Job Duration: Full Time

Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree

Minimum Experience: 5 Years

Website: http://www.dukeschool.org

Duke School — an independent, nationally recognized progressive preschool through eighth-grade project-based school — seeks a mission-driven, relational, and courageous leader as its new Director of Equity, Justice, and Belonging (EJB).

The new Director of Equity, Justice, and Belonging will enter a well-engaged school community and build upon a strong foundation of institutional and community work in equity, justice, and belonging. The new Director of EJB will synthesize their strategic goals as well as faculty/staff and parent commitments to create a vision towards becoming an even more diverse, equitable, and inclusive school where just and belonging are paramount.

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Founded in 1947, Duke School is a leading educational institution both within the Research Triangle and wider educational community, modeling innovative teaching methods for both public and other independent schools, with its unique child-centered, project-based integrated curriculum. Duke School’s approach to equity and justice begins with recognizing, understanding, and appreciating differences, seeking to dismantle barriers that exist because of race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic background and status, age, and gender.

Reporting to the Head of School, the Director will join a dedicated and diverse senior Leadership Team as they support faculty and staff in meeting Duke School’s diversity, equity, justice, and belonging goals. The Director will provide strategic vision, overseeing and leading the implementation of the EJB aspect of the strategic plan.

The director is a highly visible presence within the school community, engaging individually and collectively with students, faculty, staff, parents, and the greater external community. The new Director will work closely in collaboration with division heads and faculty as curricula are continually revised and further developed. The Director will enter a close-knit collegial community that is eager to advance their work in the areas of diversity, equity, justice, and belonging.

Acting as a resource to students, families, employees and trustees, the Director, with the support and engagement of all school leaders, will lead the School’s strategic vision to serve as a model for equity and justice.

The strategic priorities for the Director of EJB include the following:

  • Champion the EJB vision by setting a high bar of expectations for all constituents to push deeper into the work of EJB.

  • Collaborate with the Head of School and serve as a key liaison to the Board in EJB strategic visioning and implementation; engaging with appropriate stakeholders to develop, implement, operationalize, and measure the school’s strategic EJB plan, vision, and related goals to ensure Execution.

  •  Plan with senior leaders on how to integrate EJB best practices and anti-bias/unconscious bias strategies into hiring and retention practices.

  • Serve as a catalyst and partner with faculty to leverage best practices and curricular resources.

  • Explore the intersection between social-emotional learning and work in the DEJB field.

 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS & DUTIES

The next Director of EJB will have the key role of examining school-wide policies alongside the Board of Trustees and the senior leadership team to ensure an equity lens is applied widely across the institution. An essential responsibility will be supporting the broad spectrum of dimensions of diversity and identity, including intersections with LGBTQIA+ kids, families, and faculty, neurodiversity, and socioeconomic status.

The Director of EJB will find ways to both challenge and support people through their equity growth journeys. Establishing relationships with students, faculty and staff, and especially with families — early and deeply — will be critical for creating a culture where everyone is recognized and feels they belong. In particular, the Director of EJB will strive to ensure that the position all students have a voice and are seen, and that faculty and parents are addressing their needs. The essential functions and duties of the Director of EJB will also include:

  • Developing ways, in conjunction with the division directors, to ensure our diverse populations feel valued and valuable and so that students see and celebrate differences and connections.

  • Supporting, coaching, and collaborating with teachers in employing best practice pedagogies, and developing lesson plans through an equity lens, and assisting with efforts to further incorporate EJB into curricula development.

  • Working with faculty in each division to find the nexus between equity work and the different developmental learning stages in the community.

  • Assisting leadership, faculty, and staff to devise ways in which the community can hold a diversity of perspectives; in particular, providing guidance on creating an inclusive space where students/families who have beliefs outside the norm feel heard, seen and a sense of belonging.

  • Serving as a member of hiring committees to minimize unconscious bias and other blind spots in hiring for diversity.

  • Working collaboratively with the Director of Enrollment Management to identify, recruit, enroll and retain diverse families.

  • Documenting, archiving, evaluating, and communicating data to inform practice and assist in developing plans to address any systemic racism or unconscious bias.

  • Implementing programs for EJB skills development for board, faculty, staff, and leadership, establishing timelines and systems of accountability.

  • Working with parents, particularly diverse families, to ensure that they are feeling valued and valuable; supporting ongoing parent education on EJB topics.

  • Introducing the community to resources that reveal blind spots and educate about ways in which society centers whiteness and helping the community to see its work through a lens of equity.

QUALIFICATIONS AND ATTRIBUTES DESIRED

The next Director of EJB will be an equity leader with deep and proven relationship-building skills, who can meaningfully engage students, faculty, staff, parents, and trustees in this work. This leader will have high EQ, bring genuine warmth and caring to the role, and foster deep connection and belonging.

A child development background to help translate equity principles into the separate developmental stages Duke School students go through from Preschool-8 will be important in this role. Expertise in leading relevant professional development around EJB will be critical. Extensive experience in peer and process management would also be helpful: a willingness to jump in, making contact daily with staff in their divisions/departments, and taking initiative to facilitate discussions will go a long way in helping support this work.

Demonstrated experience in establishing, implementing, and communicating a vision and strategic plan in collaboration with other leaders associated with equity, justice, and belonging, including the Board of Trustees, will be highly desired.

Familiarity with, or working knowledge of, the Research Triangle area will be helpful and assist in understanding how equity and justice issues play out locally- to help the school be better community members as it reaches out for engagement.

Similarly, knowledge or familiarity of communities of color on the school’s campus, and in general (i.e., including a demonstrated academic grounding in Africana studies, LatinX studies, Indigenous studies, etc.) will inspire confidence in community members and inspire others to push and gain more knowledge.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCES

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree highly preferred.

  • Ideally, 5+ years of leadership, with demonstrable experience building programs and nurturing community.

  • Work experience in independent schools.

  • Experience teaching, training, or building educational programming is highly valued.

PROCEDURE TO APPLY 

The Duke School community is diverse in racial and ethnic identities, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and socioeconomic status. Students and teachers come from all parts of the world, the country, and North Carolina. The school recognizes the importance of and has worked to increase, diversity in all levels of decision-making throughout its school community. It strives to create an equitable and inclusive community respectful of individual differences. People of color, LGBTQIA+ people, and individuals with other underrepresented backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates are invited to submit the following materials confidentially as one PDF file through the dedicated application portal (https://bit.ly/Dukeschool_EJB_app):

  • Cover letter expressing interest in the Duke School Director of Equity, Justice, and Belonging position

  • Current resume

  • Statement of leadership/EJB philosophy and practice

  • A list of three references including name, title, phone number, email address, and professional relationship (references are contacted only with the candidate’s permission).

Please address any questions by email to jobs@strategenius.org or by phone at 415-881-7105.

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