Head of the Children’s House (18 months-K)
Start Date: July 2022
As the longest running Montessori school in the country, Whitby School is a pioneer for early education, committed to ensuring that every child is seen, valued, and understood. The school is an independent, co-educational day school for students age 18 months through grade 8, located in the historic town of Greenwich, Connecticut, within commuting distance of New York City. At Whitby, the youngest students benefit from a Montessori education that helps them become creative, passionate, joyful learners. In Lower School (grades 1-4) and Middle School (grades 5-8) students build on that foundation through the International Baccalaureate PYP and MYP programs. When Whitby students head to high school, they are well prepared academically, self-aware, confident, and globally minded.
The Head of the Whitby Montessori Children’s House (WMCH) provides leadership for the students, teachers, and parents in this “school within a school.” The Head promotes the school’s mission, Montessori philosophy, and methods in Stepping Stones (18 months – 3 years) and Primary classrooms (3-6 years).
Whitby School is the birthplace of The American Montessori Society (AMS), founded in 1958 by then Whitby Head of School, Nancy Raumbusch. Montessori philosophy and practices are deeply engrained in the culture and curriculum at Whitby School. The Head of the WMCH has major responsibility for curriculum development, faculty recruitment and retention, budgetary issues, and professional development in support of Montessori classrooms.
As a member of the senior administrative team, the Head of the WMCH works together with the Head of School and other administrative colleagues to promote the highest levels of teaching and learning for Children’s House students. The Head must be an articulate communicator capable of working closely with a deeply experienced Montessori faculty and a parent body that genuinely values a Montessori education.
The Head of the Whitby Montessori Children’s House reports to the Head of School and will support the students and faculty in the school’s Stepping Stones and Primary programs, overseeing all aspects of the WMCH. Core Responsibilities will include the following, among others:
• Recruiting, hiring, retaining, supporting, and evaluating WMCH faculty;
• Modeling excellence in teaching and learning;
• Partnering with faculty and the Lower School Head to further curricular alignment across divisions;
• Ensuring that assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning in the WMCH and that student progress is regularly communicated to parents;
• Supporting the admissions process, enrolling and retaining mission-appropriate students; and
• Partnering with parents through proactive communication, educational opportunities, and parental involvement in WMCH programs;
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The next Head of the Whitby Montessori Children’s House will work with an experienced, dedicated, and passionate faculty in a highly regarded Montessori program. The Head of WMCH will benefit from a tight knit community and a schoolwide commitment to continuous improvement and providing an exceptional academic experience in the context of a student-focused program. The priorities, opportunities, and challenges ahead include:
• Serving as a visible presence in the classroom, building relationships with teachers, students, and parents; modeling and supporting effective teaching and learning; and speaking with confidence about the daily work of the WMCH;
• Communicating the value proposition of WMCH to both internal and external audiences, supporting the recruitment and retention of mission-appropriate students;
• Bolstering faculty connections and a spirit of community within WMCH and between WMCH and other departments and schools, including SAIL (learning support) and the Lower School;
• Consistent with Whitby’s commitment to continuous improvement, supporting the professional growth of faculty; and
• Exploring the expansion of the WMCH program to accommodate more comprehensive after-school care.
DESIRED QUALITIES AND QUALIFICATIONS
The most competitive candidates will offer most of the following qualifications and qualities:
• Deep appreciation for and understanding of the Montessori pedagogy, preferably including AMI or AMS certification;
• Delight in working with young children and the teachers and parents who care for them;
• Experience leading and managing adults;
• Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with confidence, inspiration, and clarity across a wide range of audiences;
• Knowledge of child-development and the learning needs of children ages 18 months – age six years; and
• A joyful spirit.
The full position description can be found at https://carneysandoe-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/assets/Whitby-Head-of-Childrens-House-2.1.pdf.
Interested and qualified candidates are invited to contact the consultant in confidence. As the search will move quickly, candidates are encouraged to submit the following materials as separate PDF documents to Marsha Little as soon as possible:
• A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position (including specific discussion of experience with and alignment with the Montessori philosophy); and
• A current résumé.