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Director of ECE and Lower School

Category: School Administration
School: Stratford School
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
Date Opened: Apr 12, 2022
Job ID: 11954

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Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Saratoga, CA, Stratford School is an exceptional operator of independent, non-secular, private, for-profit schools, offering Preschool – 8th grade.  In 2015, Stratford refreshed its school-wide purpose:  Connecting students to their unique futures.  Stratford School seeks to create an extended school community that inspires children to realize their full potential while providing a safe and nurturing school environment.  To support this, Stratford School brings together campus leadership, teachers, and parents who are passionate about education.  Together, they provide the best possible learning environment for their students through values that bind the entire school community. 

Stratford School offers an accelerated liberal arts curriculum with an emphasis in the areas of STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.   With an infusion of music, drama, physical education, history, foreign language, and social skills development, Stratford students benefit from its' traditional approach coupled with a 21st Century Learning framework.  Graduating Stratford Middle School students are prepared for advanced placement classes at top high schools.

Stratford School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  WASC accreditation certifies Stratford as a reputable institution and provides families with confidence in Stratford's purpose, mission, and educational goals.  Accreditation also assures parents that its purposes are being accomplished through a visionary educational program. 

Stratford consistently rates as one of the top private schools in the Bay Area in terms of parent satisfaction and academic outcomes with average student test scores in the top 10% nationally.  The School has repeatedly been named one of the best schools in the Bay Area by Bay Area Parent Magazine.

This leadership role is key to establishing Stratford in this new market, bringing Stratford’s vision of academic excellence to more communities throughout the Bay Area, Southern California and beyond.

Director of ECE and Lower School Position

Reporting to the Head of School, the Director (PS through 3rd grade) is a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The Director works closely with all administrators in the leadership of the school. The Director brings life to our purpose of “connecting students to their unique futures.”  The ECE and Lower School Director provides leadership aimed at providing the best possible school climate, as well as, maximum opportunities for student growth and development.


Specific duties include the following:

Business Operations

  • Serves as the educational leader of the Elementary grades, and is responsible for its day-to-day operations.
  • Adheres and ensures compliance with local governing and licensing agencies.
  • Support all WASC accreditation initiatives.
  • Ensures compliance with local and state regulations, and maintains the National Association of Independent Schools Principles of Good Practice.

Staff Development and Student Outcomes

  • Directs the activities of the Faculty/Staff in the performance of their duties.
  • Serves as a consultant to teachers in matters of classroom management, teaching methodology, and general school procedures.
  • Observes, supervises, and evaluates the faculty in the development and implementation of curriculum; supervises the teaching process, and reviews and evaluates academic programs.
  • Is a visible presence in the school and connects daily with families, students, and staff?
  • Makes recommendations to the Head of School regarding the hiring, retention, and assignment of faculty.
  • In partnership with the Head of School, conducts regular meetings and professional development opportunities with faculty.
  • Oversees student performance and academic achievement.

School Operations

  • Assigns daily staff duties and schedules: recess, lunch, arrival, and dismissal.
  • Maintains a comprehensive calendar of school events.
  • Partners with the Head of School to create a supportive and open and collaborative environment for faculty and staff.
  • Assists the Head of School in planning school assemblies and special events.
  • Attends professional conferences, seminars, and workshops in education, minimum of one per school year.
  • Keeps the Head of School informed of the general programs, activities, and problems of the lower school.
  • Customer service, both internal and external, is given top priority and builds rapport with students, parents, and staff.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Head of School.

Candidate Qualities:

  • Exudes a courageous, compassionate, and caring leadership style that engenders support among colleagues, staff, and the community through his/her knowledge, experience, creativity, vision, and dedication to the school’s mission.
  • A leader who can clearly articulate the vision of the school and has the ability to inspire both internal and external customers.
  • A creative individual who thinks globally, works collaboratively, is open to new ideas and embraces change.
  • Demonstrated leadership in ability to teach, train, supervise and support teachers in best practices.

Personal Attributes:

  • An individual of high integrity and reputation who understands the importance of trust, respect, collaboration, and high standards of excellence.
  • A good listener who is intuitive, thoughtful, considerate, and compassionate about relationships with others.
  • A mission-driven individual who leads by example with enthusiasm, passion, and sparkling intelligence.

Job Specifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree in education at a minimum and Preschool Director qualified.
  • 3-5 years of leadership experience in a lower school environment preferred.
  • Administrative experience is strongly preferred.
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills (oral and written).
  • Pediatric First Aid and CPR Certified and current
  • Must have a strong proven track record 
  • Microsoft Office proficient
  • High level of confidentiality
  • A strong degree of integrity and ethics 

Qualified candidates must submit a resume, letter of interest, a statement of educational philosophy, and three professional references.

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