Interim Head of School Sought
GEORGE STEVENS ACADEMY
INVITATION TO SUBMIT APPLICATION
by MARCH 31, 2023
George Stevens Academy seeks an Interim Head of School for 2023-2024. The Interim Head should be an experienced educator and school administrator. The Interim Head should possess strong financial skills and will be responsible for overseeing and directing the daily operations of the Academy, working with the Board of Trustees to create and advance its strategic action plan, and thereby paving the way for the arrival of a permanent Head of School.
The Interim Head must be able to handle complex issues as well as collaborate with others to solve problems. The Interim Head is expected to keep the Board, faculty, administrators, staff and others well informed about school issues, academics, future planning and oversight. The Interim Head must be both an excellent listener and an effective and engaging communicator about all aspects of GSA’s many strengths, and an enthusiastic advocate for the school's unique mission. The Interim Head will demonstrate strong interpersonal skills when relating to students, faculty, and staff. The Interim Head will initiate and maintain meaningful relationships with parents, past parents, alumni, town boards, school boards, donors, and the community.
About George Stevens Academy
George Stevens Academy is a town academy on the coast of Maine. Founded in 1852, GSA is the high school of choice for the majority of students from seven towns in its rural, historic, and beautiful community. GSA also enrolls private-pay day and boarding students from around the world. Students’ interests, talents, and aspirations reflect the diversity of the communities they come from.
George Stevens Academy provides a comprehensive and challenging education for all students, both those who will build futures in surrounding communities and those who will make lives elsewhere in the world. The school’s many academic and experiential programs foster a love of knowledge, inspire creativity, instill self-confidence, encourage good character, and prepare each graduate for a purposeful life in a changing world.
Strengths and Challenges
As an independent school with a mission to meet the needs of all students in its sending communities, GSA has a diverse academic program with an exceptionally strong and engaging curriculum. Most students, no matter their future plans, enroll in a combination of standard college classes, advanced placement courses, real-world work classes (e.g., Welding, Culinary Arts), and various forms of hands-on learning, especially in the arts and the natural world (e.g., Art of Theatre, Maine Environment, Outdoor Leadership, and Steel Band). Recently, students won the Math Team Meet and the Poetry Out Loud Regionals, performed at the State Jazz Fest, and accumulated numerous regional awards for the jazz-band and its trios as well as athletics awards both for performance and sportsmanship.
GSA’s significant successes in recent years include building positive relationships and a resilient institution, including but not limited to navigating safely through the Covid years, creating a closer, more transparent relationship with the surrounding towns, securing supplemental tuition dollars above the Maine State mandated tuition (only two other town academies have accomplished this), finalizing a mutually beneficial contract negotiation with the teachers’ union, collaborating with the Budget Review Committee, implementing a modern and flexible accounting package, and reinvigorating the boarding program. The Advancement Office has met or exceeded annual fundraising goals for the past three years and is on track to exceed its goal again this fiscal year. None of the above could have been accomplished without the school’s strong Board, faculty, and administrative team.
Challenges remain, particularly as GSA tries to improve both local and boarding enrollment numbers, secure greater financial sustainability, and address substantial facilities needs across an attractive but aging campus.
The Interim Head will spend the year working to preserve what is best at George Stevens Academy, moving the school forward where feasible, and addressing immediate needs and challenges, all in preparation for the appointment of a new Head.
Qualified candidates for the Interim Head of School position are asked to provide a résumé, cover letter, and a list of five professional references with names, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted without the applicant’s permission) by March 31, 2023. Send to Gail Strehan, George Stevens Academy, 23 Union Street, Blue Hill, ME, 04614. Applications also may be submitted to Mrs. Strehan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Interim Head of School will be expected to
● Craft and implement a strategic action plan based on the Board’s stated mission.
● Serve as liaison between the school and the Board.
● Work with the Assistant Head of School to ensure a high-functioning administrative team.
● Oversee the daily operations of the school to meet the goals set by the Board.
● Develop plans with other administrators to implement marketing and enrollment initiatives for both day and boarding students as set by the Board.
● Work with the Board's Finance Committee on financial plans and the annual budget; work with the Director of Finance to maintain the smooth financial operation of the school; provide regular feedback to the Board regarding the school’s financial standing.
● With the Facilities Committee and Director of Finance and Operations, oversee infrastructure management and provide direction for all major projects and repairs.
● Work with the Dean of Curriculum to oversee the implementation of curriculum and student programs while encouraging and supporting faculty development.
● Work with the Dean of Curriculum (if appropriate) and individual department heads to oversee regular evaluation of teaching faculty and courses
● Oversee all personnel hiring and terminations.
Qualifications and Characteristics for an Ideal Interim Head of School
● Be a seasoned educational leader with strong credentials and experience.
● Demonstrate strong financial skills related to school finances, fundraising, and budgeting.
● Have experience with public relations work, strategic planning, policy formation, and supervising
● Demonstrate excellent writing and speaking skills.
● Be comfortable with communication technologies for both internal and external audiences.
● Demonstrate a commitment to building relationships with trustees, students, educators, senior leadership, and community members
● Have a proven history of responding well to the needs and desires of school families, faculty, staff, trustees, and administrators.
● Show evidence of a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
● Exhibit a collaborative and consensus-building leadership style.
● Demonstrate success in fundraising, networking, marketing and community outreach.
● Have high energy and the ability to thrive in a transitioning educational environment
● Demonstrate strong organizational and time management skills and a commitment to meeting deadlines and attending to details.
● A master's degree is preferred.