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Posted On: Apr 29, 2024

Head of School

Escuela del Sol Montessori

Albuquerque,NM, usa

Escuela del Sol Montessori, New Mexico’s oldest Montessori school, is seeking a Head of School. The goal of the school is for the Head of School position to be permanent, but we are open to candidates interested in serving for a shorter period.

School Description, History and Structure

Escuela del Sol Montessori (Escuela) is the first fully accredited Montessori school in New Mexico, with approximately 165 enrolled students from preschool through Junior High.

In addition to the Montessori school, the Escuela organization also runs The Harwood Art Center, which has grown into a cultural anchor in Albuquerque’s arts and culture communities. The school and art center jointly occupy a dynamic campus that serves as a community hub in the historic downtown core of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to the classrooms and school facilities, the campus includes art studios and galleries in the historic Harwood building, community gardens, event spaces and accessory buildings that are used in a wide range of programs.


Escuela was founded in 1968 as a parent co-op, and began its expansion in 1980 with its first Director Friedje vanGils. Under the leadership of Ms. vanGils and the Board of Trustees, Escuela purchased the former Harwood Girls’ School property which helped it grow beyond its original one-room preschool. This building now houses both school programs and the Harwood programs which provide vibrant points of engagement with the wider community. Today, Escuela del Sol Montessori is a prominent New Mexico cultural institution centered by the school, and active in the community through both school and Harwood programs.

Organizational Structure

In 2021 Escuela moved into a new chapter with the retirement of Ms. vanGils, and the arrival of Executive Director Kate Chavez. A priority has been to create a Head of School position separate from the Executive Director position, in order to bring balance to the organization. The Harwood Art Center has long had a Chief Programs Officer who heads the program, but the school has not had a separate similar position. The Head of School will work under the supervision of Escuela’s Executive Director and will work collaboratively with Harwood’s Chief Programs Officer, and other organization-wide positions.


The Head of School will be responsible for managing school operations, ensuring academic quality and institutional strength, and meeting the needs of students, families, and staff at our historic, AMS-accredited school. The ideal leadership style will be collaborative and in alignment with Montessori philosophy.

Areas of responsibility include:

Academic Leadership: Provide pedagogical leadership; oversee continuum of Montessori programming at all levels including core courses as well as studio arts, music and Spanish curricula.

Community Relations, Communications: Oversee school messaging among its various constituencies including parents, students, community partners and the wider public. Serve as community liaison.

Student and Family Support: Coordinate programs for staff, children, and families of Escuela including behavioral support; ensure that disciplinary policies are sound and implemented appropriately.

ABAR and Inclusivity: Uphold Escuela’s commitment to an inclusive, anti-racist environment. This work includes taking a proactive approach to eliminating biases and/or racism in our community.

Operations: Oversee and evaluate operational and organizational procedures including day-to-day school management, admission and enrollment processes, safety and other policies.

Personnel, Staff Management: Oversee workplace management and support efforts to nurture Escuela as a “leaderful organization” with opportunities for professional and personal growth. Delegate responsibilities effectively to empower new leaders.

Strategic Planning, Development and Financial Oversight: Participate in strategic planning efforts for the school and the organization as a whole. Lead and implement initiatives in alignment with the strategic plan. Work with the Executive Director to develop and oversee annual operating budgets.


The ideal candidate for this position will have all or most of the following qualifications:

AMS or AMI credential, classroom experience, and experience in Montessori administration.

Three to five years relevant leadership experience, including a commitment to ongoing Montessori professional development.

Experience in coaching teachers and performing teacher evaluations.

A well-developed leadership style that is collaborative, supportive and empowering.

Ability to engage a diverse group of students, families, community members, policymakers and donors.

A strong background in Montessori education oriented toward educational equity, social justice, ABAR education and restorative justice practice.

Excellent communication and collaboration skills.

We are looking for candidates who share our organizational values. A strong applicant embraces diversity, values inclusion, is inquisitive, and has a passion for learning.


The salary range for this position is between $75,900 and $95,900, depending on experience and qualifications, plus a strong benefits package.

To Apply

If you are eager to combine best practices, inspiration, humor, grace, creativity, and compassion in a leadership role, please email a letter of interest and resume, including 3 references, to

Due to the pace of the search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.