It is with enormous pleasure that we announce the appointment of Jij de Jesus as the first ever PS1 Associate Head of School, effective July 1, 2021. Jij (pronounced "Jay") comes to us from Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he has served as Lower School Principal since 2015.
After speaking with a range of stakeholders, we confirmed our need for an energetic, empathetic educator who is well aligned with the core mission, vision, and values of PS1. We sought a seasoned administrator with great organizational skills and collaborative instincts, as well as a leader with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice work.
A lifelong educator, Jij has a deep passion for working with elementary-aged children, helping each recognize their unique gifts and realize their potential as a valued citizen of their communities. He brings to the job more than 15 years of experience as a teacher, project manager, and administrator at a range of exceptional schools and institutions. At Rowland Hall, a PK-12 school with 900 students, Jij has supervised 40 faculty members, served on the school's Senior Administrative Team, partnered with the school's marketing and admissions team to increase community engagement, and helped identify and operationalize several DEIJ priorities. He has also played a central role in guiding the school through its transition to remote/hybrid learning.
Prior to Rowland Hall, Jij led the STEM and Innovation Program at Town School for Boys in San Francisco, where he also served as Director of Community Building and Inclusion, and spent nine years as a fourth-grade teacher. Jij also led Town's Faculty Evaluation Research Project and coordinated the school's sustainability efforts. He spent the earliest years of his career as a Wilderness Therapy Instructor in Minnesota and New Mexico, as a teacher at Northfield School of Arts and Technology in Minnesota, and as a Field Science Educator with the Headlands Institute in Sausalito, California.
Jij studied environmental science as an undergraduate at Northwestern University and went on to earn a master's degree in Private School Leadership from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
Jij relayed his enthusiasm about joining our community: "I have long admired PS1 as a school that truly recognizes and celebrates the unique learning lives of elementary-aged children. The opportunity to join this extraordinary community is both humbling and inspiring, and I'm endlessly eager to get to work alongside Joel, and the faculty and staff of PS1, to uphold with intention the mission, vision, and traditions of the school for its students and families."
It has been clear to all of us, from the beginning of this process, that Jij shares our values, vision, and sense of purpose in our school's mission and we have every confidence in his potential to define this new role and help us achieve our ambitious goals for the years ahead.