Since 1940, the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) has been a key resource for continuous improvement in independent schools. While the specific focus has evolved over the years, CAIS has always been a trusted partner for independent school leaders, a prized accreditation group, and a source of data-backed information and guidance. Currently serving 235 member schools, CAIS is a nonprofit accrediting organization providing professional development and networking opportunities to its member schools’ heads and trustees. Through reflection and research, CAIS has crafted their next phase of priorities with a just-launched strategic plan.
Goals of New Strategic Plan
Strong School Leadership: equip heads of schools and trustees with the knowledge and skills needed to sustain and strengthen their schools and their leadership
Future Leader Pipeline: build a robust and diverse pipeline of independent school leaders who are prepared to serve as heads of schools
Advocacy & Awareness: increase visibility and understanding of the value of independent schools with CAIS accreditation
Inclusion, Equity and Belonging: champion and support a sustained commitment to foster respect for the diversity and dignity of humanity through inclusion, equity, and belonging in CAIS and our member schools
Organizational Excellence: optimize CAIS operations and align resources to support the strategic direction
The Position: Director of Equity and Learning
Reporting to Executive Director Deb Dowling, the Director of Equity and Learning will be joining a small but impactful team of 9 to provide guidance to CAIS school heads and trustees through a lens of inclusion, equity, and belonging. Within the goals of the new strategic plan, the Director will lead programs to support strong school leadership, help build a pipeline of future leaders, and actively work to foster inclusion, equity, and belonging within CAIS and among member schools. This is a remote position, yet the ideal candidate is located in California and willing to travel within and beyond the state as needed. The staff gathers several times per year for retreats and Association events.
Conduct, co-lead, or coordinate workshops for trustees, heads, and aspiring heads in member schools, including equity-related workshops, programs for new leaders, programs to support common areas of growth for member schools, and legal consortium webinars
Plan and manage the content of CAIS’ annual Trustee/School Head Conference in collaboration with CAIS’ Events Manager and Executive Director, including identifying and engaging presenters and vetting sponsors
Create and curate online resources adapted to the needs of member heads, trustees, aspiring heads, and other constituencies, including resources related to inclusion, equity, and belonging, in collaboration with the Director of Member Engagement
Advise boards and heads in crisis, referring them to consultants and other resources
Moderate a small number of CAIS listservs, forums, or affinity groups as needed
Support equity throughout CAIS, through collaborative work with the Board and other Association employees
Desired Qualifications and Qualities
Experience and Skills
Experience as a consultant, trainer, and/or provider of professional development for independent school heads and/or trustees
Expertise to lead conversations and training about inclusion, equity, and belonging
Outstanding skills of written and verbal communication and collaboration, from 1-1 to large audiences.
Comfortable with data presentation and interpretation
Curriculum development expertise
Former independent school head and/or trustee
Familiarity with accreditation process and strategic planning
Advanced degree (Master’s or higher) in education or relevant discipline
Good networks and relationships within CA independent schools
Visionary and detail-oriented
Ability to manage multiple projects independently
Comfort learning new technologies
Self-possessed and comfortable with direct communication
Warm, open, and kind
A collaborative and responsive teambuilder
Highly professional and diplomatic
Communicates Effectively – Developing and delivering multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.
Develops Talent – Developing people to meet both their career goals and the organization’s goals.
Values Difference – Recognizing the value that different perspectives and cultures bring to an organization.
Interpersonal Savvy – Relating openly and comfortably with diverse groups of people.
Action Oriented – Taking on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm.
Drives Vision & Purpose – Painting a compelling picture of the vision and strategy that motivates others to action.
Benefits and Compensation
The Director of Equity and Learning position offers a benchmarked salary range of $160,000 - $170,000. CAIS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, matching 403b retirement plan, professional development support, and a remote office stipend.
Application Requirements and Search Process
DRG is conducting this search on behalf of CAIS. Interested candidates should submit, as soon as possible, materials including the following:
A cover letter indicating why they are particularly interested in and qualified for the position
A current resume
A writing sample of your choice (newsletter, article, talk, etc.)
A list of references (references will not be contacted until the finalist stage of the search)
Application Deadline: March 22, 2023
Start date: July 1, 2023
This position description is based upon material provided by the California Association of Independent Schools, an equal opportunity employer. CAIS is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people. CAIS prioritizes creating an environment that is safe and open to all employees respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, and all other classifications protected by law.