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Head of School - The SEED School of Maryland

Head of School - The SEED School of Maryland

Job ID 
2017-2252
Location 
US-MD-Baltimore

More information about this job

Overview

Head of School, The SEED School of Maryland

 

About The SEED School of Maryland

The SEED School of Maryland (SEED MD) is a college-preparatory, public boarding school that serves 400 students in grades six through twelve. Its student body draws from a statewide pool of applicants selected by lottery.  It was founded on the understanding that a single college graduate can make a profound impact on his or her entire family. The school’s innovative model integrates a rigorous, college-preparatory academic program with a boarding program that teaches life skills and provides a safe, secure, and nurturing environment 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. SEED students live on campus and benefit from a collaborative network of families, faculty, staff, and community members.  Our model includes academic, residential, mental health, physical health, social, and enrichment programs, all available on campus.

 

SEED MD, which opened in 2008, was the second school established by The SEED Foundation. The SEED School of Washington, D.C. (SEED DC) has been in existence for 19 years. The SEED School of Miami opened in 2014 and currently serves 240 students in grades 6-9, and at capacity, will grow to serve 400 students in grades 6-12. The success of the SEED model has been showcased in media outlets and publications such as 60 Minutes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Nightline, Today, Good Morning America, and in the documentary film Waiting for “Superman. The President of the United States hailed SEED as “a true success story.”

 

SEED MD was created out of a Maryland law that established a public, college preparatory boarding school for underserved Maryland students. The school is governed by a 25-person board of trustees (20 of whom are elected by SEED and 5 of whom are appointed by the Governor) and operates under a contract with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The development and growth of SEED MD have been supported by hundreds of community members, civic and educational leaders, and lawmakers. Private donors have contributed nearly $30 million in operating and capital funds to the school startup and campus construction. The school operates on a beautiful 52-acre campus comprised of an academic center with a dramatic atrium design, two dormitories, a Head of School house, ample athletic facilities, and many other amenities. The annual operating budget is approximately $17 million.

 

Each SEED school integrates a rigorous academic program with a nurturing boarding program. The academic program is college preparatory in focus, while the boarding program teaches life skills and provides a safe, secure, nurturing environment 24 hours a day. SEED students live on campus and benefit from a collaborative network of families, faculty, staff, and community members. SEED schools operate according to SEED Belief Statements, summarized as a college-bound culture, 24-hour learning environment, positive culture of high expectations, an integrated and engaging program to foster a love of learning, individual student support, focus on data and continuous improvement, and recruiting and nurturing outstanding educators.

 

SEED's academic program offers a skills-focused, standards-based middle school curriculum, followed by a college preparatory upper school curriculum. Students receive individualized attention to ensure that they achieve their academic potential. SEED's boarding program is structured to stimulate academic, personal, and social growth in every student through extracurricular activities, leadership opportunities, and community service. SEED’s boarding curriculum combines life skills training (study skills, home chores, money management) with character education and authentic experiences that allow students to demonstrate their independence in ways that are consistent with SEED’s core values (responsibility, respect, self-discipline, compassion, and integrity). The college and career counseling program works in conjunction with the academic and boarding programs to identify each student's interests, ambitions, and skill level and to assist the student throughout the college application process. Athletics and extracurricular activities round out students’ experience on campus. In addition, staff members work with students to identify summer opportunities that will enhance students' skills and provide them with valuable life experiences.

As public schools, SEED schools are tuition-free and by design serve students with significant risk factors. In every year of our existence, the number of applications to attend SEED schools has far exceeded the number of spaces available. To determine enrollment, SEED schools each hold an annual lottery. (To learn more about the lottery, please read Tom Friedman’s column about it in the New York Times or view footage of it on 60 Minutes.)

 

The SEED model has proven successful: 94 percent of all SEED graduates have enrolled in college as of Fall 2016, and they graduate at 3.5 times the rate of low-income, first-generation students who enroll in college. Graduates of SEED schools have been accepted to colleges and universities around the country, with students attending and graduating from schools including American University, Brown University, Case Western University, Connecticut College, Elizabeth City State University, Howard University, Kent State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, and many other schools.

 


Position Overview

The breadth of responsibility of a SEED Head of School is unique in education because we are a public school with responsibilities to the state and because we are a boarding school.  With the opportunity to live on campus, you will be fully immersed in the campus learning environment.

 

As the Head of School, you will lead with a commitment to SEED’s mission and with the belief that with the right resources, any child can complete college and achieve his or her dreams. You will build on the strength of SEED MD’s first nine years as you lead this unique boarding school and its students to even higher levels of achievement. As a proven strategic and experienced leader, you possess a relentless focus on outcomes as you hold everyone on the campus to high standards. Not only do you possess impeccable judgment and build trust and rapport with students and faculty alike, you motivate and inspire others to want to change the world. Your entrepreneurial approach allows you to develop solutions to challenges as they arise, and you believe that the solutions are created alongside your board, staff, school administration, students, parents, and the community. You hold your programs and organizations accountable to a high bar of excellence. 

 

As the Head of School, you will be responsible for all aspects of leading and operating The SEED School of Maryland, including ensuring the SEED model is implemented with fidelity across all realms of campus life. Among other duties, you will manage and support staff, including the managing director, principals, student life/boarding staff, and admissions, college counseling, and student support services staff. You will be responsible and accountable for all school academic and financial outcomes. You will provide instructional leadership in the development, implementation, coordination, and assessment of all student programs. You will promote the mission of the school, build a strong, positive school culture, and create an expectation of collaboration between all parts of the program. You will also work with the managing director’s administrative team, which manages finance, technology, human resources, and development.

 

You will represent and advocate for the school in various settings and ensure accuracy and consistency in the school’s internal and external messages. In addition to direct reporting staff, it is critically important that you develop and maintain effective relationships with other constituents, including students and parents, the board of trustees, legislators and state officials, business and community members, donors, and the media.

 

As Head of School, you will report to The SEED School of Maryland Board of Trustees and will work closely with the board chair and other board and committee leadership to communicate relevant information and to seek input and resolve issues of relevance to the board. You will develop relationships with trustees and take advantage of the experience and contacts that they offer. You will manage and ensure good standing with Maryland’s regulatory and education authorities, including the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and other education organizations that support and further SEED’s mission. You will also work closely with The SEED Foundation as described in the School/Foundation Agreement, and collaborate with and actively support work at the SEED network level, together with other SEED schools and the Foundation. In particular, you will serve as a role model by building and maintaining relationships with the leaders and staff of other SEED schools and the Foundation, recognizing and supporting the value and role of the SEED network by sharing resources, aligning practices, and implementing the SEED model with fidelity as a means to consistently achieve excellence for SEED students, graduates, and families.

 


Current Priorities

In addition to the ongoing responsibilities of the Head of School, there are certain areas of priority that the board has identified, related to the school’s current stage of evolution.

  • You will work with the principal and other academic staff to ensure that the school continues to strengthen its academic program and advance student achievement. You will maintain a commitment to a higher order/critical thinking environment for students while balancing the need for test preparation to meet state standardized testing goals and requirements. You will intensify the rigor in curriculum, instruction, and support programs as the school continues to grow and develop.  You will ensure the SEED model is implemented with fidelity across all aspects of the school’s work.
  • You will implement the strategic plan and vision for the school.
  • You will drive a talent development plan for staff at all levels across the school, helping to ensure that we are able to recruit, retain, and reward excellence in our staff’s ability to lead our students.
  • You must be relentlessly focused on outcomes, using data at all levels to ensure that activity is never mistaken for progress.
  • SEED MD is a statewide public school that is mandated to solicit students from all 24 counties in Maryland (students in attendance currently represent 13 of the 24 counties from across the state). The school has been fairly successful in this statewide outreach, but a priority is to get broader geographic and ethnic representation in the student body.
  • You will work with the State of Maryland to review and renew the school’s contract for future years.
  • You will build relationships with donors, partners in the community, and other important external stakeholders to help drive continued financial success for SEED’s programs.
  • You will continue to ensure that the campus is a safe, nurturing, and creative environment for all staff and students to be successful.
  • You will actively collaborate and work with, and draw on the collective expertise and resources of, the SEED network (made up of other SEED schools and the Foundation).


Required Abilities

As the Head of School, you will believe, and act upon the belief, that with the right resources any child can complete college and achieve his or her dreams. As Head of School you must be:

  • Passionately committed to children and their education at every level. Your love for children, focus on kids, and confidence in their ability to learn will be apparent in every aspect of your leadership style. You lead by finding or creating new ideas and you actively seek out innovative strategies to improve student achievement. You possess a high level of empathy for our students, an unyielding commitment to providing excellent programs and services for urban children, and a solid understanding of child development.
  • A strong, organized, and independent manager. You are a critical thinker, relentless achiever, and an independent-minded self-starter who thrives in a setting that rewards autonomy and accountability. You lead by example and have a hands-on approach. You establish high-performance standards; you hold people accountable and you keep them focused on goals and priorities; you identify and remove barriers to objectives; you show a willingness to strategically take tough, principled stands, even when unpopular; and you ensure that adequate resources are available to achieve objectives.
  • An entrepreneurial path finder and a demonstrated successful leader and manager. You possess a commitment to academic excellence and an awareness of the developments in education and pedagogy. You are a proven leader and an inspiring communicator with strong management skills. Ideally, you have proven experience and success building something significant from scratch or transforming an organization from an average place to one of excellence.
  • A proven team leader with strong people and leadership skills. You will assist in the recruitment and retention of a superior and diverse faculty and staff and manage their performance and growth by assessing, coaching, and developing their potential. You have a reputation as a strong collaborator with staff and are known for how you resolve issues that affect them while maintaining a clear-eyed focus on meeting the mission.
  • An inspiring leader and communicator. You possess the confidence and ability to articulate continuously high expectations for achievement by every student as well as the capacity to inspire staff, parents, and children to embrace that vision. You are positive and project this energy and enthusiasm. You enjoy public presentations and possess a stage presence and self-assurance, but you don’t need the limelight. You are an articulate, spontaneous speaker and effective writer—as Head of School, you will be the person who will communicate the school’s vision to the community.
  • Comfortable interacting with almost anyone. You will build constructive relationships of trust with staff, parents, teachers, community leaders, and board members. You value parents’ input and you are comfortable working with them and utilizing their talents and energies as resources. You genuinely value cultural, racial, and economic diversity. You know how to expertly and appropriately delegate responsibilities and authority—you know how and when to involve people in decisions that affect them and how to address performance issues promptly—with fairness, firmness, and consistency.
  • Persevering and personally effective. You are capable of thinking clearly and staying focused under pressure. You demonstrate a willingness to give credit to others for successes but take responsibility for mistakes and work to avoid repeating them. You are a constant learner and you take personal initiative to achieve the school’s goals. You set a high standard for work ethics and personal effectiveness.

 

Personal Characteristics

Certain personal characteristics are essential for success as the new Head of School for The SEED School of Maryland. Our expectation is that you will:

  • Possess personal integrity and a strong moral and ethical character.
  • Be a goal-setter with boundless energy who goes “above and beyond” what is expected.
  • Be approachable, accessible, and highly visible.
  • Be a positive and enthusiastic consensus-builder, inspiring and motivating while building trust.
  • Be an open and reflective listener.
  • Possess strong management and leadership skills. Managerial excellence, at all levels of the organization, from adults to children, is vital.
  • Serve as a “visionary” leader who embodies the greatness the school can be and inspires others.
  • Be a flexible and creative problem-solver with impeccable judgment.
  • Be positive and driven, yet gracious.
  • Enjoy and excel at working with adults for the good of the students.
  • Have a secure sense of self that results in steady leadership.
  • Have an unwavering commitment to outcomes, even in the face of multiple competing demands.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Work productively with colleagues at both The SEED Foundation and other SEED schools while remaining focused on the vision, mission, and strategy of the Maryland school.
  • Honor the traditions of the SEED school, while confidently suggesting, promoting, and implementing change when necessary.
  • Show a personal dedication to the unique opportunities available through boarding education, and a willingness to live on campus.

 

What Is Attractive for the Right Head of School Candidate?

The SEED School of Maryland is at a point of great positivity and opportunity. The ideal Head of School candidate will share our excitement for the SEED model and SEED values. Other appeals of stepping into this role include:

  • You will be building long-lasting relationships with students and shaping the lives of those students.
  • You will be serving a population of children in need and encouraging all students to succeed.
  • You will have the opportunity to work directly with the families of our students.
  • The impact on the students we serve and their families will echo through future generations.
  • You will stretch your boundaries and use more of your brain than you ever imagined in a breadth of ways.
  • You will have access to the resources you need to affect transformational change.
  • You can drive outcomes; you can directly lead to the success of our students at the college level and beyond.
  • You will work in a state-of-the-art facility, on an impressive campus that is less than fifteen years old.
  • You will be leading a dedicated team, who are committed to student success.
  • You will be part of a network, working together and sharing best practices, to define and drive outcomes. The SEED network offers professional development opportunities to advance your personal growth goals.
  • You will have the opportunity to live on campus and experience all aspect of the SEED School lifestyle.
  • The board is engaged, cohesive, and committed to the students; they will be trusting of your ability to succeed.
  • We are financially strong, with a proven financial model and a dedicated donor base. SEED is a national brand, recognized for pioneering a successful college-preparatory, public boarding school.


This is an extraordinary opportunity for an exemplary leader. A competitive compensation package commensurate with qualifications and experience is available.

 


To Apply for the Head of School with The SEED School of Maryland

This search is managed by Staffing Advisors. Qualified candidates interested in this opportunity are invited to submit their resume, cover letter, and a brief statement of educational philosophy and practice to Resumes@StaffingAdvisors.com with “SEED School of MD – Head of School / 2017-2252 SA” in the subject line. If you know of someone who might be interested in this opportunity, nominations are also welcomed.

 

Staffing Advisors is committed to helping our clients create a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Some positions may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history. The SEED Foundation is committed to the letter and spirit of equality. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in hiring and employment, nor in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship, and other programs.

 

Alternative Titles: Head of School, Chief Schools Officer, Chief Academic Officer, Principal, or Superintendent.

 

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