Sea Crest School
(Half Moon Bay, CA)
Title: Head of School
SEA CREST SCHOOL
Sea Crest School is an institution where pupils excitedly await the arrival of each school day. The enriching and innovative curriculum integrates arts and technology into core academics and empowers children to engage with each other, their teachers, and members of the local community.
Founded in 1996, Sea Crest is an independent, JK-8 school that is an integral part of the scenic and welcoming San Mateo county coastside community, just minutes from both Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The school serves families from Pacifica to Pescadero and the San Francisco Bay peninsula, including the charming historic town of Half Moon Bay.
Sea Crest is a place where the childhood traits of curiosity, play, and inquiry combine to foster a joyful educational experience, where academic excellence and character-building are equally and greatly valued. Sea Crest prides itself on small class sizes, allowing each child’s individual academic and social needs to be addressed.
A solid JK-8 foundation that focuses on project-based learning, is built through Socratic debate, hands-on activities, public speaking, experiential trips, a health and wellness program, and the use of innovative technologies. Learning continues in the Extended Day Program where students receive a safe, structured “home away from home” outside of school hours with a wide range of opportunities for students to learn and develop their social, emotional and physical development. Sea Crest’s creative faculty and staff challenge pupils to engage curiosity, express creativity, act with compassion, and lead with courage.
In 1996, a group of Northern California Coastside parents and educators got together to realize their vision of hands-on education, individualized instruction, and a rich curriculum. They started with just 26 students, and classes were held in the home of one of the founding families. Today, more than 230 students enjoy a thriving JK-8 community, a beautiful four-acre campus, and an innovative academic program. Sea Crest School is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Since the School’s founding, students have benefited from the hallmarks of the Sea Crest experience: talented teachers, individualized attention, high expectations, integration of the arts and technology into the core program, a safe and nurturing environment, connections to the greater community, and character development equal to the challenging academics.
Magic happens at Sea Crest when eager students connect with thoughtful and creative teachers. Together, they learn and grow through hands-on, experiential, and developmentally relevant activities. Teachers coach students to look at issues from multiple perspectives and solve problems through unfettered brainstorming and experimentation. Foundational skills are built while exploring a diversity of topics. In short, Sea Crest students are actively engaged in their learning. A positive buzz emanates from the classrooms.
Sea Crest is a collaborative community, one in which students, teachers, parents and staff help each other to be their best on a daily basis. Extensive parent volunteerism allows the staff to focus on the important work with students. It is truly a team effort. For more information, please visit www.seacrestschool.org.
Sea Crest School is dedicated to providing the best in innovative education to inspire and empower learners to engage curiosity, express creativity, act with compassion, and lead with courage.
They achieve their mission by:
- Attracting, retaining, and developing an exceptional faculty and staff
- Promoting a culture of collaboration
- Integrating music, drama, art, technology, Spanish, physical education and the iLab into the core program
- Encouraging active engagement, problem solving, and exploration in the learning process
- Maintaining small class sizes in a safe and inviting environment
- Sustaining an inclusive community that respects, affirms, and values each individual
- Tailoring methods to address the unique strengths and needs of all students
- Developing a sense of responsibility beyond oneself
- Partnering with families committed to the mission of the school
HALF MOON BAY, CA:
With a population of 13,000, Half Moon Bay rests on the Pacific Coast between forested hills and some of the most beautiful coastline that California has to offer. It is located approximately 28 miles south of San Francisco and lies within the westernmost portion of San Mateo County, with convenient access to Silicon Valley. Coastal Living Magazine named Half Moon Bay one of America’s Happiest Seaside Towns.
The historic downtown is home to numerous shops, art galleries, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and other businesses. Local beaches and parks can be accessed by pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians. Golf can be enjoyed at two of California’s finest courses. The City and Coastside communities, with a combined population of 32,500, are also home to numerous nurseries and farms. The Pumpkin Festival held in October draws hundreds of thousands of people to the coast to enjoy its panoramic vistas, fine cuisine, arts, crafts, and genuine hospitality.
Temperatures are mild and the valleys are rich. Half Moon Bay and the Coastside are proud of their agriculture and floriculture center where roadside stands sell locally grown fruit, artichokes, greens, root vegetables, beans, and herbs. Delicious fresh seafood is available everywhere in restaurants or to take home and prepare yourself.
Residents of this charming community live a lifestyle that many think no longer exists in California. Neighbors care about each other, schools are important, and there is a sense of real community.
Reporting to the 16-member Board of Trustees, the Head of School is the chief executive and operating officer of the School and serves as an ex-officio member of the Board. The Head will supervise the following direct reports: Director of Lower School, Director of Middle School, Director of Advancement and Director of Finance and Operations.
The Head should enthusiastically endorse Sea Crest’s mission, characteristics and values, and be committed to developing them further. The position also offers the new Head an opportunity to help refine the School’s vision for the future and lead the School to its next level of development. The Board completed a Strategic Plan in 2017 that serves as an evolving tool to manage the direction of the school.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Executing and administering the policies and direction of the School as adopted by the Board of Trustees
- Overseeing day-to-day operations
- Overseeing the School programs, both curricular and extra-curricular
- Modeling and effectively communicating the School’s mission, philosophy, and guiding principles
The Head should focus on continuing to successfully build the sense of community of Sea Crest School among faculty, students, parents and alumni. With primary responsibility for the School’s on-going success, growth and development, the Head should also be the lead spokesperson for the School to its varied constituencies, both internally and externally. The Head will have responsibility for articulating the vision and positioning of the School. The successful candidate will represent the School professionally and in the community, extending the growing public awareness of the unique and quality education provided by Sea Crest. The Head will help strengthen the already impressive academic reputation the institution holds in the greater community.
The Head will also be central to reinforcing the strength of the School’s community: supportive and inspirational in the areas of faculty and staff development, curriculum development, and teaching; charismatic in attracting and retaining families to the School; and solid in reinforcing the values of the School throughout the Sea Crest community. Because of the School’s focus on educating the whole child, the Head will also provide strong leadership to the School’s broad-based JK-8 approach and its wide educational and extra-curricular programs. The Head will lead faculty and staff in expanding the use of the iLab and computer science within the educational program.
It is expected that the Head will be an active participant in fundraising programs and will assume leadership with the Sea Crest Board and the Director of Advancement in the area of fund development.
The Head will have responsibility for the sound fiscal management of the institution and should, therefore, have experience developing and monitoring budgets as well as working with various school departments on the formulation of annual and long-term goals and objectives. The Head will have responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the School. Within the context of the School’s vision and strategic plan, the Head will develop plans for the long-term development and enhancement of the School while also stimulating conversation among faculty and staff regarding short-term operating issues. The Head will promote open communication internally and externally, seeking input from various constituencies and sharing information as appropriate.
TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS:
The successful candidate will excel in an environment where there is an expectation of familiarity between the Head of School and the children and families. At the same time, that must be balanced with critical thinking, strategic planning, and the supervision of day-to-day operations. Collaborating with faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees, the Head should provide visionary and inspirational leadership.
The Head should be comfortable with the JK-8 model. Familiarity with both lower and middle school curriculum and pedagogy would be an advantage and is preferred. The individual should be skilled in participatory decision making, academic and public communication, educational innovation, sound fiscal management, and have demonstrated effectiveness in (or the potential for) the development of financial resources. The successful candidate will promote and embrace evolutionary change to build on the current strengths of the School as it moves towards the future. The Head will have a commitment to continuous improvement of the academic programs and have the capacity to create a unified community that embraces positive change.
The successful candidate should demonstrate confidence, maturity and patience and be able to develop credibility with the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, parents, and other constituencies. The ability to create a collegial environment conducive to sincere and open communication is critical. As such, the Head should have an accessible and approachable style, which demonstrates a willingness to listen to new ideas while also offering creative solutions to a variety of challenges.
CAREER PATH LEADING TO THIS POSITION:
The successful candidate will be a leader who is an experienced teacher and successful administrator, preferably in an American-accredited independent school. The individual should show increasing responsibility and evidence of accomplishment in the following activities: recruitment and personnel development; curriculum development; teacher/staff evaluation and development; board relations; fiscal management; parent and alumni relations; community and external relations including fundraising; student activities management; plant management; and student recruitment. Sitting heads, assistant heads, division directors and administrators with similar titles and responsibilities will be considered.
An undergraduate degree is required; an advanced degree is highly preferred.
A competitive salary and benefits package will be provided. Relocation assistance is negotiable, if needed.
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