Temple Isaiah, a Reform congregation of just under 600 families in Fulton, MD (Howard County) is seeking a warm, dynamic, and engaged Director for its Early Childhood Center -- one who will articulate and sustain a vision of excellence for our preschool and who will be a strong and supportive partner to our parents and an integral part of our synagogue staff.
Temple Isaiah is the largest Jewish congregation in Howard County. The congregation has now entered a new stage of its 52-year history, as the community has experienced significant growth across demographics, and is engaged in the beginning steps of a building expansion process, excitement is palpable among congregants of all ages.
Our families love Jewish life. They want their children to be nurtured, engaged and challenged by Jewish learning. From an institutional standpoint, the “Rabbi Mark and Morah Renee Panoff Preschool” is the point of entry for many Temple Isaiah families, which leads to their sense of community and lifelong membership. Temple Isaiah, through its ECC, provides a home for newcomers to the community and the Howard County area. This offers a way for families to quickly establish roots and build enduring bonds with other families in a similar life stage.
The future of Temple Isaiah is bright. Young Jewish families are moving to Howard County on account of the strong resources, excellent public schools and amenities that see Columbia/Ellicott City ranked among the best communities in the nation. Our Board of Trustees fully supports our desire to deliver a strong early childhood educational experience in a Jewish context.
Goals for our Early Childhood Center:
Our ECC was established 18 years ago when Temple Isaiah built its own building after sharing an interfaith center with other faith communities, for it's first 30 years. Our founding director, Renee Panoff (of blessed memory) was also the wife of our longtime (now emeritus) Rabbi Marc Panoff. After a long career in Early Childhood Education, she was able to realize the dream of starting a school from the ground up with the establishment of our temple building. We currently serve 75 children spanning ages 2-5 in 7 classrooms guided by 15staff members. Our programs include a school year preschool, summer camp program as well as a Parent-Toddler Class for our youngest children. We have an excellent reputation for quality education for young students in our area. We are known for our play-based, Reggio-inspired curriculum, our ability to prepare our students for kindergarten, and our strong community of parents. We take pride in our hands-on, experiential instruction, inclusion with professional support, commitment to building relationships, and joyful celebration of Judaism (which our Jewish and non- Jewish families embrace).
Our goal is to build on these strengths and make Temple Isaiah’s ECC the school of choice for Jewish families moving into the area. Our new Director of Early Childhood Education will be crucial to that effort. Our Director will know that the success of the ECC is directly related not only to Temple Isaiah’s ongoing growth but also to our engagement with the congregation and its larger membership. As the leader of the ECC, our Director will set the vision for what the school should become over the next 5-10 years, will create a clear standard of excellence, and will serve as the voice of the school to teachers, parents, and students.
• Develop, implement and monitor curriculum
• Create a welcoming environment in which children, parents and teachers are treated with respect
• Develop a strong vision for the future of the school
• Set goals and expectations for long range planning
• Adherence to all ECC policies
• Maintain all licensing and accreditation requirements, including health and safety
• Help market and publicize ECC activities in the local press; maintain and enhance ECC presence in Temple Isaiah website
• Create and manage the ECC budget in consultation with the Executive Director and Board of Trustees
• Meet with prospective parents and conduct tours of the school for them
• Establish meaningful relationships with parents and maintain effective communication
• Plan and implement a calendar of activities for ECC parents, including initial orientation program, to promote integration into the school, socialization, and inclusion within the Temple Isaiah family in conjunction with the Temple Isaiah Preschool Parent Teacher Association
• Be a member of the community participating in Congregational events and services as well as engaging with religious school families as appropriate.
• Oversee a teaching staff of 15 (Teachers, Assistant Teachers)
• Recruit, hire, orient, train, and supervise staff, and provide development opportunities
• Manage, lead and motivate your team; encourage collaboration and feedback through regular staff meetings
• Keep staff current about new developments in early childhood education
• Encourage teachers to communicate with families on a regular basis
• Encourage a cohesive staff community that collaborates
• Attend weekly Temple Isaiah professional staff meetings and Board of Trustee meetings as appropriate
• Coordinate with Temple Isaiah and Howard County school calendars
• Work closely with lay-led Temple Isaiah ECC Committee; partner with ECC Committee Chair to suggest/plan meeting topics for the Board
• Team with other Temple Isaiah professional staff and participate in family and Temple-wide events when appropriate, such as Purim and Chanukah celebrations, Mitzvah Day, etc.
• Publicize Temple Isaiah events to ECC families
• Maintain ongoing involvement with national and regional early childhood associations including ECE-RJ (Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism)
• Attend conferences and workshops relevant to early childhood education
• Connect with early childhood directors at other local congregations to explore best practices
Qualifications and Skills:
• Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education required; Master’s Degree in Education preferred
• Supervisory experience in a licensed early childhood education center preferred
• 5-10 years of experience teaching in a licensed early childhood education center
• Proven ability to lead professional development efforts and support educators within a teaching and learning environment
• Experience with maintaining compliance for health, safety, and early childhood licensing and accreditation
• Highly organized and disciplined in pursuing high quality standards
• Outstanding communication, interpersonal and presentation skills. Ability to communicate information clearly (written and oral) and interact effectively with congregants, clergy, staff, lay leadership, parents and children of all ages.
• Ability to multi-task and adjust priorities as needed
• A track record for being adaptable, flexible, and inspiring teamwork and collaboration
• Basic financial management skills