Associate Head of School and Upper School Director
Crane Country Day School
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Type: Full Time
$150–$160K, with strong benefits package
Crane Country Day School is hiring a full-time Associate Head of School and Upper School Director. Reporting to Head of School Joel Weiss, now in his 23rd year at the helm, the Associate Head of School supervises teaching Staffulty in conjunction with the Head. The Associate Head oversees the annual process of teacher evaluation, including goal setting, observations, and performance review meetings, and is responsible for most aspects of K-8 scheduling and curriculum planning.
The Associate Head of School is also the Upper School leader, guiding all programs, policies, and people of Crane’s Upper School. Leading with positivity and encouragement for all constituents is a crucial expectation for this role.
As a key senior administrator, the Associate Head is a visionary leader who promotes a culture of excellence, innovation, and creativity. With a high degree of professionalism and integrity, the Associate Head needs to support the school, the Head, the Board, the Mission, and the overall philosophy. They will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations of the school in the Head of School’s absence.
Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in education or a relevant discipline preferred.
A minimum of five years of teaching experience and three years of school leadership experience.
A teacher at heart who is knowledgeable about child development and conversant with educational innovation in curriculum, including differentiated learning, pedagogy, technology, learning differences, and socioemotional learning.
Expertise in hiring, evaluating, coaching, and mentoring talented faculty and in guiding corresponding professional growth.
A skilled and responsive manager of programs, people, and schedules.
Demonstrated experience in and commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive school community; successful track record examining practices to ensure equitable access to opportunities for all community members.
A deep commitment to regular examination of curriculum, academic programming, with an eye toward relevant and intentional student experiences.
Outdoor and experiential education experience.
Skills and Competencies
Superb communication skills, including excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills.
A growth-oriented mindset and a deep understanding of the developmental needs of young learners, from early childhood to adolescence.
A high degree of competency and a professional commitment to advancing equity and justice, modeling inclusive behaviors, and proactively promoting anti-racist pedagogy.
A high level of emotional intelligence; a team player and consensus builder with a warm, positive, collaborative nature; someone with a good sense of humor.
A presence that inspires confidence, including facility in giving and receiving feedback, promoting an ethical climate, and balancing the broad range of needs and demands of multiple constituencies.
Courage to take risks, embrace challenges, and see every success or failure as an opportunity for growth; comfort being a change agent.
Boundless joy for working with middle-school-aged children and their teachers.
Excellent problem-resolution skills, including a demonstrated willingness to confront problems, an ability to handle hearsay, the skills to generate positive reactions to setbacks, and the possession of conflict-resolution strategies.
Highly organized with excellent technology skills and comfort learning new tools.
Strong motivation and ability to work independently.
Teaching and Learning
Oversees the academic program, including all aspects of teaching and learning, curriculum development, and program assessment.
Advances the development of the K-8 curriculum, ensuring clear alignment with the school’s educational mission and independent school best practices.
Facilitates regular meetings with the teaching staff.
Fosters and models a culture of faculty appreciation, affirmation, and growth.
Collaborates with the Learning Services Department to support students in all aspects of their academic experience at Crane.
Works in tandem with the Counselor and the DEI Director to help guide the overall advisory and socioemotional learning program.
Meets with families to prepare eighth-grade students for the high school application process and writes accompanying letters of recommendation.
Partners with the rest of the administration to plan the academic calendar, special events, and various annual Crane School traditions.
Produces the overall academic schedule including the master schedule for Lower and Upper School teachers as well as all student schedules.
Assists in the hiring and onboarding of new Staffulty.
Facilitates committee work with administration, faculty, and trustees during the accreditation self-study and evaluation process.
Outreach and Communication
Serves as a passionate spokesperson for the school.
Works collegially within a diverse community and communicates effectively with diverse populations.
Partners with the Head of School on regular announcements to families.
Provides bulletins, counsel, and guidance to current and potential Crane families on matters of curriculum and pedagogy.
Attends occasional off-hour events, including open houses, back-to-school nights, parent-teacher conferences, and school promotional events.
Works with the Admissions Office on outreach, events, and overall student retention.
Works with the Marketing and Communications department to promote the school, its program, its unique curriculum, and special events and traditions.
Crane Country Day School, ideally located in the small seaside village of Montecito, is just 90 minutes north of Los Angeles and 5 minutes south of Santa Barbara. Crane is the oldest independent school in the area, having just launched its 85th anniversary celebration. It is a co-educational day school serving 250 children. The Lower School (grades K-5) and the Upper School (grades 6-8) are both located on the same sprawling yet cozy 11-acre campus that is one of the school's best-known attributes. Honoring its founder's vision, Crane School is dedicated to providing an experiential education characterized by a thoughtful balance of academic challenge and creative expression. We thrive as a community that builds character and confidence, while celebrating the joy in learning.