Tulsa Classical Academy is seeking a Head of School to help launch the first classical charter school in Oklahoma. Tulsa Classical Academy is currently working through the startup process with the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI) of Hillsdale College and intends to pursue a long-term relationship and use the Hillsdale K-12 curriculum. Candidates should, therefore, be committed wholeheartedly to the BCSI-approach to American classical education and be prepared to participate in interviews with BCSI-staff.
The Head of School is a critical position and the board intends to field candidates nationwide. The selected candidate will have an opportunity to work with the board to shape the school from its inception. The board is committed to classical education in the liberal arts tradition and has cast a state-wide vision via the Classically Formed non-profit organization. The board believes that the telos of education is not utilitarian and is looking for a like-minded leader who can inspire teachers, students, and parents with a classical vision of education that promotes human flourishing.
The Head of School is a significant position that carries much and varied responsibility. The added burden (and benefit) of this specific position is that of helping the board get a brand new school off the ground. This will require considerable tenacity, courage, hard work, imagination, and initiative. In addition to being an academic leader, the ideal candidate will possess the strength of personality necessary to advocate for classical education and the school within the community of parents, philanthropic interest, and the educational establishment who may hold competing, contradictory, and progressive ideas about the foundations, ends, and means of education. The ideal candidate should, therefore, be personable and well-spoken and able to speak winsomely, passionately, convincingly, and reasonably about how and why classical education is different and critically important to the preservation of Western civilization in general and the American experiment in self-government in particular. Additionally, the ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial go-getter who is detail-oriented and can fulfill the duties necessary to successfully open the school and then manage it through its formative years. Leadership experience with other classical charter schools--especially BCSI-affiliated schools--is a plus.
Qualities & Characteristics
Intellectual depth and seriousness with a bias toward the life of the mind, befitting of the leader of an academic institution. A love of learning is demonstrated by the ongoing personal pursuit of knowledge and the passion to share knowledge with others.
Leadership specifically the ability to discern ends that fulfill the nature and purpose of the organization and its mission, and to chart a course to reach those ends; the ability to inform and inspire people to follow, to commit, to take responsibility, to perform, and to cooperate in an effective manner that will mobilize the resources of the organization so that it can follow the course laid out before it by the leader; and the ability to raise up leaders in an organization.
A commitment to school choice is energized with courage and governed by prudence.
Generates trust and confidence in others by his or her leadership by exhibiting the following behaviors and characteristics: integrity, transparency, clear communication, truthfulness, decisiveness, listening, equanimity, collaboration, approachability, winsomeness, kindness, and humility
High moral character.
Knowledge & Skills
A broad understanding of the classical liberal arts, its roots in the Western tradition, and its presence in American education prior to the 20th century.
An understanding of the challenges that plague traditional primary and secondary schools and the root causes of those problems.
Knowledge of the craft of teaching and learning, and the ability to teach well.
The ability to lead, invest in, support, and form teachers to greater degrees of effectiveness in the classroom.
A gifted rhetorician with the ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written forms.
The ability to maintain a high degree of energy and personal productivity, and to effectively manage the productivity of others. The ability to prioritize and get things done. The ability to drive incremental and ongoing improvement.
A general understanding of personnel management principles, including recruiting and hiring, supervising and evaluating, and individual and organizational development.
The intellectual and emotional strength, mental agility, and durability to have difficult conversations.
A general understanding of financial management principles, including planning a budget and managing to it throughout a school year, auditing, and controls.
An understanding of the school’s respective state accountability system for K-12 public schools and laws relevant to charter schools.
The initiative, drive, and commitment to develop and improve in areas where he or she is weak.
Duties & Responsibilities
Provide general management of the school.
Implement a thorough and effective professional development model that ultimately aids teaching and learning.
Manage operational and instructional staff.
Report at regular board meetings on the status of school operations and plans for upcoming activities.
Represent the school as the senior executive leader in interactions with the public, the school constituencies, the authorizer, and other government agencies.
Possession of a Master’s degree or higher in one or more of the liberal arts or education.
Minimum of five (5) years of teaching experience at the K-12 or college level.
Prior experience as Head of School, Assistant Head of School, Dean of Upper or Lower School, or Dean of Students.
Prior experience leading a classical liberal arts school, ideally K-12, with a demonstrated success of producing favorable academic and life outcomes over time.
Prior experience opening a new, public charter school and managing its student, staff, faculty, and facility growth and expansion over time.