Intercultural Montessori Language School - Head of School

Friday, April 23, 2021 7:53 AM | Anonymous


Intercultural Montessori Language School is unlike any other. As its name suggests, it is BOTH a language immersion school AND a fully accredited Montessori school (AMS). Importantly, because all of the language faculty are native speakers of, respectively, Japanese, Mandarin, or Spanish, Intercultural students learn international cultures as well as a second language. Educating students on two campuses from age 2 through 8th grade, Intercultural is a vibrant, joyful learning community. Though a relatively young school—established in 2005—Intercultural already enjoys a solid reputation for building global consciousness and strengthening the international community.  

The school’s dual-language program provides families with the option for their children to experience Montessori education in addition to immersion in one of three languages: Japanese, Spanish, or Mandarin. Language learning and Montessori principles complement each other by encouraging curiosity while celebrating a multicultural community. Towards that end, the curriculum emphasizes self-directed exploration by the child, as well as thoughtful facilitation by the teacher. Intercultural faculty and families have found that these emphases develop capable, caring children who are free to explore their environment and who are also intrinsically motivated to learn. The powerful community at Intercultural is rooted in the Montessori mixed-age classrooms, which allow children to naturally develop confidence, independence, and citizenship. Within these thoughtfully-prepared and safe classrooms and across the broader school-wide community, teachers act as guides, presenting materials and adapting the learning environment to meet each child’s individual needs.

Intercultural Montessori Language School seeks a new Head of School to begin July 1, 2022, as it enters its next chapter. Strong candidates will have a professional background that embraces our increasingly interconnected, global society, as well as show familiarity with the Montessori philosophy. Candidates will be ready to champion the merits of multilingual education and a diverse school community, as well as understand how to collaboratively build and support structures, policies, procedures, finances, and marketing and recruitment strategies to enable it to thrive for years to come. The new Head will be a strong communicator, an enthusiastic believer in the importance of multicultural/global understanding for today’s children, an articulate advocate for the benefits of Montessori education, and an excellent culture-builder.

School Strengths and Opportunities

The incoming Head of School will join a community with a fundamentally positive spirit and palpable sense of joy. The faculty culture is healthy, parents are supportive, and students are engaged. The blend of language immersion and Montessori pedagogy offers a compelling value proposition, and faculty and parents alike are drawn to Intercultural’s commitment to developing cross-cultural understanding, not just language instruction. The school has recently expanded programming to include two-year-olds and Middle School students, providing even more connection points for families. The entrepreneurial and can-do spirit of this relatively young school offers a strong foundation on which to build.

The following areas of opportunity were identified through our engagement with the community:

  • Identifying, recruiting, and retaining mission-appropriate students; working actively to increase enrollment as COVID capacity guidelines evolve. Retention must be an area of focus for the upper elementary and middle school grades. 

  • Developing systems and processes that will mitigate the need for last minute planning. 

  • Fundraising, stewardship and nurturing of donors, creating a “culture of philanthropy.”

  • Leading the school towards long-term financial sustainability by addressing the current debt load and engaging in financial analysis and modeling to understand the key levers of present and future budgets. 

  • Intentionally moving forward in work around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Fostering deeper parent engagement and strengthening school / parent communication.

  • Educating parents about the Montessori philosophy to enable them to be effective ambassadors, recruiters, and advocates for the school. 

  • Cultivating shared practices and community between campuses.

  • Designing more robust co-curricular programs to augment excellent academics and support retention.

  • Achieving high-school readiness while remaining true to Montessori principles in Middle School. 

  • Increasing professional development opportunities for faculty, beyond Montessori training.

  • Building curriculum scope and sequence to foster curricular cohesion and smoother transitions between programs.

  • Re-engineering the administrative structure and operating budget to facilitate optimal, sustainable staffing levels and developing an action plan for moving towards that sustainable structure.

  • Reducing the turnover in faculty and continuing to attract and retain not only native language speakers and Montessori-trained faculty, but also those with the warmth and close student connections that are a hallmark of the school. 

  • Supporting the Board as it evolves in composition and scope. 

Desired Qualities and Characteristics

Successful candidates will have a background and skills that include most or all of the following:

Professional Qualifications

  • Trained in Montessori pedagogy and/or possessing the heart and mindset of a Montessorian.

  • Nuanced understanding of the business and operations dimensions of an independent school, including finance, admissions, communications, development, and organizational structure.

  • The ability to articulate vision and strategy and the tactical skills necessary to manage the systems and processes necessary to implement strategy.

  • A clearly articulated passion for and understanding of a multinational community and the benefits of language immersion. Previous experience with multinational and multilingual communities is desirable. 

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with inspiration and clarity.

  • A commitment to honoring multiple perspectives in order to maintain an authentic, inclusive community.

  • Experience working in a best-practices relationship with a Board of Trustees. 

  • A proven “nose for talent“: able to identify, hire, motivate, evaluate, and retain excellent faculty and staff. 

Leadership Style

  • A style that is collaborative when possible and decisive when necessary, built on approachability, responsiveness, and transparent communication.

  • Problem-solver; willingness to take thoughtful risks.

  • The confidence and humility to advocate for new ideas, invite disagreement, and welcome feedback.

Personal Qualities

  • Personal and professional commitment to understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion in a multinational faculty and student community. 

  • Eagerness to engage actively with employees, students, and parents, visible in the day-to-day life of the school.

  • Warm, supportive, and relational.

  • A sense of humor and playful spirit.

To Apply

See the full position description and instructions for applying here