Junior High Director

San Rafael, CA
Start date: July 2021

CalWest’s client school, Marin Montessori School, is seeking a Junior High Director. The Junior High Director will ensure outstanding teaching and learning in each class offering—characterized by interdisciplinary, experiential, social-emotional, and project and place-based learning. The Director will lead the cultivation of an inclusive and safe community culture and will generate and sustain trust in and enthusiasm for MMS with current and prospective families.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree
  • Certificate of Completion of the AMI/NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least three years in recent full time school administration/leadership

School & Position Overview:

With 265 students, sought after graduates, over fifty years educating Bay Area children and teens, and located on two bustling, beautiful campuses in Corte Madera and San Rafael, Marin Montessori School is seeking its next Junior High Director to join our vibrant school community.

A senior administrative position, the Junior High Director works closely and collaboratively with the faculty, Head of School, and administrative team. Our shared goal is to continue to cultivate a highly effective and inspired adolescent learning community, one that embodies excellent Montessori outcomes: independence, emotional intelligence, rich curiosity, intellectual aptitude, and an instinct toward and capacity for collaboration and compassion.

Marin Montessori School recently completed a $3.5mm capital campaign and the expansion of our Corte Madera campus, creating a stunning waterfront and nature-rich elementary wing. Committed to inclusion, $1mm of MMS’s $9mm annual budget is awarded in tuition assistance every year. As a Green-Ribbon awarded school committed to making a positive impact on our environment, MMS was proud to welcome former Vice President Al Gore as the keynote speaker in 2019-2020; he spoke on climate change and youth activism at the school’s annual fundraiser in support of tuition assistance. This coming spring, chef and food activist Alice Waters will serve as the keynote speaker.

This is an especially thrilling time to join Marin Montessori School, a school with recognized accreditations from both AMI (Association Montessori International) and CAIS (California Association of Independent Schools). With recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review touting the benefits of a Montessori education, along with the knowledge that students from our Junior High program are thriving and matriculating to outstanding high schools, Bay Area families are increasingly interested in making MMS their long-term school. Marin Montessori is a community of passionate educators, flourishing students, and engaged and enthusiastic families.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensure faculty have the tools and skills required to deliver the highest quality learning experience for students
  • Support continued cross-curricular programming opportunities, weaving robust academic learning with land based experiences and projects on our acre farm, gardens, and apiary
  • Take an active interest in parent perceptions, questions and concerns. Proactively address these with the goals of positive parent relationships and faculty’s trust and agency
  • Support Admissions in attracting, admitting, and retaining mission-appropriate families and students 
  • Manage operations at the Junior High, including but not limited to Learning Support Services, schedule, Creative Expression and Physical Education specialists, and class offerings
  • Serve as a pedagogical ambassador: In writing and speech communicate effectively the value and rationale of a Montessori adolescent education in the 21st century
  • Ensure students are well prepared for high school and support students, families, teachers and the High School Placement Consultant in the high school admissions process
  • Work closely with the Head of School in planning and executing strategic initiatives
  • Supervise Assistant Administrator

Required Experience and Temperament:

  • Rich experience teaching and working closely with young adolescents and their families
  • Experience observing, successfully coaching, and evaluating teachers toward continued growth
  • Experience successfully leading teams
  • Experience successfully developing and managing program-level budgets
  • Ability to prioritize and calmly manage multiple tasks within a variety of demands
  • Passion for and experience with interdisciplinary, experiential, place-based educational models
  • Even-keeled, mature, responsive temperament to model steadiness for the highly energetic adolescent community, busy faculty, and sometimes anxious parents
  • Highly ethical and honest
  • Discretion and candor, and unquestionable ability to maintain confidentiality and act professionally and with integrity
  • Supervisory experience
  • Growth mindset: a love of brainstorming ideas, collaborating, learning through feedback, always striving for excellence and growth

The successful candidate will be:

High Functioning:

  • Skillful in managing the multi-faceted, fluid needs of the day-to-day operations, along with other administrative and long-term strategic visioning, planning and implementation needs
  • Highly organized, detail oriented, punctual, and with a demonstrated track record of independently and calmly managing and meeting deadlines
  • Fully reliable: does what they say, and says what they do
  • Superlative writer, discussion facilitator, and public speaker

High Integrity

  • Inspires self and others to continually strive for excellence, possessing the vision, empathy, and humor needed to make the hard work energizing and unifying
  • Maturely self-possessed and self-aware: doing what is right for the school and students is key source of satisfaction (rather than adoration from or popularity with students, faculty, or families)
  • Direct communicator: eschews gossip, triangulating, and “venting,” and models direct, compassionate, forward-looking communication and problem solving
  • Internal locus of control: takes full responsibility and actively and resiliently strives to affect positive change, regardless of the level of challenge; resonates with the motto, “Don’t blame the world; find a solution”
  • Rock solid inner-ethical compass and core; habitually honest

High Warmth:

  • Infectious enthusiasm for education, and for the foibles, fun and potentials of young adolescents
  • Compassionate and patient with parental anxieties, without over-indulging entitled parental behaviors
  • Exceptionally positive interpersonal and communication skills, including mature conflict resolution capacities, a generally optimistic attitude, and a strong capacity to create warm connections with others
  • Emotionally intelligent with the ability to convey a non-anxious presence and access both vulnerability and strong, decisive leadership to connect and inspire
  • Transparent with motivations and thinking. Confident, not arrogant. Humble, not meek. Inclusive and kind to all

High Process-Oriented

  • Skillful in collaborating with colleagues through inclusive, thoughtful, and consistent processes, while also knowing when their decisiveness is called for—even should the decisions be unpopular
  • Systems thinker: can identify root causes of challenges and smart strategies for creating systemic improvements and solutions
  • Powerfully “growth mindset” oriented in all they do