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Head of School 

The Gardner School of Arts & Sciences is currently seeking a head of school with a deep knowledge and passion for independent schools and progressive education with the vision to lead the school as it matures into its 3rd decade. The school is in the enviable position of nearly full enrollment, holding great promise for further refinement, enrichment, and growth.

Overview of the Gardner School of Arts & Sciences:

The Gardner School serves inquisitive, creative students from pre-K through 8th grade who thrive in an idyllic setting in Clark County near the city of Vancouver, Washington. In an atmosphere of small classes, which provide individualized attention and a hands-on focus to learning, Gardner offers students an educational experience rooted in inquiry-based learning and a commitment to the Multiple Intelligences model. From its beginning in 1995, the school has been dedicated to a student body that reflects diversity in all its forms.

Essential Role:

We are seeking an individual with the ability and desire to be an able steward of the school’s mission: The Gardner School inspires students to actively seek knowledge and understanding, think independently, reason critically, and embrace challenge. Teaching to the uniqueness of each individual, we focus on the process of learning and value the exchange of ideas through collaborative work, inspiring all learners to reach their highest potential. While building knowledge of self and an awareness of their connection to others, our students develop responsibility for themselves, their community, the earth, and humanity.

The new head of school will be a skilled leader and manager in all aspects of the school’s operations. Of high priority is that the new head will excel in the ability to envision and manage school advancement, in particular major facilities planning and an accompanying capital campaign. The Gardner School group culture is a cherished aspect of life on campus, experienced by every student, faculty and staff member, as well as family and friends. The new head of school will therefore cultivate productive relationships with students, faculty, staff, families, board members, and alumni to ensure that all are informed and engaged while effectively representing The Gardner School to the community at large. The head will manage the school’s financial health and shepherd the development of the facilities and physical environment.

In collaboration with the faculty and staff, the new head will maintain a high standard of academic excellence by evaluating and updating curriculum based on best practices, student achievement, and classroom observation. Underpinning all other roles is the central responsibility of recruiting, supporting, and retaining qualified and expert faculty and staff.

The head of school is the sole employee of the board of trustees. The head reports to the board chair, with access to and the support of a dedicated board of trustees deeply committed to the school’s mission and successful future.

The Qualities of a Successful Candidate Include:

  • a deep pedagogical background and the ability to provide inspirational leadership to faculty and staff;
  • an appreciation of children, their processes of learning and development, and the community that supports them;
  • an overall management style characterized by inclusiveness, appropriate transparency, approachability, and support balanced by decisiveness and respect for organizational boundaries and governance;
  • the ability to maintain the school’s nurturing and positive culture, intellectual curiosity, and evidence of relevant academic success;
  • a desire to be visible, present, and competent in managing the day-to-day life of the school;
  • talent for strategic thinking, with solid strategic planning experience;
  • exceptional interpersonal skills with well-developed emotional intelligence;
  • a proven track record in the area of development and fundraising;
  • natural marketing and community outreach abilities, with applications to include student enrollment, development, marketing, and trustee recruitment;
  • outstanding oral and written communication skills with audiences internal and external to the school, that reflect a diversity of people in an array of situations;
  • financial acumen related to school finance, bookkeeping, and budgeting;
  • a demonstrated commitment to multiculturalism and diversity;
  • solid acumen and experience in school administration;
  • an advanced degree in the field of education or one demonstrably related;

Start Date:

The board anticipates making an appointment in late fall of 2017, with the aim of the candidate assuming full head of school duties not later than July 2018.

Wages and Benefits:

The Gardner School offers competitive wages and benefits.

To Apply:

Qualified individuals should apply via email to: Please include a cover letter, résumé, personal statement of educational philosophy, salary requirement, and contact information for at least three references, including your most recent board chair.

Application deadline: October 6, 2017.

The Gardner School of Arts & Sciences

Teaching Deeply, Learning Fully, Cultivating Responsibility—One Mind at a Time.

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