Keeping Your Head While Becoming a Head: Greg Moncada's Story (Ep 41)

Imagine being a candidate to become a new Head of School! What would that be like? 

If you are a veteran international educator, you have most likely either participated in or witnessed your school finding a new Head of School. If you are going global for the first time, you might wonder how international schools are structured administratively  — and if you make it through the first rounds of interviews, you will likely meet with the Head of School, sometimes called the Director or the Superintendent. 

And if you listened to our interview with Dr. Brent Mutsch, you learned how schools search for a new superintendent. 

After our talk with Brent, we were curious about the Head of School recruiting process from a candidate’s perspective. Fortunately, we knew of an old friend from our Saudi days who had gone through the process a few times and had just completed it again to accept a new position as a school Superintendent in Harare, Zimbabwe. 

Our friend, Dr. Gregory Moncada, joined us in this episode to trace his recruiting game plan from start to finish. We caught up with Greg as he finalized his packing in the week before getting on the plane to head to Zimbabwe

Dr. Moncada is the Head of School for the Harare International School (HIS) in Zimbabwe and wasvpreviously the founding director of the Qatar Academy for Science and Technology (QAST), the Qatar Foundations’ new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) school. Prior to filling the leading role at HIS and QAST, Dr. Moncada started new schools and programs throughout his career, including a progressive middle school based on the “This We Believe’ model and district-wide STEM programs in Elementary, Middle, and High School settings.  He specializes in developing student-centered learning models, progressive learning models, and multiverse organizational structures between schools and organizations. With more than 30 years of experience, Greg has held teaching and leadership positions in International schools in Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa and Seattle, Washington, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Greg holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Minnesota, an MA in Leadership from Lehigh University, PA, and an MA in Science Education from Louisiana State University.

Our guiding question was, “What is it like to be a candidate going through a Head of School search?”

Greg shared his strategies, including doing deep research, lots of self-reflection, working with a recruiting agency, and engaging with the leader of the School Head Search Committee to connect with and learn about the school and community. We also learned about what happens when a candidate is a finalist and what the school visit is like.

Don’t forget to take a listen to our other interview with Greg, in which he offers sage advice and describes his firsthand experiences when moving from teaching to becoming an administrator. 

This episode was recorded on July 11, 2023.

Greg’s Contact Information: LinkedIn

Categories: Recruiting | Trends | Administration

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