University Child Development School

Assistant Head of School


University Child Development School (UCDS) located in Seattle, Washington is an independent school serving 380+ Infant/Toddler, Early Elementary (Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten) and Elementary (1st through 5th grade) students. In addition, the UCDS education institution comprises the UCDS Graduate School of Education. UCDS uniquely serves to prepare teachers, educate children, and develop innovations in curriculum and teaching. UCDS’s unique design as a place where both teachers and children learn, where early career teachers develop their practice, and where experienced teachers research and design curriculum, gives rise to its innovation. 

 UCDS traces its roots back over 100 years to the launch of a remarkable nursery program on the campus of the University of Washington and the ensuing decades-long effort that blended innovations in teaching, curriculum design, the study of child development, and teacher preparation. From its early roots, the institution formally recognized that quality teaching and effective learning are inextricably linked, and the current UCDS Mission still guides this multi-sided approach to education.

UCDS encourages students to stretch, reflect, collaborate, and think expansively—enriching their educational growth and ensuring they thrive in school and beyond. We cultivate reflective, collaborative, skillful thinkers who ignite positive change in their communities. From our youngest to our oldest students, we strive to help everyone develop a worldview that identifies, understands, and values diversity in race, culture, gender, religion, ability, and more. 

The Opportunity

This is an outstanding opportunity for a strategic, collaborative, and experienced educational leader to serve as the school’s next Assistant Head of School (AHOS) starting in July 2024. The AHOS is a key leadership position, reaching across all levels of the school. This position reports directly to the Head of School and serves as an active member of the school’s Administrative Leadership Team. The AHOS not only provides academic leadership and oversight to maintain the academic integrity of the school, but also mentors teachers, supports students’ academic well-being and success, and serves as a resource for parents/guardians.

The AHOS is responsible for the daily management of the school, including the oversight of the Infant/Toddler Program, Early Elementary, and Elementary Program, Extended Day Program, and Summer Camp Program, the overall curriculum, all matters related to student learning, student discipline, parent/guardian communication of student progress, as well as supervision and professional development of the instructional staff.  This position works in partnership with the various constituent groups within the school to provide leadership, to measure, to implement, and to oversee all aspects of teaching and learning.  

The next AHOS (ideal candidate) will be a team player who has a warm collaborative nature, positive energy, and is a consensus builder. They should be a highly relational and supportive leader with the ability to cultivate and maintain strong faculty, student, and parent/guardian relations. The ideal candidate will work effectively with the Head of School, faculty and staff, and the leadership team to build community, communicate the school’s mission and vision, and have experience in teaching and curriculum development. 

The next AHOS will have excellent skills in communication and technology, including outstanding writing and public speaking skills. They should possess a deep commitment to the regular evaluation and design of curriculum, academic programming, and faculty growth and accountability with an eye towards vertical, horizontal, and cross-discipline alignment, relevant and intentional student experiences, and cutting-edge teaching and learning. 

Diversity and Inclusion

UCDS aspires to be a welcoming learning community with a deep commitment and appreciation for diversity in all forms. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central values at UCDS. From our youngest to our oldest students, we strive to help them develop a worldview that identifies, understands, and values diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, religion, ability, and more. We weave opportunities for these meaningful conversations, experiences, and learning throughout students’ days. Over the past few years, UCDS has continued to refine our approach and review our DEI programming to continue to improve the ways we support students, parents, and employees by bringing an equity lens to academic and operational systems across the school. 

We strongly encourage members of marginalized communities, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as members of other underrepresented groups, to apply and become a part of our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive educational environment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic/Institutional Leadership Responsibilities:

  • Demonstrates leadership ability by inspiring effective collaboration in the pursuit of achieving collective goals and institutional needs.
  • Maintains processes and protocols consistent with the UCDS mission and culture, mentors the staff, and serves as a resource for parents.
  • Strong commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and partners with other senior leaders to advance UCDS’s DEI efforts and serves as a resource to help navigate and address stakeholder concerns regarding DEI matters.
  • Works closely with the Head of School and Leadership Team to prioritize, manage, and implement UCDS’s strategic initiatives. 
  • Proactively serves on any Board Committee as assigned by the Head of School and in conjunction with the Board. Participates in Board meetings and retreats and on selected Board Committees and Parent Association meetings.
  • Works in close partnership with the Head of School to establish joint and distinct administrative priorities, particularly focused on academic programs, staffing, extracurricular and schoolwide activities, and parent/guardian involvement. 
  • Oversees the development and implementation of the annual school calendar, the school’s daily schedule, school duties assignments for all faculty and staff, division meetings, extracurricular activity schedules, and school-day special events.  
  • Works cooperatively with NWAIS (Northwest Association of Independent Schools), NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools), WSCUS (Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission), and other affiliated organizations.
  • Actively participates in admissions, and supports the evaluation of student candidates from Preschool through grade 5.
  • May serve as the Administrator in Charge in the absence of the Head of School.

Programmatic Leadership Responsibilities:

  • Facilitates day-to-day academic operations of the school that affect faculty, staff, students, and parents/guardians as well as coordination with other school administrators. Keeps the Head of School informed and makes recommendations with regard to the school’s programs, activities, problems, and concerns. 
  • Oversees the development, design, and implementation of the curriculum, including all academic and specialist subjects, and social-emotional learning programs for all students.  This includes ensuring consistency, continuity, coordination, collaboration, and coherence of the curriculum across grade levels.
  • Oversees the cultivation and growth of the teaching faculty.  Oversees the mentors of new faculty, residents, and fellows. Works alongside the Head of School to evaluate all teachers through direct and indirect classroom observations and participating in goal setting and review meetings.
  • Serves as the academic advisor to the Head of School as it pertains to curriculum, academic programming, and personnel. 
  • Directly supervises all Educational Division Heads, Director of Learning Support, Director of the Infant/Toddler Program, and Director of Special Programs. 
  • Communicates directly with teachers regarding student, parent/guardians, and programmatic issues that arise throughout the school year and actively facilitates resolution of issues to improve student and programmatic outcomes. 
  • Oversees formal student assessment. Oversees the review, development, and production of student reports, which are compiled at various times throughout the school year. 
  • Coordinates with other school administrators on academic, non-academic, enrollment, facilities, and extracurricular activities, needs, issues, and requirements.
  • Oversees Educational Operating Budget line items.
  • Attends evening and weekend school events and other individual classroom events outside of the school day. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Head of School.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

The AHOS oversees the work and job performance of the following direct reports and those in their departments:

  • Director of Learning Support
  • Director of Special Programs
  • DEI Curriculum Specialist 
  • Early Elementary & Elementary Division Heads

Education and/or Experience

  • Master’s degree required. 
  • Five to ten years of leadership experience is required. 
  • Teaching experience in a school setting is required.


  • Ability to work with professionalism, discretion, sound judgment, equity, honesty, and personal accountability at all times 
  • Ability to create a welcoming, supportive community for a diverse student body
  • Ability to use technology effectively in teaching, learning, and administrative functions and willingness to stay current and learn emerging technologies as needed
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills  
  • Strong administrative and organizational skills 
  • Resourceful, creative, critical thinker
  • Ability to efficiently and effectively manage the time of self and others
  • Ability to be flexible and adapt to changing work priorities and stressful situations
  • Understands the diverse needs of varied age groups, is passionate about teaching and students, and able to form authentic relationships with students
  • Understanding of and adherence to applicable laws, codes, policies, regulations, and safety practices and procedures

Additional Requirements

  • Meet the school’s standards when completing all background screenings.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary Range: $175,000 to $200,000 depending on degree/experience

The school offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package to eligible full-time employees subject to the discretion of the Head of School, including:

  • Employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Health Savings Account with employer contribution
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan with available employer matching
  • Dependent Tuition Remission available upon admittance to UCDS School
  • Paid sick leave
  • Paid vacation
  • Employer-paid Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Employer-paid Life Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program for employees and their dependents
  • Wellness benefit to be used on items or services that promote wellness
  • Professional Development opportunities
  • Free Parking/Coffee

How to Apply

To apply, please click the “Apply Now” button below to submit a resume and a detailed cover letter addressing the following three questions:

  1. A statement of leadership philosophy – most importantly how does it align with the UCDS Mission?
  2. Describe a leadership experience that promoted equity and belonging within your school community. How did collaboration factor into this experience? 
  3. What draws you to early childhood and elementary education as a leader?

UCDS is committed to building an inclusive candidate pool. As you review the list of qualifications, please do not self-select out if you feel you do not meet every qualification. We strongly encourage you to apply and look forward to hearing your story!

Non-Discrimination Policy
University Child Development School is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to promoting diversity in the workplace and to seeking a diverse and broad spectrum of qualified candidates. The School does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, gender or gender identity, age, or sexual orientation.