Head of School

Posted by
Athena Academy
Palo Alto, CA
Published 26 days ago


  • Campus Founded: 2012
  • Type: Co-ed Day School
  • Grades: 1-8
  • Current Enrollment: 60
  • Faculty & Staff: 17
  • Average Class Size: 6-9
  • Tuition 2020-2021: $42,200
  • WASC accredited

Professional Affiliations: CAIS, WASC, NAIS, IDA, Dyslexia Foundation


Students with dyslexia come to Athena Academy because of its individualized and nurturing academic program. Athena Academy is a unique school that provides a multi-sensory curriculum in a well-structured environment designed for intelligent, dyslexic learners. This is accomplished through integrated, project based learning in age-leveled homeroom groups, and a robust performing, visual and technical arts program which includes music, drama, art, and technology classes. Athena Academy’s specialized program is also offered during our academic summer camp. Smaller classes allow for specialized instruction that effectively and efficiently builds language skills while also helping students restore confidence, develop self-advocacy, discover strengths, and gain the strategies/skills necessary for success in school and in life. Athena Academy’s size, structure, and flexibility allows us to truly put the child at the center of every decision.


Athena Academy is dedicated to improving the learning process for dyslexic students everywhere by researching, documenting, disseminating, and advancing innovative, replicable, evidence-based strategies that allow dyslexic students to enjoy learning, master course content, and achieve academic success. Our research and innovation will help advance the field of dyslexia education. We collaborate with other schools and renowned universities to determine best practices. We disseminate information about our methods and best practices in teaching as widely as possible. We care about all dyslexic children.

Mission Statement: Athena Academy educates first to eighth grade dyslexic children with compassion and expertise. We nurture the visual-spatial abilities and inherent strengths of students with dyslexia. Our students develop self-advocacy skills, open-mindedness, and creative problem-solving strategies. Athena Academy graduates are ready to take risks, collaborate, and be changemakers in the world.


Students and Families

Dyslexic students have many gifts and we believe that they should be given opportunities to build on them and find success. Athena Academy students emerge as academically prepared, confident individuals who are enthusiastic about learning and skilled in self-advocacy. Our school sits in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Our students come from interesting and diverse backgrounds. Parents are engaged and knowledgeable, and many are leaders in research, healthcare, and technology. We have a dedicated and caring community of support.


Teachers at Athena Academy are compassionate, creative, and adaptable; they know that using assistive technology to enhance authentic, multisensory lessons helps motivate and engage dyslexic students in the learning process. Athena Academy teachers receive in-depth training and ongoing professional development to enable them to provide exceptional education for dyslexic learners. They are experts at implementing numerous instructional strategies for students with language based learning differences and incorporating executive function and social skills instruction into daily lessons. The adults on campus are a true team and embody the philosophy of putting the child at the center of the decision making process.


Dyslexia Education

Athena Academy was designed to teach dyslexic students the way they learn. At Athena Academy, students learn effectively and efficiently because our program uses techniques and tools intuitive to the students’ innate learning style. Students enjoy coming to school because they are understood and appreciated for who they are, how they learn, and for their rich, untapped talents. We provide powerful Visual-Spatial teaching methods which include Kinetic Modeling in clay, Symbol Mastery, Trigger Word Mastery, Structured Word Inquiry, Woodin Math and Visual Math. Most dyslexia schools only offer phonics-based methods for reading, while we merge different approaches in a method that is responsive to each child. Students become confident learners and this positive energy is palpable.

Twice-Exceptional Education

Athena Academy's program is designed to utilize the strengths of dyslexic students, allowing us to serve students classified as twice-exceptional (2e) — highly gifted and dyslexic. These neurodiverse students, who demonstrate both gifted intelligence and learning challenges, require a dually differentiated program like the one Athena Academy provides. Our program develops student gifts and talents while providing appropriate instruction, accommodations, and other services for learning needs.

Project Based Learning

Athena Academy’s highly qualified faculty delivers instruction following a Project Based Learning model. Students participate in authentic and personally meaningful projects that allow them to develop deep understanding and focus on building skills like critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and self-reflection. The faculty collaboratively designs creative, thought provoking driving questions for each project that guide student inquiry and engage every child.

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is an integral part of Athena Academy’s culture. Our innovative program, called Changemakers, is designed specifically for our student population and is based on the most current research and best practices in positive psychology, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and compassion. We are fortunate to have our SEL program, where we have the time, space, and expertise to work with our students on addressing their inner life so they can thrive in the classroom and beyond.


For Athena Academy

Athena Academy’s vision is to become a leading institution for the teaching of dyslexic students. We will achieve this vision by developing, applying, and validating innovative teaching methods based on scientific research, and then share these methods with others with the goal of serving as many dyslexic students as possible.

The following challenges and opportunities have been identified as the most significant for the school in the next 3-5 years:

  • Develop innovative programs that advance the school’s mission, including new research initiatives, a stronger summer program, and cutting-edge curriculum
  • Attract and grow the strongest possible faculty
  • Improve Athena Academy’s facilities and possibly move to a new site
  • Nurture and further develop a culture of giving

For Our Next Head of School

Athena Academy’s next Head of School will be a(n):

BRIDGE BUILDER: Athena Academy’s next Head of School will believe that community is built on relationships. They will have a well-honed ability for forming bonds with all members of the school community, and will forge relationships among diverse and strong constituencies through a participative, collaborative, and inclusive leadership style.

EMPOWERING LEADER: They will understand that true leadership involves empowering others through delegation but utilizing a hands-on approach when needed. They will demonstrate an emphasis on trust, respect, and autonomy in their relationship with faculty and an ability to energize and inspire others.

STRATEGIC VISIONARY: They will have experience crafting a large-scale vision for a school community and putting that vision into practice. They will use a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial mindset to work with stakeholders to define an ambitious future for Athena Academy and take the steps necessary to make that future a reality. This will include working closely with the Board of Trustees to secure funds for capital expenditures and programs.

EMPATHIC COMMUNICATOR: They will understand that communication starts with listening. They will work to make sure everyone in the community feels heard and will encourage faculty, students, and families to express their ideas and share their needs. Athena Academy’s Head of School serves as an advocate for our students and families in their interactions with school districts and future schools.

EXPERIENCED CREATOR: They will be prepared to build original curricula that meets the needs of a neurodiverse school community. They will be responsible for creating schedules, assigning student class placements, and managing and tracking student assessments and other data collection points. They will demonstrate the qualities of an effective and respected teacher with an intellect that reveals scholarship, creativity, abiding curiosity, and a growth mindset.

CONFIDENT MANAGER: They will have a capacity to effectively manage a complex, vibrant, and vocal organization with a demonstrated ability to develop supportive frameworks, to delegate, and to follow through. The next Head of School will be an excellent judge of people, possess a nose for talent, and be experienced and skilled at hiring, while thoughtfully matching people with appropriate roles and positions. They will collaborate with the administrative team and the Board of Trustees on finance, development, and enrollment goals.

PROFESSIONAL PARTNER: They will actively maintain relationships with professionals and organizations that support and promote the school in the broader educational landscape. They will manage research partnerships and participate in relevant conferences and workshops in order to stay up to date on the most current best practices. The next Head of School will represent Athena Academy to the community at large and be a dynamic spokesperson for the school.


Candidates interested in this position are asked to submit the following material:

  • A cover letter addressed to the Search Committee
  • Resume
  • Statement of educational philosophy
  • A list of five or more references with contact information (including phone number and email addresses)
  • Up to three letters of reference may be submitted

Application materials are to be sent, electronically via email, as a single Word or PDF document to:

If you have any questions about the search or would like to nominate candidates for this position, please email

All applications and nominations will be treated in confidence.

Athena Academy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, orientation or veteran status. Fully Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges through June 2024. For more information on the school, please visit


  • Campus Founded: 2012
  • Type: Co-ed Day School
  • Grades: 1-8
  • Current Enrollment: 60
  • Faculty & Staff: 17
  • Average Class Size: 6-9
  • Tuition 2020-2021: $42,200
  • WASC accredited

Professional Affiliations: CAIS, WASC, NAIS, IDA…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    July 1, 2022


Salary commensurate with experience. Health, dental and vision insurance covered 100%. 403B. Generous holiday and vacations.

Salary commensurate with experience. Health, dental and vision insurance covered 100%. 403B. Generous holiday and vacations.


525 San Antonio Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA

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