THE BISHOP JOHN T. WALKER SCHOOL FOR BOYS is a tuition-free Episcopal school for children from traditionally underserved communities in Washington, DC. BWS nurtures the spiritual, intellectual, social-emotional, artistic, and physical development of its students in a Christian community of learners that welcomes boys of all faiths and beliefs. Working in close partnership with students and families, BWS strives to create an environment where each boy is challenged to reach his full academic potential and receives the structured support necessary to develop his unique gifts. BWS seeks to foster a love of learning, intellectual curiosity, spiritual foundation, and moral character that each boy will need as a student, as a citizen, and as a child of God.
Named after Bishop John T. Walker, the first African American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and a beloved figure to this day at numerous institutions, BWS is a diocesan day school serving boys primarily from the Southeast area of Washington D.C and Prince George’s County Maryland. In 2008, the first operating year, BWS was located in the basement of St. Philips Episcopal Church in Anacostia and had an enrollment of 13 Junior Kindergarten students. Eleven years later, BWS has an enrollment of 85 students in Kindergarten - Fifth Grade with aspirations of eventually continuing to Eighth Grade. Since its founding, BWS has been a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. The mission of the School, to focus on altering the trajectory of children from traditionally underserved communities and preparing them for lives of leadership and service beyond the School, is aspirational and empowering for the students it serves.
Unique in its commitment to creating life-changing opportunities for boys from Washington’s underserved communities, the School strives to offer a wide range of support and social services to both its students and their families that enhances the school’s sense of community and its students’ chances for success in school and beyond.
As BWS entered into its 10th operating year, Executive Director James Woody announced his plan to retire at the end of the 2019-20 school year. The next school leader will be known as the Head of School. This intentional change in role and title is a reflection of the evolution of BWS in its development. In view of the School’s need to fundraise to meet its annual operating expenses, it is essential for the next Head to be skilled in fundraising, school promotion, and school finances. However, the School also requires a leader who will balance this external focus with the oversight and development of staff and the academic program.
The demands of this position - attending to the needs and development of the whole child in a faith-based school environment, working with boys from primarily underserved communities and their families in an urban setting, securing funding for a tuition-free model, and overseeing the continuing development of the school’s instructional staff and academic program - will require wide-ranging experiences and competencies in the next BWS leader. Given the complexity of this role, the Head of School must also have an understanding of the demographics of the area and the ability to build and sustain excitement with donors and within the Diocese of Washington. The Head will be charged with supporting the close-knit community while acquainting regional and national constituents with the School. Finally, the School seeks a Head who will assist in helping realize its strategic goal of expanding to the Eighth Grade.
GENERAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Model, reinforce, promote, and ensure compliance with the mission of the School.
As a member ex-officio, maintain a strong working relationship with the Board of Governors. This includes working with the Board in developing and carrying out School policies, attending Board meetings, keeping trustees informed about all aspects of School operations, and engaging with the Board in strategic conversations and planning about the future of the School.
While providing administrative staff an appropriate degree of autonomy, oversee and accept ultimate responsibility for all operational matters at the School, including staffing, program, School finances and budget creation/management, student recruitment, retention and outplacement, student discipline, fundraising, facilities management, parent and alumni relations, and health and safety.
Serve as the spiritual leader of the School by modeling a life of faith and by articulating and affirming the essential elements of the School’s Episcopal identity.
Represent the School within the BWS community, at the diocesan level, in the larger community, and with governmental agencies, educational associations and accrediting bodies.
QUALITIES AND QUALIFICATIONS SOUGHT IN HEAD OF SCHOOL
Having worked as an educator (teacher and administrator) and, promoting excellence and accountability, is able to oversee staff and program assessment and development.
Having had experience and success in school promotion and fundraising, as well as with school finances.
Experience working with an underserved population, especially with African American boys and their families, as well as having had experience working at a faith-based or Episcopal school.
Possessing strong management and organizational skills and, having not only experience with daily school operations and in multiple management roles, is also skilled as a strategic thinker and long-range planner.
Experience building a strong sense of community among all school constituencies.
Experience working with an independent/ diocesan school Board of Trustees.
A person with an ability to inspire, motivate and communicate effectively with others.
A person with a passion for working with elementary-age children, especially African American boys.
A person who views this opportunity as a calling, a unique, mission-driven commitment to selflessly serving this population and modeling this form of servant leadership.
Someone who is warm, approachable and kind, firm yet fair and consistent, open to new ideas, of the highest moral fiber, and a person of faith.
Someone who is innovative and open to new ideas, adaptable, able to multi-task, and be responsive to multiple constituents.
Someone with cultural competence and an ability to understand and respond to the profound needs of and circumstances facing the families the School serves and also build strong relationships in the community.