UCLA Lab School - Los Angeles, CA - Full time

UCLA Lab School - Los Angeles, CA - Full time


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The UCLA Lab School is a research-based educational program serving 460 students, ages 4 through 12. Located on UCLA’s main Westwood Campus, the Lab School has a long history spanning over 135 years of creating and sharing school-based opportunities to support children’s academic, social, and emotional development within a diverse society in a way that promotes multilingualism and multiculturalism.

The mission of UCLA Lab School is to promote innovation and excellence in education through research, outreach, and teaching and learning. It is dedicated to addressing the needs of children from diverse backgrounds, and values teaching and learning environments that honor each child’s natural joy of learning. It encourages creativity and supports a disciplined approach to intellectual inquiry. It is a caring community of learners–students, teachers, staff, and families. It is committed to educating the whole child. For more information please visit


The UCLA Lab School is looking for a collaborative and innovative Principal who is well versed in leading-edge, best practice pedagogy to lead the school into its next chapter of success. This individual will be responsible for the day-to-day workings of the school including: leading school operations, finances, academic policies, human resources, and implementation of the strategic plan; partnering with the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSE&IS) to ensure promising trends in education are integrated into the school and disseminated to the broader Los Angeles community; implementing the vision the Lab School; managing and supporting the teachers and staff; building strong, productive relationships with students and families; ensuring consistent execution of the instructional program; and communicating regularly with GSE&IS and others around the school’s academic progress, finances, and operations.

The ideal Principal candidate will be an experienced school leader and expert people manager with an interest in leading an educational program based on innovative, student-centered learning. S/he will be familiar with dual language learning environments, the constructivist model of education, and a SafeSchools - or similar - student behavior philosophy. In addition, s/he will know how to engage with researchers and implement vanguard practices in a laboratory environment. This individual must have a strong belief and trust in teachers as well as deep respect for children.


  • Driving the vision for the Lab Schools’ success, including ensuring that school operations, the instructional program, school culture and climate, community engagement, and external partnerships are highly effective and tightly aligned to the school’s mission and goals;
  • Leading teachers and staff team members, acting not only as a supervisor but also as a coach and thought partner, remaining deeply committed to the value of developing and bringing out the strengths of all people while also holding them accountable for their goals and student success;
  • Partnering with our University’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies to support the Lab School’s broader mission of implementing and experimenting with research-based educational approaches to serve students representative of California state demographics, and working closely with GSE & IS Deans to ensure that there is a strong and positive symbiosis between the two organizations;
  • Serving as an ambassador, engaging public schools and community partners in collaborative initiatives and effectively engaging a philanthropic community of individual donors to ensure strong fundraising success;
  • Inspiring students, teachers, families, and other partners to be their best selves every day, always keeping the community’s moral compass pointing in the right direction, and ensuring an unyielding focus at all times on what is best and equitable for UCLA Lab School students and their futures.


In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Principal candidate will be:

  • An accomplished leader and experienced educator encompassing relevant classroom teaching experience and several years of successful public and/or independent school administrative experience.
  • Administrative level experience and understanding of how to effectively navigate within the context of a larger bureaucracy, preferably in a University setting.
  • An embodiment of the shared values of the Lab School as outlined in our socio-emotional curriculum, including mutual respect, embracing differences, listening to diverse perspectives, pursuing equity, and social justice.
  • Knowledgeable about innovative curricula, pedagogy, and current learning theories with an active interest in research and staying abreast of new and emerging best practices in elementary education.
  • Deeply interested in and professionally committed to an inquiry based approach, constructivist pedagogy, and socio emotional learning for the whole child, and bilingual education in the context of a K-6 instructional model.
  • Passionate about piloting and disseminating best practices that work for students with diverse SES backgrounds, learning styles, and complex learners.
  • An exceptionally talented written and verbal communicator with the ability to adapt communication styles as appropriate and resonate with different audiences.
  • Inspiring in management style, with experience leading leaders; one who sees the possibility in all people and is willing to devote time to coach and develop them while holding them accountable to results.
  • A culturally competent and a self-reflective leader who is committed to building a learning environment inclusive of a diverse student population and able to relate well with students, team members, and parents from different ethnicities, family backgrounds, sexual and gender identities, socio-economic statuses, religious belief systems, and cognitive and learning differences.
  • Dynamic and versatile, with an ability to engage a variety of individuals and speak in a clear, compelling, and authentic manner about the school’s goals and priorities in a way that community stakeholders can embrace and understand.
  • Capable of making difficult decisions and trade-offs related to the priorities between diverse stakeholder groups, while always keeping the mission of the school and what is best for UCLA Lab School students and their futures at the core of all decisions.
  • Conversational or fluent in Spanish language preferred.
  • Graduate degree in related field required, advanced degree preferred.


Please submit a resume, thoughtful cover letter, and names/contact information for up to three references (who will not be contacted without notice) addressed to the UCLA Lab School Principal Selection Committee at For additional questions about this position, or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Jamiah Hargins at or at 510-575-9635.

The UCLA Lab School is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other statuses protected by law. All candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.

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