Dec 01, 2021

Lower School Director

  • On-Ramps
  • Cleveland, OH, USA
Full-Time Education/Training

Job Description


Founded in 1915 on the ideal that “the better self shall prevail and each generation introduce its successor to a higher plane of life,” Hawken School is a coeducational independent day school with over 1,550 students, toddler through grade 12. Well recognized as a community that promotes passionate teaching, engaged learning, and confident self-expression, the school is committed to eliciting the full academic, artistic, and athletic potential in every student. Substantial professional development opportunities support and maintain exceptional creativity and collaboration in a classroom that expands into the greater community, locally and worldwide.

Hawken believes that to prepare its students for the real world, its community should include a diverse student body that is representative of all socio-economic backgrounds. To achieve this goal, Hawken seeks to enroll the most qualified and compelling students whose families understand and embrace the Purpose, Promise, and Principles of Hawken regardless of socio-economic background. The school’s fundamental commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) informs every aspect of its community and operations. Hawken has the largest financial assistance program of any private school in Ohio with 45% of the student body participating in the Flexible Tuition Program. In the Lower School, the launch of student affinity groups as well as a growth in DEIJ professional development and community programming, is further demonstration of Hawken’s commitment to DEIJ work.

Hawken’s three campuses within 25 minutes of downtown Cleveland and an urban extension center and new high school both in the city’s museum district, provide students with four campuses in total, offering a demanding and integrated course of study in a diverse and dynamic environment. Hawken’s Lower School has seen 51% growth over the last decade. This has resulted in two changes starting in the 2022-23 school year: a separation of the Lower School and Early Childhood programs into two separate divisions as well as an expansion of facilities to move the Lower School from three sections to four sections throughout the division. Programmatically, Hawken’s Lower School sees a solid academic foundation as essential to intellectual development, and as such focuses on fundamental academic skills with an increasing emphasis on personal responsibility. Hawken strives to personalize learning by offering a variety of choices in both core disciplines and special areas. This overall approach is supported by beautiful spaces. A recently built Innovation Lab, offering  3,600 square feet of space that promotes student engagement around collaborative and individual projects, is just one example of how Hawken’s use of space enhances its programming.

To learn more about Hawken School, visit


Hawken School seeks a passionate leader in progressive education to serve as the next Lower School Director.  The Lower School Director (or “Director”) is responsible for over 300 students in grades 1-5 located on the stunning Lyndhurst campus, 16 miles from downtown Cleveland.  Faculty evaluation and supervision, curriculum development, student academic and behavioral progress, scheduling, parent interactions, and institutional record keeping are all part of the Director’s responsibilities.  

The Lower School Director reports to the Chief Academic Officer and sits on the school’s Administrative Council. The Director will have an assistant director and part-time administrative assistant on their administrative team. Additionally, the newly created early childhood division will give the Lower School Director a close partner to work with daily.

Hiring Organization

Hawken School


Candidates should be eager to assist in the life of the School, align with Hawken’s progressive philosophy, be skilled in dealing with colleagues and parents, show flexibility, energy, creativity, high expectations, a sense of humor, a commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice, and the highest standards of integrity.  

In addition, candidates must possess the following experience and knowledge:

  • Demonstrated and significant administrative experience in innovative, progressive education environments (schools or other)
  • High degree of emotional intelligence, cultural competence, political savvy, and a deep understanding of a stakeholder’s context to understand and navigate different motivations, keeping school priorities at the forefront
  • Effective knowledge of lower school curriculum and pedagogy
  • Solid understanding of the developmental needs of the lower school age group
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative, fast-paced, and team-centered environment
  • Demonstrated experience managing and supporting others through change

LOCATION:  Cleveland, OH 

Industry/Service Area





Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Instructions


Hawken School is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to promoting all forms of diversity in the workplace and in its student body. Hawken strongly urges all qualified individuals to apply.

Similarly, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact

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