Faculty Diversity Search: What is it?

Founded in 1994 as a non-profit organization, Faculty Diversity Search (FDS) works to increase the diversity of teachers and administrators in the New York City independent schools.  Each year, FDS works with 25-30 different NYC schools to place faculty in a variety of positions.  Since its inception, approximately 400 educators have found and accepted positions through the FDS program.

FDS seeks to recruit and select an outstanding pool of candidates of color and other under-represented minorities who demonstrate excellence and future promise as independent school educators.  Openings are for all grades PreK-12, as well as for administrators

What is an independent school?

Independent schools may be single-sex or coed, operating as a day school or with a boarding option.  They are located in rural, suburban or city centers.  Most NYC independent schools are located in Manhattan with a few in each of the outer boroughs.  There are also dozens of independent schools throughout the Tri-State area.  Generally, they are selective schools, offering high-quality education, including an array of athletic offerings, visual and performing arts courses, and co-curricular leadership opportunities.  They are private and funded by tuition, endowment, private gifts, grants and annual giving.  In all cases, independent schools have high academic expectations of their faculty and ideally attract and admit motivated students and involved parents.

What do independent schools have to offer candidates with Masters degrees, ABDs or Ph.Ds?

  • Motivated students: bright, curious, eager to learn.

  • Small class sizes: class size ranges from 12 to about 20; many classes are below 20.

  • Respect for the depth of knowledge that candidates with advanced degrees offer.

  • Excellent facilities (well-equipped classrooms, labs, studios, and up-to-date technology).

  • Generous funding for professional development, allowing teachers to attend workshops and conferences in their disciplines.

  • A community of interesting educators dedicated to finding the best ways of teaching particular concepts and skills.

  • Respect for innovation, new courses, and new projects.

  • Competitive salaries and benefits packages.

What do schools look for in candidates? Why might they be interested in candidates with advanced degrees?

  • Schools want teachers who have a depth of knowledge in their disciplines and are familiar with newer directions in their fields.

  • Schools seek candidates with teaching experience. Since Masters, ABD and Ph.D programs often include some teaching, this experience can make graduate students attractive candidates for Middle and Upper School positions.

Other qualities the schools look for in assessing candidates:

  • Clarity of instruction: the ability to teach complex material clearly and in an engaging manner.

  • An understanding of and respect for children and adolescents.

  • Strong communication skills (oral and written).

  • An appreciation for the school as a community and the willingness to participate in school life, e.g., serving as student advisors, club or project advisors, coaches; attending some afterschool events (plays, sports, concerts); etc.

  • Personal warmth, a sense of humor and flexibility are highly valued.

State certification is not required.  U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, or an approved work visa is needed.

Why Work with FDS?

The FDS staff supports each candidate throughout the search process.  We send all materials to member schools as openings arise, assist candidates with resume review and interview practice, and help with planning for demonstration lessons as needed.  We maintain contact with candidates and schools throughout the hiring season, which begins in November for the following September, although the offer of a position can be made only by an individual school.  There is no fee to the candidate at any time.

How do I apply to be an FDS candidate?

  • Applicants should submit resume and cover letter by email to:
    Brandie Clarke, Interschool Associate Director - bclarke@interschool.org

  • We review all resumes and invite potential candidates to interview either in person or by phone.

  • Selected candidates will be asked to submit a list of references, letters of recommendation, and transcripts.

We look forward to working with both the candidates and the schools in advancing the goal of increasing faculty diversity in New York City independent schools.


Interschool Faculty Diversity Search Staff:

Adrienne Barr, Executive Director
Brandie Clarke, Associate Director
Jaleh Amouzegar, Lower School Recruiter
Jansen Po, Consultant and Recruiter