Founded in 1889, The Wheeler School is a co-educational independent day school for over 800 students from Nursery through Grade Twelve in beautiful and dynamic Providence, Rhode Island. The essence of our vision comes down to a simple concept, reflected by Mary C. Wheeler’s founding precept: “to learn our powers and be answerable for their use.” Wheeler is a place where we strive to make anything possible for students, where choice, inquiry, and interest are of primary import, where we know individuals well, and where we insist upon and nurture intellectual character, critical thinking, empathy, and creative spirit.
The Director of the Lower School is the leader of the lower school program and responsible for bringing the mission of the school and its new strategic plan to life through curriculum, relationships, and pedagogy in the lower school. Led for almost four decades by a strong and well-respected leader, the lower school has high morale and an excellent faculty, and is known for structured, joyful, and challenging programming. In the years ahead, the Lower School will continue this track record, as well as revisit and refine curriculum for the next generation Wheeler experience that all of the School is advancing. This leader will work closely with a strong team of division leaders and colleagues to ensure coherence through ongoing professional learning, daily and annual innovations, and collaboration with our exceptional faculty.
At the highest level, the ideal candidate will be a dedicated and accessible leader and manager, a pragmatic visionary, collaborative, self-motivated, and decisive. An ideal candidate will have experience leading growth and change, and will garner trust through open and direct communications and a strong work ethic. A passion for teaching and learning will be evident in frequent visits to classrooms and conversations with teachers. The ideal candidate will be creative and dynamic, and will have a high energy level to match the dynamism of the Wheeler School environment. The candidate will act with humility and a sense of humor, will be organized and an excellent, thoughtful communicator, and will have extremely strong relational skills. Most essentially, working with children will be a great joy.
More specifically, this leader will:
Provide clear vision, supervisory leadership and management, and strategic direction for all aspects of the Lower School program, including nursery through 5th grade
Represent the Lower School at all events as the chief communicator and leader of the division
Develop and oversee a dynamic professional learning sequence that challenges and empowers faculty to move towards a shared vision, and that rewards innovation and collaboration
Provide a clear, warm, dynamic presence and leadership for families, students, and the larger community
Collaborate with the Director of Admissions on enrollment matters
Work closely with Hamilton faculty and leadership on matters of integration and inclusion, and shared professional learning and student support opportunities
Work with Aerie director and staff to develop and coordinate Lower School classroom, co-curricular, and enrichment opportunities for students and teachers
To apply, please submit a resume, writing sample, and cover letter to Dawn Kelliher, Executive Assistant to the Head of School, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the position title in the subject line.
Statement on Diversity
At Wheeler we actively seek students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds in the belief that a broad range of experiences and viewpoints enhance learning, enrich life on campus, and better prepare us all for full participation in a pluralistic, democratic society. The Wheeler School is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, or disability, and any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.
Experience leading faculty towards shared instructional vision through teaming, collaboration, and exploration of best practice
Knowledge of current, research-based best practices for working with children and teachers
Knowledge of innovative school scheduling initiatives
Experience leading curriculum design
Demonstrated cultural competency and interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion work in schools
Experiences working with a wide range of learning needs, and with consultants who serve those needs
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Facility with social media and blogging
Excellent management and collaboration skills
A master’s degree or higher in education or educational leadership is required
About The Wheeler School
The Wheeler School is a Nursery through Grade 12 co-ed independent day school founded in 1889 in Providence, Rhode Island located on College Hill on the East Side of Providence. Wheeler is comprised of four divisions, Lower School (N-5), Middle School (6-8), Upper School (9-12), and Hamilton School (1-8), the latter a special school- within-a-school for students with learning differences. We are a vibrant, joyous family with exceptional Fine and Performing Arts, Athletics for grades 6-12, Summer Programs open to the public, and numerous curricular and co-curricular choices for our students. Our programs are creative, innovative, and challenging.