Job Listing
December 29, 2021
Elementary School Division Head
Elementary School Division Head Search
Prospect Sierra is an independent, coed TK–8 school located on two campuses in El Cerrito, California, serving 465 students. Prospect Sierra gives students the tools to build a better world by integrating rigorous academics with a deep understanding of human emotions. Every day our talented teachers connect students' academic experiences to ethics, empathy, and social and emotional intelligence. The result is deeper intellectual engagement, greater self-knowledge, and compassionate relationships. Prospect Sierra students develop the courage to become great people, not just great students.

Prospect Sierra students are passionate about learning. Our exceptional teachers inspire students to seek deep, meaningful understanding; develop strong academic skills, and become creative and independent thinkers. Prospect Sierra cultivates compassion, fairness, respect, and individuality within a community that celebrates diversity, authenticity, and service.

Elementary School Profile
Prospect Sierra’s Elementary School, located at 2060 Tapscott Avenue in El Cerrito, California, is a vibrant learning community of approximately 200 students in grades TK-4. Our students come from a diversity of neighborhoods in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, spanning geographically north and east of our El Cerrito location. Prospect Sierra’s focus on ethnic and socioeconomic diversity is apparent in its demographics. More than 50% of our students are students of color, and one in three students is on a flexible tuition plan.

At the Elementary School campus, usually called “Tapscott,” faculty are highly valued as knowledgeable, experienced professionals. A strong relationship of mutual trust and respect exists between faculty and administrators, the result of which is a cohesive community of professionals who collaborate to serve children well on a daily basis and to move the institution forward over time. An ethos of growth is at the heart of the faculty and staff culture and is evident in the strong commitment to professional development.

One of the most impressive aspects of Prospect Sierra is the deliberateness and thoughtfulness with which everyone works. Common priorities and ideals permeate every aspect of the school, from decision-making processes and administrative systems to curriculum and pedagogy to community-building efforts. As a result, the school’s values, programs, and operational practices reinforce each other as well as strengthen the sense of shared purpose among Prospect Sierra constituents.

The faculty work to seamlessly integrate challenging academics with social-emotional learning and values-building. As children grow in their intellectual development, they also gain an understanding of their impact on their communities and the environment locally and globally. They learn to appreciate diversity in all its forms and develop compassion for others, and they recognize and manage their own emotional needs. Through hands-on and project-based learning, study trips, service, and other experiences, students learn to solve the problems of today, identify the problems of tomorrow, and be agents of change in the world.

Prospect Sierra is in a stage of particular strength at this moment. The departing Elementary School Head has built, during her highly successful nine-year tenure, a healthy and joyful culture that the next Elementary School Head will inherit. This is an excellent opportunity for the next leader to continue building a model of exceptional independent school education.

Strengths and Opportunities
Prospect Sierra will remain a leader in TK-8 education by embracing opportunities for continual improvement. In the next three to five years, the Elementary School Division Head will be leading or helping to facilitate the initiatives below:

Ensuring coordination and consistency of student assessments across departments and grade levels.

Furthering the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the curriculum and community life.

Continuing to strengthen student support systems through coordination of learning specialists and counselors with faculty, administration, and families.

Working with the Senior Administration and Board to identify and address physical spaces that will best meet program needs.

Integrating the 21st Century Learning Framework across the curriculum.

Working with the Director of Development on fundraising initiatives that have a direct impact on Elementary School programs and/or faculty.

Continuing to find innovative ways to support the school’s overall initiative to increase faculty/staff salaries while maintaining tuition increases at a minimum.

Prioritizing initiatives to promote well-being and balance for faculty and staff.

Areas of Focus
Quickly getting to know all Tapscott faculty and staff, their needs and strengths, in order to support them to do their best work.

Finding ways to become immersed in student life and getting to know students as well as possible.

Gaining a solid understanding of the elementary school curriculum and intricacies of the schedule, including research and initiatives to change aspects of the program.

Working with the newly appointed Associate Head of School for Program and Professional Development to do a thorough analysis of our curriculum, TK-8, and identify the professional development necessary to execute flexible, dynamic learning spaces for our students. Both division heads will play a key role in working with the AHSPPD as we create thoughtful and efficient ways to move our program forward.

Embracing the collaborative, highly communicative, and supportive culture of the Senior Administration.

Leading, while also developing the leadership capacity of the distributive leadership model that exists across the school.

Maintaining the culture of open communication between faculty, administration, and parents that has been well established at the school.

Personal Attributes
A leader who models a growth mindset and comfort with change, inspires and motivates others, and at the same time brings focus and balance to a hardworking, aspirational community.

A person who values and respects children in the developmental ages and stages present in the division and beyond and seeks to bring their voices forward.

An authentic person with integrity, intellect, creativity, and genuine interest in and care for others.

A manager who can clearly highlight strengths as well as growth opportunities in the faculty and staff. Someone who prioritizes opportunities for growth and leadership, values a diversity of perspectives, and balances collaboration and decisiveness.

A joyful and optimistic person with a good sense of humor.

Experience and Skills
At least five years of relevant experience, ideally in an independent school, and preferably experience as a classroom teacher in elementary schools.

Broad and deep knowledge of early childhood/elementary development, best practices in progressive teaching and social-emotional learning, and engagement with current research and national conversations about the future of education.

Ability to understand and engage in problem-solving with administrators and the Board of Trustees on the school’s financial outlook.

Ability to set clear priorities and define an appropriate pace of change that balances progress and innovation with reflection and sensitivity to the community.

A nuanced understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice; skill in growing and supporting programs and practices in these areas; and a recognition of one’s own identities and biases and how they may impact one’s perspectives and actions.

Other Considerations
The position begins on July 1, 2022.

Compensation is competitive to comparable schools in the region and commensurate to experience.

Please visit our website,, for more information.

This search presents a rare opportunity to lead a healthy, happy Elementary School that is in a position of strength in every respect yet which has a bold vision and aspirations for the future. The new Elementary School Head will inspire, lead, and collaborate with the entire school community in ensuring that Prospect Sierra remains a leader in educational innovation and academic excellence, devises creative and thoughtful approaches to the stewardship of resources, and continually cultivates a diverse and inclusive community in which students, faculty, staff, and families thrive.

How to Apply
Please send a letter of interest, resumé, personal statement, and list of 3 references to [email protected] Use “ES Head Search” in the subject line. Candidates who bring diversity in all its forms are encouraged to apply.

We will be actively reviewing resumés until January 7, 2022.
ES Head Search
[email protected]