Job Details

Assistant Head of School

Catlin Gabel School, Portland, OR

Job - Education

Close Date: 02/22/2018

Assistant Head of School
Catlin Gabel School
Portland, Oregon

Catlin Gabel School seeks a creative and experienced leader to serve in the new position of assistant head of school. The new assistant head will partner with the head of school and colleagues to implement our strategic plan, align schoolwide programs and initiatives with our mission and values, build a growth-oriented and joyful professional culture, and foster an inclusive school community. The assistant head will demonstrate success in developing distinctive educational initiatives, knowledge of systems and design thinking, astute problem-solving skills, and empathetic relationships with diverse employees. A deep commitment to Catlin Gabel’s progressive education vision is essential.

The School
Catlin Gabel is a thriving educational community of 760 students in grades PS-12 in Portland, Oregon. Recognized as a leading progressive independent school, Catlin Gabel is committed to developing knowledge, agency, and kindness in an inclusive community. The school is a healthy and forward-thinking institution in all areas. Priorities include a new strategic plan focused on experiential learning and a culture of innovation; leading national and regional education initiatives; promoting diversity and inclusion on campus and through community engagement in Portland; and launching a capital campaign to strengthen the school’s financial and campus resources. (See for more information about the school’s mission, strategic plan, diversity profile, inclusion initiatives, and current projects.)

The Opportunity
Catlin Gabel’s new Assistant Head will have a rare and exciting opportunity to define a meaningful new role in a successful and purposeful school. The assistant head will lead positive collaborative change by mobilizing our talent, resources, and community to improve the student learning experience and professional culture. This will require creative strategic thinking, thoughtful planning and execution, sound and informed judgment, and outstanding communication and people skills. Duties for this new position will include:

Educational Leadership
• Coordinate implementation and assessment of the school’s strategic plan
• Ensure that the school’s educational and operational programs, policies, and practices reflect the school’s mission and values and are connected and aligned.
• Supervise cross-divisional program directors, including: PLACE and The Center, athletics, outdoor education, robotics, summer programs
• Support and integrate cross-divisional teams, including: learning specialists, counselors, librarians
• Advise the head of school and represent the head when he/she/they are not present
• Coordinate and attend administrative team and division head meetings

Program Development and Assessment
• Coordinate and develop the schoolwide Professional Learning Program
• Plan and lead professional learning that advances the strategic plan and mission
• Partner with hiring managers to recruit and develop a talented and diverse faculty
• Partner with senior administrators to support research and assessment efforts
• Assess the potential value and sustainability of new programs and initiatives
• Lead and coordinate the accreditation process and other special projects
• Participate in board of trustees meetings; guide and serve on board task forces

Community and Constituent Relations
• Foster a positive, mission-focused professional culture by serving as an employee relations resource to the administration and employees
• Partner with colleagues to promote inclusion and social justice, on and off campus
• Serve as primary liaison to the Parent Faculty Association (PFA)
• Be an engaged, visible, and active presence in the school community, including teaching, advising, or coaching based on experience and need

The ideal candidate will have a record of sustained, innovative leadership in school settings, program development and management experience, and an advanced degree. Beyond these qualifications, the following will be given special consideration:

The ability to form positive relationships and engender respect and loyalty from diverse employees; a collaborative leadership style that derives authority from a passionate commitment to the mission; the ability to solve problems, resolve conflicts, and make decisions; the ability to lead in an intellectually dynamic environment; strong writing and speaking skills; and qualities of integrity, empathy, and humor.

Educational Philosophy
Demonstrated commitment to Catlin Gabel’s four principles of progressive education: whole student, inquiry-based, experiential, and education for democracy; the ability to ensure programs and initiatives are inspired by these principles; and an enduring commitment to student-centered, evidence-based and innovative educational approaches.

Diverse and Inclusive Vision
Demonstrated experience in building and sustaining an inclusive community of faculty and staff and programs and policies that reflect and support diverse cultures and perspectives. A culturally responsive systems approach based on significant personal work to understand implicit bias.

Project Management and Organizational Skills
Skill in project and budget management and assessment, and wise allocation and stewardship of financial resources. The ability to balance engagement with longer-range initiatives and responsiveness to immediate needs and opportunities.

Salary & Benefits
Catlin Gabel’s administrative salaries and benefits are highly competitive with those at other independent schools.

Application Process:

To apply, please go to and attach a letter of interest, resume, a reference list, and a writing sample that reflects educational philosophy. Transcripts will be requested for finalist candidates. Initial inquiries will be treated confidentially. If you have questions about the search process, please contact:

Mia Mendicino
Assistant Head Search Committee
Catlin Gabel School
8825 SW Barnes Road
Portland, Oregon 97225

503-297-1894, ext. 5000 (office)

Closing Date for this position is February 24, 2018.

Catlin Gabel School seeks to employ the best qualified individuals from available applicants and to provide them with opportunity for advancement in a manner that does not discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, genetic information, or any other status protected under local, state, or federal equal employment opportunity laws or regulations.

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