Whatcom Intergenerational High School

Principal Job Description

Are you interested in changing the way young people learn and how we “do” school? If yes, WIHS is interested in getting to know you.

Whatcom Intergenerational High School (WIHS) is seeking authorization to start an innovative public charter school in Whatcom County. We plan to open our doors for 75 Grade 9 students in August 2020 and we will serve a culturally diverse community, eventually enrolling 300 students in Grades 9-12 with elders and Traditional Providers (knowledge keepers who have a background in their own cultural history, governance, and language), supporting academic, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual learning. Our co-partner Whiteswan Environmental (WE) will help us ensure that our next generation of graduates have the competencies and agency to bring cultural, historical, and ecological health perspectives to their communities and careers.

Our strategic vision is to create a unique learning environment designed with students and supported by elders to ensure every young person—regardless of their life circumstances—is educated for success in school, career, and life to create a more just and sustainable world.

Planning Year Duties: Begins July 1, 2019

We are seeking a flexible and dynamic leader to join our founding team who is committed to learning, equity, and social change. The WIHS Principal will bring logistical skill in fulfilling the following duties:

  • Hire a highly qualified and diverse founding team of teachers for retention who are experts at developing learners and passionate about their craft.
  • Refine the overall curriculum framework including WA Commission performance framework, specific mission-aligned goals, school calendar and schedule, implementation of all rubrics and assessments.
  • Collaborate with education consultants to develop the year-long professional development plan and curriculum development plan for the start-up year.
  • Provide ongoing coaching and professional development to teachers who will be developing their disciplinary and phenomenon-based learning units throughout the planning year.
  • Build positive long-lasting relationships with community members and families.
  • Nurture community partners who will enhance WIHS learning experiences.
  • Recruit a diverse student body of learners.
  • Conduct home visits.
  • Work tirelessly to hold and model the mission that all students can be successful in high school regardless of their prior preparation or life circumstances.


The Principal will be supported by School Foundry,[1] an organization that brings together a consortium of equity-driven school leaders providing design support, mentorship, and leadership development. In addition, the Principal will work closely with a previous school founder (Executive Director of WIHS) as well as having an instructional coach who will provide ongoing professional development to help fill any instructional gaps in understanding the WIHS framework, including phenomenon-based learning, intergenerational learning, critical literacy, and using the WIHS Design MAP for building comprehensive units of study. The Principal will work closely with the professional development team in providing support to new staff throughout the planning year and developing the ongoing professional development plan for Operational Year 1 and beyond.

The Principal will also attend the Washington State Charter Schools Association’s[2] Strong Start programming that guides newly authorized charter schools to meet required pre-opening conditions and prepare for a successful instructional and operational school launch.

Operational and Beyond:

The Principal will provide school leadership for WIHS including:

  • Implement the WIHS vision, mission, learning framework, and oversight of curriculum;
  • Hire and assess the teachers;
  • Coach, support, and develop strategic professional development to ensure all teachers are prepared to deliver units designed to develop learners in an inclusive environment;
  • Support a school culture with implementation of First Peoples Principles of Learning and restorative practices leading to zero suspensions and expulsions;
  • Ensure student achievement and growth on assessment data with ongoing professional development to achieve charter goals;
  • Oversee compliance related to Special Education and School Safety;
  • Ensure an inclusive and welcoming environment for all families with systems for ongoing communication and input from diverse stakeholders;
  • Oversee development of community partnerships to ensure a holistic health and wellness program where all students thrive in academic, social, cultural, emotional, physical, and spiritual learning;
  • Build a system of learners to promote the positive cultural identity and educational development of every student in an inclusive learning environment.

This position reports to the Executive Director.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Model dispositions of respect, patience, and curiosity.
  • Bring an unwavering belief in all students’ abilities to learn and grow and commitment to social justice.
  • Demonstrate a minimum of 5 years of excellent teaching experience.
  • Understand and/or demonstrate knowledge with Indigenous ways of knowing, 13 Moons, Since Time Immemorial.
  • Understand and/or demonstrate constructivist theories, research, curriculum, and learning and assessment strategies.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with staff to build school-wide efforts and policies that foster academic, social, cultural, emotional, physical, and spiritual learning.
  • Understand and/or demonstrate experience with and the ability to implement and oversee restorative practices that help all students be successful.
  • Demonstrate the ability to set up systems for PLCs, and lead and coach school staff in collecting, analyzing, and evaluating action research data to improve student achievement.
  • Possess effective management skills; be able to use a variety of process skills for planning, organizing, and problem solving; and demonstrate commitment to First Peoples Principles of Learning in creating a professional learning environment.
  • Develop close and positive working relationships with students, parents, and communities of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds to create a culture that supports positive learning; sustains achievement; and promotes trust, collaboration, and an ethic of care.
  • Work collaboratively with staff to establish a culture that promotes learning, good judgment, and high ethical standards.
  • Demonstrate ability to develop and maintain a positive school climate and learning environment in which positive impactful behavior and highly professional behavior are encouraged, learning is maximized, and discipline problems are minimal.
  • Demonstrate success as an instructional leader (i.e., demonstrate high expectations for effective instruction, exceptional instructional methods—multiple approaches and differentiated instruction, strong evidence of reflective practice).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of state and federal legal and regulatory issues pertaining to education that require compliance; understand the relationship of public policy to education.
  • Possess experience in and/or knowledge of managing a budget and resource allocation.
  • Possess experience in and/or knowledge of federal education programs (i.e., Title I, II, IV).

Additional consideration will be given to candidates who:

  • Are indigenous, bilingual, and/or deeply connected with systemically underserved communities.
  • Have secondary and preferably high school teaching experience.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and/or experience with WIHS’s learning framework, including phenomenon-based learning, intergenerational learning, critical literacy, culturally sustaining pedagogies, First Peoples Principles of Learning, and restorative practices.
  • Demonstrate experience as a highly valued Principal, Assistant Principal, or Education Director.
  • Hold a Principal or Secondary Administration license.
  • Have successful Special Education experience.

Salary range/Start Date:

$100,000 – 12-month contract

$105,000-$115,000 - Operational Year 1 including full benefits package + retirement

Method of Application:

Please e-mail a cover letter and resume to cindy.reuther@intergenerational.school

Affirmative Action Policy: Whatcom Intergenerational High School will not deny anyone the opportunity for employment because of race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status, marital status, the presence of any sensory, physical or mental disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

Additionally, we seek candidates who bring diverse life and learning experiences, including race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation and gender expression, veteran status, and persons with a disability.

[1] http://pscsi.org/leaders-1/

[2] http://wacharters.org/