Posted - 9 November 2017

Üsküdar American Academy

seeks a

HEad of school

effective July 2018


Üsküdar American Academy (UAA), established in 1876, is one of Turkey’s oldest preeminent preparatory schools. At every level, the school’s program is intensely academic with a commitment to bilingual education. Üsküdar American Academy is known for outstanding student achievement, a broad program of co-curricular activities, and a blend of Turkish and American cultural values.

The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the Turkish Ministry of Education. It is an authorized IB World School and celebrated its first IBDP graduates in the class of 2017.

UAA is a part of the SEV Foundation which has 3 other high schools (SEV American College in Istanbul, American Collegiate Institute in ─░zmir and Tarsus American College in Tarsus); 3 elementary schools in Istanbul, Izmir and Tarsus; SEV American Hospital in Gaziantep and SEV Publishing House.


Students are admitted to the high school based on a highly competitive national exam for private schools taken by over 1,000,000 students. UAA students score in the top 1% of all students who take the exam. There are 861 Turkish students in grades Prep-12. One hundred percent of graduates attend to universities. 

All students follow a five-year high school program, beginning with a preparatory year. The aim of the preparatory year is to guarantee a sufficient level of English to enable them to continue in their studies. For the Class of 2017, during their preparatory year, students took the following courses: English, Math, Science, Turkish, Music and Physical Education. All math and science courses are taught in English. Students in Grades 9 and 10 follow a common curriculum with one elective; the aim is to give students a broad background in all academic areas. A second foreign language (French, German or Spanish) is required in Grades 9 and 10. In Grades 11 and12 students choose electives to supplement their common course requirements. These choices are based upon their intended area of future study; courses needed for university entry; and areas of special interest. Students are required to take Turkish Literature and Turkish Language Arts in both Grades 11 and 12. There are two AP courses offered in Calculus and Physics. All Advanced courses, as well Honors American Literature and Honors World Literature, taught in Grades 11 and 12 are equivalent to the rigors of AP Courses. Additionally, some students take AP exams without completing the course at UAA.

UAA believes in the educational value and leadership opportunities gained when students are involved in co-curricular activities. Some of the main activities include: European Youth Club; Model UN (in English, German and French); English Speaking Union; Chess Club; Music Club; English Drama; Literary Magazine; Student Government; TEDx UAA Club; National English Honor Society; Turkish Drama; National Honor Society; and English Debate.


The Head of School reports to and is expected to work in collaboration with the SEV General Manager within the guidelines set by the Board of Directors, to ensure that the school is both educationally and financially sound and that the educational policies are consistent with the educational goals of the Ministry of Education, the SEV American Schools’ Mission and the SEV Board of Directors’ policy. S/he conducts the administration of the school in alignment with the policies of and in close relationship with the administrators of the Health and Education Foundation.

The position provides the opportunity for close personal attention to each student and their needs. The successful applicant will be someone who has shown evidence of high energy and initiative in moving schools forward in a progressive and responsible manner. UAA is looking for someone who can make a long-term commitment to continue its tradition of forward thinking in providing the best possible education for its students.

The position requires a dynamic educational leader, one with advanced written and verbal communications skills, a highly-developed level of interpersonal empathy and a willingness to engage at every level with our local community. The successful candidate will be able to navigate within diverse cultural mixes and demonstrate an international mind-set, with a strong focus on students’ learning, pastoral and academic achievements within a Turkish and English bilingual international programme.


A passion for rigorous academic excellence as well as for international education is a must, along with the understanding and energy to lead a dynamic School. The successful candidate will be required to lead and inspire a team to build on the School’s exemplary level of educational excellence.  Equally critical will be an ability to team effectively with the Turkish Principal and collaborate with students, faculty, parents, Board and the wider Turkish community.

  • Inspire and build capacity for excellent teaching and learning
  • Provide academic leadership through staff recruitment, curriculum development, maintenance of international accreditation standards and through professional development planning
  • Ensures that all secondary faculty demonstrate effective instructional and assessment strategies which measurably enhance student learning and promote the craft of teaching
  • Serve as a leader in the field of education and confident in leading professional development workshops, institutes and seminars
  • Promote a dynamic culture of care, respect, high expectations and success
  • Empower parents and families as learners in the home/school partnership
  • Shape shared futures as an intentional, strategic and entrepreneurial leader
  • Use professional judgment to balance competing priorities
  • Act as the primary representative of the school when interfacing with external agencies, and government authorities, within Turkey and the region
  • Oversee financial soundness, ensuring compliance with budget parameters, audit requirements and principles of sound corporate governance
  • Demonstrate professional knowledge of the principle and practice of leading learning in a school
  • Develop and manage people according to sound theories and approaches
  • Manage and promote the school’s Enrichment programme, ensuring students are engaged in meaningful and purposeful clubs, sports and tutorials 
  • Demonstrated interpersonal diplomatic leadership, combined with a passion for Secondary School Students
  • Minimally, M.A./M.Ed./M.Sc. degree or equivalent
  • Experience as a leader and teacher, preferably in an international or independent school, Head of School experienced (preferred)
  • Demonstrated track record in coaching, mentoring and holding accountable his/her faculty teams and direct reports
  • Demonstrated commitment to International Education, Global Citizenship and Service Learning and the IB Diploma programme
  • Experience with and desire to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Current knowledge in instructional methodologies, “learner-centred” classrooms, program development and evaluation, differentiated instruction for a range of students with learning needs, student assessment, personnel evaluation, the change process
  • Outstanding communication skills (oral and written), ability to motivate and delegate effectively, ability to inspire
  • Strong organizational and technology skills
  • An energetic, outgoing, warm and friendly person who enjoys the company of others and is socially adept among a broad range of constituencies
  • Demonstrated commitment and genuine interest to the 1 on 1 mentorship of students and pastoral care, have a sense of responsibility for the health, safety and well-being of student
  • Demonstrate an on-going love of learning, while keeping abreast of new developments in international education

Additional Information


Salary and benefits for this post are generous, and will be commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and based upon qualifications and experience. In addition to salary, primary benefits include, retirement, health insurance, tuition for school age dependents at SEV schools, travel and relocation assistance package, annual home leave, and annual professional development. 


CIS is delighted to announce that Üsküdar American Academy has retained our Leadership Search & Career Services, represented by Joe Cornacchio, and the CIS Leadership Search team, Pauline O’Brien, Ilse Huijskens, Becky Hazlett and Tanja Janjic to lead the search for a new Head of School.

Candidates who already have an up-to-date leadership file, including resume, with CIS, should submit a cover letter of application. In your letter please outline how your skillset and experience match the Position Scope (described above).

Leaders who have yet to establish a CIS Portfolio should email their CV to  

If the School receives an outstanding application, the Selection Committee reserves the right to make an appointment before the closing date below. 

Application Deadline

Open until position is filled. 

The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received.  Finalists will be selected by the Search Committee as early in the process as possible. Finalists will be invited to Istanbul for final interview to meet with the Search Committee, Board and constituent groups at UAA, with the intention of making an appointment shortly thereafter. 

Aligned with the recommendations of the International Task Force on Child Protection, we hold ourselves to a higher standard of effective recruiting practices with specific attention to child protection.

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