At King School, we seek more than achievement for our students. We open minds and spark courageous thinking. Every day, our students discover and forge their unique paths to excellence as we teach, guide, and cheer them on. Because when we set better standards for both the experience and outcomes of education, students cultivate the insights and heart to own their future.
King School strives to be the country’s premier PreK-12 research-driven institution in which students embrace open minds and courageous thinking. At King, diversity, equity and inclusion are core values and foundational to academic and professional excellence. The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will join a community committed to providing the best possible experiences for each of its 705 students as its top priority.
King School seeks a creative and inspiring leader to serve as its next Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In this highly visible role that reports to the Head of School, the Director will lead and guide the community forward, expanding on the school’s current, active work towards its core commitment of inclusion. The Director will be responsible for providing dynamic, collaborative leadership across all constituencies in support of King’s mission. The Director will work closely with “staffulty”—the inclusive term King uses to refer to all colleagues— and students, parents, and trustees to further enhance a climate of equity and inclusion for all members of the school community, and to foster a school environment conducive to the well-being and success of all members.
King seeks candidates who are confident and deeply knowledgeable leaders with a talent for establishing partnerships with a wide range of constituencies; who possess high emotional intelligence; and who have demonstrated strong verbal and written communication skills. The successful candidate will be a self starter who has had experience taking initiatives from the conceptual stage to execution; who has operated effectively in complex and multi-stakeholder environments; and whose work has demonstrated a visible and palpable commitment to the success of the individual and “whole” student.
ABOUT KING SCHOOL
While other industries constantly invent and reinvent, many educational institutions have stood still for more than a century. As a school that evolved from the mergers of three founding schools, King School knows a thing or two about challenging preconceived notions about what an excellent education looks like. This is why King prioritizes teaching students how to think rather than what to think. They pursue meaningful research, boldly intertwine academic subjects, and demonstrate their learning in diverse formats. They deepen their understanding through the give-and-take of different perspectives. In the King learning environment, students cultivate the insights and heart to own their future.
The King community is made up of 705, 23% of whom identify as students of color. Forty percent of students come from the city of Stamford, where King is located, with the rest coming from Greenwich, New Canaan, and Darien, as well as many other towns in Fairfield and Westchester counties. With a student to teacher ratio of 6:1, students are truly known by their teachers.
Faculty members at King are talented, committed, knowledgeable, and passionate about their work. In each of the three divisions—Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School—they inspire inquisitive minds and nurture independent thinkers. They understand that in order to be the strongest, most effective educators, they must be lifelong learners. King’s ongoing Professional Growth and Development (PG&D) program—the most generous among local peer schools—provides opportunities that further teachers’ learning in the areas of student development, content mastery, and inclusive excellence.
LEADERSHIP, STRATEGIC PLANNING, AND COMMITMENT TO INCLUSION
In 2019, the King Board of Trustees adopted a fiver year strategic plan centered around academic excellence and supported by eight pillars, each critical to achieving that central goal. Those pillars are athletics, wellness, inclusion, institutional identity, facilities development, strategic enrollment management, community partnerships, and financial sustainability. The King community is in agreement that to attain the goal of academic excellence, inclusion needs to be an essential marker of King’s culture. The Board is committed to making that a reality.
Earlier this summer, in response to national and local events, the Board of Trustees renewed its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with a goal of making King an authentically equitable institution. The Board of Trustees and school leadership convened A DEI Task Force composed of staffulty, trustees, current students and alumni who worked throughout the summer and fall on this initiative. The four areas of focus included communications and community engagement; curriculum; recruiting and retention; and institutional culture. King engaged a law firm to investigate allegations of inequities and racism and to conduct a climate survey to better understand the School’s culture. The School held forums and engaged in dialogue with parents, students, alumni, and staffulty, and continues to communicate with all
constituencies about the school’s ongoing progress. The school continues to provide training on DEI topics for staffulty and students, and workshops for parents.
All of this work has informed the Board’s thinking and an action plan that will drive King’s approach to DEI to execute against the strategic plan.
LIFE IN THE STAMFORD REGION
King School is located in Stamford, Connecticut, the third-largest city in the state. Located approximately halfway between Manhattan and New Haven and situated on the Long Island Sound, Stamford is home to nine Fortune 500 companies as well as numerous divisions of large corporations. The city is also home to branches of the University of Connecticut, University of Bridgeport, and Sacred Heart University. Arts and culture opportunities include the Stamford Museum and Nature Center and Stamford Center for the Arts, and parks and public beaches offer residents the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
Easy accessibility to commuter lines and Amtrak allow Stamford residents access to New York City and the entire northeastern corridor.
King School is located on a 34-acre campus in Stamford and is easily accessible by car from two major highways: I-95 and the Merritt Parkway. Faculty and staff choose to live in cities and towns all over the region.
THE ROLE OF THE DIRECTOR
Reporting directly to the Head of School and serving on her Strategic Advisory Leadership Team, the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be charged with creating the most equitable school possible—across all divisions, within all programs, and manifest in all professional practices. Supported by a team of seven DEI coordinators and working in partnership with the Division Heads and other leaders, the next Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will foster an environment that supports equity, promotes respect and civility of discourse, challenges all constituents to grow in their understanding of themselves and others, and encourages the respectful expression of widely varying views.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Key opportunities and challenges for the next Director of DEI will include the following:
• Partner with the Head of School, the Director of Human Resources, and the Director of Admissions & Financial Access to continue to deepen and refine current practices for recruiting diverse pools of colleagues and families, and to partner with colleagues across departments and divisions to refine systems for retention of all colleagues and families.
• Develop an ecosystem that fosters community life and social-emotional frameworks for students of color—and other intersectional identities and areas of inequity including but not limited to ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, national origin, and belief— to thrive, learn, and achieve self-realization to the fullest extent possible.
• Partner with division Heads, department Chairs, and other colleagues to develop a research- based approach to teaching and learning for inclusive excellence.
• Expand professional development training for faculty to teach to multiple perspectives—both in the academic and social-emotional realms—and to hold space effectively for difficult conversations. Strengthen the leadership capacity of staffulty and leadership, the Board of Trustees, and Parent Association leaders on anti-bias practices, antiracism, and cultural competence.
• Support efforts to consistently and accurately inform constituencies of the school’s DEI mission, goals, and activities, while developing effective communication strategies that promote a climate of trust and openness.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
As a senior leader, the Director should be a confident leader with a commitment to research-based practices and broad knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion work and resources. A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred. The ideal candidate will bring many of the following complementary abilities and experiences to their work:
• A compelling vision for fostering an inclusive, engaging and dynamic student learning environment, as well as ways to partner with community members to bring that vision to reality;
• The emotional intelligence, diplomatic ability, and written and verbal communication skills to confidently navigate ambiguous, complex and sometimes emotionally charged situations;
• A positive, collaborative nature and talent for establishing rapport, relationships of trust, and partnerships with a wide range of constituencies;
• A willingness to be visible throughout the school community and beyond, and an ability and desire to connect with students from preschool through grade 12; and,
• Character that is marked by a positive and optimistic attitude, a healthy sense of of humor, and a desire to solve problems collaboratively and creatively.
For best consideration, please send all nominations and applications in confidence to: Sherry Coleman, Partner Nishant Mehta, Partner Lisa Solinsky, Senior Associate Storbeck Search KingSchoolDEI@storbecksearch.com
It is King’s policy to provide equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. King does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited under federal, state, or local law
King is an independent, college preparatory day school serving students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. We are a diverse, vibrant learning community dedicated to educational excellence and the fullest academic and personal achievement of our students.