Head of School Search
Tower School seeks a Head of School to build on Tower School’s strengths and propel it to new levels of success. The ideal candidate will match his/her knowledge of educational practices with the traditions of Tower in order to work collaboratively and effectively in achieving the goals of the School.
Consultants from Carney Sandoe and Associates, a nationwide recruitment firm, are conducting the search for Tower's 10th head of school in collaboration with our Board of Trustees. The following is excerpted from their position document; the full document is available below.
- Opportunities and Challenges
- Qualifications and Qualities of the Next Head of School
- Search Calendar
Opportunities and Challenges
The new Head of School will face many important opportunities as he or she assumes leadership of the school. Opportunities include:
Maintaining Academic Excellence
Tower is proud that its forward-looking approach to education is balanced with its many cherished traditions, and its challenging academic program is enhanced by a caring community in which students feel safe to take risks and explore new ideas and approaches. The Head of Tower, aided by the senior administration and in partnership with the faculty, will provide the vision and leadership necessary to ensure that the School will honor its rich traditions while offering a program that fully reflects current best practices and prepares its graduates to succeed at the academically demanding high schools that enroll Tower graduates. The Board seeks a Head who will work with the faculty to critically review new programmatic initiatives and who will develop thorough plans for implementing these initiatives and communicating their significance to the School community.
Providing Visible Leadership and Clear Communications
The Tower community places a high value on the Head as a visible symbol who embodies the values of the School. The School’s strong sense of community requires that the next Head be highly visible and establish strong relationships with all constituencies of the School. The next Head of School will need to maintain clear communications with faculty and staff, parents, and alumni, thus ensuring a sense of community and a common purpose.
Continuing to Build Enrollment
After 11 years of declining enrollment (a nation-wide trend among independent schools), Tower opened its doors in September 2018 with stabilized enrollment numbers. The School’s goal is to now grow enrollment over the next five years. Over 80% of the students offered admission enroll; a remarkable conversion rate. The next Head of School will work with Directors of Admissions and Marketing and Communications to expand the pool of inquiries and applications by strategically targeting prospective families and by effectively communicating the School’s benefits.
Board Collaboration and Implementation of Strategic Plan
The Board of Trustees is a healthy, self-perpetuating, governing board that clearly understands its role as a fiduciary and strategic guide. The next Head will have the opportunity to grow and work with an extraordinarily committed group of trustees who entrust the daily operations of the school fully to the Head. The School will roll out a new strategic plan in late January 2019 and the next Head will be instrumental in implementing the plan which focuses on academic leadership, a distinctive culture, community impact and partnership, and a thriving future.
Mobilize Community Support
Tower is a school and community where students and families are known and needed. Tower is both highly successful and aspirational. In order for the School to achieve all of its goals, the Head will need to mobilize and effectively manage the collective rapport, respect, and commitment of the administration, faculty, staff, and parents. At the same time, the size of the School will mean that moments will inevitably arise when the Head must be hands-on.
Qualifications and Qualities of the Next Head of School
The Tower Board of Trustees and the school community are interested in all candidates who possess the proven leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills to help guide Tower confidently into the future. The most promising candidates will be able to demonstrate most, if not all, of the following:
• Desire to join the Tower School community as an active and visible presence in the life of the School and the larger North Shore community.
• A consultative and collaborative leadership style that effectively utilizes the commitment, energy, and wisdom of the faculty, administration, Board, and the current and former parents of Tower students – yet is able to be decisive when appropriate.
• A commitment to and an understanding of the importance of being a part of a community where children are “known and needed.”
• A deep understanding of important trends in education and the ability to combine that understanding with an appreciation for Tower’s values and traditions in order to continue the compelling vision of the School’s future.
• Desire to act as a mentor and coach to faculty and administrative staff.
• Ability to think and act strategically to support and enhance the School’s program, finances, and enrollment.
• Ability to serve as an effective and articulate spokesperson for the School, thereby rallying a united community and energizing the School’s current constituencies and prospective families.
• A strong understanding of an effective external affairs program, which includes admissions, fundraising, secondary school placement, and broader community involvement.
• A strong knowledge of admissions processes.
• The successful candidate must be comfortable with fundraising and asking for financial support as well as a commitment to sustaining a culture of philanthropy.
In addition, the favored candidate will possess a collaborative spirit and an eagerness to work with all stakeholders in the School. The candidate should be approachable, authentic, kid-centric, outgoing, and energetic. They will exhibit fine personal values, courage, and deep integrity and will enjoy developing and guiding the Tower community. The School will be best matched by a leader with heart – someone with a down-to-earth, hands-on style and a sense of humor. The School’s intimate atmosphere requires someone who listens well and connects easily with parents, teachers, staff, and students and whose vision and energy unite the community.
Applications due to Carney Sandoe and Associates: February 16
Search consultants to provide updates to search committee members: March 7
Semifinalist interviews with search committee members: March 29-31
Finalists visit Tower, tour campus, meet community members:
- Finalist 1; April 10 & 11
- Finalist 2; April 16 & 17
- Finalist 3; April 18 & 19