Admissions, Division Head/Principal, Head of School
Do you want more for teens than the traditional high school rat race? Are you passionate about helping them discover their individual strengths and passions? Do you believe an exceptional high school education can—and should—prepare each student to live a meaningfullife? If so, Academy of Thought and Industry might be for you!
The Academy of Thought and Industry is a cutting-edge, innovative new high school model that helps teens excel on their own terms. ATI combines the knowledge and reasoning ideals of a liberal arts education, with the real-world experiential opportunities that should be afforded to today’s urban teenagers. It’s a blend of the best of a classical approach to education with the best of what alternative and experiential education have to offer.
Through a deep knowledge curriculum embedded in a framework of self-directed learning, our carefully crafted program offers an integrated approach to achieving personal, academic, and professional excellence. Together with our students, we identify and support individualized development plans that help each student cultivate their passions, engage in meaningful work, and acquire the requisite content, skills, and experiences necessary for the life he or she wants to live. In addition, ATI offers a strong college preparatory curriculum, including a systematic approach to standardized testing knowhow and an integrated approach to AP courses.
Our program is built upon two pillars:
A Socratic humanities corein which students discuss, digest, and debate the core competing ideas that shape our world
A focus on real projects, with mentoring, community outreach, anda school schedule that enables students to spend substantial time off-campus pursuing entrepreneurial and community work
ATI currently has 2 campuses—one in Austin, Texas, and another in San Francisco, California. We are expanding to Manhattan in 2019. Come join our ATI network and be part of the New York founding team!
Our ideal candidate is a passionate, ambitious professional who cares deeply about adolescent education. We're looking for an innovative, intellectual mentor for our students and leader for our staff. Because we plan to start our program with a limited number of students, our ideal candidate for this role is someone who is comfortable with both teaching (either broad humanities or math/science) and administration. We're about as far away from a conventional high school as you can imagine, so if you're frustrated with traditional education today and are seeking to be a part of building a better solution, ATI is the place for you!
We're looking for someone who has:
2+ years experience as a school leader, ideally with adolescents in an independent school setting
A deep understanding of, love for, and natural connection with the adolescent age group
A strong desire to foster autonomy and individuality of students through personalized instruction and assessment
Expertise in the area of humanities or math/science (see our teacher job ads to learn more)
An insatiable intellectual curiosity
Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
An entrepreneurial mindset, eagerness to solve problems, and an excitement for expanding our ATI network to New York City!
If you have experience with AP coursework, SAT content and prep, and are knowledgeable and practiced in the Socratic method, let us know in your cover letter!
Michael Strong is one of the most experienced designers of highly successful innovative school programs in the U.S. His projects include Montessori secondary school program design at The Judson Montessori School (San Antonio), The Emerson School (Palo Alto), and Hacienda School (Pleasanton). He also created The Winston Academy, where middle school students passed AP exams. Another of Michael’s projects, Moreno Valley High School, a Paideia charter high school, was ranked the 36th-best public high school in the U.S. by Newsweek in its 3rd year of operation, and continued to outperform other New Mexico high schools thereafter. More recently he co-founded KoSchool in Austin, Texas, which combines his high-performance approach to AP coursework and SAT score gains with a focus on entrepreneurial and creative projects. ATI began as a “next generation” version of the stellar program at KoSchool.
Michael was educated at Harvard, St. John's College, and the University of Chicago, where his dissertation advisor was Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker, under whom Michael wrote on “Ideas and Culture as Human Capital.” He is the author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice, which was endorsed by brain-based learning experts Geoffrey Caine and Renate Nummela Caine, MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning educator Deborah Meier, authentic assessment expert Grant Wiggins, and 1994 National Teacher of the Year Elaine Griffin, who cites Michael as a mentor.
He is the lead author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World's Problems, co-authored with John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, Mohammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Hernando de Soto, author of The Mystery of Capitalism, and others. Michael has published in academic journals (Economic Affairs, Critical Review, Journal of Business Ethics, etc.), as well as in publications reaching a broader audience (HuffPo, RealClearPolitics, Policy Innovations, Carnegie Ethics, etc.). He has consulted for hundreds of schools and has spoken at Harvard, Columbia, MIT, Dartmouth, Cornell, the University of Chicago, and dozens of other universities as well as at conferences around the world. View his TEDx talks here for a sampling: VIDEO 1 | VIDEO 2 | VIDEO 3
Additionally, Michael is a co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, Peace through Commerce, the Startup Cities Institute, and Radical Social Entrepreneurs.
Graduates of Michael’s schools have matriculated and succeeded at dozens of universities, including Stanford, Harvard, Parsons School of Design, Reed, St. John's College, Hebrew University, Southwestern University, Texas Christian University, and many others. They have also launched successful businesses, including in areas of software, aquaponics, and concert promotions.
If you're as excited about this program as we are, please apply below and include a detailed cover letter explaining your qualifications and interest in this role.
About Higher Ground Education
Higher Ground is on a mission to modernize and mainstream Montessori. Bringing Montessori to the mainstream isn't easy. It means making the Montessori approach irresistible to communities who may never have heard of it before. There is a need to reveal this complex, nuanced, beautiful method to the world in a way that is clear, compelling, and accessible.