Job Description: Head of School
The Cornerstone School, Stratham, NH
Application Deadline: January 31, 2021
Application Process: To apply for the position of Head of School at The Cornerstone School, please submit your application electronically in one PDF file to Brian Riley, at BoardPresident@cornerstoneschool.org by January 31, 2021.
Applications should include:
A cover letter explaining your interest in the position
A statement of educational philosophy
A list of three references (We will obtain permission from candidates before contacting references.)
Nestled into 11 acres of lush and picturesque trees along the New Hampshire Seacoast is The Cornerstone School. Since 1985, our exceptional school has been deeply committed to laying the foundation upon which each child can build, in order to become the architect of his or her own future. The Cornerstone School provides our students with a safe and nurturing environment that supports the innate joy of learning, fosters the development of self-esteem, and cultivates respect for one’s self, for others and for the environment. The Cornerstone School prides itself on contributing to a harmonious relationship between students, faculty and parents. We are committed believers in Montessori practices, empathetic and diligent guides and advocates for our students, and passionate practitioners of our fundamental learning philosophies at work and in life.
As the governing body of The Cornerstone School, the Board of Directors is passionate about preserving the legacy and history of our school, including maintaining the programs and practices that have served our learners for nearly 35 years, as well as continuously keeping our hearts and minds open to opportunities to build and grow in ways we have yet to imagine.
The Cornerstone School is seeking candidates for the position of Head of School. The Head of School carries out the broad educational policies established by the Board of Directors and acts within the limits of the financial policy set by that body. Within these basic guidelines the Head of School determines the methods for carrying out Board policies, creates operational policy, oversees the business operation, develops and evaluates student programs and services, provides administrative and professional leadership for faculty and staff, orchestrates external relations, and has responsibility for the day-to-day operation. Specifically, the Head of School:
Board of Directors Relationship
Brings to the attention of the Board all matters and data as are appropriate to keep the Board fully informed to meet its long- and short-term responsibilities. This includes suggestions for broad policy development as well as strategies for instructional betterment.
Maintains contact with the Board President to assure that the Board is aware of and engaged in major issues within the school.
Collaborates with the Board presenting a full range of options.
Facilitates communication between the Board and the faculty and staff.
Executes the financial policies set by the Board, including communicating Board policy and decisions to families and prospective families.
Acts as the voice and advocate of Board decisions and policies, with faculty and staff, families, and others.
If necessary, acts as a substitute in classrooms to be determined by staffing needs and classroom teacher needs so as to assure continued quality staffing, smooth transitions when personnel change occur, and teaching coaching, supervising, or mentoring.
In conjunction with the Admissions Director, ensures graduating students are provided the necessary documentation and guidance necessary for application to high school.
Creates and nurtures an appropriate and strong management team, by sharing and delegating to his/her immediate subordinates such that this group is prepared to collectively lead the institution should the Head of School suddenly become incapacitated.
Promotes an internal organization that permits strong, positive, productive and effective communication with staff, parents and greater community members.
Oversees daily operations of school, ensuring a safe environment as well as the well-being of faculty, staff and students.
Attends to all tasks related to successful operation of the school, including communications, security, and maintenance of all school equipment, facilities, and grounds;
Proposes and oversees short- and long-term facility maintenance, upgrades, and new construction; and proposes and oversees payroll, benefits, and other employee-related programs.
Planning & Analysis
Leverages senior staff, board and parents as required to develop and implement short-term and long-term goals/plans in regard to financial stability, enrollment, built infrastructure, and academic performance.
Stays attuned to similar institutions and Montessori peers to ensure The Cornerstone School continues to maintain its position on the forefront of Montessori education.
Creates and updates measurable metrics which can be used by the faculty, administration to continue to monitor the function of the school.
Remains abreast of trends and research in education – particularly those affecting private-independent Montessori schools while maintaining The Cornerstone School traditions and unique character.
Supports the Board in its responsibilities to undertake periodic, systematic, long-range planning.
Makes recommendations to the Board in strategic planning and ongoing strategic discussions.
Programs and Service Support
Promotes and carries out the mission of the school
Designs, implements and administers student curriculum, programs and services as appropriate to the needs of those enrolled and develops systems of scheduling to accommodate these programs and services.
Sets standards of participation and achievement.
Administers efforts that provide sufficient support for student programs. This encompasses general equipment and facilities as well as technological and electronic systems.
Assures that a comprehensive set of records is maintained in accordance with the needs of the school, its constituents, and the government.
Assures that the curriculum and instruction reflect Montessori philosophy and goals, and that the school’s environments are intentional and child-centric.
Sets criteria for consistency and integration across classrooms;
Creates and maintains an overall environment of respect, grace and courtesy.
Devises the teaching and non-teaching policies needed to implement the school’s programs and selects and employs competent personnel to fill these positions.
Administers equitable systems of compensations, working conditions, discipline, training and development for all school employees.
Determines standards and takes appropriate steps to measure and maintain reasonable performance and professional growth among personnel.
Provides periodic direct oversight in classrooms across the school to ensure instruction is consistent with the school’s mission and educational standards.
Conducts periodic reviews of all personnel.
Dismisses those who fail to meet standards.
Establishes practices and procedures to promote harmonious and constructive relationships among all personnel.
Maintains personal contact with employees to foster good relations, promote high morale, and identify personnel problems as early as possible. Encourages similar contact on the part of the subordinates.
Finance (In conjunction with the Financial Coordinator)
Presents financial plans and annual budgets to the Board of Directors to achieve the objectives of the school.
Maintains a system of cost control to foster the efficiency consistent with high standards of education within limitations of the budget.
Manages a cost-effective system of purchasing, billing, accounting, investing and insurance.
Works directly with the Board of Directors to annually adjust tuition rates and salary.
Supports the Board in overseeing financial issues, budgets and long-term financial planning, and oversees the school’s finances and financial reporting.
Enrollment and Recruitment
Oversees the process of admissions
Recommends enrollment objectives with respects to student numbers, character, and quality-and executes programs to achieve them.
Remains abreast of effective marketing concepts and techniques that apply to private independent schools, and oversees their implementation.
Establishes standards and procedures for student admissions and dismissals.
Recommends a suitable Tuition Assistance program to the Board and executes that program.
Oversees all internal and external school communication, including all marketing (e.g. website, social media, newsletters, and school promotional events) inside and outside the school.
Advises the Board with respect to fundraising needs and plans.
Proposes realistic goals for giving programs.
Works with the Parent Volunteer Group/Chair to develop fundraising ideas, efforts and events and becomes personally involved in the cultivation and solicitation of major prospects, as needed.
Encourages meaningful alumni, parent and past parent participation in events that aid and support the goals of the school.
Responds to special-interest groups, giving them direction while stressing the needs of all students.
Works to maintain programs that contribute to relations with local community – particularly with those people who come into regular contact with the school.
Maintains constructive liaison with other educational institutions and associations, particularly those which The Cornerstone School draws students from.
Facility Management (In conjunctions with Facilities Manager)
Supervises the operations and maintenance of all school facilities within budget limits.
Approves expenditures for operation and maintenance.
Head of School Desired Characteristics and Qualifications
Head of School experience
Minimum of 10 years combined experience as a head of school, teacher and/or director/administrator in education of children ages two to fourteen, preferably in a Montessori setting
Master’s degree or equivalent experience required
Strongly aligned with Montessori principles
Outstanding organizational and communication skills
Experience as a team builder and collaborator
Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously with parents, teachers and students
Strong correlation with culture, vision and mission of The Cornerstone School
Dynamic, approachable, accessible, visible and possessing a good sense of humor