About the School
Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, opened its doors in 1945 as the first integrated school in a segregated city. GDS was founded by seven families who wanted to create a school committed not only to academic excellence and educational innovation but also to a value system emphasizing appreciation and respect for others. Believing that diversity was the ground out of which all deep and rich learning occurs, they established a school where all children would be welcome, celebrated, and challenged to be their best selves.
Today, the School’s philosophy, programs, and position in the national educational landscape strongly reflect its roots. Having grown from 12 children in 1945 to 1075 students in PK-12 today, GDS is recognized as one of Washington, D.C.’s and the nation’s most dynamic educational institutions.
Since the school’s founding, GDS has called eight different locations home. In the fall of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools were all joined on one extraordinary campus, PK-12, presenting great possibilities for the School.
About the Position
GDS seeks a visionary and inspirational educational leader for its Lower School to guide a joyful and purposeful community of 250 students and 50 faculty and staff. Founded as the first racially and religiously integrated school in the nation’s capital, GDS continues to keep at the heart of its school mission the maintenance and cultivation of a just, ethical, and inclusive community. Working with a dynamic and engaged faculty, the Lower School Principal is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Lower School as well as articulating a clear and compelling vision for the future with administrative colleagues. With a top-notch faculty, fully enrolled student body, committed parents, and first-rate facilities, GDS is in a uniquely attractive position, with a deeply felt and lived history, clear mission and genuine openness to the possibilities that lie ahead.
The next Lower School Principal will require sound judgment, imagination, and a thorough understanding of the educational and emotional needs of curious, energetic, and capable lower school students. The Principal will need to ensure the continuing excellence of all aspects of the division’s operations and will seek, along with the faculty and school leadership, to envision and realize the division’s next chapter. A member of the senior administration, the Lower School Principal reports directly to the Associate Head of School, meeting regularly with the Head of School as well.
The new Principal will lead a deeply engaged, accomplished faculty chosen for their understanding of their subjects, exceptional teaching ability, and deep passion for working with students. Ideally, the Principal will lead the faculty in further strengthening the culture of the Lower School as a professional learning community where teachers work across disciplines, consider new pedagogies and methods of assessment, and encourage each other’s professional development.
Desired Qualifications and Characteristics
The School seeks a Principal who will combine intelligence, passion for learning, diplomacy, firmness, humor, tact, candor, and the ability to respond to situations promptly and thoughtfully when working with students, parents, and faculty. The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to work with all constituents and possess proven interest and experience in working in a diverse, multicultural environment. Accessibility, visibility, and a belief in the value of open, clear communication and process will be among the chief virtues of the successful candidate. Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess the ability to:
Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess the ability to:
- Understand, empathize, and connect with elementary school students;
- Foster community along with academic excellence;
- Make timely, fair and clear decisions;
- Manage multiple priorities at once;
- Attend to details, manage change, and successfully run a large division;
- Write and speak with clarity, concision, and conviction;
- See challenges and problems as opportunities for growth and change;
- Model effective teaching, and;
- Reflect deeply and learn from mistakes.
The selected candidate will bring to the School a love of learning, a commitment to teaching, an embrace of the School’s mission of equity, inclusion and social justice, and the ability to deftly balance the needs and expectations of all three constituents of the school – students, faculty and parents. Seven to ten years of teaching and administrative experience in a lower school setting, as well as a B.A are required. An M.A. or Ph.D. is preferred.
Candidates interested in this position are asked to submit the materials listed below as soon as possible.
- EC Candidate Summary Sheet (request from search consultant)
- Letter of interest addressed to the Search Committee
- Resume or CV
- Statement of educational leadership philosophy
- A list of five professional references with email and phone contact information and context
- EC Disclosure Statement (request from search consultant)
Please address any applications, inquiries, or expressions of interest to Nat Conard at email@example.com.
Listing Date: January 30, 2024