The American International School of Conakry, Guinea Seeks a New Director

POSTED: February 21, 2019Category: NewsBY: Steve

Founded in 1963, the American International School of Conakry (AISC) is a non-profit, tuition-based, co-educational, independent and private international day school serving children in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Accredited with MSA, our school offers an English-language education to a small and diverse student population of about 90 students. Teaching and learning is based on the tenets of American pedagogy. Following AERO standards across all grades– from Kindergarten through 12th grade–we use materials and employ teaching strategies representative of the best educational practices existing in the United States. We provide an exciting and caring learning environment where challenging curriculum coupled with a low student-teacher ratio fosters close, supportive relationships. Our high school was established two years ago and we are ambitious to grow it and offer our students a quality high school curriculum, including AP courses, college counseling, and access to American universities. Our students are our school’s greatest asset.

The school’s mission is to develop intellectually audacious, socially responsible citizens of the world. We embrace the following values:

  • Learning is a priority for all children.
  • The learning process both nurtures and challenges.
  • Learning is best in a safe and disciplined environment.
  • Leveraging emerging technology and communicating in at least two world languages are essential.
  • Education is a partnership among parents, the school, and the community.
  • All individuals have a right to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of the differences between them in age, gender, marital status, race, sexuality, religion, culture, language, or disability.
  • Diversity matters not in and of itself, but because people matter and people are infinitely diverse.

Our school is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees with six members elected by the AISC Association plus a seventh member appointed by the United States Ambassador to Conakry.

During the 2018-2019 school year, 91 students enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 12 representing 18 nationalities from around the world. Enrollment has increased every year steadily, growing 90% since 2016. The international and multicultural makeup of the AISC student body is a wonderful asset for the school. The AISC faculty has dedicated itself to providing optimal learning opportunities that take into account our diverse population. Class sizes at AISC are small, allowing for a close and attentive teacher-student relationship. Students are generally grouped together in multi-age classrooms.

The AISC faculty consists of 12 full time and three part-time teachers, many of whom are U.S. trained and fully certified professional educators who provide instruction in the core and specialist subjects. French and PE are taught to all students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Art and video journalism are taught as specials. The AISC administrative staff consists of the Director and Executive Assistant, an accountant, part-time Office Manager, a procurement officer, an IT specialist, an admissions registrar, and facilities manager with a team of gardeners and maintenance staff. Four aides support the educational and extra-curricular program.

AISC supports the professional development of its faculty with three-hours of common planning/meeting time every week used for in-house peer-to-peer professional development. Additionally, AISC is a member of the Association of International Schools in Africa, leveraging copious professional development opportunities with conferences and regional workshops. The school also provides financial support for faculty members wishing to participate in other professional development programs.

The American International School of Conakry is currently located in a calm quarter of town close to the Nongo Stadium in a US-embassy rented private compound. The current facility, consists of three main, single-story buildings housing 10 classrooms, an art room, a science lab, shared office space for teachers, workrooms, a faculty lounge, and offices. The campus has a pool and multi-purpose sports courts for tennis, basketball, soccer, and handball, and a sandbox/playground area, and a large building for assemblies and PE classes. A variety of flowering plants and trees provide for a quiet, peaceful setting.

The school board is currently investigating options to move the school into new premises designed for educational purposes and offering our growing student community the best learning environment possible.

Main Goals for our School and its new Director:

The overall success of AISC is closely tied to our ability and courage to maintain a steady focus on goals developed jointly by the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and parents.

A. Provide inclusive, quality education to our diverse student body following AERO standards and a learner-centred, constructivist approach to education;

B. Grow our high school and ensure high school students’ successful transition into University;

C. Attract, develop and maintain caring, enthusiastic and experienced, preferably US-certified teachers;

D. Strengthen our financial sustainability and ensure transparent management of our school’s resources and effective school governance on the whole;

E. Strengthen our service-learning program and offering of extra-curricular activities;

F. Improve the school’s facilities to offer the best learning and teaching environment possible to our students and faculty.

Position Description
The Director will be responsible to the Board of Trustees and act under its direction for the following principal activities (not an all-inclusive list):

Summary of Responsibilities:
Hired and supervised by the Board of Trustees of the school, the Head of School (HoS) is delegated to supervise all activities of the school in line with board established policies and the overall mission, values and principles of the school. S/he organizes the School and its employees into an efficient and cooperative institution of professionally trained staff working towards the achievement of the School’s mission.

The Director might delegate the below-described responsibilities to assistants and others at his/her discretion but is in every instance responsible for the proper conduct of the School and its programs, and the welfare of its students, staff and faculty.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:

A. Sustaining Quality Education:

The Director’s main efforts lie in the field of educational leadership and supervision. S/he:

  • Oversees the development, documentation, continuous improvement and quality implementation of an enriched American curriculum meeting AERO standards;
  • Establishes and oversees the implementation of a sound testing program which meets curriculum requirements;
  • Ensures the recruitment, professional development, onboarding, and continuous supervision and evaluation of qualified teachers.

B. Human Resource Management:
Supervise all matters relating to the recruitment, appointment, assignment, classification, evaluation, transfer, promotion or dismissal of all staff members, consistent with Board Policy and approved budgets.

C. School Administration:

  • Ensure all school administration in line with established board policy;
  • Admit, classify, promote and graduate students
  • Ensure adequate supervision for all school activities;
  • Provide leadership to the school’s operational management team;
  • Supervise the activities of the business department.
  • Ensure the management and continuous improvement of the school’s facilities, their safety and security
  • Provide leadership to the school’s financial management including the establishment and implementation of sound financial procedures and administrative measures;
  • Prepare the school’s annual budget, salary scales and tuition fees with the Finance committee of the board for approval by the board.

D. Community Engagement:

  • Establish and maintain effective channels of and approaches to communication with students, parents, and staff;
  • Establish and maintain adequate venues to ensure that both teachers and students can contribute to the school’s educational program, management and governance; and to provide feedback on the school’s services and their administration.

E. Representation:
Represent the school externally towards relevant government authorities, potential clients and the wider business and non-governmental community in Guinea and beyond.

H. School Governance:

  • Collaborate effectively with the AISC Board of Trustees;
  • Recommend to the board and its committees’ policies, budgets and critical administrative and management decisions providing data and evidence which will permit the board to evaluate the recommendations.

Strengths to be protected, defended and preserved by the new Director:

  • Implement the MSA accreditation implementation plan;
  • Maintain the small close-knit family atmosphere;
  • Motivated, diverse and caring students
  • Provide a welcoming and adaptable environment for our culturally diverse population and maintain the school’s environmentally friendly practices;
  • Continue ongoing curriculum work with a particular emphasis on developing a quality high school curriculum including expanding the AP offer and quality of college counseling;
  • Further emphasis on the science, French language and art programs;
  • Continue and encourage frequent and open communication/participation with faculty and parents;

Critical Issues Facing AISC in the next 3-5 years:

  • Developing the school’s facility plan to improve a quality learning environment within the boundaries of financial means and sustainability;
  • Build the school’s high school;
  • Effectively managing high turnover of teaching staff and board, requiring continuous establishment of effective relationships;
  • Continue responsive human and financial resource management in light of fluctuating enrollment rates and an improvement in financial systems, planning and budgeting;
  • Strengthen the school’s financial reserves and financial sustainability.

Candidate Profile
AISC is looking for a Director with the following qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree;
  • Current U.S. administrative and teaching credentials;
  • Administrative and teaching experience.
  • Experiences in HR management

Other desirable qualifications include:

  • Administrative and teaching experience at the high school level;
  • Experience as a Director or Superintendent;
  • Prior overseas living and/or educational experience, especially in a developing country; preferably in Africa;
  • Experience working with school boards;
  • Experience in recruiting teachers and staff;
  • Managing a diverse team of teachers.


  • Knowledge of curriculum design and development;
  • Sound understanding of all or some aspects of business, support operations and financial management;
  • Conversant or fluent in French;
  • Human resource management in the international and local context.

Personal Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to build and inspire an effective teaching and staff team that performs together to achieve the schools’ goals;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, students, parents and community members from diverse cultural backgrounds;
  • Ability to listen and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, to a wide rage of audiences;
  • Personality and ability to adapt to, assimilate in and appreciate the host country and other cultures.

Most of all, our ideal candidate:

  • Deeply values students, teachers, families and staff and their contribution to our school and its community
  • Thrives on the opportunities and challenges of running a small international school in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Is a great listener and able to connect people, build bridges and earn trust
  • Is fair and consistent in his decisions and the way he interacts with others
  • Works well together with people from a diverse background
  • Is prepared to deal positively with whatever situation might arise

Applicants whose spouses are experienced teachers are particularly encouraged to apply.

Salary and Benefits will be competitive and consistent with the candidate’s experience and with similar positions at other schools of similar size in the region.

For more information and photos, please visit the school website at

Application Process

Qualified candidates should send the following as e-mail attachments to (Vice President Board of Trustees)

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume, generally not more than two pages
  3. Statement of educational and leadership philosophy
  4. Names and positions of at least three references, with current and accurate e-mail addresses, including the current board chairperson of your present school. (These references may be asked to submit confidential comments.)
  5. Up to three (3), open letters of reference may also be submitted electronically.

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