The Well School (www.wellschool.org), located in picturesque Peterborough, New Hampshire, has been an innovative leader among elementary and middle schools in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire for over 50 years. Since its inception, the school has offered an education focused on the whole child using a curriculum that embraces outdoor experiences and is driven by community participation. The school’s core values of kindness, cooperation, and respect permeate students’ daily life on campus. A deliberately small community, the school currently enrolls 148 students in preschool through eighth grade. The school seeks a new Head of School for June 2018.
The following are among the most critical cultural components and values of The Well School, as identified by our community. Although no one person could possibly embody them all, we hope that candidates will identify instances that speak to and invigorate him/her.
The Well School is a unique place. We desire a Head of School who will familiarize him/herself with and stay true to the roots, traditions, and founding philosophy of the school, while mindfully leading the school into the future with a clear vision and purpose.
As a community, we value an inclusive atmosphere that emphasizes our core values of kindness, cooperation, and respect. The Head of School should maintain an inclusive atmosphere that welcomes input from and prevents divisions between student, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, alumni parents, and members of the broader community.
The next Head of School will reaffirm a culture of leadership, communication, and management that is open, honest, visible, warm, engaging, and fully understood and supported by the community.
The Well School values a balanced educational philosophy. The new Head of School should carefully consider and balance academic rigor, grading philosophy, the role of homework, and expectations for student performance with the value of ample free play time and family time.
The Head of School should provide opportunities for faculty/staff and community-wide team building.
The Well School places a high value on the arts, evidenced by our robust theater, visual arts, music, and handwork program. The Head of School should value and strengthen the school’s commitment to the arts.
The Well School is committed to outdoor education, evidenced by our physical education/activity program, sports, annual hiking/backpacking trips, and our tradition of maintaining a farm program. The Head of School should value and strengthen this commitment.
The Well School encourages a high level of parental involvement. The Head of School should support, strengthen, and seek out such opportunities.
The Well School campus offers opportunities for diverse play and natural experiences. The Head of School should utilize our grounds to its full capacity.
Students at The Well School are encouraged to interact between grades. The Head of School should further develop creative cross-grade student engagement, such as providing opportunities for older kids to teach younger ones.
As a community, The Well School values religious, racial, cultural, ethnic, and other forms of diversity. The Head of School should share this value and actively create opportunities for students to experience and celebrate diversity while also celebrating the unique passions and talents of all community members.
The Well School values the freedom of children to explore, be curious, and actively participate in the creation of their learning environment and in the evaluation of themselves as a student. The Head of School should support and encourage such exploration.
The Head of School should seek to strike a balance between maintaining appropriate procedures and allowing for flexibility that will support and celebrate the unique culture of the school.
The Head of School should encourage all community members to be their best selves and promote a positive environment.
The Well School prioritizes problem solving and communication with logical consequences for one’s actions. The Head of School should support and execute a model of student accountability that mirrors this value.
Professional Qualities Desired
The Well School seeks a new Head of School who is a dynamic and visionary leader with a demonstrated commitment to our mission and values. Although a successful candidate need not demonstrate every quality, the most promising candidates will be the following:
A good communicator who can:
demonstrate robust public speaking skills and be a charismatic and enthusiastic public face of the school
clearly articulate our school’s vision, values, and mission to the community
interact with students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and the local community in a spirit of kindness, cooperation, and respect
be approachable, transparent, and friendly
respect our past while leading us into the future
instill confidence and unite our community around our shared goals
actively listen to all perspectives from a diverse community in a spirit of inclusiveness
act as a mediator and problem solver
increase awareness of our school in the surrounding region
An effective administrator who can:
manage a small, independent school
effectively maintain and oversee a diverse and high-quality faculty and staff
clearly articulate and execute a method for supporting, developing, and evaluating faculty and staff
make personnel decisions using a clear set of standardized procedures
assemble his/her own office staff and delegate tasks in order to most effectively manage the school
collaborate with the Board of Trustees and present innovative ideas for moving our school into the future
A qualified educator who can:
demonstrate a passion for effective classroom childhood education and a commitment to the whole-child philosophy
establish and maintain high academic standards consistent with our school’s mission
honor the traditions of our school while also shaping our future by fostering appropriate changes and growth
demonstrate a commitment to education through advanced degree(s), certification, and/or professional/life experience [Note: a graduate degree in education is valued but not required.]
The Well School is an independent day school for preschool through 8th grade in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The school's mission is "to inspire confidence, passion, and a love of learning in every child."
The Well School is, first and foremost, a community. Teachers, parents, and peers support and guide students as they develop our school's core values of kindness, cooperation, and respect. W...e depend upon the enthusiastic participation of every community member to support each student in their journey to becoming a confident person and a passionate learner. When everyone participates in each activity with a positive attitude, our children are empowered to discover new skills and interests within a safe environment. Using the strength of the community, our education expands beyond merely the training of the mind to involve the development of a full range of human potentials—intellectual, artistic, social, physical, emotional—allowing each student to develop a sense of who they want to be. The inclusion of rigorous academics, theater, music, art, sports, dance, outdoor play, mindfulness, and daily jobs enriches both mind and heart. Within the academic setting, emphasis is placed on the development of strong relationships between students and teachers who love what they teach and model the school's values. In this way, students are empowered to strive to be their best, which helps to bring out the unique greatness of each student.