Director of the Design Center at 12M Recruiting

Posted in Other 19 days ago.

Location: Aliso Viejo, California

Job Description:


St. Mary's School is an independent day school that serves over 700 students, Pre-K through Grade 8, in Aliso Viejo, CA. As the only independent school in Orange County that offers the international baccalaureate (IB) program from primary school through middle school, St. Mary's is committed to a globally-minded and innovative curriculum that, in many ways, stands alone within the educational landscape in Orange County. St. Mary's students are prepared not only for the next steps in their educational journey, but also to become courageous, caring, global citizens and enlightened leaders of tomorrow.

This summer, construction will begin on a 28,000 square foot facility which will include a design center comprising five specialty labs and a gallery space. The director of the design center will lead the transition into this new space, oversee the design center and its resources, and collaborate with faculty and academic leadership to fully integrate design thinking with St. Mary's outstanding IB and design-centered curriculum. The director of the design center will report to the director of technology and innovation, and will bring an expertise in design thinking and a relational approach to leadership to the role. St. Mary's looks forward to welcoming the director of the design center to start July 1, 2024, or later by mutual agreement.

Ed Tech Recruiting is running the search on behalf of St. Mary's School. Applications received by March 29 will receive priority review. For application instructions and the full job opportunity statement, please visit:


Priority Application Deadline: March 29, 2024

Remote Semifinal Round: Week of April 15

On-site Final Round: Week of April 22

Decision Announced: April 30, 2024

Start Date Window: July 1, 2024 (or later by mutual agreement)

Salary Range: $135,000 to $150,000

Reports To: Director of Technology and Innovation


Management of a New Design Center

  • Maintain ultimate responsibility for all operations of the design center, including equipment maintenance, supply ordering, budgets, capital purchases, and safety procedures. Develop partnerships with external organizations to both support the mission of the design center and provide additional learning opportunities for students and faculty. Coordinate with division leadership and faculty to ensure equitable and robust use of the design center. Research, recommend, manage and implement the necessary equipment, furnishings and software as related to the design center. Develop policies and procedures for safe use of tools and materials in the design center. In partnership with the school schedule coordinator, develop a daily academic schedule that ensures students at all grade levels are consistently able to utilize the design center.

Integration of Design Thinking

  • Partner with academic administrators and IB coordinators to design and implement a curriculum that fully integrates design thinking with existing IB units to enhance the learning experience of students at every grade level (Preschool-8). Develop and deliver learning opportunities that invite traditional classes to the design center to utilize design thinking principles in support of the school's robust IB curriculum. Partner with teachers to establish sequential goals and objectives for the integration of technological skills and standards in grades preschool through 8.

Professional Development for Faculty

  • Design and delivery faculty training sessions and workshops to identify opportunities for design and innovation concepts to be integrated into existing and new curricula. During the 2024-2025 year, while the new design center is still being built, create and lead individual, cohort, and departmental learning opportunities in design thinking, and fabrication that are hands-on, inspiring, and differentiated. Engage in continuous professional development to deepen content knowledge and skills in the areas of innovation, design and technology integration.

General Leadership & Partnership

  • Be a highly visible and active presence in the design center, serve as the internal and external face of the space, and supervise any and all staff. Build and maintain relationships among design and innovation leaders in independent schools and community partners in STEAM industries, innovation, and entrepreneurship both locally and nationally. Report to the director of technology and innovation, and perform other duties as assigned.


Professional Qualifications & Experience

  • A bachelor's degree, and multiple years of experience teaching or working in one or more of the areas: design, design thinking, engineering, fabrication, applied science, shop, or a related field Experience designing and implementing project-based or experiential learning Experience teaching in, partnering with, or coordinating the operations of, an innovation studio, shop environment, fabrication lab, robotics team, or design space Experience leading workshops, trainings, and projects, preferably to teachers Familiarity with, or a willingness to learn, the principles of an International Baccalaureate curriculum A track record of establishing successful partnerships with faculty and other stakeholder groups

Leadership & Personal Qualities

  • An entrepreneurial mindset, and a genuine excitement for augmenting and developing student skills in design, design thinking, and other STEAM-related disciplines A willingness to help others catalyze new ideas and bring them to fruition Relational, inspirational, pragmatic, and patient leadership Authentic empathy, warmth, and collegiality Confidence and humility, together with a sense of humor and warm personality Savvy communication skills and a proclivity for developing new partnerships A collaborative, cooperative, and growth-oriented mindset Enthusiasm for students to pursue their passions, talents, and interests, both in and out of the traditional classroom A passion for building community and facilitating adult learning


For more information please visit the following link, which contains the job opportunity statement and complete application instructions.

St. Mary's School is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for applicants and employees and makes its hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic characteristics, or medical condition as defined under applicable laws. Employee decisions shall comply with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination in employment.

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