Director of Development
Start Date: July 1, 2024 or as soon as available

335 students, coed PK1(18 mos) – Grade 8

Language immersion program (French, Spanish)

9522 E. San Salvador Dr., Scottsdale, AZ

If you are an experienced development professional who has a proven record of fundraising success and enjoys encouraging the advocacy and support of children in a multicultural environment, this may be the job you’re looking for. The International School of Arizona (ISA), recently voted the Best Private School and Favorite Private School and Favorite Preschool in Scottsdale, seeks a Director of Development, who will begin July 1, 2024 or as soon as available. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, ISA serves 335 students in a coed day school for students from PK1(18 mos) through Grade 8 and offers a global experience rooted in language immersion and a multicultural curriculum. The youngest students spend their entire day immersed in the target language of French or Spanish, and English is integrated incrementally each year, starting in Kindergarten. By eighth grade half the day is spent in English and half in the target language, ensuring that graduates are ready to matriculate to any model high school and leave with the advantages of fluency in another language and high cultural competence. The school is composed of three divisions: Early School (PK1-4), Lower School (Grades K-5), and Middle School (Grades 6-8).

This is a unique opportunity for an experienced development professional who will enjoy professionalizing a relatively “home grown” fundraising program, maintaining a database, strengthening stewardship, and growing a deep philanthropic culture at ISA. This would be ideal for someone in a larger organization without opportunity for growth but ready to run their own shop and serve on the executive team of a private school. 

Short History of the School

The International School of Arizona was founded in 1998 by a group of French parents who had moved to Scottsdale for business reasons; there were a number of French-based companies in the area at that time. Finding that the return to French schools from the American system was an untenable challenge for their children, these parents decided to open their own school that would follow the curriculum dictated by the French Ministry of Education. At that time French was the only language track at the school, and it attracted increasing numbers of children from France, other French-speaking countries, and the U.S. Finding great success with a language immersion program, the School was encouraged by area families to expand their curriculum to offer another language. Eventually, a Spanish track was added, thereby creating the dual language immersion options that exist today. Similar to those in the French track, students in the Spanish track follow guidelines from the Spanish Ministry of Education. An English track has recently been added as well in order to accommodate children who start after Kindergarten and require a different pace of exposure to the target language.

Under the leadership of Jason Smith, appointed in 2021, ISA has experienced great success with a growing enrollment (from 235 to 335) and creating a truly inclusive and close community. The school is accredited by French, Spanish, and American organizations and is located in south-central Scottsdale.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, a beautiful desert city of 255,000 located east of Phoenix, is annually rated among the nation’s most desirable communities in which to live, visit, and do business. Scottsdale can also boast 314 days of sun per year, making outdoor activity of all kinds desirable. The McDowell Mountains to the east of the city and especially the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to the north offer the outdoor enthusiast a plethora of choices to find recreation of the body, mind, and spirit. As the largest urban wilderness area in the US featuring more than 60 miles of trails through some of the most beautiful, diverse and scenic desert terrain, this area can’t be beat. Be it engaging in athletic endeavors such as golf or hiking in the High Sonoran Desert, eating at one of over 800 restaurants or enjoying the arts and culture of the area, it is easy to understand why this area is so appealing. Just minutes from ISA, Honor Health Shea Hospital and the surrounding Medical District provide easy access to the area’s top doctors and medical care.

Mission, Guiding Principles, and Vision

ISA’s Mission is: Opening doors to success in a constantly changing world

Guiding Principles:

  • Develop active citizens of the world
  • Foster multilingualism
  • Support a desire for academic excellence

ISA’s Vision: We believe global education starts here. We encourage and develop global citizens to have the drive, capacity, and skills to positively impact the world.

Parents Association

There is a strong Parents’ Association (PA) at ISA, which enhances the close-knit community. Most communications from the school go through the Class Reps who disseminate what is passed along to them from internal sources. These Class Reps also act as liaisons to the Program Directors (French, Spanish and English). Other parents volunteer to support such areas as the library and a monthly pizza lunch the children look forward to.

Fundraising and Finances

Unrestricted donations to ISA amount to approximately $200,000 a year. The school raises additional funds through an annual Spring Soirée, contributing another $50,000 to the operating budget of about $6 million. The school is committed to expanding its philanthropic efforts and growing its fundraising goals in order to grow reserves and create an endowment. At the same time, ISA needs to  focus on capital efforts to accommodate growing student enrollment.

The Director of Development will be key to achieving the strategic goals of the school. The Board and the Head of School look forward to partnering with a dynamic and driven new administrator to support these goals.

About the Position

The Director of Development is responsible for oversight of all fundraising and stewardship activities of the school. He or she will report to the Head of School and sit on the ten-person Leadership Team and be a member of the five-person Executive Team. The position will require a clear, charismatic communicator with an entrepreneurial and creative approach to the work at hand. To date, this role has been filled by a dedicated and hardworking parent of the school who has successfully managed the Annual Fund and run the annual Soirée that has raised significant revenue each year for the school.

The next Director of Development will:

  • Oversee all development-related activities of the school.
  • Believe in the mission and ethos of the International School of Arizona.
  • Provide strong leadership in all areas of the school’s fundraising and friendraising. 
  • Work toward growing the base of ISA donors, the dollars raised annually, and the opportunities for other sources of revenue production.
  • Develop an annual fundraising campaign plan and the approach to any targeted capital projects or initiatives the school is ready to undertake. 
  • Effectively tell the stories of ISA and explain the value of philanthropy to prospective donors.
  • Help the internal community understand their role in the philanthropic goals of the school.
  • Work collaboratively with the Head of School, the Leadership and Executive Teams, the Development Committee of the Board, and the Parents’ Association.
  • Maintain efficient records regarding all donors and fundraising activity.
  • Support, and sometimes organize, school events that support ISA’s financial health and fundraising goals.
  • Present clear and detailed development reports for the Board.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School.

Qualifications required:

  • Proven development success in a nonprofit environment
  • An approachable and charismatic personality, able to interact comfortably across cultural differences and with all stakeholders of the school
  • Ability to collaborate with colleagues with an open mind and enthusiasm for teamwork
  • A communication style that is both clear and inspiring in both the written and spoken word
  • Knowledge of and facility with fundraising technology and other resources that will support a successful development plan
  • A BA degree, at minimum
  • Knowledge of the greater Scottsdale community, a plus

How to Apply

Sally Mixsell (Mike’-sul) of Educators Collaborative, LLC is assisting in this expedited search. Candidates are encouraged to contact Sally (see email address below) for a preliminary conversation, if desired, before submitting materials. Applications are due by April 15, 2024, but the deadline will be extended if necessary.

Qualified candidates interested in this position are asked to submit the following materials in a Single Merged Document to

  • EC Candidate Summary Sheet (contact Sally Mixsell, above) 
  • Letter of Interest addressed to the Search Committee 
  • Current résumé 
  • A list of three to five references with contact information (including phone numbers and email addresses) 
  • EC Disclosure Form (contact Sally Mixsell, above) 

The search committee hopes to name a new director by early May 2024.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

It is the policy of ISA to prohibit illegal discrimination against and harassment of any employee or applicant. ISA administers its personnel policies based on individual qualifications without regard to race, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or any other legally protected status.

Listing Date: March 25, 2024