Director Search for August 2021

In July 2021 our current Head of School Rachel Hovington will move on to a new adventure with her family to lead Benjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona. Both the Supervisory and School Boards are committed to ensuring a leadership transition that seamlessly ensures that her strategic and operational work of the last five years is built upon and that we continue to be led with the expertise, compassion and diligence that has characterized Rachel’s leadership.

Letter to the Community

Letter to the Community

Dear Community,

In just over a year Kristi and I will have been part of this wonderful community for five years. As both of our children will be transitioning from 5th grade into Middle School in August 2021 it is a natural time for us to start our next global adventure and the last one as a family before Oliver and Esme graduate from High School. It is with mixed emotions; both excitement for the future and a deep connection to ISHR, that I share with you that we will be transitioning in July 2021 to Benjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona. I am fully committed to supporting the Board through their search for the next Director of ISHR.

You will have my 100% dedication for the continued care and development for all aspects of the school community through that time. There is still much for me to do to serve the school in leading the response to our self study and subsequent accreditation agency recommendations. Both are very much in line with the strategic objectives of the school’s strategic Vision for Learning 2018-2021 despite the disruptions to our work this year. 

The Board has formed a Director Search Committee led by our School Board Chair, Carl Fredin. The Board has already engaged the Recruitment Firm RG175 who specialize in Head of School Searches in International Schools. Coreen Hester and Mark Ulfers are the RG175 consultants that will be personalizing the search for us. They are very experienced in International School Head searches and have worked with many excellent International Schools around the World.

The search committee will be keeping you posted with the process on this website. The process will involve all key stakeholders in our community. RG175 will begin with a community survey of all stakeholders to give students, parents and staff at ISHR the opportunity to give input into the priorities for the school and its future leader. They expect the search will be finalized during Fall 2020.

This is a very special community and I fully expect that there will be many highly qualified candidates who apply and be privileged to be its next Director in this wonderful city. 

My kindest regards,


Letter from Board Chair

Letter from Board Chair

Dear fellow parents and members of our ISHR community,

You have just received a personal message from Rachel Hovington informing us that she has accepted a new role as Director & Head of the Benjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona, commencing August 2021. We have been in dialogue with Rachel over the past few weeks and very much regret her decision. 

However, we sincerely congratulate Rachel on this position and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her dedicated and outstanding service to ISHR over the last 3,5 years and especially during these current extremely challenging times. It is too early to list all the achievements and major developments ISHR has made during her leadership, but they are certainly numerous.

We are grateful for the total of five years Rachel will have led our school for by then and we look forward to continuing to work with her for her remaining time at ISHR. We know that Rachel will remain fully committed to ISHR in her current role until July 31st, 2021. She will - together with all staff, students and parents - continue driving all the initiatives on our Vision for Learning at full speed.

As Rachel already indicated, we have already started to initiate our search for a new director. With Hannover being such a convenient and safe place to live, and ISHR being in good shape financially and academically as recently confirmed by our newly received accreditations, we are very positive that we are an attractive place for many very capable candidates from around the world.

We will give regular updates on the progress of our search process and would like to thank you for your support during the search process and for Rachel during her remaining term.

Stay healthy!

Jörg Hönemann                 Carl Fredin

Chairman                           Chairman
Supervisory Board 
           School Board

Search Committee

Search Committee


Carl Fredin

Faculty Representatives:

Hannah Ring
Matt Eames
Annette Bauer

School Board Representatives:

Mirja Kjellgren
Martina Rabe
Alexa von Wrangell

Supervisory Board Representative:

Jörg Hönemann

Timeline & Process

Timeline & Process

Application Process

Interested candidates may apply online at: If you have any questions, please contact the consultants on the search: Coreen R. Hester or Mark E. Ulfers.   


The School seeks to make an appointment for the next Director at ISHR for August 1, 2021. All applications should be submitted expeditiously and no later than May 30, 2020. The School will soon begin to interview for the position and reserves the right to move forward with this appointment when the right candidate is found. 


Letter from Lead of Search Committee

Dear Community,

Following advertisement of the Head of School role for August 2021 the search firm RG1745 received 40 applications June 1 st , 2020. There were many high caliber candidates which showed that the school was both well known in the global community of educational leaders and well respected. After team evaluation, six candidates were shortlisted and interviewed by the Search Committee on Saturday and this Monday. After extensive debrief June 9th ,2020 of these interviews the Search Committee has identified three finalists to interview withinterview panels that represent the full range of our communities stakeholders. These community panel interviews will take place via zoom during the week of June 15th ,2020. We are currently working on the schedule, and the time-slots including the finalists will be communicated soon. Following structured panel feedback to the Search Committee the team will make a recommendation to the School’s Supervisory Board on Tuesday June 22nd , 2020.

Carl Fredin
on behalf of the Search Committee

Announcement of New Head of School

Mr. John Barker appointed new Head of School as of August 1st, 2021

Dear Community,

We are pleased and very happy that we have been able to retain Mr. John Barker as our new Head of School. Following the recommendation agreed upon by all members of the Search Committee, the ISHR Supervisory Board has on this day, June 22nd 2020, unanimously appointed John Barker as the new Managing Director and Head of School at the International School of Hannover Region.  

John Barker, currently Deputy Head of School at Harrow International School in Beijing, convinced the complete Search Committee throughout the whole interview process that he fulfills all our key criteria for the next Managing Director and Head of School of ISHR. John combines pedagogical thinking at a conceptually high level with profound knowledge about education and proven leadership experience for a school of our size. Prior to his current role in Beijing he led the Bavarian International School, Munich to achieve impressive learning results at the IB Diploma level as Head of Secondary. John Barker previously lived and worked with his family in Copenhagen and Munich for several years and began his International School Leadership career at the German Swiss International School in Hong Kong and also has experience in the UK and Taiwan. 

John is highly qualified and has a Masters of Educational Leadership from Leicester University, UK, a Teaching Post-Graduate from Durham University, UK and a degree in English and History from Northumbria University, UK. 

John was born and raised in Northern England. He is an avid sportsman and an accomplished marathon runner and enjoys cycling and hiking. He loves music and plays guitar, banjo, drums and ukulele.  John will join ISHR August 1st, 2021 accompanied by his wife Carole and their two daughters aged 15 and 11.

Please join us in a warm welcome and congratulations to John and his family!

Jörg Hönemann 
Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Carl Fredin
Chairman of the School Board
Head of the Search Committee
About RG175 & Position Statement

About RG175 and Position Statement


The executive search firm RG175 has been retained to lead the search process for a New Head of School to start in August 2021 to help us to find a Head with the expertise, alignment with our direction and character traits that fit what ISHR requires. RG175 specialize in Head of School Searches in International Schools. Coreen Hester and Mark Ulfers are the RG175 consultants that will be personalizing the search for us. They are very experienced in International and US School Head searches and have worked with many excellent International Schools around the World.

RG175 has compiled the ISHR Director Position Statement which can be found here:

ISHR Director Position Statement to download

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