Brooklyn Friends School (BFS), seeks a visionary and inspirational educational leader for its Lower School, which encompasses Kindergarten through fourth grade, to guide a joyful and purposeful community of 303 students and 55 colleagues (BFS uses the all-inclusive term, colleagues, to refer to all rather than one that delineates faculty/staff).
Founded in 1867, Brooklyn Friends School’s pillars of social justice, service learning/civic engagement, and Quakerism, serve as guideposts for our collective work. Leading and working with dynamic and engaged colleagues, the Head of Lower School is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Lower School as well as articulating a clear and compelling vision for the future. With immensely talented colleagues, a fully enrolled student body, committed families, meaningful curricular program, and a community that believes in love and joy as central to the educational experience, Brooklyn Friends is in a uniquely positive position, with a deeply-rooted identity and mission combined with a genuine openness to the possibilities that lie ahead. As a school guided by Quaker principles of Equity, Peace, Stewardship, Simplicity, and Integrity, and Community, BFS seeks a leader with an extensive understanding of child development and progressive pedagogy, who is grounded in culturally responsive practices and curricular design. Our Lower School Head should also embrace, respect, and have a willingness to immerse further into the strength of Quakerism - its practices and important values. The effective leader is devoted to actualizing our School’s mission and has vision, conviction, and a positive outlook to advance the Lower School program and curriculum.
In partnership with the new head of school, BFS is in the midst of solidifying its all-school curricular arc in order to align the curriculum to ensure a coherent educational journey across divisions. BFS is also considering the ways that schedule influences students’ experiences and minding the increasing challenges faced by children today, which impact their social and emotional well-being. Thus, this informed leader is one who is poised and inspired to work collaboratively, creatively, and decisively with a solid Leadership Team ready to inform and shape the contemporary identity of our school within New York City and beyond. These exciting challenges and opportunities will require sound judgment, imagination, and a thorough understanding of the educational and emotional needs of curious, energetic, and capable lower school students. The next leader of the Lower School will ensure the continuing excellence of all aspects of the division’s operations and will seek, along with colleagues, to envision and realize the division’s next chapter. A member of the school’s Leadership Team, the Head of Lower School reports directly to the Head of School.
Opportunities For The Head of Lower School
The new Head of Lower School will lead a deeply engaged, accomplished colleague body chosen for their understanding of their subjects, exceptional teaching ability, and deep passion for working with students. Ideally, the Head of Lower School will lead teachers in further strengthening the culture of the Lower School as a professional learning community where teachers work across disciplines, consider new pedagogies and methods of assessment, and encourage each other’s professional development and joy.
Brooklyn Friends School is looking for a divisional leader who will combine intelligence, passion for learning, diplomacy, resolve, humor, tact, candor, and the ability to respond to situations promptly and thoughtfully when working with students, families, and colleagues. The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to work with all constituents and possess proven interest and experience in working in a diverse environment. This leader should constantly strive to be constructively critical of educational and community practices with a goal of strengthening, affirming, and upholding social justice principles, working to ensure that inclusivity is an essential priority of our collective experience. Accessibility, visibility, and a belief in the value of open, clear communication and process, informed by Quaker practice, will also be among the primary virtues of the successful candidate. Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess the ability to:
Understand, empathize, and connect with lower school students and their families
Foster community along with academic excellence
Work collaboratively, steadily, and creatively with all divisional leaders to address the needs of each division
Participate actively in community experiences and delve into partnership opportunities within Brooklyn and beyond
Exhibit honest care for all colleagues and support opportunities for growth and leadership across the arc of a teacher’s career
Make timely, just, and clear decisions
Manage multiple priorities at once
Embrace and model the use of Quaker decision-making practices and ideals within varied aspects of school-life
Attend to details, manage change, and successfully run a vibrant and robust division
Write and speak with clarity, thoughtfulness, and conviction
Listen to understand
Dream, take worthy risks, celebrate accomplishments, recognize opportunities for growth and transformation
Skillfully facilitate challenging conversations and hold boundaries with compassion
Engage collaborative approaches to assessing and refining the program on an ongoing basis
Assess and deploy resources effectively across the Lower School
See challenges and problems as opportunities for growth and transformation
Model effective and meaningful teaching
Stay current with educational research and best practices
Reflect earnestly and celebrate mistakes as opportunities for learning and positive change
The selected candidate will bring to Brooklyn Friends School a love of learning, a commitment to strong teaching infused with love and joy, an embrace of and commitment to our mission and strategic direction and the ability to deftly balance the needs and expectations of all three constituents of the school - the students, their families, and colleagues.
Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, statement of educational philosophy, and a list of three references with e-mails and telephone numbers to BFSLSHeadSearch@brooklynfriends.org. To learn more about our school, candidates should visit our website at www.brooklynfriends.org.
Brooklyn Friends School does not discriminate in its educational, admissions, and colleague programs and policies or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local law.