Two hours north of Los Angeles, tucked away in a quiet corner of the Ojai Valley, sits a boarding school with an enviable set of vital signs: 12% admission rate; 79% enroll rate; $171M endowment; and 20 years average teaching experience, to name just a few. But as fundamentally sound as this school is, the community has for the last several years been preparing for a major curricular transformation. Like the outdoor adventures for which The Thacher School is famous, this journey will involve meticulous planning, unscripted experimentation, and ongoing collaboration involving teams of faculty, students, and administrators working toward a common goal. That goal is to develop a new overarching pedagogical philosophy that leverages contemporary research and best practices, while continuing to honor the cherished values of a Thacher education. Now a school that is best known for its celebrated Horse Program is ready to take arguably the most important academic ride upon which it has ever embarked. For this multiyear journey to be a success, Thacher needs a savvy navigator at the academic helm, with experience as both a classroom educator and an agent of school-wide change.
The Thacher School seeks a director of studies to serve as a collaborative, empathetic, and transparent leader of its entire curricular program. The next director of studies will work closely with the new head of school, for whom curriculum is a true passion, and who served in the director of studies role for many years at Thacher before becoming head this past July. This position, which reports directly to the head of school and serves on the leadership team, includes on-campus housing and the opportunity to become deeply connected to the entire Thacher community. The Thacher School will enthusiastically welcome its next director of studies on July 1, 2019.
For more information please visit the following link, which contains the job opportunity statement and complete application instructions.
In collaboration with the head of school, oversee the ongoing journey—already in progress—to develop a new academic vision for Thacher
Guide and lead the faculty in its exploration, implementation, and assessment of alternative and emerging approaches to teaching and learning
In partnership with other academic leaders—including department chairs and senior administrators—lead the process to establish new pedagogical philosophies and redesign 9-12 student learning opportunities and outcomes
Operational oversight for the academic program
Help to oversee faculty hiring, evaluation, and non-teaching faculty assignments
Oversee the annual process of building the student schedule, and work with department chairs to determine faculty assignments
Oversee student academic success, including efforts to help students in need of additional support
In partnership with the head of school and director of finance, determine and evaluate faculty compensation
Other duties as assigned
Where academic vision and operations intersect
Coordinate and design ongoing faculty professional development
Assess the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual calendars for opportunities to implement new initiatives and improve the overall pace of life on campus
Oversee academic and co-curricular programs and bodies, including the academic council, library, instructional technology program, and individual departments
Support the development, implementation, and evaluation of new student learning experiences, assessment methods, and curricular paths
Participate in student life, advisory, outdoor education, and other campus activities as a full and active member of the Thacher community
Teach one section
THACHER IS LOOKING FOR CANDIDATES WHO CAN DEMONSTRATE
Multiple years of experience as a classroom teacher and school administrator
A deep understanding of contemporary research and professional growth programs that champion forward-thinking independent school high school teaching and learning practices
Immersion in diversity work—both in training and in implementation—and a commitment to fostering culturally competent and inclusive classrooms
Experience creating different modalities of professional growth opportunities for administrators, teachers, and students, and a successful track record sustaining the momentum of those professional development programs
Expertise in leading complex, ongoing, and consensus-building change management initiatives in schools
Prior work supporting or leading the operational affairs of an academic program, such as faculty hiring, evaluation, or course scheduling
Possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, which is a minimum requirement, though a graduate degree is highly desirable
Leadership and Personal Qualities:
Inspirational, pragmatic, diplomatic, and patient leadership
Authentic empathy, warmth, and collegiality
A passion for inspiring programmatic change, balanced with a judicious understanding that successful innovation at a boarding school requires establishing lasting peer-to-peer relationships
Savvy communication and presentation skills
An understanding of the nuances of boarding school pace and culture
Strong organizational, systems, and project management skills
A collaborative, cooperative, and growth-oriented mindset
Enthusiasm for students to pursue their passions, talents, and interests throughout a boarding school campus, both in and out of the traditional classroom
For more information please download the opportunity statement, which contains complete application instructions:
Founded in 1889, The Thacher School is a coeducational boarding high school (grades 9-12) located 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California. The School serves academically talented students who will benefit from a rigorous college preparatory experience. The faculty and students live and work closely together in a community in which cooperation, trust, honesty, and respect are the cornerstones of school life.
Together, we commit to the belief that demands in the academic classroom, when combined with those of mountains and horses, of sports and the arts, produce independent minds, strong bodies, and powerful character.