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School Director

Ithaca Waldorf School

Ithaca, NY, USA

Full time


Jan 19

This job is no longer accepting applications.

The Ithaca Waldorf School (IWS) seeks a School Director with visionary spirit, operational skill, and a caring heart to build on its strong foundation and guide its continued growth. IWS provides a progressive approach to Waldorf education by delivering a classical curriculum for modern times: experiential, inquiry-based, dynamic, joyful, and academically rigorous. Our farm-land stewardship program provides an experience for children to deeply understand their relationship with the earth and the living world around them. This is an exciting opportunity to support the growth of a school situated in a city that is anchored by prestigious colleges, surrounded by natural beauty, and rich in cultural diversity.

The Ithaca Waldorf School is nestled in the New York Finger Lakes on an 80-acre campus composed of field, forest and an organic and biodynamic educational farm. Our Faculty, Administration and Board enjoy a warm collegial relationship and work collaboratively to strengthen the school’s growth.

IWS strives to develop free human beings by awakening in the students clarity of thought, warmth of heart, and strength of purpose. The academic, artistic, and practical lessons respect childhood, encourage healthy growth, and engage students in the living world. True to our mission, we strive to awaken a love for learning.

The independent, not-for-profit Ithaca Waldorf School is authorized by the New York State Department of Education to provide instruction from early childhood through eighth grade. IWS is currently an Associate Member School of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and a full member of WECAN.

Our Program:

Our modern, innovative approach to Waldorf education inspires reverence for the natural world, for one’s self, and for others, while building foundational practical, social, and cognitive skills. IWS aspires to awaken a love for learning for children, teachers, and parents.

In Early Childhood, children thrive in self directed play, songs, games, baking, painting, and abundant time in nature. They freely explore the world around them, developing fine and gross motor skills, social skills, and self-knowledge, which lay the groundwork for future social and academic success.

Dedicated classroom teachers in all grades deliver morning lessons in math, science, literacy, and create a welcome balance between familiar instruction that meets students’ unique social, emotional, and academic needs. Students develop flexible thinking, creative approaches to problem solving, and the capacity to face the complex challenges of today’s world.

The multi-disciplinary Elementary School and middle school curriculum integrates the sciences and humanities with the arts and practical activity. Hands-on experiences in areas such as gardening, and cooking provide a rich basis for mathematics and language arts curricula. Academic rigor increases as our students enter the Middle School grades in preparation for High School Study. The curriculum is designed to support and challenge students through the rapid change that accompanies the transition into the teenage years.

Our Community:

The committed, close-knit community at IWS attracts faculty and families who actively foster shared values of respect, empathy, kindness, and collaboration. Parents give generously of their time and talents, working together to co-create the life of the school in partnership with teachers and staff.

The community comes together through an array of opportunities, including parent education evenings, class field trips, and celebrations of seasonal festivals such as the Winter Spiral in December and the celebration MayFaire in spring.

During the pandemic, our community has continually demonstrated its resilience and courage, offering in-person learning for students since school opened in September 2020. This has been possible because families truly value one another and take care to individually and collectively prioritize the health and wellbeing of all at school, at home, and at play.

Qualities & Attributes for our Next School Director:

A Special Person with Broad Talent

Understanding the work taken up at our school, and communicating that effectively to the wider community will be mission critical to restore and increase enrollment. Our new Director will need to synthesize knowledge gained from our history to inform and achieve our strategic priorities. He/she/they will be a strong role model and be guided by the school’s authentic and compelling Waldorf core values. A genuine commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is vital. It is essential for the next school leader to offer inspiring and creative educational leadership while also managing the financial underpinnings and fund-raising possibilities.

Who Brings:

-Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to articulate the mission of the Ithaca Waldorf School in a compelling manner that reaches many.
-A galvanizing and positive presence that encourages trust
Inspired and effective marketing
-The ability to work with and for the Board of Directors to maximize talent to achieve the School’s mission
-An inclusive approach to hiring that identifies, attracts and retains talent
-A collaborative and empowering leadership style, encouraging growth and offering constructive feedback
-Open and flexible thinking that invites conversation and encourages new perspectives
-A capacity for attentive listening and ensuring all voices are heard
Strong management skills, including the ability to delegate, set clear expectations, and provide needed support
-A deep understanding of the classroom teaching experience and is able to support and guide the work of the faculty
-A Bachelor’s degree and five years’ experience with leadership responsibilities in an educational setting; an advanced degree is desirable.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply.
Send an electronic application (in one file) to DirectorSearch@ithacawaldorf.org consisting of:
1) Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee & resume
2) No fewer than three (3) writing samples
3) No fewer than four (4) current references to be contacted by phone
For questions or additional information contact Directorsearch@ithacawaldorf.org.
All outreach will have prior agreement from the candidate..

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