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Be Kind. Be Curious. Take Risks. Be your Best.

Director of the Design and Innovation Labs 
Hillbrook School—San José, CA          Start date: July 2023

VISION: Inspire students to achieve their dreams and reach beyond themselves to make a difference in the world.

MISSION: Hillbrook provides an extraordinary educational experience that fosters a love of learning in our students and helps them develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to achieve their highest individual potential in school and in life. At Hillbrook, students are known, respected and valued as individuals and every day is a journey of self-discovery, imaginative thinking, creative problem solving, laughter and friendship.

CORE VALUES: Be kind. Be curious. Take risks. Be your best.

Director of the Design and Innovation Labs: What Will You Do & How Will We Collaborate

The Director of the Design and Innovation Labs will play a critical role embedding a culture of design and inquiry-based learning and doing throughout the entire newly expanding upper school. The Director will be someone who loves visionary thinking as well as tactical execution, and someone with an entrepreneurial spirit as well as a grounding in best practices in design education. The Director will have the opportunity to collaborate in the creation and design of space for the new high school Design and Innovation Lab at the San José campus. In the first year, the director will develop and teach a ninth grade program focused on fabrication, human-centered design and architecture. While not exactly a blank canvas – this is an expansion of an already excellent JK-8 design and creative inquiry program – this is a truly unique opportunity to shape and nurture an upper school program from its infancy. The Director in the first couple of years will also have opportunities to visit and collaborate with arts, design and maker teachers in the state of the art Hub studios on our JK-8 campus, helping to bridge students’ experience across divisions.

Director of the Design and Innovation Labs: Who You Are

Do our Core Values – Be kind. Be curious. Take risks. Be your best. – align with how you show up as an educator? Are you committed to building and bridging inclusive communities? Are you entrepreneurial? Do you believe learning should be an active and relational process? Are you someone who sees learning as an integral way to build transferable skills? Do you love to tinker and explore? Do you often ask: How can we make this better? Do you enjoy building and sustaining excellent programs? Are equity and impact at the forefront of what you do? Do you thrive in small collaborative environments, and are you at the same time a self-starter? Do you love working with kids and adults alike? Do you have experience building interdisciplinary, experiential learning? Do you believe that high school students can make profound, long-lasting impacts on local and global communities? The team of expanding faculty will emphatically say yes to each of these questions.

Duties and Responsibilities

●      Develop and manage the 9th grade design course, teaching key, scaffolded skills in design and fabrication with a social impact lens

●      Teach 4 sections of our human-centered design course taken by all 9th graders

●      Support and guide faculty who work both directly and indirectly in the design labs on our upper school campus, including building interdisciplinary collaboration and connections

●      Manage the safety procedures and maintenance of the Design Labs

●      Participate in the design of the new campus, especially the Design and Innovation Labs

●      Design and lead two, quarter-long exploratory classes in the high school each year utilizing the Lab

●      Collaboratively design and co-teach two 3-week Reach Beyond Immersive Course each year (transdisciplinary, project-based, intensive all-day three-week courses using the city and the world as our classroom)

●      Actively participate in a faculty culture that is committed to being at the leading edge of JK-12 education


●      Bachelor’s degree in Design, Engineering, Architecture, or related field

●      Experience managing, coaching and mentoring teachers

●      Experience running the programming as well as upkeep for both digital and physical fabrication centers

●      A love of and experience teaching high school students.

●      Experience working in or collaborating with industry preferred

●      Experience working and creating in a project-based learning environment

●      Demonstrated commitment to teaching and learning in a diverse, dynamic, and progressive school community

●      Experience with competency-based education preferred

●      A commitment to anti-racism and demonstrated skill designing equitable and inclusive experiences

●      Desire and ability to work in a collegial, highly collaborative environment

●      Proficiency in and curiosity about educational technology

●      A growth mindset, sense of humor, and excellent organizational and communication skills

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

As noted in our Statement of Inclusivity, we strive to reflect the extraordinary diversity of Silicon Valley, believing that educational excellence and equity depend on the creation of a diverse and inclusive community where all students, families and employees feel a full sense of membership. To live up to our DEI Teaching Philosophy Statement, all employees contribute to developing culturally competent students and building an educational institution committed to social justice and reaching beyond. We offer a wide range of opportunities for all employees to engage in work that furthers these goals, from personal dialogues that help us understand different perspectives, to pedagogical training designed to support equitable instructional practices and build habits to disrupt bias whenever we see it. Ultimately, we hope that this work helps all of our constituents—employees, students, and families—be more aware, empathetic, globally-minded, and justice-oriented.

A highly collaborative community, we use the following norms to guide our communication with each other:

●      Assume good will

●      Come from your own experience

●      Be more curious than certain

●      Hold yourself and others capable

Our commitment to these norms makes it possible for us to partner meaningfully, disagree productively, and lean into conversations that are both challenging and generative.

Salaries are competitive. Benefits include: full medical, dental, and vision coverage; ample retirement planning with TIAA-CREF; a generous holiday schedule; religious holidays following each employee’s faith; access to the latest state-of-the-art educational technology; and a strong commitment to engaging and personalized professional development. Hillbrook School is an equal opportunity employer. Opportunities are open to all individuals without regard to race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or handicap.


Please send resume/CV, letter of intent, and a list of five references with contact information (references will not be contacted until the candidate is notified) to Director of Human Resources Rozanne Schiro.

For more information, read below:

The School: Who Are We

Hillbrook School, a longstanding JK-8, is opening a high school in the Fall of 2023 and has begun building a team of expanding faculty and school leaders. The upper school will cap at 60 ninth graders in the 2023-2024 school year, adding one grade level each subsequent year. Expanding faculty, along with cross-divisional leaders, will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build and shape an engaging, challenging, and place-based high school expanding from an already mission-driven school into the heart of downtown San José.

For more than 85 years, Hillbrook School has been a junior kindergarten-8th grade independent school located on 14 acres of oak woodland in Los Gatos, CA. Founded in 1935, the school remains deeply connected to its historical roots as a place where children are known, learning is authentic and active, and success is measured one child at a time. Over the years, we have grown and evolved from a small boarding school serving wards of the state to one of the leading independent schools in the Bay Area, and yet our vision remains the same—to inspire children to achieve their dreams and reach beyond themselves to make a difference in the world.

We are now embarking on one of the school’s most ambitious strategic initiatives ever: the expansion to a JK-12 with the addition of a new high school campus in downtown San José. We are driven by a foundational belief – that our 8th graders  and other students deserve an extraordinary educational experience in high school that builds upon the exceptional foundation we provide our JK-8 students. The core differentiators for our current program – the placement of choice and engagement at the center of the learning experience, integrated, real world education that challenges students to reach beyond and make a difference, and a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion – will translate seamlessly into a 9-12 environment, allowing us to extend our innovative approach into a market in need of a new model of secondary school education.

Each and every day our students will be challenged to live out our Core Values – be kind, be curious, take risks, be your best – as they engage with an exceptional team of educators committed to helping each student reach their highest potential in school and in life. Our program is also guided by the core questions of the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship – “What matters to you? What are you doing about it?” Simple yet provocative, these two questions inspire all members of our community as they convey two foundational beliefs: learning must be purposeful and have enduring impact, and leveraging student interest drives both engagement and success. Hillbrook, unlike any other school, not only calls on its students to make the world a better place, but also explicitly prioritizes the skills and habits that prepare them to do so, activating and empowering students to make immediate and lasting social impact during their JK-12 years while launching them into a lifetime of social impact work.

Central to our success during this expansion period will be the exceptional team of expanding faculty, working with strategic Jk-12 school leaders to develop and support a cohesive JK-12 program over the next four years. The Director of Design & Innovation Labs will be a core member of the expanding faculty, with additional responsibilities to oversee and shape the facilities, materials, program, and pedagogy for these signature programs across 9-12.


Hillbrook has two campuses located in the heart of Silicon Valley, 35 minutes south of Stanford University, 30 minutes north of Santa Cruz, and 1 hour south of San Francisco. The Bay Area is home to world-class universities, museums and restaurants, farmers markets and wineries, and outstanding outdoor opportunities for biking, hiking, surfing and more.

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