Director of Lower School

  • Brentwood School
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
Full Time Academia Education Executive Management OTHER

Job Description

Director of Lower School for July 2019

Brentwood School

Los Angeles, California


Brentwood School inspires every student to:

Think critically and creatively.

Act ethically.

Shape a future with meaning.


Coeducational Day School Founded in 1972

300 Students in Kindergarten through Grade Five

Please visit the school’s Web site at

In just 24 years, the Brentwood Lower School has achieved broad recognition for its excellent program that balances carefully the many aspects of a superb lower school.  Constructivist approaches to learning are blended with a traditional curriculum.  The students enjoy a high level of freedom in an environment that is thoughtfully structured and safe.  The developmental needs of each child are carefully balanced with high expectations.  Parent involvement is encouraged, yet directed, so that student independence is also fostered.

Brentwood School is conducting a national search for an outstanding educational leader who will preserve and advance the carefully designed balance that is a cornerstone of the Lower School.  The preferred candidate will not only honor that balance, s/he will model it.  Brentwood seeks a leader who ensures that the Lower School is attentive to powerful ideas in education, yet continues to provide a traditional education.  The faculty seeks someone who will be consultative and collaborative, yet who is willing to make tough decisions when they arise.  Parents seek a calm, confident leader who is a wise resource on child development and the educational needs of children.  The students seek someone who will enjoy knowing them, yet be fair and serve as a model.  Brentwood’s senior administrators seek a colleague who will be an advocate for the needs of the Lower School, yet who can work collaboratively with them and Head of School Dr. Mike Riera to lead the entire school toward our vision of the essential integration of three excellences: academic, emotional intelligence, and character development.


In its relatively short history, Brentwood School has grown to be one of the premier independent day schools in Southern California.  Founded as a non-profit corporation in 1972, Brentwood School acquired Brentwood Military Academy, which had existed since 1902.  Brentwood School opened in the fall of 1972 as a co-educational, college preparatory day school with Grades 6-10.  Grade 11 was added in fall 1973, and the school graduated its first senior class in June 1975.

In 1994, Brentwood School purchased the Marymount Junior School campus on Sunset and Saltair and opened a Kindergarten through Grade 6 campus in the fall of 1995. Beginning in the Fall of 2019 the school will reconfigure its divisions to include a Lower School of grades K-5, a Middle School of grades 6-8, and an expanded Upper School student body. It is an exciting time in the school’s history.

The Program

Students in the Lower School are encouraged to be curious and creative while developing confidence in their abilities.  The curriculum is traditional in nature with an emphasis on reading, writing, and math, yet the teaching and learning process is child centered.  Written and designed by the faculty, the program is unique to Brentwood School.  Grades study various themes integrated with the subjects of social studies, science, and other “special” subjects.  Basic skills are taught, and the thematic approach encourages students to retain their enthusiasm and love for learning.  Lessons employ day to day real life experiences and knowledge, making learning fun, meaningful, and participatory.

The Arts

The emphasis on the arts is a source of pride at Brentwood School.  Brentwood’s arts program encourages students to discover their inner musician, actor, or artist.  In addition to fostering and inspiring artistic ability, the program instills a thirst for and lifelong appreciation of the arts.

The mission of the arts in the Lower School is to inspire personal and intellectual growth through exploration, critical analysis, and disciplined practice, and ultimately the shared experience of creative expression.  The arts faculty, artists and performers themselves, offer instruction in visual arts, dance, music, and theater.  The arts faculty strives to foster self-knowledge, a willingness to experiment and take risks, and a commitment to the creative process.  Exhibits, recitals, and productions throughout the year celebrate the students’ accomplishments.

Community of Caring

The core values of trust, respect, responsibility, honesty, caring, diversity, and community build the foundation of the Lower School community, values fostered by the Lower School’s character education program.  Weekly class meetings are used to facilitate discussions on various topics including conflict resolution, inclusion/exclusion, problem solving, sportsmanship, the core values, emotional intelligence, and the honor code.  These weekly discussions provide the children a forum to present questions or concerns, modeling open and effective communication.  In addition, monthly assemblies are held throughout the year to introduce the various values and to foster a sense of community.  The Lower School was honored as a National School of Character in 2011 and 2016. These awards are granted for a period of five years.

Service Learning

In the Lower School, service learning is woven into every aspect of the curriculum.  Students are taught that they are part of a community that begins at Brentwood School and extends outward.  They learn that they have a responsibility as future citizens to know about the world around them and to respect and appreciate diversity.  Through service experiences, students are introduced to new places and people and educated about issues in their community.  They also learn to identify problems and find resources to address these problems.

Each year, as students move from Kindergarten to 5th Grade, their knowledge of their community grows.  By the time Kindergarteners enter the Middle School, they will have had seven years of diverse service experiences — cooperating, helping, caring, and demonstrating civic responsibility while also learning.  They also will be familiar with many community organizations and diverse groups of people.  One of the goals of the service learning program is to make students aware of their responsibilities to their community.

Each grade participates in a service project linked to its classroom curriculum.  In this way, students are able to apply lessons learned in school to real life experiences in the community (and vice versa).  In the process, the students learn about important community issues and that age is not a barrier to making a difference.

Parent Involvement

Brentwood School believes in partnering with parents in the education of their child and encourages and welcomes parents to actively participate in the life of the school.  The children benefit from sharing their school world with their parents; the school benefits from parents who contribute their talents, interests, and energy to support and enrich the school’s programs; and the parents benefit from experiencing first-hand the environment in which their children are educated.

Opportunities for parent involvement abound and range from working in the classroom in the early grades to guest speakers, field trip chaperones, and room parents.  Parents are also strongly encouraged to participate in the Parents Association and Eagles organizations and to attend parent education events including book clubs, guest lectures, and grade level coffees.

The Faculty

In the Lower School, there are thirteen lead homeroom teachers whose core responsibilities include the teaching of language arts, math, and social studies.  There are also “special” teachers for art, science, technology, music, and physical education. The faculty and students are supported by a counselor, a learning specialist, two nurses, teaching associates, and support staff.

The Students

The Lower School has its own admissions office and is able to be highly selective as it creates a new Kindergarten class each year.  Financial aid is awarded to approximately 12% of the students each year and students of color comprise 35% of the student body.  Students with mild learning differences are supported by a well-trained faculty, the learning specialist, and the counselor.  Student leadership is encouraged through several mechanisms including the 5th Grade Student Leadership Team, which leads Lower School Student Council.

The Position

The Lower School occupies Brentwood School’s handsome West Campus, creating a high level of autonomy and responsibility for the Director of the Lower School.  The Director is responsible for all aspects of the program and personnel on the West Campus. 

In addition to the faculty, reporting to the Director are the Assistant Director, the Lower School Nurses, Counselor, and Learning Specialist.


The Lower School Director will lead a robust division that has constructed its programs and operations with careful attention to Brentwood School’s mission and values.  The next Director of the Lower School will accomplish the following:

  • Provide leadership through the hiring and retaining of excellent faculty, attending to the curriculum, and ensuring the Lower School’s overall vitality;
  • Work with the faculty and administration to sustain systems and structures that support and increase the effectiveness of the school’s curriculum and programs;
  • Foster collaboration and transparency through trust through open communication, clear expectations and full engagement — working closely with the Lower School administration, faculty, staff, parents, and students;
  • Engage fully in the daily life of the school, provide educational leadership and be a skilled spokesperson for the school’s vibrant, educational program;
  • Support and guide the high level of parent volunteerism on the Lower School campus, particularly in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade;
  • Work closely with the Head of School and the members of the Senior Administrative Team to foster the strength of the entire school.


Professional Qualities

Brentwood School is interested in candidates who can support, articulate, and promote a mission-driven, child-centered model of education.  Along with excellent organizational and leadership skills, ideal candidates will have backgrounds that demonstrate most, if not all, of the following:


  • A warm, approachable presence on campus that invites and respects the views of others yet is decisive when needed; 
  • Visible and accessible on campus, knowing and enjoying the faculty, staff, parents, and especially the students of the school;
  • Engage actively with students, faculty, staff, and families in the daily life of the school, preserving and promoting the warmth and closeness that defines the Lower School’s culture;
  • Knowledge and understanding of developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional practice;
  • Strong familiarity with significant educational and technology trends in independent schools;
  • Effective communication with faculty members, students, and parents, in a clear, concise, and timely manner, keeping these groups appropriately informed of potential issues and or needs;
  • Strong cross-cultural competency with the ability to create an environment that fosters open discussion with the freedom to express varied points of view;
  • Ability to synthesize and articulate the school’s educational vision and to inspire and motivate others towards further strengthening the Lower School;
  • Collaborative approach to leadership;
  • An interest in and openness to professional growth and development;
  • A commitment to diversity and inclusion;
  • Teaching and administrative experience at elementary and/or middle school levels; 
  • An advanced degree is required.

Personal Qualities

The favored candidate is an outgoing, energetic, confident person of keen intellect and integrity who will enjoy developing and guiding the Lower School community.  The frequency with which parents and teachers are on campus working together requires a leader who is the soul of discretion.  The Lower School will be best served by a leader who is self-aware and a lifelong learner; has a hands-on, approachable style; has a sense of humor; and has a true love of and appreciation for educating children.

Search Process

Candidates should submit the following materials:


  • A cover letter explaining their interests and qualifications for becoming the next Director of the Lower School
  • A current resume
  • A brief personal statement
  • The names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of three references and one letter of reference 



To:                                                                  Amelia Hollis

Brentwood School

100 S. Barrington Place

Los Angeles, CA 90049



Brentwood School is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to promoting diversity in the workplace and to seeking a diverse and broad spectrum of qualified candidates.  Brentwood 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.

Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree