Established in 1887, Winchester Thurston School (WT) (www.winchesterthurston.org) is an independent, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, coeducational college preparatory day school in Pittsburgh, PA, serving 700+ students from 74 zip codes. WT has two campuses: the City Campus, which is situated in the heart of Pittsburgh’s educational, cultural, medical, and research center and serves all grade levels, and the North Campus, located on a suburban 7-acre campus north of the city serving Lower School students. Committed to cultivating confident, curious students who are articulate and self-directed, WT has enjoyed record enrollment and growth with its innovative curriculum.
With approximately 35% of those enrolled identifying as students of color and 27 international students, WT strives to be an inclusive community that pursues the social and pedagogical benefits that diversity brings. The Upper School serves 260 students, including 27 international students.
Guided by its founding credo Think also of the comfort and the rights of others, WT has been a beacon of progressive education in Pittsburgh. In recent years, WT has achieved national recognition as one of five schools in the country to receive both an E.E. Ford Foundation Leadership Grant and an invitation to participate in the Malone Scholars Program. With the energy of a new Head of School, appointed July 2018, this is a particularly exciting time for this dynamic school community.
WT seeks a confident and visionary educator who will enthusiastically embrace and advance the school’s mission, lead and support a dedicated, thoughtful faculty, and joyfully interact with students to lead its Upper School division. The Upper School community will welcome a leader who is contagiously passionate and knowledgeable about progressive education, who will embrace what has defined Winchester Thurston—its commitments to equity, inclusion, social justice and developing leaders—and who can inspire stakeholders, ensure continued innovation, and articulate well the values of a WT education.
Winchester Thurston School actively engages each student in a challenging and inspiring learning process that develops the mind, motivates the passion to achieve, and cultivates the character to serve.
The Upper School
Winchester Thurston’s City Campus is located in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood, approximately five miles east of the city center. Shadyside is an established, highly walkable area known for its historic homes, hip boutiques, and lively restaurant scene. Carnegie Mellon University, Google, the Carnegie Museums, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts are a few of WT’s renowned innovative and cultural neighbors. WT’s heralded City as Our Campus program provides opportunities for experiential learning across all divisions and departments. The program connects students with diverse leaders from Pittsburgh’s academic, cultural, scientific, non-profit, and business community. Students learn to work on solutions to real-world problems using a wide range of resources, materials, and methods.
Where Smart Meets Heart quickly captures the ideal WT student and graduate. In addition to an engaged pursuit of academic excellence, students are distinguished by their independence, compassion, and genuine commitment to the school’s credo and mission. Candidates are encouraged to explore the school’s website and access the Upper School Course Catalogue to gain a full sense of the division’s wide range of academic offerings. Winchester Thurston alumni are well prepared for college and enroll at competitive colleges throughout the country.
The Upper School serves 260 students, including 27 international students. Along with its 33 faculty members the Upper School will embrace a leader who is confident, relational, supportive, inspiring, and energetic. The faculty seeks a divisional director who is visible and engaged, taking the time to understand and support the WT culture, and a responsive leader who is adept at effectively seeking input and moving forward with decisions and implementation for this division. There is a positive and warm community in the Upper School, marked by strong faculty-student relationships. Faculty members appreciate the professional collegial culture that encourages new initiatives and professional development while also allowing for autonomy and independence. Students are appreciated for their positivity, creativity, curiosity and willingness to try new things.
Working in conjunction with the Dean of Students, the Director of Upper School provides a visible, positive presence, resolves challenges, and serves as a primary liaison to the Head of School. While the Director is responsible for the daily operations of the Upper School, he/she will also need to demonstrate leadership and vision – an ability to envision, to develop, and to implement an Upper School program which best serves the needs of the students. He/she will exhibit a commitment to expanding diversity among faculty and students and fostering an inclusive environment to promote learning and understanding. Moving forward, the next Upper School Director will be at the forefront of discussions and decisions exploring how the Upper School uses time, including the daily and weekly schedule, configures space, leverages the ongoing innovation within the City as Our Campus program, navigates faculty accountability, and balances equity of workloads.
The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to educational excellence that incorporates critical thinking, communication, collaboration, character, and cross-cultural competency. He/she will possess an understanding of student-centered approaches to learning as seen in WT’s commitment to experiential and project-based learning. In addition, WT’s next Upper School Director will:
Demonstrate a commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and student success
Exhibit the leadership skills to serve enthusiastically and effectively as the visible, vocal, and strategic leader of the Upper School, including collaboration with the Admission Office and Director of Athletics as well as oversight of the College Counseling program
Possess an obvious appreciation for adolescents and work from a place that understands the importance of supporting parents as part of their children’s educational high school journey
Have the ability to lead and inspire faculty as both a team leader and a team builder
Demonstrate intercultural competence, a global perspective, and a commitment to social justice and diversity practices
Be highly organized, embracing the value of systems, and be technologically adept
Demonstrate strong communication as a speaker, writer, and listener with the ability to approach difficult conversations with directness and kindness
Be highly knowledgeable and engaged in curricular initiatives, demonstrating success in working with faculty to explore and implement curricular, pedagogical, and programmatic change
Inspire a professional community of learners, respecting the tradition of faculty autonomy while ensuring both scope and sequence as WT remains true to its heritage of curricular innovation
Possess a decision-making style that balances input, collaboration, and decisiveness
Be good humored and adept at building strong, trusting relationships throughout the school community
Winchester Thurston School is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, or disability.
The opportunity to serve as WT’s next Director of the Upper School is a tremendous opportunity for an experienced school leader who is excited to join an active, dynamic school community, lead a committed, engaged faculty, and work with a strong new Head of School. The successful candidate will be a thought leader for progressive education who possesses a deep personal commitment to issues of diversity, equity and social justice, has a successful track record of professional development in this arena and in recruitment of diverse faculty, and is excited to lead a school community with an embedded commitment to this work.
All inquiries are confidential, and a review of candidate files will begin immediately. Please send Resume, Letter of Interest and Educational Philosophy and/or Personal Statement electronically to:
Nationally recognized for innovative
teaching, Winchester Thurston is a Pre-K through Grade 12 independent school providing a
rigorous college preparatory program that
prepares students for the challenges of a
changing world. Situated within Pittsburgh’s university and cultural center, WT offers exceptional learning experiences in partnership with surrounding resources. Learn more at www.winchesterthurston.org.
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