Academic Dean

Administrator / Full-Time

St. Michael’s Country Day School, Newport, RI

The Opportunity

SMCDS seeks an experienced, innovative and enthusiastic educator to serve as the academic dean.  The academic dean serves as the chief curricular and instructional leader of the school, reports to the head of school, supervises the faculty of the school and works in close partnership with the dean of students and other members of the administrative team.

Over the past three years, St. Michael’s has experienced significant growth in enrollment, and with it, the opportunity to expand on its already strong programming.  The school managed the pandemic extremely well, holding in school classes throughout each of the past two years.  The school’s recently published strategic plan calls for an improved campus, new and enhanced programming, and calls for attention to supporting and growing an already strong faculty cadre. 

The academic dean will be at the center of the work regarding the evolution of programs and the development of faculty.  The school seeks a leader who is forward thinking in their approach to teaching and learning, with an interest in supporting and leading teachers in developing engaging and challenging curriculum with authentic connections to the world beyond the school walls.  Experience with implementing project based and/or place based learning is important. 

The academic dean will be tasked with a full examination of the school’s curricular programming, with an eye toward vertical alignment and to look for areas where the curriculum needs to be updated.  From there, the academic dean will work with the head of school to determine resources (professional development, etc.) needed to move the school’s program forward, in line with the mission and with an eye toward creating a school that prepares students for success in their next academic step, but also making sure students are, as the mission states, “world ready.”

This is a tremendous opportunity for a  leader who is passionate about mission focused curriculum and instruction and interested in further developing and implementing a forward thinking vision in an established and thriving school.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Academic Dean role at SMCDS is an integral member of the senior administrative team. Specific responsibilities are likely to include:

Overseeing all aspects of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, building and sustaining a coherent academic program, inclusive of academics, arts, and PE, grades T-8; Staying up to date on current conversations and evolving best practices in curriculum and pedagogy, serving as a thought leader and advocating for change, while being mindful of the day-to-day realities of faculty and the value of important school traditions; Serving as a spokesperson for the academic program to both internal and external audiences; Collecting data and feedback to allow for continuous assessment and improvement of curriculum and instruction; Partnering with the Dean of Students to ensure the academic program is fully aligned with the school’s mission and values.  Hiring, onboarding, support, supervision, evaluation of faculty, including leading faculty meetings; Promoting a culture of growth by designing and leading effective school-wide professional development; Spearheading the AISNE accreditation process (scheduled for 2026-27); Being a presence during all community and school events and taking part in the operational aspects of the school (duties, etc.); Working with the head of school to support the transition of 8th grade students to secondary schools. 

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The ideal candidate(s) will offer most or all of the following qualifications and qualities:   

  • Deep appreciation for St. Michael’s mission to develop courageous learners and caring citizens who are world ready.
  • Experience as a curricular leader and instructional leader, ideally with experience that spans the toddler through grade 8 range;
  • Classroom teaching experience and a track record of supporting and developing teaching faculty;
  • A flexibility and collaborative spirit necessary to partner and compromise with members of the senior administrative team for the smooth functioning of the school;
  • Personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and the requisite skills to support critical conversations in the design of ever more inclusive culture, curriculum, pedagogy, and programs;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate orally and in writing with inspiration and clarity to both internal and external audiences;
  • A relational leadership style built on approachability, transparency, and responsiveness;
  • The ability to articulate vision and strategy, the tactical skills necessary to deftly manage the systems and processes necessary to implement strategy, the organizational fluency to manage multiple streams of information and respond to situations as they emerge;
  • Experience recruiting, hiring, supporting, retaining, and leading talented, diverse, and mission-aligned faculty;
  • The ability to navigate complexity, in part through effective prioritization, delegation, and management of systems;
  • The confidence and humility to advocate for and embrace new ideas, invite disagreement, and welcome feedback; and a style characterized by warmth and optimism.  A sense of humor.

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit electronically in one email to susan.lovejoy@edudx.com and as separate documents (preferably PDFs) the following materials:

  • A cover letter expressing interest in this particular position
  • A current resume
  • A list of five professional references with name, phone number, and email address of each. (References will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission.)

St. Michael’s Country Day School

Newport, RI
Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School
Day
All Gender