One of the central goals of its most recent strategic plan states “GPS will cultivate our talent and resources to ensure the continued success of the institution, its students, graduates, faculty and staff.” Though there are many elements of this larger goal, the Assistant Head for Enrollment and Strategy will drive initiatives outlined in the current strategic plan that will serve both enrollment and the overall fulfillment of GPS’s mission. Building on its storied history and deep well of human and capital resources, the Assistant Head for Enrollment and Strategy will work to achieve the following objectives:
Position Girls Preparatory School as the preferred school for girls in Chattanooga
Though enrollment has been steady, GPS believes in its mission and programs and therefore wants to expand its funnel, improve its yield, and maximize its market share. Chattanooga is a growing market, which provides opportunity but also means new strategies are necessary.
Maintain personal touch while improving use of data to dictate strategy and tactics
GPS has long succeeded because of its high-touch, engaged process. Using Admission Pro, GPS is gathering better data and acting on it to find the right audiences and target them effectively. The Assistant Head for Enrollment and Strategy will ensure that GPS continues to strike the balance between using cutting edge analytics and a bespoke experience that treats each family as individuals.
Work with Director of Marketing to create a comprehensive marketing strategy
Anecdotally and through research, GPS knows that more and more often girls rather than their parents make the decision about which school to attend. The next Assistant Head for Enrollment and Strategy will develop marketing efforts that are directed specifically to girls while ensuring their parents hear the messaging they expect regarding academic and character preparation.
Mobilize school staff and parent volunteers as brand ambassadors
The development of a Parent Ambassador Program as an extension of the Admission Office has tremendous potential for GPS. An energized, well trained volunteer force can do more to shape the word of mouth marketing that exists in the community than any billboard or magazine ad. GPS parents, positioned well and provided the right information, could have a huge impact on the school’s position in the market.
Provide leadership to the staff
One of the great assets the Assistant Head for Enrollment and Strategy will inherit is a talented, invested team of professionals. This team is hungry for professional development and growth. They want a leader who provides clear goals, a sense of the big picture, and the opportunity to try new things.
As the school implements a newly launched strategic plan, Reaching Our Highest Potential, the Assistant Head for Enrollment and Strategy will report to the Head of School and serve as a member of the leadership team. The Assistant Head is responsible for all recruitment and retention efforts of the school including the admissions office, summer programs, the Cadek Conservatory of Music, and Parent Council.
There is a uniquely collaborative relationship with the Marketing and Communications Department that must be strategically leveraged to build a pipeline for admission. Additionally, the Assistant Head leads the Enrollment Management Team, comprised of various student-facing school leaders, to maintain its historically low attrition. Lastly, the Assistant Head must be a thought partner with the Head of School on strategy related to admission, marketing, and enrollment.
Major Responsibilities: • Formulate and execute forward-thinking, strategic admission and enrollment policies and practices that will attract and engage mission-appropriate families whose girls will benefit from the School’s unique culture and program • Achieve the enrollment goals set in partnership with the Board of Trustees and Head of School • In partnership with the Head of School, Divisional Offices, and Development Office, support a parent volunteer program that creates positive community with parents, faculty, and staff • In collaboration with the Marketing and Communications Department, develop and implement a strategic recruitment, marketing, and communication plan to reach targeted audiences • Work closely with the School’s business office to coordinate re-enrollment • Through active supervision of the Director of Financial Aid, oversee all aspects of financial assistance scholarship and remission programs, to include policy drafting and implementation, determining and recommending award amounts, and working with individual families to review and understand individual financial circumstances • Manage, maintain, and administer all aspects of the school’s SEVIS certification, including issuing I-20 Visas for international students • Be sensitive to economic, cultural, and other matters present in the enrollment of a diverse student body • Analyze data and identify trends that impact enrollment outcomes and provide meaningful reporting to the Head of School and Board of Trustees to inform decision-making • Communicate clearly and enthusiastically to all staff and prospective students and their families • Develop and engage in strategic partnerships designed to increase enrollment and visibility throughout the Chattanooga region and beyond • Actively seek ongoing professional development through a well-established professional learning network and support other admission staff in the same pursuit • Enthusiastically serve as a member of the senior administrative team that leads and supports school-wide initiatives, policies, and procedures • Adhere to the NAIS Principles of Good Practice for Admission
Qualities and Traits
• Life and work that embrace the school’s stated values: honor, respect, curiosity, individuality, and relationships • 7-10 years of admission experience in a college or independent school setting • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in marketing, communications, or education; an advanced degree is strongly preferred • 3-5 years of leading and managing a diverse community of professionals through relationships based upon mutual respect, trust, and empathy • Personal and professional conduct that represents a positive role model for girls • Proven ability to balance multiple priorities in a complex environment while maintaining professionalism and a sense of humor • Advanced knowledge of diversity and inclusion best practices that supports enrolling a diverse student body • Experience as a teacher, student, parent, and/or administrator in an independent school • Proven commitment to single-gender education as evidenced by involvement in a girls’ school, co-curricular programming, or volunteer efforts • Experience working with a database management system (e.g., Blackbaud), Microsoft Office and Google Drive • Expert verbal and written communication skills that demonstrate warmth, empathy, humor, and love for girls, their parents, and their teachers • Strong professional social media presence • Fluency in a second language a plus
Application Process & Timeline
For most thorough consideration, candidates for the Assistant Head for Strategy and Enrollment position should submit applications to Southern Teachers (available at SouthernTeachers.com) along with a current resume and a cover letter explaining their interest in and qualifications for this leadership position.
Questions may be directed to Mr. Jamie Estes at Estes@SouthernTeachers.com or 434-295-9122. Please do not contact the school.
Initial interviews with the consultant at Southern Teachers will be ongoing.