Director of Student Life

Administrator / Full-Time

Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Since 1915, Shady Hill, a school of approximately 520 students (PreK – 8) and 70+ faculty, has been a leader in progressive education. Shady Hill is a deeply mission-driven school.  We seek to develop independent, joyful and curious learners who respect their own accomplishments and those of others. We strive to be a community whose values are strong and whose teachers are unafraid to engage students in important questions. The school’s program allows children to explore their worlds and test their powers.  As a school with a historical and contemporary commitment to social justice, we believe that an inclusive and equitable community is an educational and moral imperative that empowers us all. Therefore, we seek to hire teachers who demonstrate a mindset and skill set that prioritizes cultural competence, equity, and justice in their practice with students and in their work with colleagues.

A hallmark of a Shady Hill education is the Central Subject methodology. Students in Grades 3-8 engage in an assigned Central Subject, an in-depth, integrated study of a particular time or people in history. The year-long study, which emphasizes strong content, the use of primary sources, understanding of multiple perspectives, acquisition of essential skills, and self-discovery, forms the core of our curriculum. ”Gradeheads” (lead teachers) are both humanities teachers and advisors, supporting the academic and social-emotional experience for their 14-18 students. Additionally, gradeheads in Beginners through Grade 4 are responsible for implementing instruction in mathematics. Gradeheads are responsible for developing content and implementing instruction in the humanities, with the support of faculty in other disciplines, such as science, to integrate the curriculum. 

Shady Hill School is also a teaching training institution. Its long-standing Teacher Training Center, which brings apprentice teachers to campus each year, prepares talented people for careers in education and allows faculty members the opportunity to be a mentor and meaningful contributor to the teaching field.  Because of the school’s commitment to teacher training, the school seeks teachers with certification or a demonstrated interest in working towards certification when hired by Shady Hill School.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Assist in creating an overall sense of well-being for students in the Lower School (LS) and Middle School (MS)
  • Serve as liaison for planning activities to bridge Lower School (PreK – grade 4) and Middle School (grades 5 – 8), such as Partners and All School Community Times
  • Attend grade level individuals meetings along with MS Counselor/LS Psychologist, Division Heads and Divisional Directors for Learning Resources to discuss student progress
  • Support Lower School and Middle School Division Heads in managing matters of student conduct
    • Facilitate communication related to student misbehavior with faculty, staff, auxiliary programs and families
    • Using Restorative Practices framework and philosophy, communicate behavioral expectations to community, maintain records, and respond to student conduct violations as necessary
  • Lead and organize the following aspects of the student experience in the Lower and Middle Schools:

          Lower School

    • Coordinate content for weekly LS Assembly in collaboration with LS Head and community 
    • Develop and distribute information, resources, guidelines for out-of-classroom student activities such as recess, daily snack
    • Support gradeheads with outreach and planning for field trips
    • Assist in coordinating all-school events and grade level milestones

          Middle School

    • Coordinate and foster student leadership:
      • Serving as Lead Advisor for Student Board including coordinating adult advisors from the four committees, holding regular meetings, organizing events, including but not limited to dances, fundraisers, elections, spirit days, etc 
      • Coordinating the MS Pod program (cross-grade meetings of middle school students with Grade 8 leadership)
    • Attend night and weekend student events as necessary (conferences, dances, concerts, etc.) 
    • Coordinate and plan assemblies and MS morning meetings with MS Head 
  • Organize and lead orientation program for new students, grades 5 – 7, and assist as needed for LS new family orientation
  • Serve as a full community member by attending weekly faculty meetings, sitting on committees, participating in admissions activities, and covering duties and other routine faculty responsibilities

Desired Attributes:

  • Highly organized with attention to detail
  • Love for children and appreciation for their joy, curiosity and growing edges
  • Systems-oriented
  • Collaborative work style
  • Ability to flex between various school environments
  • Comfortable interfacing with both students and adults
  • Manages confidential and sensitive information with discretion
  • Ability to maintain a positive, supportive attitude in a fast-paced work environment
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice
  • High level of emotional intelligence
  • Warmth and sense of humor


  • Candidate should have at least 6 years of experience working with, coaching, and/or teaching students from diverse backgrounds
  • Demonstrated expertise in multicultural practice and cultural competency
  • Possess a love for working and connecting with Pre-K-8 students 
  • Demonstrated skill with conflict resolution and mediation, ideally training and experience with restorative practices 
  • Have a thorough understanding of student’s social/emotional development 
  • Must have skills in organization, collaboration, and communication, particularly developing relationships and communicating with faculty and parents/caregivers 
  • Bachelor’s degree required with an advanced degree preferred

If invited to campus as finalists, candidates will be expected to interview with appropriate faculty, students, and administrators and respond to a writing prompt.  

 This is a 10.5 month administrative position.  Annual salary will be determined commensurate with experience.  Start date is August 14, 2023.  Reports directly to the Lower and Middle School Heads. 

To apply: Please send a pdf including a cover letter and resume to: or Shady Hill School, 178 Coolidge Hill, Cambridge, MA 02138 by March 20, 2023. 

Shady Hill offers competitive salaries and a generous benefits package, including medical, dental and vision insurance plans, a school-matched retirement plan and paid time off. Shady Hill is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. For more information on Shady Hill please visit us at

COVID19 Protocols: All Shady Hill employees are required to provide proof of vaccination and to observe campus COVID protocols. All health and safety protocols are subject to change based on state, local and CDC guidelines and at the discretion of the Health and Safety Team.

Shady Hill School

Cambridge, MA
Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School
All Gender