Mount Vernon seeks a new Head of Upper School, effective June/July 2021, to lead this innovative community of learners.
Reporting directly to the Chief of Learning & Innovation Officer, the Head of Upper School oversees the day-to-day operations supported by a robust leadership team. The Head of Upper School embraces and actively supports the mission and vision of the School, collaborating with the leadership team to execute strategy and scale previous and future innovative practices. Specifically, the Head of Upper School and team are responsible for designing a vigorous, relevant, and innovative learning and assessment map for each Upper School learner; providing professional learning opportunities supporting individual staff needs/organizational goals; and developing a diverse network of partnerships with the corporate sector, non-profit community, and civic organizations. As an active, visible, and engaged presence within the overall life of the School, the Head of Upper School cultivates and nurtures strong relationships within the community, prioritizing inclusion, diversity, and equity, through the following leadership competencies:
Emotional Intelligence -- ability to manage emotions as well as understand and empathize with the emotions of others
Leadership Agility -- ability to adapt leadership style to collaborate across organizational boundaries to garner alignment and support
Results Orientation -- ability to build, lead, and manage comprehensive organizational initiatives, and not just launch single programs
Strategic Conviction -- ability to develop a vision that inspires and galvanizes a broad range of constituents, creating high impact organizational strategy
Innovative Mindset -- ability to have an optimistic attitude, growth mindset, and creative approach to navigate complex problems and iterate new ideas
Organizational Stewardship -- ability to be bold enough to question the status quo and discerning enough to know when to iterate approach and pace of change
Change Management -- ability to support organizational change, mobilize others across diverse stakeholder groups for organizational change, and drive momentum for change
Systems Accountability -- ability to take a metric-driven approach and establish accountability mechanisms to keep the organization focused on goals and priorities
Community Engagement -- ability to develop meaningful relationships with a broad range of internal constituents and an external diverse network
Brand Story -- ability to represent the brand as a highly visible storyteller and effective communicator of the organization’s mission, vision, and values
Market Understanding -- ability to deeply understand the market, generate insights about market’s future, and identify emerging opportunities and challenges
Talent Management -- ability to retain, recruit, and onboard diverse talent to advance individual growth and organizational capabilities
Opportunities and Areas of Focus
Amplifying the mission and executing the vision of the School, the Head of Upper School plays a creative, collaborative, and inclusive role in impacting the School’s future.
Scale Competency-Based Education Since 2014, Mount Vernon has been transforming the assessment and grading landscape of the school through standardsbased grading and competency-based education. In 2019, through the exemplary work of the Innovation Diploma program, the Upper School adopted use of the Altitude Learning platform, and the School developed strong leadership in the advancement of CBE for students and for faculty. The School pioneered use of the Altitude Learning platform as a tool for faculty professional learning. Moving forward, the Head of Upper School will lead continued efforts to enhance and deepen the use of CBE, including furthering the ongoing leadership in CBE that Mount Vernon provides beyond the School.
Advance Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Action Over the past several years, Mount Vernon began to have courageous conversations around the most challenging issues of our day, including diversity, equity, and inclusion. Engaging in race and other complex topics, the collaboration of teachers and students throughout the School has been fruitful and impactful. From the anti-bias curriculum focus to the schoolwide partnership with the Center for Civil and Human Rights in the Upper School, the School has taken incremental, deliberate steps to advance IDEA. Moving forward, the School has established explicit action steps focused on organizational & school climate, learning & well-being, retention & recruitment, and advancement & continuous improvement.
Lead Inquiry-Based Program For over a decade, Mount Vernon has been learning and leading in inquiry-based approaches such as design thinking, project-based learning, problem-based learning, place-based learning, maker education, visible thinking routines, agency by design, as well as other methodologies that all stem from provoking and nurturing the power of human curiosity. The Head of Upper School will work to advance our industry leadership in reimagining “school work” to be “real-world work” where questions guide nearly infinite possibilities for implementing prototypes, processes, and products.
Interested candidates should submit the following materials as separate PDF attachments in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Cover letter expressing interest in the Mount Vernon School, Upper School leadership position
- Current resume - Statement of leadership philosophy and impact
- Statement of educational philosophy and impact
- Statement of inclusion, diversity, and equity philosophy and impact
- List of five references with name, phone number, and email address of each (references will be contacted only with the candidate’s permission)
Submit your portfolio no later than November 1. Candidates will be notified and updated throughout the process. The School anticipates to appoint 2021-2022 Head of Upper School by December 2020/January 2021.
About Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Established in 1972, The Mount Vernon School, serving students in preschool through grade 12, is located in the heart of Sandy Springs within the metropolitan Atlanta area on a 37-acre campus. Throughout the School's rich history, Mount Vernon remains committed to offering an innovative educational experience for students to lead the future with confidence as they confront a fast-paced digitally based global marketplace. Mastering 21st century skills, driven by a vigorous college preparatory environment, reflects the world-class education received by students at Mount Vernon. The School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS).