references will be requested for shortlisted candidates and will not be contacted without prior notification.

Receipt of your email will be acknowledged.