High Point Academy
Title: Head of School
High Point Academy is an independent, coeducational school serving kindergarten through 8th grades, with a population of over 340 students. High Point is located on a six-acre campus in the beautiful foothills near Pasadena’s Eaton Canyon Nature Area.
High Point’s mission is to awaken the joy of learning in each child. The school provides a nurturing environment that enables each student to flourish academically, emotionally, morally, physically, and socially. The challenging curriculum provides a traditional and balanced approach to ensure that students acquire tools for analytical thinking. With faculty and family support, students develop the ability to pursue and organize knowledge throughout a lifetime.
Focus on Academic Excellence and the Whole Child
High Point shares a long-standing, unwavering commitment to provide academic excellence and to develop and nurture the Whole Child (academic, social, emotional, ethical, physical). With an emphasis on the “Whole Child”, students build their minds through strong academic and enrichment programs designed to foster critical thinking and creative problem solving. Their bodies are strengthened through daily physical education, and their social and emotional intelligence is developed through programs that help students understand and connect with each other. Our dedicated and talented faculty provides a strong, challenging, and engaging curriculum that, in addition to the core academics, includes Spanish or French, vocal and instrumental music, visual arts and design, library, the latest in technology and innovation, STEAM, and daily physical education. A variety of after-school options are available including clubs, multiple team sports/athletics, musical theatre, art, dance, and other enrichment activities.
Accessibility & Engagement
Since its founding, High Point has prioritized maintaining tuition at a level that makes it accessible to upper middle-class families who come primarily from the Pasadena, Altadena, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, and Monrovia areas. Even though most of the families are comprised of two working parents, parents are highly supportive of the school and make it a priority to volunteer for a variety of activities. Financial assistance is prioritized to broaden socioeconomic diversity. The parents are exceptionally interested in their children’s education, which is further evidenced by strong parent leadership and attendance at Back-to-School Night, Open House, and a myriad of special events and activities, including fund-raising events such as the Spring Gala and a host of family-oriented events.
High Point has a diverse student body representative of its location in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley. About sixty percent of the students identify either as Asian, multi-racial, Middle Eastern, Latino/Hispanic, or African American.
Preparation for Success
High Point provides a quality education that prepares its students for success in high school and beyond. To illustrate this point, recent graduating classes received between $500,000-$700,000 in merit scholarships at local high schools based on academic achievement. The curriculum is designed to teach students how to think in a logical and creative manner, communicate clearly, build self-confidence, and develop a lifelong interest in learning. ERB/CTP IV standardized test scores indicate that High Point students compare very favorably to other students in independent schools. The feedback from High Point families, and from high schools to which our students matriculate, is that graduates are extremely well-prepared for high school on all fronts. Many students take on leadership roles in high school student government. The graduates of High Point matriculate to a variety of local independent high schools, with a majority of the students gaining admission to their first-choice school. Efforts to track alumni post high school suggest that nearly 100 percent of them attend college, many of which are highly selective.
High Point is in a very strong financial position. The school maintains healthy cash reserves, a track record of positive net income, tuition levels that cover all of the school's operating expenses, and no debt. High Point has an unrestricted endowment valued at about $9 million. The school has kept enrollment numbers very near CUP (conditional use permit) levels (340- 350) for the past nine years.
The Annual Fund and other fundraisers typically contribute approximately $350,000 annually (over $400,000 in the 2019-2020 school year). High Point’s tuition continues to be in the lowest quartile of comparable local, independent schools.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is composed of up to fifteen members, plus the Head of School who is ex-officio and a non-voting member. High Point has diversified its Board with current and alumni parents, community members, independent school administrators, and the Head of School. The trustees bring to the Board broad and deep experience in the areas of accounting, finance and investment, entrepreneurship, law, real estate, master planning, human resources, fundraising and development, marketing, and technology. Board of Trustees committees include executive, finance, buildings and grounds, development, enrollment management and strategic planning, and board affairs.
The administrative team consists of the Head of School, Assistant Head of School/Director of Admissions, Chief Financial and Operations Officer, Development Director, Director of Facilities, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Technology and Innovation, Director of Communications, Director of Learning Services, Athletic Director, and a Seventh and an Eighth Grade Dean. The Deans are also full-time faculty teaching 7th and 8th grade students. The administrative team is supported by an Admissions Associate, a Business Accountant/Controller, an Assistant to the Head of School, an office assistant, receptionist, an Assistant Facilities Manager, and an IT Manager. There is also a Social and Emotional Learning Specialist, and three full-time and one part-time student supervisors. Overall, High Point has approximately 60 employees (45 full-time and 12 part-time).
Although High Point exists in a competitive independent school environment in the San Gabriel Valley, the stature of High Point remains strong in the community. Notably, High Point is the school of choice for numerous families. This is due in large part to the hard work and dedication of parents, students, administrators, faculty, and staff. At its core, High Point is a close-knit and caring community that awakens the joy of learning and inspires students to work hard and love learning. High Point also has a reputation for a rigorous academic curriculum that prepares students for high school and beyond, a more affordable tuition than many other schools in the region, and a reputation for preparing well-rounded students with good character.
High Point Academy is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.
Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Head of School ("Head") is the chief executive officer of the school and supervises the Assistant Head of School/Director of Admissions, Chief Financial and Operations Officer, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, 7th and 8th Grade Dean, Development Director, Communications Director, Director of Facilities, Director of Technology, and Athletic Director. The Head enthusiastically supports the school's mission, philosophy and values while also developing and articulating a vision for the future.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Provides leadership to help strengthen the already impressive academic reputation the institution holds among other independent schools.
- Fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion by attracting faculty, staff, and families that represent the broader surrounding San Gabriel Valley community.
- Provides support and inspiration in the areas of faculty development, curriculum development, and teaching.
- Works together with the Board’s Development Committee, the Director of Development, the Board of Trustees, and other volunteers in the area of friend raising, fundraising, and development.
- Collaborates with the Assistant Head of School/Director of Admissions, Associate Admissions Director, and Director of Communication to help support admissions, enrollment management, and marketing, fostering and maintaining collegial relationships with area feeder schools and high schools that High Point Academy graduates attend to continue the school's ongoing success, growth, and development.
- Leads as the ambassador of High Point and will represent it to its varied constituencies, both internally and externally.
- Works in partnership with the Chief Financial and Operations Officer, the Finance Committee, and the Board to maintain responsibility for the sound fiscal management of the institution and helps monitor budgets as well as works with various departments on the formulation of annual and long-term goals and objectives.
- Maintains responsibility for the general administrative operations of the school and works with the Board and staff to maintain a program of excellence within budgetary constraints.
- Provides the vision for the long-term strategic planning, development, and enhancement of the school while also stimulating conversation among administrative team, faculty, and staff regarding short-term operating issues.
- Develops strong community relationships with the local neighborhood association and the Board of adjacent leased property.
- Works in collaboration with the Board, Buildings and Grounds Committee, Director of Facilities, Chief Financial and Operations Officer, and architects to develop and implement a Campus/Facilities Master Plan.
TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS DESIRED:
The Head of School will excel as an inspirational leader and collaborative partner with the administrative team, faculty, staff, parents, and the Board of Trustees. At the same time, the Head will have an accessible and approachable style which demonstrates a willingness to partner and listen to new ideas while also offering creative solutions to challenges and opportunities. The Head should be skilled in participatory decision making, academic and public communication, educational innovation, and sound fiscal management and exhibit effectiveness in the development of financial resources.
The successful candidate is a visionary educator who helps lead the school academically while being an effective, experienced administrator. The Head maintains a commitment to continuous improvement of the academic programs and possesses the capacity to create a unified community which embraces positive change. The ability to model integrity and promote high ethical and professional standards in all interactions is essential.
The successful candidate will demonstrate maturity and patience and be able to develop credibility with the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, parents, and other constituencies. The ability to create a collegial environment conducive to sincere and open communication is critical.
CAREER TRACK LEADING TO THIS POSITION:
The successful candidate will be a leader who is an experienced teacher and successful administrator, preferably in an American-accredited independent school. The individual should show increasing responsibility and evidence of accomplishment in the following activities: recruitment and personnel development; curriculum development; teacher/staff evaluation and development; board relations; fiscal management; parent and alumni relations; community and external relations including fundraising; student activities management; plant management; and student recruitment. Sitting heads, assistant heads, division directors and administrators with similar titles and responsibilities will be considered.
An undergraduate degree is required; an advanced degree is highly preferred.
Annual compensation will be competitive and relocation assistance, if needed, is negotiable. A comprehensive benefits package will be provided.
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