Principal -Zhejiang Wenzhou Union International School (Temporary)

January 19, 2021 | Academic Position | Zibo Cen

Principal -Zhejiang Wenzhou Union International School Temporary)


Set to open for the 2021-2022 school year, Zhejiang Wenzhou Union International School (Temporary) aspires to be a school for international passport holders seeking a highly innovative education rooted in the skills necessary for long-term success in schools and colleges worldwide. Building on the best practices of a standards-based program, the school will provide  students to thrive beyond the classroom, imbuing them with global confidence, a passion for learning, resourcefulness, empathy, and creativity, while at the same time cultivating essential skills such as reasoning, critical analysis, self-discipline, and collaboration.

The school will eventually welcome students from grades K through 12  near Wenzhou-Kean University, China with a capacity for 250students. Drawing on the best of the independent-school tradition in the United States, Zhejiang Wenzhou Union International School(Temporary)  will develop life-long learners who have a global perspective and an appreciation of diverse cultures and are fully prepared culturally, socially, emotionally, and academically to face the challenges of an ever-changing world. It will pair student-centered academic preparation with a rich co-curricular program designed to help students prepare for engagement in all aspects of life beyond high school.

The Founding Head of School will partner with a leadership team made up of local and international experts in school leadership, curriculum and pedagogy, global competence, and student life. A planning team has been mapping out the key elements of the school during the 2021-2022 school year and has rich experience in building partnerships with innovative organizations to create exceptional educational programs. The Founding Head of School will play a key role on that team depending on his/her availability. This is an outstanding opportunity to be involved with starting a unique international and innovation-focused school community in eastern China.

Philosophy and methodology

Zhejiang Wenzhou Union International School(Temporary)  will achieve its commitment by integrating:

Student-centered design

  • Discover insights with empathy and understanding
  • Find solutions
  • Prototype, test, and apply learning in all subject areas
  • Try, try, try again
  • Deliver

Real-world learning

  • Beyond lecture and teaching to a project-based, experiential approach to learning
  • Beyond school to communities/industries and co-ops
  • Beyond local to global

Character and skill coaching

  • Developing self-awareness and reflection
  • Identifying passion and competence
  • Creating a plan for goal setting and personal development
  • Providing continuous coaching and mentoring
  • Building habits of mind

Campus and Location

The school is located in the beautiful and modern city of Wenzhou, creating a perfect natural classroom for teaching environmental education and an inspiring location for self-exploration.

Job Responsibilities

The Head of School, together with the Board of Trustees and senior leadership team, is responsible for creating, preserving, and achieving the mission and vision of  Zhejiang Wenzhou International School. Responsible for the daily life and academic management of the school, the Head builds, trains, and leads a highly qualified faculty, and together they attend to the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth of each child.

The Head of School will supervise the effective implementation of the educational program, build enrollment and retention, and provide input to the Board of Trustees. He/she will be a strong, highly visible presence on campus, including evenings and weekends, and an asset to the Board and other members of school leadership as a resource and strategic visionary. The Head will also serve as the school accreditation leader and work with a team to implement data-driven improvements that are leveraged for success in an application for accreditation.

A competitive salary package commensurate with education, experience, and qualifications is offered to candidates.

Organizational Leadership

  • As a key ex-officio member of the leadership board, the Head of School will provide key status updates and collaborate with the Board to refine long-term strategic plans and establish policies and processes to accomplish Zhejiang Union Wenzhou International School (Temporary) He/she will play an active role in Board meetings and between meetings to ensure strong communication and partnership.
  • As a lead educator and administrator of the school, help the teachers, staff, parents, and students to understand, embrace, and implement the Zhejiang Wenzhou Union International School (Temporary) mission and philosophy.
  • In partnership with the Board, lead the growth of the school from its inaugural year through a planned, steady expansion of measured growth.
  • Build and nurture partnerships with exceptional organizations across China and worldwide.
  • Oversee daily operations and related programs, such as afterschool and summer programs.
  • Support Admissions events and contribute to community outreach efforts.
  • Provide input to the Board for creation and direction of fiscally sound operating and capital
  • budgets and financial plans (including tuition, compensation, capital expenditures, etc.).
  • Hold visible daily presence throughout the school, observing teachers and students in action, connecting quickly with parents serving in various roles, redirecting student behavior, and helping to ensure the safety of all.
  • Actively engage with teachers, students, and parents to understand and proactively manage issues and concerns before they escalate. Communicate openly and frequently with appropriate committees (e.g., in monthly committee meetings) and involved parties to ensure all are aware of issues.
  • Oversee the development of technology for instructional purposes.
  • Work with all appropriate parties to ensure the safety of the school environment and facilities.
  • Communicate needs to Board and partner with the Board to define and execute upon a long-term facilities strategy.
  • Build relationships with the local community and Wenzhou-area educators to ensure Zhejiang Wenzhou Union International School(Temporary) is known and respected.

Curriculum and Program

  • Oversee the implementation of the foundational (K-8) and college prep (9-12) curriculum throughout the school.
  • Remain connected to current educational research and collaborate with faculty to implement research-based pedagogy into the curriculum and overall program. As a school that values innovation, piloting new approaches will be a key aspect of our educators’ approach.
  • Establish and execute a plan for the school to gain accreditation with appropriate organization(s) and ensure that accreditation standards are maintained.
  • Develop a schedule for periodic evaluation of current curriculum and program with appropriate
  • faculty; provide leadership and support for the development and implementation of new curricular components and programs as necessary.

Faculty and Staff Development

  • Inspire and cultivate a high-performing leadership team who will partner with each other and the Head to meet the school’s mission and vision.
  • Recruit, orient, and support outstanding, highly collaborative, mission-driven faculty who will collaborate in creating an innovative program.
  • Build a professional culture of ongoing growth and improvement, both for the strengthening of the school and individual professional growth, reflected in ongoing professional development within the structure of support and evaluation.
  • Work with his/her team to build a healthy, positive, supportive student culture.
  • In collaboration with the HR staff, maintain policies and procedures for hiring and dismissal decisions.


  • Hold ultimate responsibility for managing the academic and intellectual progress of students and for ensuring the school’s academic program meets the needs of its students.
  • Develop a strong student-support program of advising and counseling as needed to ensure a successful, self-reflective transition to college.
  • Develop an exceptional student life program that nurtures each student and creates a warm, supportive community among students from diverse backgrounds where each can find a way to pursue passion and interest.
  • Develop an outgoing placement process to counsel and guide students through identifying, applying to, and transitioning into the best colleges for each student.
  • Articulate and help enforce school-wide student behavioral expectations, with ultimate responsibility for student disciplinary decisions.
  • Regularly lead all-school assemblies and find other opportunities to articulate the values of the school while building relationships with students.

Parents and Community

  • Reinforce school culture, mission, and values of Zhejiang Wenzhou Union International School (Temporary) at parent gatherings in order to strengthen parent understanding of and commitment to it.
  • Encourage, counsel, and teach parents in topics related to pertinent aspects of their children’s growth and development.
  • Be a visible, engaged presence in the daily life of the school and community.
  • Ensure regular communication with parents regarding student progress, significant events, policy changes, and curricular issues/changes/enhancements.
  • Maintain an active presence policy to ensure parents feel welcome to discuss ideas and concerns; create opportunities for regular interaction with parents.

Desired Qualities and Qualifications

  • An advanced degree in education or subject area.
  • Proven success in independent school leadership, with at least five years of teaching experience and a minimum of five to seven years of success in a senior leadership role, including experience with K-12 in American-style education.
  • Chinese working experience is preferred.
  • Experience with international schools and a diversity of family backgrounds and cultures.
  • Demonstrated dedication to the cultivation of adolescents’ intellectual, social, physical, and emotional development.
  • Demonstrated acumen for mentoring and guiding the professional development of classroom teachers.
  • The ability to balance a strong emphasis on strategic progress with a deep concern for the everyday experience of students and faculty.
  • Excellent team-building and communication skills to lead this new venture.
  • An eagerness to imagine what might be, and the practical skills to prioritize and develop dreams into plans.
  • Strong cross-cultural competency skills.
  • Demonstrated success with hiring, inspiring, and supporting outstanding educators.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of current research and innovation in education, and a curiosity to continue learning and exploring; a love of the field.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • The highest standards of ethical conduct, and behavior at all times.

To Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically to and as separate documents (preferably PDFs) the following materials:

  • A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position;
  • A current résumé;
  • A one-page statement of educational philosophy and practice;
  • A list of five professional references with name, phone number, and email address of each (references will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission)