Nature of the Position: The Director of Guidance and College Counseling plays a central leadership role as a member of the administrative team, providing direction and participating in conversations and strategic planning concerning all aspects of the school.
The Director of Guidance and College Counseling is responsible to the Headmaster for the coordination and implementation of the Upper School guidance program. The Director oversees the guidance counselors in the performance of their school counselor functions, and supervises the school registrar, assistant registrar, data manager, testing coordinator and Guidance Office administrative assistants.
The Director carries a partial student caseload and works continuously with three counseling teams to coordinate the college counseling process, providing a bridge between services for the school’s boarding and day student populations.
The Director works closely with the Director of Student Services and the Director of Academics, and serves regularly on two administrative leadership teams. The Director also participates in the observation, supervision and evaluation of faculty.
Primary duties and responsibilities
The Director of Guidance and College Counseling will:
Oversee, supervise, and evaluate the work of the guidance counselors, helping to develop and revise a cutting edge guidance curriculum for all students
Support the work of the guidance counselors as they assist students with their academic development and any issues that could impede their success
Consult with the counselors on the social/emotional components of the counseling program (e.g., issues such as DHS reports, suicide intervention)
Act as an in-school consultant, interpreting the guidance program to the faculty and leadership teams, and formulating goals consistent with the school’s mission and policies
Assume responsibility, in conjunction with the Testing Coordinator, for the coordination and administration of standardized and state tests and all AP examinations
Hold regular department meetings to communicate curriculum initiatives, share ideas and plan for ongoing improvements
Ensure that guidance counselors are involved in and aware of on-going and up-to-date professional development opportunities (e.g. NACAC, NEACAC, ASCA, Fitzwilliam Conference)
Formulate guidance policies and procedures in conjunction with the guidance counselors
Assist the school registrars with the final details of both international and private student credential reviews
Assume other responsibilities as directed by the Headmaster
Essential skills, knowledge and abilities
The successful candidate will possess:
Thorough knowledge of guidance counseling policies, procedures, services, program design, delivery and management models and processes.
Thorough knowledge of the developmental needs of students, including ethnic or linguistic minorities.
Knowledge of Section 504 legislation, policies and procedures as it relates to educational services for students.
Knowledge of career and technical education and college planning.
The ability to lead and motivate staff, use computer and other technology including scheduling, and set Guidance Office priorities.
Skills in staff and program supervision.
The ability to establish strong, collaborative relationships with a diverse population of individuals and groups.
Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to speak effectively to both large and small groups.
Master’s degree in Counselor Education with a School Counselor 6-12 certification preferred, or master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., education, counseling, psychology)
Experience in the field of school counseling required, experience with international students a plus
Founded in 1811, Thornton Academy is an independent, coeducational school serving students in grades 6-12. Thornton's core curriculum is complemented by substantial offerings in the arts, technology, multiple languages, athletics and diverse student clubs and activities. A residential program for college prep high school students enrolls 160 boarding students, primarily international. Located o...n an expansive 80-acre campus in coastal Saco, Maine, all Thornton students enjoy a distinctive academic experience.