Director of Upper School and Associate Head of School
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 50 students in grades 7 and 9 and will grow incrementally over the next several years to serve approximately 550-650 students in grades 6-12. The school now seeks a director for its upper school division (grades 9-12). Reporting to the Founding Head of School and working in close collaboration with the senior leadership team, the Director of the Upper School will play a leading and formative role in the founding of a well-resourced school in a rapidly growing part of the United States.
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 remarkably robust indexed tuition program further supports the creation of a balanced learning community where students of many perspectives, talents, and interests come together.
Located on a 30-acre campus in downtown Bentonville, the school is walking distance from the town square, Brightwater Culinary Institute, The Momentary (Crystal Bridges’ center for contemporary arts), and a variety of other educational resources. With generous support from the Walton Family Foundation, the school has also engaged a nationally renowned team of architects to design an enduring and innovative campus that will spark curiosity, inspire creativity, and invite reflection. As featured in Architect magazine, the school’s first permanent buildings open this fall as the enrollment increases from 110 to approximately 220 students. At full scale, the school will serve approximately 600 students.
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, 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. For more information about the region and its national rankings, see Finding NWA and the website for the Northwest Arkansas Council.
The Thaden School ?website? offers detailed information regarding its mission, leadership and faculty, educational programs, indexed tuition program, and campus plan.
The Director of the Upper School will work closely with the Founding Head of School and the senior leadership team in the design and implementation of Thaden’s educational programs, in the recruitment and development of a diverse and talented faculty recruited from all regions of the United States, and in the advancement of a school culture consistent with Thaden’s mission and guiding principles.
The specific responsibilities of the Director will include:
Designing and implementing the curriculum and other educational programs
Coordinating and leading the recruitment of faculty for the upper school division
Establishing and overseeing budgets for educational programs
Overseeing accreditation and program evaluation efforts
Overseeing the development of the school calendar and schedule, registrar functions and systems for student and parent communications
Supervising faculty, including faculty orientation, training, mentoring
Supporting the Founding Head of School in preparations for board meetings
Participating in admission process and outreach efforts to prospective students and their families
Designing and overseeing the college counseling process
Assisting with all other efforts necessary to grow the school in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner consistent with its mission and academic standards
Applications should include a cover letter, resume, and statement of educational philosophy.
The start date is negotiable but must be no later than July 1, 2020.
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.
Experience and Qualifications
The school seeks candidates of exceptional character, creativity, and intelligence who have the drive and versatility to create an ambitious and innovative school from the ground up.
The ideal candidate for this key leadership position will be:
A learner whose curiosity and passion for inquiry are infectious and inspiring
An educator with high standards and a deep understanding of what excellence in teaching requires
A leader with strong interpersonal and communication skills who can build trust and inspire confidence among all constituencies
A mentor who can guide and support colleagues in their professional development
An innovator who can generate ideas and advance them with resourcefulness and in collaboration with key stakeholders
A planner and a builder who can anticipate the needs of a rapidly growing school and advance strategies for meeting them
A hard worker with exceptional organizational skills who can manage deadlines and deliver high-quality work product on time
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
About Thaden School
A new independent school in the downtown Bentonville, Thaden opened in August 2017 with grades 7 and 9 and will grow incrementally over the next four years to serve students in grades 6 through 12. The school offers a challenging and balanced 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. 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.