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Job Opening: Principal/Head of School for Willow Creek Academy

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  • ChristinaG
    ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW Founded in 2001, Willow Creek Academy (WCA) is a high-performing K-8 charter school located in Sausalito, CA. As the only charter
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 14, 2013
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      Founded in 2001, Willow Creek Academy (WCA) is a high-performing K-8 charter school located in Sausalito, CA. As the only charter school in the Sausalito-Marin City School District, Willow Creek serves a growing
      and extraordinarily diverse student body: There is no racial majority, and roughly half of the school's 300 students are eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch. Willow Creek's project-based learning
      approach, which helps develop students who are self-motivated and socially responsible lifelong learners, allows for both collaboration and individuated instruction. Our approach has been recognized by the USC
      Center for Educational Governance, which in 2011 named Willow Creek one of the state's top 10 charter schools. Equally important is the recognition we have received from families throughout the Bay Area,
      some of whom travel significant distances to allow their children to attend Willow Creek.

      Since its inception, Willow Creek has been led by founding Head of School Carol Cooper, an experienced educator and caring leader. Ms. Cooper is retiring at the end of the 2012-13 school year, and Willow Creek seeks a dynamic and experienced administrator to serve as our second Head of School.

      The ideal Head of School candidate is:

      • An innovative educator with a strong instructional background and deep curriculum development experience;
      A collaborative and consensus-based leader who has outstanding communication skills and thrives on working with diverse communities;

      • Someone who embodies a "do what it takes" attitude and a commitment to achieving measurable educational objectives;

      • Passionately committed to the mission and the vision of Willow Creek, to closing the achievement/opportunity gap, and to improving achievement and life outcomes for all students.


      The Head of School's responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, the following:

      Instructional Leadership

      • Develop and implement curriculum that promotes K-8 continuity while remaining flexible enough to allow for varied teaching styles and individuated instruction;
      • Coach teachers in the development of their goals and professional growth plans;
      • Collaborate with teachers to establish specific, targeted student performance goals and create plans for curriculum, assessment, and instructional practice;
      • Maintain primary focus on improving student outcomes and teacher quality.

      Team Leadership

      • Identify, recruit, and promote excellent teachers and other school personnel;
      • Provide feedback to teachers and staff around successful leadership practices;
      • Manage professional development to drive exceptional student achievement outcomes for all students;
      • Facilitate and maintain communication among faculty, staff and

      Organizational Leadership

      • Manage annual performance review process for teachers, setting clear expectations, and providing documentation/evidence of progress;
      • Develop school policies and work to ensure consistent implementation, particularly with regard to classroom management and discipline processes;
      • Work with the Willow Creek Academy Board of Directors on budgeting and strategic planning, with particular attention to growth and its impact on operations;
      • Attend meetings and maintain effective communication with the Willow Creek Academy Board of Directors and the Willow Creek Foundation Board of Directors.

      Community Leadership

      • Attend District School Board meetings and events to foster a culture of engagement among students, parents, and other community stakeholders;
      • Develop constructive partnerships with parents and families to engage them in everyday activities and leverage their areas of expertise in supporting the whole school community;
      • Build strong relationships with all internal and external stakeholders, ensuring a common understanding of the school's vision for student success.


      The ideal candidate will demonstrate competencies in the following areas:

      Instructional Expertise and Achievement Focus

      • Understands and supports project-based learning;
      • Shows proven ability to develop and deliver personalized learning and differentiated instruction;
      • Possesses strong knowledge of high-quality instructional practices in a K-8 school;
      • Demonstrates ability to direct and manage English learner, special education, and gifted/talented programs as well as related processes and committees, including SSC/ELAC;
      • Exhibits deep knowledge of pedagogy and a proven track record of using data to drive results;
      • Serves effectively as a coach and mentor to lead others in high-quality instructional practices;
      • Has experience in effectively handling student affairs and disciplinary issues with both students and families.

      Strategic Planning and Effective Execution

      • Exhibits strong focus on goals and results, setting clear metrics of success for all students;
      • Demonstrates excellent execution and project management skills under tight deadlines;
      • Possesses ability to manage growth and change with a school that has expanded its student population annually;
      • Builds systems and policies necessary to bring solutions to scale;
      • Works comfortably in fluid environments and quickly adapts to change;
      • Readily leverages appropriate technology both in and outside of the classroom;
      • Shows facility in managing and channeling financial resources to ensure their optimum application to achieve educational goals;
      • Works effectively to manage day-to-day financial, human resources and benefits issues.


      • Exhibits strong written and verbal communication skills;
      • Vigorously develops, articulates and builds buy-in to an organizational vision and mission with internal and external stakeholders;
      • Actively listens to others and effectively interprets others' motivations and perceptions;
      • Holds self personally responsible for ensuring high academic achievement of all students;
      • Demonstrates success working in a high-pressure and sometimes politically-charged environment;
      • Is an open and honest communicator who is visible and accessible.

      Adult Leadership

      • Collaborates, motivates and inspires other adults to action to achieve ambitious goals;
      • Moves groups to consensus and exhibits willingness to have difficult conversations;
      • Builds coalitions, and works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including but not limited to district personnel, students, families, communities, and/or advocacy groups;
      • Continually finding ways to tap into the amazing resources of the parents of WCA students.


      •Minimum of 3 years classroom teaching experience required (5 or more years preferred, experience at both the elementary and middle school level preferred);
      • Master's degree in education or related field required;
      • Administrative credential or certificate of eligibility strongly preferred (current CA Tier I or Tier II or proof of eligibility for either);
      • Multiple years of prior experience as a Head of School, Assistant Head of School or a similar administrative position at an elementary and/or middle school strongly preferred;
      • Charter school and CA school law knowledge desired;
      • Spanish fluency desired.

      Willow Creek Academy offers a comprehensive benefits package to all of its employees. Willow Creek Academy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For more information about Willow Creek, please visit our website at www.willowcreekacademy.org.


      Please submit a resume and cover letter to info@.... Review of applications will begin immediately. Although applications are accepted on a rolling basis, we strongly encourage candidates to apply as soon as possible to be considered for the first set of in-person interviews. Position is open until filled. For information regarding this position, please contact Redwood Circle at info@... or (510) 575-9635.
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