Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vacancy for new Principal

seeks a
effective January of 2009/10 school year or earlier if available

Kodaikanal International School is one of the oldest and most distinguished international schools in India, with an educational history going back to its foundation in 1901 as a school for the children of missionaries. It remained predominately a mission school until the 1970s when, as a result of changing demographics in India and within the mission communities, it changed its focus and became an independent, co-educational international residential school. The Christian heritage of the school defined the ethos of the new school, as did its location in India, even as it broadened its focus to recruit an intentionally international, multi-cultural and diverse staff and student body. The curriculum was also redesigned to prepare students from India and other countries for further studies in colleges and universities around the world. The vision and mission of the international school was defined in the “Project Design” of 1974, which was further refined twenty years later in “Design ‘94” and stands today as the statement of the mission, philosophy, goals and objectives of KIS. In addition to having a well-established reputation in India, KIS has a worldwide alumni body that continues to be interested in and supportive of the school.

KIS was the first school in India to introduce the International Baccalaureate and is also accredited by the Association of Indian Universities and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in North America. Seventy five percent of KIS graduates go on to colleges and universities around the world.

Education is offered from KG to grade 12 for approximately 625 students. While the majority of students come from the sub-continent and south Asia, they represent a wide diversity of economic, religious and national origins, normally between 30-35 nationalities are represented in the student body. There are 130-140 professional staff that come from countries around the world including Canada, England, Germany, India, Spain, Sweden, Bhutan, Netherlands, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Tibet and the USA. The student / teacher ratio in the high school is 8 to 1. The majority of teaching staff hold advanced degrees. Even more than the international curriculum, it is the richness of the cultural mix of students and staff that gives KIS its international dimension.

KIS prepares students for college and for life. The School offers a wide range of regular IB and college preparatory courses as well as courses relevant to its distinctive location in India and in response to the interests of its multi-cultural student body. A wide variety of extra curricular activities provide a cultural and social environment where students learn respect for each other and develop a greater appreciation for cultural traditions of their own and others. All KIS graduates go on to college, normally 80-90% continue their higher education in universities outside of India.

For more information on the School, visit the website

Kodaikanal International School is an autonomous residential school with a broad college-oriented curriculum, serving young people from a wide diversity of cultures. The School's academic program is intentionally set within a community life based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and devoted to service in India and the whole human community. (Design ’94, p2)

KIS is located in the town of Kodaikanal at 7,000 ft. in the Palni Hills of South India. It is served by two major airports - Coimbatore (four hours by car) and Madurai (three hours by car). The School has two main campuses - the centrally located campus of 13 acres for the high school and the 30-acre campus for elementary and middle school. Dormitories and staff residences are also located within easy walking distance. There are extensive facilities to enrich the academic and residential programs including dormitories, more than 75 classrooms, well-equipped science and computer laboratories, playing fields, tennis courts, auditoriums, art studies, 2 libraries, a modern health centre, a gymnasium and a 100-acre outdoor education and camping facility forty kilometers from the school.

The first semester of the school year runs from July-November and, after a six-week break; the second semester runs from January-May.

The School is a not-for-profit organisation and is registered as an Association under the Companies Act of the Government of India. It is governed by an independent Council of Directors responsible for overall policy, financial matters and strategic planning.

The broader educational context is that of continuing change in private and international education in south India. With globalization and economic growth, more Indian parents are seeking high-quality education and new schools are being built, a number of which are offering international programmes. These schools are often commercial ventures supported by Indian business houses. At this time, therefore, Kodaikanal International School exists in an environment of growing competition in which it both faces challenges but also has significant advantages. The school is well-established, but needs leadership in clearly securing its position in the changing educational market place, in setting up and institutionalizing a strategic planning culture and in building a strong development programme.

In 2004 the Council decided to increase the upper limit of the student body to 600 as part of a strategy to survive in the competitive environment of International School education in India. Over the last four years the school has worked toward achieving this objective and the student numbers have now stabilized at between 600 and 625. There is a high demand for admission to the school from both national and international families. During the same period the financial stability of the school improved significantly.

Staff turnover is at levels that would normally be associated with a school which has a significant number of international staff. The school has a large investment in infrastructure and continues to improve and add to this. In addition, dorm space is planned for on the Ganga Campus and we are awaiting planning approvals. A Master Plan for improving existing facilities is also being prepared.

The position is a very demanding and challenging one that will suit an experienced educator who is able to embrace the distinctive character of this unique institution and give effective leadership. The successful candidate will be able to work with the Council to articulate a clear vision and plan for the future, within the context of Design ’94, communicate it effectively in the school and the wider community, and have the leadership and implementation skills to put plans into action over the coming years. The candidate will have the full support of the Council and the alumni body in this endeavor.

The Principal of the School is the chief executive officer and, under the Council, is responsible for all aspects of the management of the school, including students, programs, staffing, student services, finance and facilities. The Principal serves as Secretary to the Association and Council and is responsible for advising the Council and implementing Council policy. The Principal is assisted by the members of a senior management team of senior administrators consisting of the Dean of Student Services, Academic Vice-Principal, Director – Finance and Administration, and Chaplain.

The Principal will:
- Be responsible for the attainment of excellence in all aspects of the School’s work
- Serve as the educational and administrative leader for the School
- Ensure the smooth and efficient functioning and management of all aspects of the School
- Support and promote the Design’94
- Accept the School’s mission as defined in Design ’94 and successfully communicate it to Council members, parents, staff, students, alumni and the community and based on the strategic plans as approved by the Council of Management.
- Recruit and lead an international and diverse staff in delivering excellent educational, residential and financial programs.
- Be responsible overall for staff recruitment, development and evaluation
- Oversee student recruitment
- Oversee all property matters and legal issues
- Be responsible to the Council of Management for the conduct of his/her work and maintain a strong working relationship with the Council, characterized by open communication, respect, and trust
- Promote, establish and maintain positive relationships with the many groups (parents, alumni, government officials, and community) that are involved in the work of the school.

The successful candidate will possess:
- An advanced degree and experience at a senior level in the educational field
- Excellent proven leadership, administrative and management skills in leading a successful school in an international or cross-cultural environment
- Experience in a residential high school with diverse student body/faculty
- Knowledge and experience of the IB/MYP/PYP programs

Personal Attributes Sought:
- Energy, integrity, creativity, vision, sound judgment
- An effective, accessible and supportive leadership style that serves as a catalyst to discern and capitalize on the strengths of others
- Ability to understand and respect people of various religious and ethnic backgrounds
- Upholding of Christian faith and values
- Respect for children and a commitment to affirm them

The salary, benefits and terms of contract will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

The Search Committee of the KIS Council of Directors has decided to conduct the search. All candidates wishing to apply should send a full letter of application, detailed curriculum vitae, a statement of philosophy and the contact details of three professional referees one of which should be the current direct supervisor. Additionally, open testimonials should be included in the documentation submitted, where possible.

Professional dossiers may also be submitted by the candidate but the school reserves the right to apply directly to the writers of open testimonials for confidential statements.

All enquiries and applications should be addressed to the address given below. Please note that faxed and e-mailed applications can only be considered in the initial stages of processing. A hard copy MUST be mailed by the swiftest possible means.

Secretary to the Principal
Kodaikanal International School
PB # 25, 7-Roads Junction
Kodaikanal, TN 624101

tel: (91) 4542 247 201

Deadline for receipt of full applications: Tuesday, 30 June 2009