Head of School Search

Opportunity Statement

Aidan Montessori School (aidanschool.org) seeks a new Head of School for July 2023. Established in 1961, Aidan is an independent, AMI Montessori school, serving 180 students, ages 18 months through Grade 6, in the beautiful Woodley Park neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C. 

Aidan is one of the oldest AMI Montessori schools in the United States. In addition to its authentic commitment to Montessori education, faculty and families appreciate Aidan’s welcoming and diverse community, with 53% of students and 50% of faculty/staff identifying as people of color. With strong enrollment and finances, a highly trained faculty, a well-functioning Board of Trustees, and a recently completed strategic plan, this is a great time to join Aidan as its Head of School. 

Aidan seeks an educational leader who shares its commitments to Montessori education, including a deep respect for children as unique individuals, and to ensuring a welcoming, supportive community for all stakeholders. The successful candidate will be an individual who can lead and inspire a well-trained faculty, serve as an inspiring and compelling ambassador for Aidan, and who is comfortable and confident in nurturing, inspiring, and enhancing a diverse community.

View Full Opportunity Statement & Application Details

Announcing Aidan's New Head of School: Welcome Jamie Rue!

Dear Aidan Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Jamie Rue as Aidan Montessori School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2023. The Board voted unanimously to appoint Jamie based on the enthusiastic recommendation of the Head of School Search Committee and informed by a deliberate and thorough search process, which included meaningful input from faculty, staff, parents, and thoughtful reference conversations. 

Jamie’s depth of experience and strong reputation in the AMI school world led to her being nominated as a strong candidate when Aidan announced its search for a new Head of School. Jamie was known by numerous individuals at Aidan as she has served the school in a consulting capacity over the last several years. Jamie is recognized in the AMI world as an experienced Trainer and Consultant. Currently Jamie serves as Head of School at Sea Lavender Montessori (NJ), a micro-school that she helped to found, affiliated with the Wildflower network of schools. Additionally, she serves as CEO and Founder of Rising Tide Montessori, which provides high-quality free Montessori online resources as well as AMI teacher training, with a goal of making Montessori education more inclusive and accessible.

Jamie holds AMI Primary and Elementary Diplomas, and certifications as an AMI Trainer and as a Consultant at the Elementary Level. Jamie has consulted and coached at Montessori schools throughout the United States as well as New Zealand, Mexico, and Canada. She has served on the AMI/USA Board of Directors, as a board member and Pedagogical Advisor to AMI-EAA, and on several Montessori school Boards. As the Search Committee members got to know Jamie and learn more about her, they recognized the strong match between her relational, positive, and warm personality and the Aidan community.

Jamie’s references, professional educators who have worked with her for numerous years, underscored in their descriptions of Jamie the strengths and qualities the Search Committee saw in Jamie from the initial interview. Jamie was characterized as: "A natural leader;" "A strong Montessorian with great business sense;" and "A reflective leader with an ability to get things done." A diversity, equity and inclusion professional who has worked closely with Jamie noted, “She recognizes her privilege and centers the marginalized.” And, one reference shared, “Looking at Aidan’s core values, they so align with who Jamie is. I would almost think this is curated for her.”

Following Jamie’s visit to Aidan, faculty, staff, and parents shared their impressions with the Search Committee. Many people commented on Jamie’s strong Montessori background with one individual stating, “She is as well-versed as a person can be when it comes to Montessori pedagogy.” People also appreciated the strengths of her communication abilities, noting her calm and thoughtful communication style. Numerous faculty members commented that they were very excited at the prospect of Jamie serving as Aidan’s next Head of School.

The Board recognizes the great contributions of Head of School Kevin Clark, who has done so much the past seven years to ensure the school is well-positioned for the future. We thank him for his tremendous leadership and for his continued service to the school.

The search process highlighted the engagement in and commitment of the Aidan Montessori School community. The Board extends our heartfelt thanks to our Search Committee and to our dedicated faculty, staff, and parents for their active engagement and continued support of our school. Please join us in warmly welcoming Jamie to the Aidan Montessori School community.

Warmly,

Zoya Davis

Board of Trustees, President


A Letter from Jamie Rue

To the members of the Aidan Montessori School Community,

I am truly excited to join the community at Aidan Montessori. In my interactions with Aidan over the past several years, I’ve been continually impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the faculty and staff, their commitment to Montessori principles, and the joy that is palpable in every corner of the school. Aidan is an exceptional Montessori school community.

In the 25 years I’ve worked in Montessori education, I’ve seen dozens of schools, worked with hundreds of teachers and administrators, guided scores of children. Time and again, I have seen that the central key to success in schools is the development of strong relationships based on clear communication and trust. The children in a Montessori environment are best served when teachers and administrators build authentic relationships with them. This allows the children to take full advantage of the freedom and limits offered to them in the Montessori classroom, confident there are adults who know them well and can support them. Beyond the classroom, staff members work together best when they feel known, seen, and heard by their colleagues. The same is true for the relationship between staff and families. And it is essential that all adults in children’s lives work together. By preparing an environment where faculty, staff, and families build relationships and communicate effectively, we can best support the development of the children in our care.

I thoroughly enjoy developing strong relationships and I look forward to getting to know each of you! And I’m especially excited to get to know the children. I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead Aidan Montessori as it continues to grow and pursue its mission, and I am grateful to be joining a community so committed to high-quality Montessori education.

Warmly,

Jamie Rue

 
Head of School Search Update from Aidan's Board President

Dear Aidan Community,

Welcome back to a new school year!

I want to update you on the Head of School search. 

As most of you know, Kevin Clark is leaving Aidan at the end of this school year to take on a new professional challenge as a Head of School at a Montessori school near his home town. The Board has engaged an independent school search firm, Independent Thinking, and is partnering with lead search consultant Jane Armstrong, Managing Partner, to help us manage this important process. Additionally, we formed a Head of School Search Committee, consisting of members of the faculty and the Board of Trustees. The Head of School Search Committee is working on behalf of the entire Aidan community to interview and vet candidates as we work to secure a great next Head of School.

Through the course of the summer, our search consultant Jane solicited input from stakeholders, spoke with faculty, administrators, parents, and Board members, and collected additional input through an online questionnaire. The information gathered helped inform an Opportunity Statement that outlines for potential candidates information about Aidan and what we are seeking as we look for our next Head of School.

As I am sure you can understand, there are numerous pieces of a search process that have to remain confidential in order to protect the professional integrity of candidates and thereby attract strong educational leaders to explore this opportunity. While we are still in the early days of the search, there are strong candidates who have expressed interest. In the coming weeks, the Search Committee will begin its work of reviewing candidate materials and conducting initial interviews. We are most committed to finding the right next leader and feel fortunate to have a good amount of time to do so.

You can find a list of Search Committee members and the full Opportunity Statement on Aidan's Head of School Search webpage. The Search Committee appreciates your support of the process and our work.

Thank you,

Zoya Davis

Board of Trustees, President 

A Message From Kevin

Dear Aidan Community,

Today, I am writing to say that the coming 2022-2023 school year will be my last at Aidan Montessori School. In summer 2023, my family and I will move back to Massachusetts, where I will be Head of School at Lexington Montessori School. This new opportunity is an outstanding one, and I look forward to it with great excitement, yet I know that I will miss Aidan and its wonderful community.

On a personal note, my family and I moved to DC from Massachusetts, which is where I grew up. At this stage in my wife’s and my families’ histories, there are many reasons for us to be closer to them, and they are all in New England. 

It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the Aidan community for the past six years, and I am excited to be with the Aidan community for the year ahead and all it will bring. All of the indicators of a healthy school are present at Aidan. Enrollment is strong, finances are positive, and the community has sprung back to life from the (hopefully) waning pandemic. There is a strategic plan in place as well as outstanding people and excellent systems. Were I not compelled to return to New England, there is no place I would rather be.

Aidan has made many gains over the past six years. Visible accomplishments such as upgrades to our facilities with the addition of new windows, HVAC system, and elevator come to mind. The strategic plan and our work on it point to a progressive future for Aidan. There has been much behind-the-scenes work, too, things that are not obvious to children and families such as the professionalizing of systems and processes at the school. I am proud to have been a part of Aidan’s evolution and honored to have worked with the amazing people who compose this community.

I have great confidence in Aidan’s Board of Trustees and the process that they have put in place to identify and bring on Aidan Montessori School’s next head of school. I know the process will be inclusive and exhaustive and that the best possible person will be found. 

Thank you to all of you for entrusting me with so much. As a community, we have both accomplished and endured much. A school is an interesting organism, and Aidan comprises many fantastic moving parts, personalities, and ideals. May Aidan’s every year be its best.

With great respect and appreciation,

Kevin Clark

Head of School

Independent Thinking (IT)

After researching and interviewing several search firms, Aidan's Board has engaged the independent school search firm Independent Thinking (IT) to partner with the school on this important search. IT has worked with schools throughout the country on leadership searches for over twenty years, including numerous Montessori schools and independent schools in the D.C. region.

Jane Armstrong, a founder and managing partner of IT, is the consultant partnering with Aidan Montessori School. With guidance from Jane, the Board has formed a Search Committee that will be responsible for the important work of interviewing and vetting candidates, and ultimately making a highly informed recommendation to the Board as to which candidate should be offered the position.

Learn More About IT

Head Search Committee

Zoya Davis

Search Committee Co-Chair, Board President, & Upper School Parent

Eoin Healy

Search Committee Co-Chair, Board Secretary, & Lower School Parent

Contact Co-Chairs

Josh Ackil

Vice President, Board of Trustees & Lower School & Alumni Parent

Claudia Caihuara

Primary Teacher & Lower School Parent

Julia Isaza

Upper Elementary Parent

Phillip Katinas

Director of Auxiliary Programs

Lucy Liu 

Board of Trustees & Lower School Parent

Jennifer Paige

DEIA Committee Co-Chair  of Board & Upper School & Alumni Parent

Daniel Widome

Vice President, Board of Trustees & Lower School Parent