In July 2015, the Walton Family Foundation announced the appointment of Clayton Marsh 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 500 students in grades 6-12. The school now seeks a Director of College Counseling to lead the development of a college counseling program that is aligned with its mission and that will inspire and empower students to think expansively about their educational journey beyond Thaden. Working with the Founding Head of School and the school’s leadership team, the Director will play an integral role in the founding of a vibrant, 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 opened this fall with the doubling of its enrollment from 110 in AY 2018-19 to approximately 220 students in AY 2019-20. At full scale, the school will serve approximately 500 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 Position Thaden School is firmly committed to the role of its athletics and wellness program as an integral part of a well-balanced education that builds character, confidence, teamwork, and school spirit. The Director will lead the ongoing design and development of the school’s early-stage athletics and wellness programs. Much of the Director’s work will focus on the recruitment and retention of a diverse and talented coaching staff, recruited from all regions of the United States, and the cultivation of an athletics culture consistent with the school’s mission and principles. The Director will also work closely with the Director of Institutional Advancement and the Founding Head of School in building support for the development of a campus infrastructure for indoor athletics and wellness.
The specific responsibilities of the Director will include:
• hiring, supervising, and developing the coaching and wellness staff
• regularly attending competitions (home and away) and other after-school events
• maintaining the operating budget for the athletics and wellness programs • developing and staffing wellness and physical education courses
• scheduling on- and off-campus practices and competitions and managing rosters
• coordinating transportation to athletic practices and competitions
• renting off-campus spaces and hiring officials for competitions
• purchasing and managing athletic equipment and uniforms
• ensuring compliance with league and school rules and procedures
• communicating scores and highlights to media and maintaining the athletics website
• managing adherence to CPR and First Aid requirements
• ensuring the preparation of facilities for home athletic events
• complying with league and state standards
• promoting the school and its athletics and wellness program to prospective families
• representing the school at league meetings and other public events
• assisting with all other efforts necessary to grow the athletics and wellness program in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner consistent with the school’s mission and academic standards
• meeting with prospective donors and working with the Director of Institutional Advancement to establish fundraising priorities
Experience and Qualifications
The school seeks candidates who have the drive and versatility to create an ambitious and innovative athletics and wellness program from the ground up. The ideal candidate for this position will be:
• An educator with high standards and a deep understanding of what excellence in teaching and coaching requires
• A leader with strong interpersonal skills who can build trust and inspire confidence among all constituencies
• A mentor who can guide and support coaches and administrative staff 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 seasoned administrator with strong organizational skills and attention to detail who can manage deadlines and deliver high-quality work product on time
• A communicator who can articulate the mission and vision for the school’s athletics and wellness programs with clarity and confidence
Qualified candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field as well as several years of experience coordinating athletics and wellness programs at the middle school, high school, or college level. Experience building new programs and advising on the development of campus infrastructure is also preferred. Independent school experience is not required, but candidates should be prepared to speak about their commitment to and excitement for the mission of Thaden School.
Please submit applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.