About Orange County Classical Academy
Launching in September, 2020, operating under the strict governance of its board of directors, the Orange County Classical Academy will be Orange County’s only tuition-free, K-12 Classical Education charter school. Orange County Classical Academy’s goal is to prepare future citizens through content-rich education centered in classics and great mentors. Scholars enjoy a classical liberal arts and sciences curriculum, developed with support from Hillsdale College, a leader in Classical learning since 1844.
The Mission of the Orange County Classical Academy is to develop students in mind and character through a classical, content-rich liberal arts and science curriculum that emphasizes the principles of scholarship, moral character, and civic virtue.
Orange County Classical Academy will offer a content-rich education that challenges and motivates each scholar to discover, strive for, and achieve her/his full personal potential. We believe that all scholars deserve a challenging and comprehensive curriculum directed toward achieving world-class standards. We further believe that family involvement and commitment are essential to each scholar achieving his/her maximum potential. The Academy will feature a strong curriculum, outstanding teaching, ongoing assessment of progress and development of scholar potential. OCCA will require a commitment to high standards and to a full partnership between families, learners and the Charter School. Working in partnership, teachers and parents inspire each scholar to identify his/her special excellence as well as become a lifelong learner.
Orange County Classical Academy seeks to employ well-educated and articulate teachers who convey real knowledge using tried-and-true teaching methods. Students are educated in the liberal arts, emphasizing Western thought and with special attention to the American tradition. Through the study of mathematics and the sciences students learn to think clearly and contemplate the natural order. Orange County Classical Academy students will learn to read, write, and speak well, and to understand themselves and the world around them.
Orange County Classical seeks to educate students to be people of character, young men and women who have the moral and intellectual virtue necessary for a life of citizenship and of learning.
The Role of School Leader
The Orange County Classical Academy school leader will be entrusted with the education and well-being of an expected 360 pupils in grades K-5 in year one (adding one grade level of 2 sections each year until we reach K-12), and the overall reputation of the school, its constituency, and its surrounding community. He or she will be charged with considerable fiduciary duties, not only acting as a steward of substantial public funds but as a contributor to the future viability of American society through the passing on of wisdom and virtue to its future citizens. The school leader is the single most impactful and important figure in a school and its surrounding community—the guardian of a learning tradition that must characterize the school and influence its mission.
This is a startup public charter school. As such, there is an immense amount of work to be done to open the doors to students in September, 2020. The Orange County Classical Academy school leader will be the only initial full-time employee of the organization and is expected to carry the majority of the startup work, in conjunction with our board of directors and a part-time Executive Director.
General Characteristics of a Good Candidate
- A startup mindset and passion to ensure a highly successful school launch.
- Prudent leadership, or the ability to discern the ends that fulfill the nature and purpose of classical learning, and to chart a course to reach those ends; the ability to instruct and inspire people to follow, to commit, to take responsibility, and to perform together in an effective manner. The ability to raise up self-governing leaders within the school.
- Intellectual depth and a serious understanding of the life of the mind. The leader of an academic institution demonstrates a love of learning by the ongoing personal pursuit of knowledge for its own sake and the desire to share that knowledge with others.
- A commitment to school reform, motivated by courage and governed with discretion.
- A person of high moral character whose leadership will generate trust and hold the confidence of others. He or she exhibits unwavering personal integrity, honesty, decisiveness, and empathy.
- Well-organized, able to delegate with clear direction, and ready to assume responsibility for everything that happens under his or her charge.
- A sentinel of the moral imaginations of young minds.
Knowledge and Aptitude Required for the Position
- A broad understanding of the classical liberal arts, its roots in the Western tradition, and its historical presence in American education prior to the 20th century.
- Knowledge of the craft of the educator, and the ability to teach well.
The ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written forms.
The facility to maintain a high degree of energy and personal productivity, and to effectively manage the yield of others. The ability to prioritize and get things done.
- A general understanding of personnel management principles, including recruiting, hiring, supervising, and evaluating, as well as individual and organizational development. He or she must know the needs this education demands.
- The intellectual and emotional strength to have difficult conversations, when necessary, and the prudence to know when that is.
- A general understanding of financial management principles, including planning a budget and the skills to manage it throughout a school year; he or she understands the needs and expectations of regular auditing and a proven system of sound fiscal controls and processes.
- An understanding of the California’s accountability and accreditation systems for public charter schools, as appropriate, and laws relevant to same.
- The fortitude to act with fidelity to the scope and sequence of the Hillsdale College model for classical education.
- The prudence and insight to understand and accomplish local, state, and federal compliance regarding all aspects of the school.
- Has a recognizable executive aptitude for the business and operational aspects of school leadership. He or she is able to put first things first and can multitask when needed.
- Can build an administrative team. He or she knows the mission and knows how to hire well to support that mission.
- Knows his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and will hire assistant principals and deans who will offset those weaknesses.
- Has a clarity of focus, and yet is open to ideas and implements the best of them from his or her community, not just from personal preferences.
- Is pleasant, engaging, personable, and empathetic—important traits as he or she interacts with parents, benefactors, community members, teachers, students, and others. The school leader knows how to build trust through excellent communication, which oftentimes means only listening, and by being consistent with expectations and follow-through. He or she is firm and kind, prudent and just.
- Understands and communicates with the broader classical movement to promote education that is elevating and high-minded. He or she has the aptitude and capacity to invite young men and women into the ongoing discourse of what kind of place the world is and what kind of being we all are and can become.
- Is public-spirited, ambitious about the school and its effect on the wider community, state, and, ultimately, the nation. He or she is committed to the local community as an active participant, an energetic advocate for classical education as being good for all learners of every background.
- Likes interacting with children and believes that classical education leads them on the path to true happiness.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Position
- Provides general management of all school operations, including academic, financial, personnel, regulatory, and facility areas.
Observes and can effectively coach teachers at defined intervals; documents results and provides feedback as mentor and supervisor.
- Reports at regular school board meetings on the status of the school and plans for upcoming activities.
- Represents the school in interactions with the public, the school constituencies, the authorizer or accreditor, and other government agencies.
- Reports to the Orange County Classical Academy Executive Director.
- The Founding Head of School may also assume other tasks and responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director.
Highly Desirable Qualifications: Experience, Education & Skills
- Valid California Teaching Credential
- Bachelor’s degree
- Valid Administrative Credential
- Previous leadership experience (department chair, Assistant Principal, Dean, etc.)
- Detail-oriented, multi-tasking and problem-solving skills
- 5+ years teaching experience, ideally in a classical school setting
- Master's degree in education administration or education leadership
- Proven leadership and team building skills
- Excellent interpersonal communication and writing skills
- Spanish-speaking strongly preferred
For consideration, please send your resume, compelling cover letter, and availability to Gary@civicinnovations.com
Start date is immediate for the right candidate.
Salary & Benefits
$100k/year (commensurate with experience)
Comprehensive full benefits and additional voluntary benefits (medical, dental, vision, life, disability, etc.)
STRS and other Retirement Plan Options
Ongoing Professional Development
DISCLAIMER: This job description indicates in general the nature and levels of work, knowledge, skills, abilities and other essential functions (as covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act) expected of an incumbent. It is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities required of an incumbent. An incumbent may be asked to perform other duties as required Management reserves the rights to add, modify, change or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the essential functions of the job. Nothing in this position description changes the at-will employment relationship existing between the Institution and its employees.