Assistant Head of School

North Shore Country Day School seeks a dynamic leader as its next Assistant Head of School starting July 2020. The successful candidate will be an experienced educational leader devoted to the school’s mission and programs. The incoming Assistant Head of School will serve as both academic dean and chief of staff, playing an essential role in implementing the current strategic plan and its subsequent iterations, revising the curriculum JK-12, supporting the growth and development of faculty, serving as thought partner to the Head of School, and stepping in as de facto Head of School as necessary. This is an exceptional opportunity to lead the strategic and academic work at a high-quality independent school with an unwavering commitment to student success. A complete job opportunity statement can be found HERE.
Opportunities and Challenges
The incoming Assistant Head of School will serve as both academic dean and chief of staff, playing an essential role in implementing the current strategic plan and its subsequent iterations, revising the curriculum JK-12, supporting the growth and development of faculty, serving as thought partner to the Head of School, and stepping in as de facto Head of School as necessary. As the inaugural Assistant Head departs after a lengthy and impactful tenure at the school, the role has been reimagined to prioritize academic leadership, allowing the school to further capitalize on its 14-grade community, the tremendous passion and care that teachers bring to their work, and energy around developing a mission-aligned, skills-based curriculum. The Assistant Head will join a tight-knit, deeply relational community that is predicated on respect, and where students, faculty, administrators, and trustees are all committed to growth. 

The priorities, opportunities, and challenges for the next Assistant Head include:

  • Supporting the faculty in building a more intentional JK-12 curricular scope and sequence. 
  • Advancing work that is currently underway to create mission-aligned descriptions of the skills, habits of mind, and dispositions at the heart of work with students, the next Assistant Head will partner with faculty and academic leadership to integrate that vision more fully and intentionally into the curriculum.
  • Overseeing strategic initiatives across the school. 
  • Playing a central role in hiring faculty who live out the school’s mission and are committed to teaching in a collaborative, student-centered environment. 
  • Providing strategic opportunities for professional growth as faculty continue to build capacity with student-centered pedagogies. 
  • Partnering with an incoming Director of Equity, Inclusion & Community Engagement (a new position also commencing July 2020) to ensure that all members of the community are fully seen and heard, and that the curriculum provides space for multiple perspectives and voices. 
  • Nurturing the school’s “JK-12-ness” while also allowing room for departmental and divisional identities.
  • Developing an authentic, trusted, and trusting partnership with a thoughtful and inquisitive Head of School.

Core Responsibilities 
The Assistant Head is a senior member of the school’s two leadership teams. This position reports to the Head of School and serves both as the Head of School’s partner and as the primary academic administrator on campus. 

The Assistant Head: 
  • Partners closely with the Head of School and Board of Trustees in the identification, refinement, and execution of the school’s strategic goals. 
  • Guides and leads all aspects of the JK-12 academic program, in collaboration with the Division Heads and Academic Department Heads. 
  • Implements strategic initiatives and leads all faculty/staff working group conversations related to the academic program. 
  • Manages and supports direct reports including Academic Department Heads and Directors of Educational Technology, Learning Support, Library and Information Literacy, and others as assigned. 
  • Directs all facets of faculty recruitment and hiring to achieve mission-driven hiring outcomes. 
  • Provides strategic oversight for and management of faculty professional development programs and funding. 
  • Identifies and builds relationships with partner organizations in support of the school’s mission. 
  • Partners closely with the Head of School and stands in for him as necessary.

Desired Qualities and Qualifications 
The ideal candidate will offer most or all of the following qualifications and qualities: 

Professional Qualifications 
  • An advanced degree and evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning. 
  • Significant classroom experience and skill as a teacher. 
  • A deep understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and context associated with multidivisional, JK-12 independent school communities. 
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. 
  • Personal commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and an understanding of how EDI is best woven into the fabric of the school. 
  • A strong knowledge base of best practices in teaching and learning, particularly those in support of student-centered and skills-based instruction. 
  • The ability to manage complex projects from conception to completion. 
  • Proven experience leading change while inspiring others and building buy-in throughout the process. 

Leadership Style 
  • A collaborative, consensus-building leader who actively solicits input and asks powerful questions; builds relationships first; listens well; communicates with inspiration and clarity; and effectively delegates and empowers other team members. 
  • Visible, communicative, approachable, relational, and responsive.

Personal Qualities 
  • A strategic thinker who is nonetheless able to deftly manage the systems and processes necessary to implement strategy. 
  • Eagerness to engage actively with students and parents and willingness to prioritize visibility despite the demands of a busy professional schedule. 
  • Appreciation for the sensitivities and opportunities surrounding issues of EDI in schools and a commitment to honoring multiple perspectives in order to maintain an authentic, inclusive community. 
  • Openness to new ideas and intellectual “give and take” towards building buy-in and commitment. 
  • Warmth, high EQ, and a sense of humor.

To Apply 
Interested candidates should submit electronically in one email and as separate documents (preferably PDFs) the following materials: 
  • A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position; 
  • A current resumé; 
  • A one-page statement of educational or leadership philosophy and practice; 
  • A list of five professional references with name, title, organization, phone number, and email address of each (references will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission) to: 

Jennifer Christensen -  Search Consultant - jennifer.christensen@carneysandoe.com 
John Faubert - Managing Associate and Director of Placement - john.faubert@carneysandoe.com Marsha Little - Search Consultant - marsha.little@carneysandoe.com 
 
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North Shore Country Day School is a junior kindergarten through 12th grade, college-preparatory school founded in Winnetka, Illinois in 1919.  With rigorous academic pursuit as the cornerstone, North Shore provides many opportunities for all students to excel – in the classroom and the laboratory, on the stage and the playing field, in their communities and beyond.

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