Executive Director Search

Preschool of the Arts is looking for a permanent director for the 2017-2018 school year.

Executive Director – Job Description

Widely acclaimed as one of the premier early education programs in Wisconsin, Madison’s Preschool of the Arts is searching for a dynamic Executive Director to lead the school’s mission to provide a Reggio Emilia-inspired learning community supporting a diverse student population. Since 1975, Preschool of the Arts has served the Madison community by offering a safe, inspiring, and inviting learning environment that fosters play and a connection to the natural world to its 200 children and their families. The Executive Director of the school, which educates children from 18 months to 5 years old, will provide leadership, vision, and guidance to the school’s 60 staff members and help enrich children’s educational experience by guiding, refining, and implementing a Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum. By working with families and communities throughout the Madison area, the Executive Director ensures that Preschool of the Arts offers a welcoming and engaging learning environment for each child and family.

Responsible to: Preschool of the Arts’ Board of Directors

Primary Objectives:

  • Provide leadership and direction to Preschool of the Arts, including strategic development, planning, organization, and management of the school’s personnel, activities, and facilities.
  • Recommend policies, and procedures, programs, and budgets in conjunction with the Board of Directors.
  • Develop and administer the school’s programs in accordance with the school by-laws and within the available budget.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Education, Child Development, or a related field from an accredited college or university, or equivalent relevant experience. Preference will be given for Masters or other advanced degree in a relevant field.
  • Expertise in school or non-profit administration, management, or leadership, with experience in a licensed preschool, childcare center, elementary school, or youth-focused organization preferred.
  • Understanding of early childhood development, differentiated instruction, and development of curriculum responsive to the needs of students and the community.
  • Ability to effectively run an organization and manage the fiscal health of school.
  • Effective interpersonal skills, public speaking, strategic management, and written and verbal communication.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Classroom teaching experience in a licensed preschool, child care center, or elementary school.
  • Understanding of and interest in the Reggio Emilia philosophy and the Work Sampling System, and a commitment to the school’s philosophy of integrating the arts (Music, Dance, Art, and Drama) into early childhood curriculum.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the preschool.
  • Set high professional standard for leadership, teaching, and communication.
  • Comply with the accreditation standards set by the City of Madison and school policies.
  • Directly supervise and manage the administration and faculty.
  • Oversee budgeting, fundraising, grant writing, endowment, and other fiscal activities.
  • Maintain transparent communication and regular meetings with the Board of Directors, presenting to the Board issues of concern to staff and parents.
  • Facilitate and manage the development, coordination, implementation and evaluation of quality curriculum and programs, consistent with preschool bylaws, the Reggio Emilia approach, and the Work Sampling system.
  • Provide professional development, training, and enrichment for faculty.
  • Be a strategic, active, and enthusiastic partner in fundraising efforts.
  • Build productive relationships with parents.
  • Engage the broader Madison community to promote learning opportunities and strategic partnerships.
  • Maintain regular communication with peers at other schools and childcare centers, local school districts and community support agencies.

Physical Criteria:
Stamina to actively supervise and engage with energetic staff and students in a dynamic environment. Environmental requirements include working indoors and interacting with hundreds of children and adults on a daily basis.

Equal Opportunity Employer:
Preschool of the Arts provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Preschool of the Arts complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Preschool of the Arts promotes and supports an inclusive and diverse environment and is an equal opportunity employer.

About Madison:
Preschool of the Arts is located near Madison’s beautiful downtown isthmus area, where residents enjoy the city’s beautiful lakes, numerous bike paths, wonderful parks, and a plethora of fine arts experiences.  Madison is also home to the University of Wisconsin.  The university offers a host of community service programs, resources, and cultural events throughout the year.  Madison is also experiencing increased attention to early childhood education with renewed investment in research, philanthropic support, and dynamic programs and community events.

Application Instructions:
To apply, please send your resume or CV to hiringcommittee@preschoolofthearts.com.   Accepting applications on-going.  No phone calls, please.  In your cover letter, please include a statement of your leadership approach and educational philosophy.

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