Wilshire Boulevard Temple Schools
Head of Schools
Los Angeles, CA
For July 2021
Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT), a reform congregation in Los Angeles, CA, is one of the largest and most historic synagogues in the United States. The Wilshire Boulevard Temple Schools are four school programs located on two separate campuses: the Mann Family Early Childhood Center and Brawerman Elementary School West located on the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus in West Los Angeles, and the Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center and Brawerman Elementary School East located on the Glazer Campus in downtown Los Angeles. Both Early Childhood Centers begin with Parent and Me programs, serving infants and their caregivers, through Pre-K programs. The Elementary Schools serve students in Grades K-6.
The Head of Schools is a new position that will oversee and support all Wilshire Boulevard Temple Schools’ programs and ensure coordination between the Schools and WBT. This is an exciting opportunity for an individual with successful educational leadership experience who has strong strategic, creative, personal, and management skills to further enhance an already strong program.
The four Schools operate under the auspices of Wilshire Boulevard Temple (http://xxxxxxxxxxxxx WBT offers its members extensive programs and opportunities that attract and engage individuals and families. A significant building project, The Audrey Irmas Pavilion, an event and performance space designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, is underway on the Glazer Campus, which will provide opportunities for an expansion of programming. Currently, both the Head of the Early Childhood Centers and the Head of the Elementary Schools, report to the Education Committee of the WBT Board and the Executive Director of WBT. With the addition of this new position, the Heads of the ECC and the Brawerman Elementary Schools will report to the Head of Schools.
A unified mission statement was recently adopted by the Early Childhood Centers and the Elementary Schools: We provide an unparalleled educational experience rooted in Jewish values - inspiring innovative thinking, empowering responsible leadership, and honoring individuality within a nurturing community. Candidates are encouraged to explore the Schools’ websites to gain a fuller sense of the programs and community (http://xxxxxxxxxxxxx http://xxxxxxxxxxxxx
The Mann Family Early Childhood Center serves 200 children, the Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center serves 100 students, Brawerman West serves 270 students and Brawerman East serves 100 students.
The campuses serve different communities and generally do not compete with each other for families, as the reality of traffic in Los Angeles is a key determinant in school choice. The community and the expansive resources of Wilshire Boulevard Temple are available to all families and are a significant and positive factor in attracting families to the Schools.
The Early Childhood Centers have an outstanding reputation and a strong track record of placing graduates into top independent schools in Los Angeles, including Brawerman East and West. This reputation and track record is an additional and essential attractor for many parents; numerous families are drawn to the Early Childhood Centers not necessarily because of the Jewish programming or community but because they see this first school choice as a likely path toward enrollment in a strong independent school. The Early Childhood Centers are the top feeders to Brawerman East and West; going forward, admissions and marketing coordination between the ECC’s and the Elementary Schools should be strengthened, benefitting the Schools and families.
The strengths of Brawerman East and West, particularly the highly successful placement of their graduates in very competitive Los Angeles area secondary schools, are not as well known as they should be, enabling a key opportunity to further enhance marketing of the Schools. With the support of WBT, all four Schools have functioned well in the current environment, offering a robust and rigorous educational experience through the use of cutting-edge technology and enhanced remote learning curricula, while maintaining a consistent focus on meeting the social and emotional needs of their students. Additionally, the Schools have invested in their faculty and staff, providing professional development and in-service training from leaders in the field of remote education.
The Head of Schools will partner with the Education Committee of the Board of Trustees of WBT to lead the Schools into a bright and vibrant future. She/he will be the chief strategist, visionary, and change agent for WBT Schools, responsible for ensuring an outstanding education for students and for the articulation, implementation, and advancement of the Schools’ short and long-term goals. The Head of Schools will build synergies between the Schools, both campuses, and WBT. Additionally, the Head of Schools will be responsible for oversight of all operations of the Schools, including finances, enrollment, communications, constituent relations and the Schools’ fundraising efforts.
The Head of Schools will also be expected to advance the Schools’ commitment to the highest educational standards in secular and Judaic studies and Hebrew language and to provide an outstanding learning environment for both students and teachers. The Head of Schools will be a compassionate leader and educator, motivating, empowering, and collaborating well with others to set the course for long-term sustained growth.
• Provide leadership and direction—both educational and operational—for the Schools, their faculty and staff
• Work together with the Education Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director, and the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple to identify and determine priorities, areas for immediate improvement and opportunities for growth
• Supervise and support the administrative and educational teams to ensure that a strong, thoughtful educational plan consistent with the mission of the Schools and WBT is in place
• Maintain and support a culture of positive, professional, open communication between faculty, parents, students, and WBT
• Foster trust and support a culture of positive morale throughout the Schools
• Work in partnership with the leadership teams on each campus, the Board, and WBT to:
o Develop and implement a recruiting and enrollment management strategy
o Deepen the connection alumni, parents, and congregants have with the Schools
o Coordinate fundraising efforts
o Develop and oversee a realistic growth plan and a facilities’ master plan to address the current facilities’ challenges on both campuses
• Be an active, visible, and accessible member of the Schools and WBT communities, recognizing that small and large interactions are valued and expected
• Provide appropriate analysis and projections for Board-level discussions, strategic planning, and decisions that may have a financial or structural impact on the Schools
• Build and maintain a strong knowledge of the independent schools within the Greater Los Angeles, ensuring a deep understanding of the competitive landscape, and positioning the WBT Schools consistently as schools of choice
• Communicate a consistent message about the Schools and their aspirations, needs and achievements; and
• Seek opportunities to enthusiastically tell the story of the Schools to a wide range of audiences.
Serving as the first Head of Schools for the WBT Schools is an outstanding professional capstone opportunity. A dynamic Jewish community and a historic and thriving Temple with positive, supportive, and charismatic leadership enable the resources to build, enhance, and model tremendous educational programming. The complexities of further building and strengthening a leadership team to serve the diverse needs of families and students across four schools requires an inspiring leader, an adept people manager, and mentor, as well as a strategic thinker who understands the importance of smart, consistent operational and communication systems. While the new Head of Schools will lead and partner with the Board’s Education Committee and Temple leadership to develop specific strategic goals going forward, near term opportunities include:
• Embracing the role of chief ambassador for the Schools, investing in getting to know the community and being a visible, accessible leader
• Building strong partnerships with the Board’s Education Committee and Temple leadership
• Assessing, building, and enhancing the leadership structure to optimally serve the Schools’ stakeholders, and
• Implementing an effective marketing effort to ensure that the Schools are well known for their numerous strengths and coordinating appropriate marketing, admissions and fundraising strategies across the four School programs.
Characteristics, Qualifications & Experience
The Head of Schools will be an individual who authentically and philosophically aligns with the Schools’ distinguishing features and commitments to Jewish identity, academic excellence, social emotional learning, and community. The successful candidate will possess strong school leadership experience, be strategic, creative, and adept at collaborating with and inspiring others. The ideal candidate will be an individual who embraces the Schools’ Jewish identity and mission, and who can serve as a compelling, articulate and authentic ambassador for this aspect of the Schools. In addition, the Head of Schools will be:
• A strong leader, collaborator, and advocate who is eager to work within a temple setting and serve as a positive liaison between the four Schools and WBT
• An excellent communicator and business savvy individual who can build trust within the Schools’ communities
• A charismatic, dynamic individual with high energy, flexibility, and warmth who is approachable and inspires respect from others as an empathic listener, learner, and bridge builder
• A highly organized leader who offers clear and consistent direction and understands the importance of accountability in supporting a positive work environment
• Energized by the opportunity to participate in the lives of the students and their families
• An educator who understands the importance of staying abreast of best educational practices and emerging trends
• A proven leader with the ability to create the optimal administrative structure and support a high functioning team, and who is naturally collaborative while possessing the ability to balance inclusiveness and decisiveness appropriately
• A skilled leader who takes delight in navigating a culturally rich community, respecting and balancing its many dimensions, and
• A person of integrity with a deep commitment to Jewish values and principles.
The Head of Schools will inspire others to be part of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple community today and beyond. The successful candidate will have the ability to deliver on ambitious goals and benchmarks and will possess exceptional listening, verbal, written, presentation skills with a trust-building focus and ability to lead inter-personally and through delegation and strong decision-making as needed.
All inquiries will be treated confidentially. Please send a resume, a letter of interest, and a personal statement/statement of educational philosophy to:
Jane Armstrong, Managing Partner, Independen*****************************131 (p)