Program Director/Principal

Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools Published: August 25, 2021
Santa Cruz, CA
Second Location
Scotts Valley, CA 95066, United States of America
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Admin/ Gen Mgmt / Education

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Exploring New Horizons (ENH) engages 3rd-8th grade students in residential outdoor education programs at our Loma Mar, Pigeon Point and Sempervirens sites (includes Redwoods) south of San Francisco, CA. Founded as a non-profit in 1979, ENH partners with over 80 Northern California schools.

The Sempervirens program consists of 4 and 5-day residential programs for 160-230 5th and 6th grade students and their classroom teacher, utilizing either high school student or parent cabin leaders. Staff training starts January 3 and the program begins January 18, 2022.


The Program Director/Principal is responsible for overseeing the planning, implementation, budget, and management of the Sempervirens site of Exploring New Horizons. The Program Director communicates with the participating teachers before and throughout the week to make sure their classes are ready to attend, that they have enough parent or high school cabin leaders for the week, and that their needs are taken care of. They also are the point of contact with the facility staff at the Salvation Army Redwood Glen to ensure the program is running smoothly and all parties are happy with the partnership.

The Program Director also assists in administrative duties in the office, including interacting with parents and teachers, preparing program paperwork for the week, and scheduling future schools. The Program Director will also perform essential roles during the program and handle discipline issues, coordinating with the teachers, parents, and other staff as needed. They also ensure that the staff adheres to all ENH policies and procedures.

ENH is a place that encourages a “speak up” environment at all levels and encourages staff to communicate with ENH leadership and participate on projects and committees with the ENH Board. Many of our staff stay on year after year becoming an integral part of the ENH community.

  • POSITION: Program Director/Principal
  • STATUS: Full-time, Exempt
  • LOCATION: Exploring New Horizons at Sempervirens, Scotts Valley, CA
  • SUPERVISOR: Executive Director
  • STAFF MANAGED: 10 Naturalists, Health Supervisors, Assistant Director
  • SALARY & BENEFITS: $50,000 salary; paid vacation leave; holiday pay; sick leave; HSA Account with employer contribution; housing not provided
  • START & END DATE: August 16, 2021 - June 18, 2022, Full-time; some weekend/evening/overnight work may be required


General Administration:

  1. Manage staff of 13 (listed above) 
  2. Recruit, maintain, and schedule schools
  3. Conduct weekly staff meetings
  4. Foster and maintain a positive relationship with Salvation Army Redwood Glen staff
  5. Analyze program optimization and efficiency to determine what changes need to be made each year
  6. Act as a liaison between the program and classroom teachers, including defining their responsibilities and providing them with support before, during and following their students visit
  7. Provide conflict resolution and maintain outdoor school discipline system
  8. Submit required documentation regarding personnel to the Finance Manager in a timely manner
  9. Develop and empower staff to do their job and progressively expand their level of responsibility
  10. On call one night a week, sleeping on site at the site in Scotts Valley


  1. Ensure that the Finance Manager and Executive Director have all necessary data to process school contracts in a timely fashion
  2. Oversee and authorize the Sempervirens operating budget and petty cash
  3. Approve credit card purchases and invoices

Program Development:

  1. Oversee the development and documentation of program curriculum that fits within the California Science Framework, Common Core, Social Emotional Learning & Next Generation Science Standards
  2. Oversee the development of pertinent program materials for the teachers, naturalists, and other staff
  3. Develop appropriate presentation materials for schools and other marketing opportunities
  4. Work with the participating classroom teachers on cabin leader recruitment and overall teacher/high school contact communication and with the timing of communication to high schools and/or parents
  5. Plan and conduct in-service trainings on selected topics as part of continued naturalist education
  6. Ensure that all safety and health guidelines are posted, adhered to, and monitored regularly


  1. Hire, train, supervise, and support staff 
  2. Ensure that all required documentation and screening has been completed by all contract and regular employees and volunteers and remains up to date during the school year
  3. Foster a healthy teamwork environment
  4. Conduct and document performance evaluations and set written annual objectives for staff
  5. Review personnel procedures and policies with staff


  • Familiarity of residential outdoor school programming
  • Experience managing staff 
  • At least 2 years experience as a naturalist with an Outdoor School program
  • At minimum, a bachelor’s degree
  • Significant passion and experience providing dynamic lessons for youth in the outdoors
  • Ability to physically navigate over rocky terrain, work in a variety of inclement weather, and lift 40 lbs. 
  • Willingness to work a flexible work week on an annual basis
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and ability to manage multiple tasks at one time
  • Capability to assess and manage crisis situations
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google Suite (Gmail, Google Docs, etc.) 
  • Valid Driver’s License and clean driving record

Note: We encourage applicants of different backgrounds, cultures, genders, experiences, abilities and perspectives to apply as we are actively working to increase the diversity of experience and perspectives on our team. No one comes with the entire complement of skills, so please don’t let a lack of experience/skill in one specific area deter you from applying.


  • Please click "Apply" below to email a cover letter and resume.
  • For more information please visit our website.
  • Position is open until filled.

Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age in any of its policies, procedures or practices.

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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