Concord Hill School Chevy Chase, MD Director of Advancement Beginning September 2019
Director of Advancement Position Overview:
We are seeking an Advancement Professional whose philosophy and work ethic align with our dedicated community and unique mission. The ideal candidate will be eager to take on a multi-faceted role on a team of hard-working administrators, with a strong desire to achieve great things for a special institution.
The ideal candidate will possess the following characteristics:
Hard working, self-starting, and dependable
Exemplary written and oral communication skills
Excellent interpersonal skills and proven relationship management experience
Demonstrated leadership with strategic planning and budget experience
Enthusiasm, creativity, and resourcefulness
Highly organized, detail-oriented, and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously
The opportunity to serve Concord Hill as its Director of Advancement is an opportunity to invest fully in a warm, vibrant educational community that ensures that the youngest learners’ first school experience is joyful and prepares them to succeed in their next endeavors.
Please send resume and cover letter to Head of School, Nate Dennison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concord Hill School (www.concordhill.org) is an independent coeducational school serving 100 students, 3-years-old through Grade 3. Founded in 1965 as a nondenominational preschool, the school expanded to serve its current grade levels in 1967 and moved to its permanent home on Wisconsin Avenue, in 1988.
The greater Washington D.C. area has numerous independent schools that begin after Second and Third Grades, and Concord Hill is one of a few independent schools in the area founded to meet the specific needs of early learners. The school’s small community and its highly experienced early childhood faculty enable a strong, nurturing community where every child is well-known by each faculty member; it is a school where the oldest children escort the youngest to their classrooms each day, and parents are known and welcomed. This warm, nurturing community coupled with its faculty of early childhood and early elementary experts offer a tremendous first school experience, well preparing young people both academically and socially for their next school. Concord Hill is seeking a new Head of School for July 2019.
Mission and Core Values
Concord Hill School inspires children to embrace and enjoy learning during the early childhood years. Five Core Values—Knowledge, Character, Respect, Play, and Community—guide a dynamic academic and social curriculum. As an inclusive school community, we nurture each child and prepare our students to become responsible, caring, and contributing members of society.
Our values are the essence of Concord Hill. They form the foundation for every decision we make. They anchor our teachers and students, providing a consistent beacon of guidance for educational approaches, problem solving, classroom activities, discussions, and priorities. They help children begin to form their own essence, which endures long after they leave us.
Knowledge: We guide children to acquire the knowledge and learning skills necessary to thrive.
Character: We celebrate the character of each child, bolstering strengths and instilling confidence.
Respect: We teach children to respect themselves, each other, and our diverse world.
Play: We enlist play as a means to introduce learning skills, to encourage the joy that comes with learning, and to delight in being young children.
Community: We give children a safe, small, happy community in which they will grow.
A visit to the school will underscore that the school’s mission and five values are very present and as stated, foundational to Concord Hill’s very essence.
Campus and Program
Concord Hill is housed in one building on a corner lot in a primarily residential neighborhood. A driveway and parking lot behind the school enable safe drop off and pick up, and the main entrance into the school building is situated adjacent to the parking lot.
The interior space of this nearly 19,000 square foot building is well-utilized throughout its three floors. Each grade level—Pre-Primary (3-year-olds), Primary (4-year-olds), Kindergarten and Grades 1-3—has one classroom section with 15-20 students per grade. In addition to the six main classrooms, additional learning spaces include a gymnasium that also serves as a theater or community gathering space, a library, a state-of-the-art makers’ space (new for the 2016-17 school year), an art room, music room, a reading resource room, and a science classroom, which will be undergoing a complete renovation during the summer of 2018. Administrative offices and a faculty room complete the building. Classrooms and other learning spaces are large, vibrant, and invitingly light filled. Rooms on the top floor have an almost tree house like feel. Overall the space is large enough to provide great learning spaces and small enough to feel manageable to even the youngest children. A sizeable playground and small field enable active outdoor play and an outdoor classroom provides an attractive alternate teaching space. Along with the planned science room renovation, the Board is researching plans to update aspects of the outside of the property.
Each classroom has two co-teachers, and the faculty includes numerous long-tenured individuals. Faculty members consistently shared that in addition to the school’s focus on early childhood and elementary education, the strong sense of community, professionally and personally supportive environment, appreciative parents, and enthusiastic children are all factors that contribute to making the school a wonderful place to work. In addition to the twelve classroom teachers, the specialist teachers include art, librarian, music, physical education, reading, science/math, Spanish and educational technology. A school counselor is on site twice a week.
The school is play-based and classroom pedagogical practices reflect a number of approaches. The faculty’s early childhood expertise empowers them to guide their classrooms and to work with their students without strict adherence to a singular philosophy. Elements of Reggio Emilia infuse the Pre-Primary curriculum, Reader’s Workshop is utilized, and faculty have adopted the Singapore math program in the elementary classrooms. Through the years the school’s leadership has actively supported and encouraged faculty professional development, which was oft noted and appreciated by faculty. Concord Hill is a school that is intentional about the social and emotional aspects of educating young children. Students shake hands each morning with the faculty who greet students at drop-off, and good manners are enforced as a reflection of the school’s commitment to the core value of respect.
In addition to the Head of School, administrators include an Assistant Head of School/Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, Director of Advancement, Director of Communications, Business Manager, and Office Manager.
Each Friday the school gathers for Morning Meeting/Assembly, a gathering where parents are always welcome. While the Head of School runs the meeting, 3rd graders actively assist. The community sings, celebrates birthdays and classes often present or perform. This setting enables students to develop comfort and confidence in public speaking.
There are a number of appreciated traditions at Concord Hill. Grades K-3 enjoy a Field Day in the spring, 1st Graders have a year-long project that “takes” them “around the world,” and the 2nd Graders have a beloved State hats project. Community events include the Children’s Fair and an Annual Auction. It is important to note that, as shared by a long-term faculty member, “While we have a lot of traditions, we really like to try new things.” Community service is also an important part of the school’s educational program. Students throughout the school have developmentally appropriate opportunities to learn the importance of service. For example, once-a-month students make sandwiches for DC Central Kitchen supporting this non-profit’s healthy food access program, and have collected supplies for Hurricane Relief efforts.
As the oldest students in the school, the 3rd graders have a myriad of opportunities to take on leadership roles and learn responsibilities that would not be available to them in a school that continued beyond Grade 3. Along with assisting at Assembly and walking the youngest students to their classrooms in the morning, the 3rd Graders raise and lower the flag on the outside flag pole each day and enjoy a camping trip near the end of their school year. In addition, they produce and perform in two original plays in the spring “Living History” and “Living Literature;” this is a special opportunity to showcase their talent and perform on stage in front of the community.
Concord Hill graduates enroll in both independent and public schools after completing 3rd Grade. The school is situated in an area that has very strong public elementary schools, which provide a good option for some families. Many students enroll in one of the many independent schools in the area, and the school’s track record for next school acceptances is impressive. Next schools appreciate that Concord Hill graduates are academically well prepared, present with strong self-confidence, and are empathetic, kind, and community-minded.
Concord Hill faculty gain a deep understanding of each student’s learning style and are able to guide parents in determining which next schools are potentially a good match. Parents appreciate how well known their children are by Concord Hill faculty. Ensuring that Concord Hill maintains its outstanding track record in next school placement is essential to all stakeholders—and to prospective families considering the school.
The school offers both before and after school care programs, and runs a small summer program for six weeks each summer.
Governance, Association, Finance and Development
The Board of Trustees numbers 17 and includes current and alumni parents, the Head of School, and outside educators. The Board operates through a committee structure and has a strong understanding of the Principals of Good Practice for independent school boards. The Board understands the importance of partnering with and strongly supporting the new Head of School.
Concord Hill is a member of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW), Association of Independent Schools of Maryland (AIMS), Black Student Fund, Latino Student Fund, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and The Parents Council of Washington (PCW).
Following preparation of its Self-Study, Concord Hill hosted a visiting team from AIMS in the fall of 2015, successfully completing the reaccreditation process. The school’s action plans in response to the visiting team’s report and recommendations will offer guidance for the new Head of School as she or he works with the school’s other leaders in establishing strategic priorities.
Concord Hill’s yearly budget is $3M. The school offers financial assistance. As a school that serves the youngest students and has a short window of opportunity to engage parents in philanthropic support, Concord Hill has a strong development program. The annual fund, which garnered 100% participation last year from parents, trustees and faculty, raised approximately $185K. The Annual Auction contributes another $100-140K to fundraising endeavors. A recent capital campaign aimed at addressing some building and playground enhancements raised just over $1M. The school is fortunate to have an endowment of $2.7M.
Proven track record and minimum of three years of development or advancement leadership, preferably in an educational environment
Excellent understanding of principles and techniques of advancement activities, including annual giving, major giving, capital campaigns, marketing and communications, and grant writing
Experience with event planning and auctions
Experience with a constituent management database (i.e. Razor’s Edge)
Proven ability to create and maintain reports and budgets, including PPT Presentations, Excel spreadsheets, Google Docs, and Auction software