Arbor Montessori School
Head of School Search
Decatur, GA 30033
Start Date: July 2022
Arbor Montessori School, located in Decatur, Georgia, a thriving city in the metropolitan Atlanta area, is doing well. Enrollment for the current school year substantially exceeds projections and the school’s finances are solid. Even so, Arbor has ambitions for the future.
Under the capable leadership of an Interim Head of School (a former teacher who was persuaded to take on the Head of School role, but who is not interested in the permanent position), the school is doing a wonderful job educating its children from 18 months through 14-years-old. Arbor enjoys a positive reputation in the Atlanta area as a leading Montessori school. At nearly 250 students, the school is well on its way to the 300 students that were its peak pre-COVID.
Most importantly, Arbor Montessori knows who it is. This is a school that is committed to the practices of AMI Montessori in all respects. At the same time, it also welcomes innovation within the AMI framework and is blessed with many long-tenured faculty who are passionate about the students they guide.
The future has exciting possibilities. Presently located on two campuses, the school is considering options for strategic use of its land, including newly acquired property, as well as the possibility of adding a high school. As with all schools, Arbor is eager to build its efforts to address diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the necessity of serving a student body with a broad range of learning styles and abilities.
The Arbor Board is eager to welcome a new Head of School to start in the summer of 2022 to partner with the Board to build on Arbor’s strengths and embrace the many exciting options going forward.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The new Head of School will have the opportunity to have real positive impact in a number of areas including:
Rebuilding enrollment to an “ideal target” of 300 students, with particular focus on retention.
Working with the Board on strategic use of Arbor’s land, including the recently purchased adjacent property.
Working with the Arbor community in the further development and implementation of a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan.
Exploring the possibility of a special learners program within the school.
Building a more intentional external relations program that supports its Arbor’s enrollment goals as well as its fundraising.
Establishing an endowment to benefit from Arbor’s long-term stability and build on the school’s solid financial footing.
Exploring, with intent, the addition of a high school.
Expanding the parent-education program to activate current parents even more in support of the school.
Serving as the “face of the school” with both internal and external audiences, particularly in support of the school’s growth ambitions as well as desire for greater diversity in its student and adult populations. It will be important for the Head to be well connected in the larger Atlanta independent school world and that of AMI-USA.
DESIRED SKILLS AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
A collaborative leader who seeks broad input whenever possible, but also can be decisive when necessary.
A charismatic, cheerful spokesperson who can exude enthusiasm and make the compelling case for the Montessori program of the school.
Someone committed to Montessori pedagogy and practices, ideally with classroom experience and AMI training.
Financial literacy and experience sufficient to partner with the Board and Business Manager to develop and execute budgets.
Familiarity with advancement practices in independent schools including marketing/recruitment/fundraising and community engagement.
Proven ability to hire, motivate, evaluate, and develop excellent talent on the team.
Experience with effective approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Ability to be both a visionary strategic leader and an effective hands-on manager.
The full position description can be found at https://carneysandoe-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/assets/Arbor-Montessori-9.28.pdf
Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically in one email and as separate documents (preferably PDFs) the following materials:
A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position;
A current résumé;
A one-page statement of educational or leadership philosophy and practice;
A list of five professional references with name, phone number, and email address of each (references will not be contacted until a serious mutual interest is established, and not without the candidate’s permission) to: