Head of Upper School
The Pike School, Andover, MA
What is possible? Amidst these most atypical years – 18 months of metaphorical and concrete loss, of tremendous racial injustice – this is the guiding question Pike has held at its center. These crises, of health and justice, have challenged us to find new ways to best live our mission and vision. Our teachers are at the heart of Pike and have been innovative beyond imagination. They have redesigned lessons and assessments to build connection, inspire curiosity, and sustain growth while distanced and masked. Our motto, Non Sibi Solum, Not for Oneself Alone, has called each of us to adjust our individual lives for our collective well being. Guided by new policies, our shared sacrifices have helped our community stay healthy and our campus open five days a week, every week since the fall of 2020. Yet, even in the midst of worldwide disruption, we continue to stretch ourselves to envision a brighter future. In the midst of designing a new strategic plan, emerging research on the future of education and work, and new organizational shifts to allow for more transformational learning, we believe we are on the cusp of this brighter future, a world more worthy of our children. If you are also looking ahead – inquisitive, hopeful, and eager, would you like to help create the future with us?
Working at Pike means immersing yourself in a student-centered culture and a compassionate, diverse community. Opportunities for strategic thinking, innovation and learning are plentiful. If you’re passionate, motivated, and can’t help but dream about what’s possible for all children – we invite you to take a closer look at Pike. The Pike School, an independent elementary school in Andover, MA, serves approximately 450 students in grades pre-kindergarten through nine. Learn more about our commitment to possibility and apply here.
Head of Upper School
The Head of Upper School is the educational leader of the Upper School (Grades 5-9, approximately 235 students and 27 faculty), with a passion for pre- and young adolescents and developing the leadership of those who teach them. A visionary educator with deep experience with curriculum design (both instruction and assessment), teacher leadership, and working with a highly diverse range of students and families, this leader understands the craft and science behind rigorous, impactful teaching and skillfully facilitates conversations on transformative learning with faculty, students, and families.
The new Upper School Head joins the community at a time of exciting change. The 2022-2023 school year will mark the first year of integrating 5th Grade into the Upper School, the implementation of our new strategic plan, and the year before our AISNE accreditation. The Upper School community, anchored by an unwavering commitment to students, is eager to welcome an inspiring leader, who can build deep relationships across departments, grade levels, and tenures to support adults and students through change with clarity, purpose, and hope. Guided by research and insatiable curiosity, this leader is eager to dive into and embrace current needs of the community while also predicting future ones in order to ensure all students thrive as current Upper Schoolers and as alums.
Reporting to the Director of Academics and working closely with the Director of Equity and Justice, Director of Student Support, and Lower School Head, this person is an agile, innovative leader who is adept at systems-thinking; strategic Upper School priorities include analysis of the divisional schedule, assessment, and opportunities for faculty and student growth and leadership. This leader will inspire the best in faculty, students, and families through cohesive vision setting, research-based and mission-driven decision making, and collaboration across our celebrated differences and roles.
Curriculum and Program
- Serve as the Upper School curricular leader; oversee Grades 5-9 curricula and ensure that teaching and learning methodologies and practices align with Pike’s mission, vision, and values – including diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, strategic initiatives, and current and evolving research on learning and the brain; partner with Secondary School advisors and the Director of Academics to ensure understanding of and excitement for our evolving program with Secondary Schools
- Collaborate with the Director of Academics to support the work of Professional Learning Teams (PLTs), Department Heads, Team Leaders and other divisional leaders to ensure that teachers have the resources to plan, assess, and reflect collaboratively about teaching and learning
- Model curiosity, lifelong learning, and a growth mindset by staying abreast of research pertaining to curricular and programmatic best practices and sharing impactful resources with faculty
- Work with the Director of Academics, Lower School Head, Department Heads, and others to evaluate necessary structures to enable robust conversation and evaluation of school goals, departmental goals, materials, methods, and means of assessments
Faculty Recruitment, Development, and Retention
- Serve as a designer of the Upper School faculty culture; nurture and sustain a vibrant and cohesive climate, which positions and supports teachers as leaders, student advocates, and lifelong learners
- Prioritize individual and collective growth and learning; facilitate robust professional development and goal-setting anchored in active listening and guided by Pike’s mission and values; ensure Upper School faculty have the tools and resources to thrive in and beyond the classroom e.g. differentiating for diverse students, building relationships with parents and guardians, and individual career aspirations
- Alongside the Director of Academics, evaluate the systems and processes for the convergence of Upper School specific student wellness needs and faculty leadership e.g. the advisory program and Department Head and Team Leader roles
- In partnership with the Director of Academics, Lower School Head, and the Director of Equity and Justice actively recruit, hire, and develop Grades 5-9 faculty from underrepresented groups to increase the number of mirrors for our students and their families
- Collaborate with the Director of Academics and Lower School Head to support faculty members’ goals and oversee the annual faculty evaluation process; coordinate an active program of faculty development including orientation and mentoring
Students and Families
- Build upon and strengthen a culture of inclusion, belonging, and leadership where students of all identities thrive; design and support programming and systems (e.g. advisory, divisional coffees, conferences, Family School Partnership) which nurture relationships and trust between families and the Upper School
- Meet regularly with the Director of Student Support and the Student Support team (academic specialists and counselors) to ensure that individual students’ educational, physical, social, and psychological needs are being met with goal-oriented plans; co-design processes and teams to provide cohesive, differentiated support to students in experiencing social-emotional or behavioral challenges and crises
- Act as the primary storyteller and communicator of the Upper School experience and philosophy; actively engage with current and prospective families, alums, and the wider community and support the Admissions Office in recruiting and evaluating admission candidates for the Upper School
- Serve on the administrative team to grapple with adaptive challenges (e.g. talent and leadership, deeper learning, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in learning) through the lens of our mission in order to sustain a transformational learning environment for current and future generations of children and adults
- Collaborate with the administrative team with big picture, long-term, cross-domain thinking and a commitment to learn and unlearn alongside others with joy; areas for strategic focus include implementation of our new strategic plan and preparation for our AISNE accreditation, ongoing conversation and training to live into our DEIJ values, preparation for our upcoming Centennial and potential campaign, and exploration of new possibilities for engagement across constituencies near and far
Desired Qualities and Qualifications
- A passion for and understanding of Upper School aged children (Grades 5-9) and a record of outstanding teaching; passion for and experience with developing leadership in a highly skilled, growth-oriented faculty
- Experience with and enthusiasm for leading change, which unites, inspires, and empowers community members
- Expertise in curriculum design, instruction, and assessment and prior experience in the development of strategic programs and systems across grades and/or departments
- Personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and the requisite skillfulness to support student and faculty growth in this area and to facilitate critical conversations in the design of more inclusive curriculum and programs
- High emotional intelligence and sensitivity to organizational dynamics; exceptional organizational and interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with inspiration and clarity and build trust across a wide range of audiences
- The confidence and humility to advocate for new ideas, invite healthy debate, and welcome feedback
- A big picture, future-oriented thinker with evidence of continued, post-collegiate learning and growth
Interested candidates should submit a resume and a cover letter, which addresses how your experience meets the expectations of the position as stated above to firstname.lastname@example.org.