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Lead Educator

Friends of the High Line
Walton, New York, US
Closing date
Jan 15, 2022

View more

Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we're devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors-all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.

Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.

Job Description

The lead educator is a newly created position within the High Line Education department that will act as the nucleus for content consistency across the department. The lead educator will lead the design and evaluation of a curriculum founded in STEAAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Activism, Math) and inclusive pedagogical approaches that allows for open-ended experiential and virtual learning for youth and that is shaped by student voice.

The lead educator will also facilitate educational programming inspired by the High Line and engage in team teaching and Collaborative Action Research to inform their practice and to develop as facilitators.

The High Line welcomes candidates with a non-traditional, multi-disciplinary practice and a curiosity and passion for the arts, civic engagement, environmental sustainability, and youth-driven program structures. The lead educator will have a commitment to welcoming diverse audiences and cultivating relationships with neighborhood families and schools and a track record of strong curricula development, understanding qualitative data collection and assessment, and taking a nuanced approach to working within the intersections of socially relevant content.

This position will report directly to the director of education and work closely with the school and family programs manager and two youth and career development managers.

The lead educator is a full-time, year-round exempt position.


Primary Responsibilities:

Curriculum Development
  • Lead the implementation of the STEAAM curriculum across the main arms of the education department - school partnerships, Teens, and public programs - through working with peer program managers, teaching artists, content area specialists, and classroom teachers
  • Draw content and facilitate connections across education programs, making visible the cultural relevance of site specific infrastructure reuse projects

  • Lead at least one school residency, as iterative pilot of STEAAM curriculum
  • Co-lead orientation to pedagogy for incoming teaching artists and staff with other program managers
  • Facilitate workshops with partners, on and off the park, and with internal staff
  • Demonstrate and make visible the connections between education department programs as well as other High Line and partner initiatives
  • Organize site-specific resources available to educators and staff at the High Line
  • Continue to develop K-12 and adult curriculum including but not limited to topics such as: infrastructure reuse, horticulture, climate science, public art, and the role of public space
  • Co-teach and collaborate with classroom teachers, administrators and program managers
  • Lead and participate in internal and external professional development opportunities

  • Support intradepartmental initiatives such as the Placekeeping Project, Sustainable Gardens Project, Neighbors Council, among others
  • Support High Line Teens public programs, as appropriate

  • Assist with drafting of copy/language for social media, website, newsletter, and park signage
  • Assist with storytelling, including the education contribution to the monthly program and engagement-art, community engagement, education and High Line Network-update for staff
  • Support the planning and production of workshops, exhibitions, webinars, convenings, tours, and other related events, working closely with education staff, other program and engagement departments, and visitor services


  • 4+ years' experience working with non-traditional educational praxis
  • Experience in facilitating discussions with learners around the role and responsibilities of public space, arts and culture, and environmental justice
  • Knowledge of and active practice in art, horticulture, civics, urban planning, architecture, environmental sustainability, and/or history
  • Understanding of youth-driven curriculum
  • Experience and preference for working with people of diverse backgrounds
  • Pedagogy rooted in principles of self-actualization through inquiry
  • Experience and fluency with Google G-Suite and Microsoft Office

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent in fine art, education, museum studies, youth development, urban planning or related field
  • Experience working in a civic or cultural institution, such as a park, library, community-based organization, museum, or other non-traditional education setting
  • Experience facilitating discussions with youth around issues of power and identity, social structures, civic engagement, and career development
  • Knowledge of or curiosity about creative action research
  • Experience with Asana or other web-based project management tools
  • Familiarity with neighborhoods on the west side of Manhattan, including Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen
  • Fluency in a second language, such as Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese

  • Excellent organizational skills with a high-level of attention to detail and ability to support several colleagues and projects
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, team player and creative thinker
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Enthusiasm about the High Line, youth development, civic engagement and leadership, arts & culture, and ecological horticulture & sustainability
  • Ability to articulate the impact of program design
  • Sense of humor and ability to work in fast-paced environment
  • Commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, diversity, and accessibility
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends, as needed
  • Ability to travel locally, as needed

Newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (i.e., have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine or a single dose of a one-dose vaccine) and must provide proof of vaccination upon request by the organization. Requests for potential accommodation shall be considered in accordance with applicable law if and at such time as a conditional offer of employment is extended to a candidate. Applicants should not provide any medical or genetic information with their application.


  • 20 vacation days, 6 sick days, and 9 paid holidays
  • Paid primary and secondary caregiver leave
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Supplemental short-term disability insurance and paid life insurance
  • Commuter benefits
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Contribution in a 403(b) retirement plan
  • Discounted Citi Bike membership
  • Employee Assistance Program
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