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Job Summary

The Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Job Type
Full Time
Education Level
Master's Degree
Career Level
Executive (SVP, VP, Department Head, etc)

Head of School

About the Job


The Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School, a progressive independent school established in 1972 and located in Kalamazoo, Michigan seeks a Head of School to provide educational andadministrative leadership with a strong commitment to a curriculum that focuses on the development of the whole child.   The school is a co-educational day school serving approximately 100 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 8.


Kazoo School nurtures curiosity, creativity, and self-confidence, through a school experience that is active and rigorous.  We recognize that students have different needs at different developmental stages, and we provide a curriculum that integrates academic, social, emotional, and physical learning opportunities for each child.  We celebrate our cultural differences and embrace a commitment to inclusiveness, sustainability, and the partnership between family and school.


At Kazoo School, dedicated teachers and engaged students collaborate to create a dynamic and joyful learning community for mastering academic and interpersonal skills. Students construct meaning and deep understanding through inquiry and discovery-based learning. Our practices promote critical and creative thinking; artistic expression; and a commitment to learning how to work well together to collaborate, solve problems and resolve disagreements.  In the spirit of partnership and service, students expand their perspectives through participation in the broader community. Continuing the legacy of the progressive education movement, Kazoo School prepares students to be informed, capable, and compassionate people who shape a more equitable and sustainable world.


The School

Kazoo School is an independent school providing over forty years of progressive education in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Expert teachers and dedicated staff are committed to the enterprise of sparking young minds to learn deeply, think creatively, act compassionately, and live fully.  The School is currently overseen by an Interim Head of School.


At Kazoo School, our academic program is driven by our enduring respect for

children as active partners in their education. With our progressive approach, we see the individual child’s curiosities, abilities and learning style as important factors in designing, differentiating and assessing each student’s learning.  We value the importance of the social and emotional growth of the student and strive to empower the student with skills to resolve conflicts, navigate disagreements, build consensus and learn to collaborate.  We understand the importance of attending to social and emotional needs if we are to create environments that are conducive to learning. 


Kazoo School’s strength is rooted in its fully engaged staff and community. These all come together on a neighborhood campus in an area featuring turn of the century craftsman style architecture, beautiful cherry trees on our Cherry Street campus and active and vibrant sidewalks.  The school facilities are located adjacent to the Kleinstuck Nature Preserve, a 50 acre publicly owned natural area dedicated to scientific and educational purposes and available to the school at its doorsteps.  The school grounds include age appropriate play equipment as well as a one acre field conducive to track and field.  The school makes use of adjacent partner facilities for additional PE activities.


The Position

Kazoo School seeks a Head of School beginning in the 2015/2016 school year. Reporting to the board of trustees, the head of school will have overall responsibility for academic quality and financial and institutional strength as Kazoo School continues its mission to educate children in an environment of academic challenge, personal and emotional growth, and preparation for a lifetime of learning and contribution to the community.  The Head of School will actively partner with faculty and the school community to inspire students with a passion for learning; critical thinking; creative expression; an orientation towards inclusiveness, acceptance and collaboration; and a commitment to environmental sustainability.  Specific duties include the following:

CC   -Continue the school's mission of providing a welcoming, open and supportive atmosphere in which students are challenging and encouraged to develop and attain academic, social and emotional goals. 

·            -Advancing the School’s core values and initiatives and manifesting Kazoo School’s

confidence in a vibrant future grounded in founding principles and traditions.

·           -Guiding educational policy and ensuring cohesiveness and high levels of quality curriculum and teaching across all grade levels.

·           -Managing the school on a day to day basis by empowering faculty and staff through the delegation of responsibility and authority, provision of mentoring, coaching and evaluation, and facilitating collaboration across classrooms while at all times maintaining ultimate accountability.

·           -Recruiting, developing and retaining an outstanding and committed faculty and staff who are committed to progressive education, professional development and lifelong learning.

·           -Develop and continue to build community relations.  Ensure regular and up to date professional communications with external and internal audiences, including the board of trustees, school parent and student community, prospective families, and faculty and staff.

·           -Ensuring sound fiscal management of the institution, including ensuring the development of

annual operational objectives and longer-range financial plans and projections, ensuring timely budget modeling well in advance of each school year to match resources to recruitment trends and working to identify, develop, recommend and implement continued improvements to the management and business models in the best interest of the school.

·           -Oversee the financial matters of the school ensuring appropriate financial controls, adequate systems for billing, timely reconciliations of accounts, up to date monthly financial reports to the board, timely and balanced budgets for board discussion, review and approval.

·          -Continue to upgrade policies and procedures of the school, to refine business management methods and to bring policy considerations to the board of trustees for discussion, consideration and review.

·           -Provide leadership, and role modeling in the fulfillment of Kazoo School’s progressive educational mission.

Candidate Qualities



·          - Possessing the warmth, diplomacy, skill, and imagination to engage students as full, responsible members of the school and the broader community; faculty and staff as respected partners; and parent / guardians as partners in their children’s education.

·            -A person who is accessible and approachable, who deals with people in a welcoming and engaging way, who leads by active involvement in the total life of the community.

·            -A life-long learner who seeks to bring out the best in others, is an active listener open to multiple perspectives, able to  synthesize new information and multiple viewpoints but is confident when situations warrant to make difficult decisions  that serve the best interests of the student and/or wider school community.

·            -Is able to convey difficult information and work through divergent interests and viewpoints with tact and diplomacy.

·           -A leader whose clarity of thought and base knowledge lead him or her to create passion for and inspire involvement within the school, to establish and monitor achievable goals, and to articulate the requirements necessary to achieve the School’s objectives.

Experience and Educational Qualifications

·           -The ideal candidate possesses graduate level training.

·          - The ideal candidate can demonstrate successful administrative experience in an educational setting, including involvement with staff and educational program development, personnel management, parent relations, financial leadership, and resource development.

Skills and Knowledge

·           -Being well-versed and experienced in the history and pedagogy of progressive education, including a deep understanding of social and emotional learning and in differentiated instruction.

·           -Strong public speaking and writing skills, including the ability to communicate concepts, facts and ideas effectively to a wide range of constituents.

·           -Business Management skills necessary to develop strategic plans, to install and improve administrative infrastructures and to oversee (build, monitor and ensure implementation) school budgets and schedules and maintain the solid health of the finances, administration and facilities of the school.  

Personal Traits

·            -A person of unquestioned honesty and integrity

·            -A “master educator” who loves children and is dedicated to fulfilling the School’s mission to guide them in their intellectual and emotional growth

·           -One who is straightforward, objective, decisive, and consistent in the context of fair and compassionate application of policy and discipline

·           -Comfortable professionally and socially in an environment that values a high degree of direct communication and interaction between the head and the school’s many constituents


Other Considerations

Compensation:  Negotiable

Location:  The Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School is located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Kalamazoo Michigan, adjacent to the University owned Kleinstuck Nature Preserve.  The Kleinstuck Nature Preserve has served an on site learning laboratory for the school and had provided a rich backdrop for science and environmental education.   Kalamazoo Michigan is a small Midwestern community with several colleges and a state university, including Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  New institutions include a new Western Michigan University affiliated medical school opening in late 2014 and an innovative health and wellness campus and culinary school associated with Kalamazoo Valley Community College recently announced which is slated to be located adjacent to the downtown.  Kalamazoo sits 2.5 hours away from Chicago and 1.5 hours away from Detroit where significant efforts are underway to revitalize the downtown and near downtown.  South Haven and Saugatuck, two Lake Michigan beach side vacation towns are located within a forty five minute drive from Kalamazoo.   Kalamazoo is home to active arts and culture scene and a vibrant downtown.


Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, a current resume, and statement of educational philosophy to kazooheadofschool@kazooschool.org.  Position is targeted for July 2015



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