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Lower School Principal

Chicago, IL
Job Type


The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) was born from an audacious request of a group of idealistic young people who demanded that the city of Chicago join them in reimagining what is possible in public education. Ten years later, the school has become internationally recognized as a model for the thoughtful integration of environmental stewardship, global citizenship and whole student wellness into the daily curriculum and culture of a public school. Although AGC is a small (currently 468 students), single site Charter school serving a majority low income and minority population on the city’s southwest side, it has received the highest honors spanning from the White House to the Department of Education and has been praised in international press including the New York Times, Good Morning America, NPR, the Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes.

AGC’s innovation is rooted in a bold vision to shift global systems of education to meet the needs of the 21st century student. Dually focused on barriers to low income student achievement outside the classroom and on preparing a generation of leaders to tackle today’s environmental challenges, globalization and rapid technological innovation, AGC is championing a new educational framework for an ever changing world. AGC’s mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action now and in the future to positively impact their local and global communities. The daily work of students, staff and families is built on the pillars of: modeling academic excellence, developing inquirers, serving the whole child, cultivating international awareness, fostering environmental stewardship, and facilitating collaboration within the community.

AGC is committed to pushing innovation far beyond the walls of their classrooms. Since opening its doors in 2008, AGC has reached nearly 1M students around the world by sharing their work openly, presenting at international conferences and welcoming nearly 1,000 educators each year from across the globe to experience their model in action and to support widespread adoption.

Fundamental to AGC’s commitment to reimagine public education is a determination to reimagine the public school building. AGC is working to design a new campus which will be a physical manifestation of its mission and a replicable model that will profoundly shift how school design connects with pedagogical implementation across the globe. In collaboration with acclaimed Studio Gang Architects, led by Macarthur Genius grant winner Jeanne Gang, AGC is currently designing the Midwest’s first energy net positive school to serve as a replicable prototype and national hub for sustainability. Collaborators include Copenhagen based Rosan Bosch Studios, who are shaping the design with Scandinavian-inspired principles of student centered learning spaces and integration with the outdoors, and creating an experiential pedagogical approach that moves away from the traditional school layout and towards maker spaces, tinkering studios, teaching kitchens, science zones, theatre nooks, art labs and a learning barn. This campus will house not only AGC’s K-8 school, but also an early childhood center, a teacher training institute, an urban farm, reimagined learning spaces, and additional sustainability and wellness resources for the community. To learn more, visit www.agcchicago.org


The Lower School Principal leads the K-5 grades. The Lower School Principal reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for setting and meeting academic goals and the hiring and evaluating of the K-5 team and PYP Coordinator & Curriculum Coach. Other key responsibilities include fostering strong family engagement and acting as the primary parent liaison to address K-5 family concerns and student behavior in addition to overseeing the admissions and onboarding of K-5 families.

The successful candidate will be a proven leader with a commitment to AGC’s mission and to advancing whole child wellness and sustainability through innovative education opportunities. This individual will be an exceptional manager, motivating leader, and a strong relationship builder, who has demonstrated breakthrough outcomes in a similarly mission aligned organization, non profit, or school setting.

The Lower School Principal will work with the Executive Director, Director of Student Services, PYP Coordinator & Curriculum Coach, Upper School Principal and broader AGC community in the following areas:

Community & Cultural Leadership

  • Uphold and support the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability, global citizenship, whole child wellness, dual language and educational innovation through ensuring comprehensive curriculum integration and cultivating a mission-aligned school culture.
  • Evaluate and support the PYP Coordinator & Curriculum Coach and K-5 teachers. Collaborate with the Upper School Principal to evaluate and support the Director of Student Services.
  • In close partnership with the Executive Director and Upper School Principal, provide oversight and support of the continuous development and effective implementation of the school’s instructional program and services leading to academic success of all of AGC’s students though the International Baccalaureate (IB) and dual language (DL) programs.
  • Foster and facilitate AGC’s democratic school model by working with the Executive Director and Upper School Principal to recommend procedures for input and decision making.
  • Build and maintain relationships to support and create opportunities for K-5 students and families. Partners may include Pre-K feeder programs and wraparound social service and social emotional learning partners.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of a new Early Childhood program to commence in conjunction with the campus opening.

Academic Leadership

  • Collaborate with the PYP Coordinator & Coach to develop and coach K-5 staff and implement successful staff performance measures to ensure all academic, compliance, and operational requirements are met. Ensure professional and programmatic alignment is maintained with the school’s overall mission and vision.
  • Collaborate with the PYP Coordinator & Coach to establish, evaluate and continuously refine AGC’s K-5 assessment framework and measurement of both our academic outcomes and mission. Conduct data analysis to drive instructional planning and decision making and prepare reports to share with the Executive Director and others as needed. Oversee intervention analysis and implementation.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and Upper School Principal to periodically review and recommend school policies and procedure revisions, the annual school budget and calendar.
  • Develop daily schedules for respective K-5 grades (classroom, duties, support staff, specials, prep and lunch/recess schedules).
  • Collaborate with the Upper School Principal and PYP and MYP Coordinators to ensure a strong and cohesive implementation of the IB and dual language continuum and continued authorization of the PYP.
  • Train and support all dual language staff in teaching in a dual language setting and developing related curriculum; lead DL PD and collaborate with partner schools.
  • Organize and lead Dual Language team meetings regarding curriculum, assessment framework and program goals. Update and maintain the Dual Language and AGC Journey document (DL Handbook).

Family Engagement

  • Oversee the monolingual and dual language admissions, onboarding and continued K-5 family engagement processes and strategies.
  • Serve as the final point person in the restorative justice process for students and staff when there are behavior and/or discipline concerns and act as the final decision maker for K-5 student disciplinary consequences.
  • Cultivate strong home-school relationships by creating opportunities for lower school parent involvement and education, including dual language informational workshops.
  • Be the face of the dual language program and be available to meet with families for any questions or situations that may arise. Be up to date with latest dual language best practices.


The ideal candidate will possess the following minimum qualifications:

  • Leadership experience with a record of success in an elementary school setting
  • Strong track record of managing a cross functional team to achieve ambitious results through periods of major organizational growth or transition
  • Exceptional verbal, written, listening, and interpersonal skills, with an ability to motivate and persuade people
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills, with an ability to manage concurrent projects and priorities effectively
  • A passion for advancing educational achievement in low income communities as well as a commitment to the mission/vision of Academy for Global Citizenship
  • Perseverance and an entrepreneurial spirit
  • A team building, facilitative rapport with peers and staff and a problem solving approach to obstacles
  • A Bachelor’s degree required, a Master’s degree preferred and at least 10 years of professional experience
  • Expertise in at least one of the following: environmentalism/sustainability, elementary school education, International Baccalaureate programming, or health and wellness education
  • Bilingual in Spanish required, with a strong preference for biliteracy and Dual Language experience

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