Thaden School Director of Admissions and Communications
In July 2015, the Walton Family Foundation announced the appointment of Clayton Marsh, former Deputy Dean of the College at Princeton University, to serve as the founding head of a new independent school in Bentonville, Arkansas. Named in honor of Louise Thaden, a pioneering aviator who was born and raised in Bentonville, the school opened in the fall of 2017 with approximately 45 students in grades 7 and 9 and will grow incrementally over the next few years to serve approximately 550-650 students in grades 6-12. The school now seeks its first Director of Admissions and Communications. Reporting to the Founding Head of School, the Director will have the opportunity to play a leading role in the creation of a well-resourced school for a part of the country that is eager to embrace the benefits of independent school education.
About the School and the Region: A non-sectarian independent school under the direction of its own board, Thaden School offers a challenging and innovative educational program that ignites in its students a passion for discovery and learning, prepares them to succeed in college, and inspires them to lead lives of integrity, purpose and responsible global citizenship. At the core of the school’s mission is a commitment to balance that takes many forms: a curriculum that integrates the sciences and the humanities; indoor and outdoor teaching spaces where sustainability is a tangible part of the lesson; hands-on programs for civic engagement; athletics and physical education programs that build confidence and character through competition and meaningful participation; and a diverse faculty and staff that empower students to think deeply and expansively about their potential and place in the world. The school’s indexed tuition program further supports the creation of a balanced learning community where many perspectives, talents, and interests come together. Located on a 30-acre campus in downtown Bentonville’s emerging Arts and Market District, the school is walking distance from the town square, Brightwater Culinary Institute, the future site of Crystal Bridges’ center for contemporary arts, and a variety of other educational resources. With the support of the Walton Family Foundation’s Design Excellence Program, the school has engaged a nationally renowned team of architects to design an enduring and innovative campus that will spark curiosity, inspire creativity, and invite reflection. The design and construction of the campus will be complete before the school commences its third academic year in 2020. During its first two academic years (beginning in the fall of 2017), Thaden School will operate in a combination of temporary and permanent structures located on a 5-acre portion of its campus.
The school serves students from all parts of the growing and diverse region of Northwest Arkansas, which also includes Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, and a number of other townships. With more than 500,000 residents, the region combines a thriving economy with the natural beauty of the Ozarks and a rich variety of cultural and recreational amenities such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Razorback Regional Greenway Trail System, the Scott Family Amazeum, and the Bentonville Film Festival. Northwest Arkansas is also home to the world headquarters of three Fortune 500 companies (Walmart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt) as well as the University of Arkansas, the flagship campus of the state’s higher education system. For more information about the region and its resources, see the website for Finding NWA.
Please visit the Thaden website for detailed information regarding its mission, leadership and faculty, educational programs, indexed tuition program, and campus plan as well as recent news releases.
Primary Responsibilities in Years 2018-2020 Reporting to the Founding Head of School, the Director of Admissions and Communications will oversee and direct all aspects of the admission process for new students as well as oversight of staff with primary responsibility for marketing and communications, and staff with primary responsibility for maintenance of admissions databases and re-enrollment information. The successful candidate will possess a collaborative spirit and eagerness to work with all stakeholders in the school, including administrators, faculty, families, students, board members and – eventually – alumni. Below is a list of the Director’s primary responsibilities during the first two years: .Manage and execute every stage of the admissions process, from inquiry to enrollment, in close collaboration with other members of the school’s leadership team
.Present the school to prospective students and parents, including the thorough and efficient handling of applications and communication; conducting interviews; securing necessary student credentials; and communicating decisions
.Evaluate and redesign, where appropriate, all aspects of admissions and marketing to attract a robust applicant pool representative of the demographic diversity of the region
.Develop and oversee the admissions office, including the creation of the admissions budget and various admissions and marketing materials
.Serve as chair of the admissions committee in evaluation of all applications for admission
.Cultivate community relations with a variety of constituents, including civic organizations and other schools in the region
.Plan and execute programs that enhance public understanding of the school and garner interest in the value of a Thaden education (e.g., tours, parent information sessions, new family events, shadow days, school coffees, etc.)
.Organize and administer, with the Head of School and Director of Finance and Operations, the indexed tuition program
.Supervise at least two direct reports, the Communications Manager and Information Systems Manager
.Oversee, with the support of the Communications Manager, all aspects of print and electronic media promotion of the school, including press releases, advertising in local and national relocation and educational guides, web site content, and day to day contact with news media
.Maintain, with the Information Systems Manager, admissions databases and re-enrollment of current students for the succeeding year
.Maintain, with the Information Systems Manager, statistics on all aspects of the admission and re-enrollment and prepare reports for the Founding Head of School, the Board of Directors, NAIS, and ISACS
.Monitor and analyze local and national trends in education, admission, and tuition programs and communicate this information to the Thaden administration
.Represent the school at local, regional, and national gatherings and conferences
. Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School Experience and Qualifications .Experience in marketing, enrollment management, admissions, and/or community outreach.
.Commitment to the school’s mission, especially its indexed tuition program
.Ability to protect and handle student records and other highly confidential information
.Excellent organizational and budgeting skills
.Ability to prioritize and manage multiple responsibilities
.Ability to connect with a variety of people and constituencies within and outside of the school community
.A collaborative leadership style
.Strong communication and interpersonal skills, including exceptional writing and speaking skills, and facility with media of all forms (social, print, broadcast, etc.)
.Ability to model and exercise good judgment and discretion, and maintain complete confidentiality
.Ability to work evenings and occasional weekends as needed
.Proficiency in Naviance required
.Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Blackbaud strongly preferred
.Spanish language proficiency preferred
.Familiarity with, and willingness to assume membership, in NACAC and SEACAC
Applications Applications should include a resume and cover letter that addresses salary requirements, if any. Applications must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31 for full consideration. The start date is negotiable but must be no later than July 1. Thaden is an equal-opportunity employer and complies with all federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, national origin, citizenship, age (18 or older), religion, disability, marital status, veteran status, and sexual orientation.