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Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Administration | Santa Rosa, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Overview of School:

Sonoma Academy is an independent high school located in Santa Rosa, CA on a 34-acre campus, surrounded by 1,000 acres of protected open space, at the base of Taylor Mountain. Founded in 2001, it provides an engaging, challenging, and innovative college preparatory education and a supportive community for motivated learners from Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Lake, and Mendocino counties. The school currently serves 330 students in grades 9 through 12 and is increasing its enrollment each year. Of our 330 students, 31% self-identify as students of color and 6% of our students are international students. Our students come from 80+ middle schools, ensuring a broad mixture of students from all over the greater North Bay Area.

Our Mission:  Sonoma Academy calls its students to be creative, ethical, and committed to learning. The school nurtures inspiring teachers and engages with the surrounding community, and its students communicate across cultures as they prepare to become leaders in a dynamic world.     

Sonoma Academy’s Commitment to Diversity: We believe that learning occurs best in a connected community. Diversity, equity, and inclusivity are essential to an education in which all members of our community thrive. We are committed to cultivating a diverse community that is conscious and welcoming of difference, dedicated to investigating and advancing equity, and engages with our local and global community. If you would like to join us in our work, we would welcome your application. As we are deeply committed to having a staffulty (staff and faculty) and student body which reflects the rich diversity within the North Bay, we strongly encourage candidates from BIPOC and/or educators from communities that are historically underrepresented to apply.

Position Overview:

As the first full-time Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion the opportunity and challenge will be inhabiting a new and highly aspirational, yet not fully defined position. This position works to ensure that DEI is a top institutional and individual priority and is incorporated into how we approach all of our objectives. 

Our Journey: Our campus is in the beginning stages of this important work, but we are not starting from scratch. While the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion is the work of the entire community, we have key working groups that are responsible for implementing DEI initiatives, practices, and procedures. We are looking for a leader to help us take our school to the next level and become a leader in the work of social justice in the North Bay. Additional details about our work to date can be found here.

Key Responsibilities of the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

  • Collaborate with the Head of School to develop broad-based strategic planning for DEI work across all facets of the school.

  • Collaborate with the Academic Council and our faculty to create, evaluate and thoughtfully implement curriculum and pedagogy.

  • Evaluate community needs and, with relevant key partners, promote community values related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Partner with Human Resources and Admission/Enrollment to aid in the recruitment and retention of a broadly diverse faculty, staff, student, and parent body.

  • Oversee and coordinate DEI professional development opportunities and training for students, staffulty, families, and our Board of Trustees. 

  • Serve as administrative liaison for the Board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and work with the Board on equity and inclusion efforts. 

  • Partner with the Director of Marketing and Communications to aid the development and implementation of a marketing and branding strategy that aligns with the school’s diversity efforts and ensures that our messaging is inclusive and anti-biased for both internal and external constituencies.

  • Oversee DEI programming for the school, including affinity groups and support and mentorship for Davis Scholars.

  • Opportunity to teach one core class, exploratory, or impact course related to specific area(s) of expertise. This could also include an Intersession course or trip focused on DEI and social justice.

  • Opportunity to serve as an adviser to a group of 8-12 students.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree and a minimum 3 years of experience leading DEI work and/or similar initiatives in the field of education; or equivalent  combination of education and experience.

  • Knowledge of best practices in equity and inclusion work and demonstrated experience in presenting and leading such work in schools.

  • Proven capacity to effectively facilitate discussions and debates with varied points of view.

  • The entrepreneurial ability to identify needs, take initiative, and engage partners in strategic change.

  • Proven ability to design, implement, and evaluate programs.

  • Ability to embrace the ambiguity and opportunities for this inaugural position and to work collaboratively with others to shape and define the role.

  • Ability to co-create, articulate, and move toward a bold vision while thoughtfully pacing change and engaging a wide range of stakeholders collaboratively and empathetically.

  • A deeply held commitment to and passion for equity and inclusion on behalf of faculty, staff, students, families, and alumni—all community members.

  • Flexibility, diplomacy, resilience and humor

Perks of working at SA:

  • Comprehensive benefits package, including 100% paid health, dental, and vision insurance for employees with several plan options to meet individuals’ specific needs

  • Generous retirement plan contribution of 7%  of annual income

  • Commitment to professional development, including generously- funded training opportunities and a dedicated “exploratory fund” of $450 annually for learning opportunities unrelated to work 

  • Healthy and nutritious lunch service offered at no cost to employees during the school year (when on campus and our kitchen operational)

  • A professional work environment defined by teamwork, collegiality, trust, agility, and altruism 

To apply, please provide the following:

  • Resumé
  • Cover letter addressing specifically your experience in DEI,  your interest in working at Sonoma Academy, and your unique qualifications to be SA’s first full-time Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Also include a statement about your Educational Philosophy.
Sonoma Academy is an equal opportunity employer. Sonoma Academy does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law