Head of School, The Discovery School & Associate Director of Innovative Practice, CCC


The Discovery School is a Reggio-inspired preschool housed at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM). Our program is the only museum-based preschool in California, and we draw upon the Museum’s 25 years of child-directed, open-ended, inquiry-driven learning, as well as best practices in creativity development from the Museum’s research division, the Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC). We offer a low student to teacher ratio and a highly engaged parent community. The Museum also provides an unmatched location, on 7.5 acres of National Park land at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge and with immediate access to the beach, coastal habitats, historic batteries and hiking trails.

With the 2017 – 2018 school year, the program will be expanded and will become a laboratory school affiliated with the Center for Childhood Creativity toward a goal of championing evidence-backed creativity development in early childhood education. We are currently seeking a seasoned educational leader with deep expertise in emergent, project-based, reflective and innovative practice to serve as Head of School for The Discovery School as well as Associate Director of Innovative Practice for the CCC.

This person will lead the strategic expansion of the school, oversee staff to deliver an exemplary program, and build meaningful family partnerships. He or she will work to develop the program into a pre-eminent laboratory school partnering with the region’s best developmental psychology and cognitive science labs to inform educational practice. As part of the CCC team, this person will also consult on advisory projects and contribute thought leadership (through conference participation and published writing), with a particular expertise on evidence-backed teaching practice, childhood creativity development, and innovation in early education. 


Institutional Strategy and Leadership

· Lead the Discovery School teaching team toward the goal of positioning the Discovery School as a nationally-recognized, Reggio-inspired laboratory for the study of development, cognition, creativity, and educational practice. 

· Serve on Museum’s Senior Leadership Team to align program strategy with broader institutional vision of impacting one million children annually and to represent needs of The Discovery School team with Museum leaders. 

· Serve on Museum’s Education Leadership Team to build cohesion among core initiatives (i.e. CCC research, onsite visitor experience and programming, onsite licensed preschool, school-based partnerships, and OST partnerships) and to collaborate on department-level capacity building and professional development.

· Partner with External Relations teams (development, marketing, and communications) to support strategies for donor engagement, enrollment outreach, and thought leadership.

· Work with CFO and VP of Education to develop and oversee budget aligned to strategy and goals.


School Leadership and Management

· Articulate vision for the school representing the highest standards of innovative early education practice; build support among teachers, parents, institutional leaders across departments, and community members. 

· Ensure quality control of the program, including fulfillment of license requirements.

· Establish and oversee systems, processes, and culture to support children’s social, emotional, and physical well-being, including protocols for illness, counseling and intervention.

· Oversee admissions process for the school, including organizing and facilitating tours for prospective families, toward a goal of full enrollment in toddler-parent program and both preschool classrooms.

· Develop relationships with the education community, including but not limited to a network of kindergarten admissions directors; support family placement in elementary programs that will best serve the child.

· Oversee delivery of exemplary project-based emergent curricula; ensure that the educational program represents innovation in education and research-aligned approach. 

· Oversee processes and systems to ensure administrative aspects of school are well run (e.g. inventory of supplies and materials, forms required for staff and student records).

Personnel Management

· Hire, train, coach, evaluate, support, and retain high quality teaching staff for The Discovery School.

· Direct and supervise the activities of teaching staff; lead the team to articulate research-backed learning and development objectives, reflect and document children’s process and growth, and communicate achievements to stakeholders.

· Set performance and professional development goals with each teacher at the beginning of the school year and monitor progress.

· Perform regular observations and provide feedback on staff performance; document performance issues as needed and conduct annual performance reviews.

· Prepare and maintain an approved list of substitute teachers and secure additional staff as needed.

· Manage staff levels effectively to ensure business operations of school are well run and school is staffed appropriately for curriculum.

· Maintain staff records, monitoring licensing and required continuing education.

Parent Communication

· Cultivate a strong parent community and offer a variety of parent involvement opportunities.

· Maintain relationships with parents to support their child’s development and learning and to meaningfully engage all families in the school and museum communities; ensure quality written documentation of children’s learning and regular and responsive opportunities for family conferences with staff.

· Ensure prompt and courteous replies to parent inquiries and with appropriate follow-up.

Advisory/Client Services

· Serve as client lead for projects related to teaching practice, childhood creativity development, and innovation in early education and manage relationships with clients engaging with CCC on these topics.

· Using CCC research base, develop curricular products for clients that have broad impact and/or revenue-generating potential.

· Provide consulting services (e.g. curriculum development, technical assistance/ coaching, program evaluation, product evaluation) to partners/ clients.

· Identify prospective clients and steward new relationships; maintain accurate and up-to-date records of all relationships in Altru database.

· Track consulting services and work with Finance to ensure timely and accurate invoicing.


Thought Leadership

· Contribute to broad CCC thought leadership strategy through blog posts, articles, speaking opportunities and social media engagement.

· Keep abreast of current trends in teaching practice, childhood creativity development, and innovation in early education.

· Build a strong network of preschool and early childhood education leaders.



· BA or BS in education, early childhood education, child development or relevant field required, MA or PhD preferred.

· Childcare Center Director qualified or CA child development Site Supervisor Permit.

· Must have a minimum of 15 hours Health and Safety Training for a childcare center and be certified or commit to be certified in First Aid and CPR for adult, infant and child.

· Understanding of, respect for, and investment in creativity (defined broadly as the openness, flexibility and persistence to solve problems in innovative ways).

· 8 or more years of classroom experience preferred, including strong experience engaging families.

· 3 or more years of preschool leadership experience as a Director, Assistant Director, or Manager/Supervisor.

· Expertise designing curricula that is emergent, inquiry/ project-based, collaborative, and child-centered.

· Previous success as a manager and inspiring leader.

· Tolerance of ambiguity, change, risk, rapid iteration and a fast-paced work environment; ability to manage pressure with sense of humor, perspective and strong prioritization, and positivity.   

· Exemplary communication, interpersonal, and customer service skills; comfort with networking and presenting. 

· Skills in both creative idea generation and tactical execution.

· Ability to work both independently and collaboratively within a team.

· General comfort with technology; high proficiency with full Microsoft Suite; ability to learn new platforms quickly.

· Willingness and ability to travel nationally for conferences, networking opportunities, and speaking engagements.

· Applicants bilingual in Spanish or Cantonese and candidates of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

· Ability to handle confidential and sensitive material with discretion.

· LiveScan and criminal record clearance through DOJ child Abuse Index.

· Proof of absence of tuberculosis (TB) required before starting employment.



Qualified candidates should apply online at: https://workforcenow.adp.com/jobs/apply/posting.html?client=BADM

Applicants should be prepared to provide both a resume and cover letter. Please attach your cover letter in step 2 of the online application process when prompted to attach other documents.


Due to the sensitivity and requirements of our positions, you should expect to undergo and be cleared of an employment background/criminal check, if extended an offer for employment. You may also be asked to provide proof of educational degree(s), licenses or credentials pertinent to the position.


Our mission: To ignite and advance creative thinking for all children.

In our one-of-a-kind location at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on 7.5 acres of National Park land, the Bay Area Discovery Museum facilitates child-directed, open-ended, inquiry-driven learning through hands-on exhibitions, rich activities and risk- friendly challenges designed to ignite creativity, as well as STEM skills and critical thinking.

Additionally, the Museum’s research and advisory division, the Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC), is working at a national scale to advance the research that informs our understanding of childhood creativity, advocate for its critical importance and inspire the next generation of innovators, thought leaders and problem-solvers.


The Bay Area Discovery Museum offers a high-energy, results-oriented, creative and fun environment where all staff members contribute to creating an innovative environment that helps us achieve our mission. In addition to competitive salaries and benefits, we offer the knowledge that your skills impact over 300,000 Museum visitors each year onsite and many more in the community through the Museum’s Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC).

The Bay Area Discovery Museum is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.

Mobile Site