The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with The Kew-Forest School in the search for a Director of Development and Alumni Relations.
The Director of Development and Alumni Relations will oversee all aspects of The Kew-Forest School's stewardship and fundraising program including annual fund, leadership giving, capital campaigns, special events, planned giving, and alumni relations in support of the school’s strategic vision—cultivating a culture of philanthropy and gratitude across all stakeholders.
The Kew-Forest School is the oldest independent, coed, college preparatory school in Queens for students in preschool through grade 12. Founded in 1918 to serve the Kew Gardens and Forest Hills communities of Queens, today The Kew-Forest School draws students from 40 different towns and areas. More than 70 nationalities and 30 languages are represented by the families and staff of The Kew-Forest School. Established as a day school with high standards of scholarship and discipline, and a sincere spirit of service, The Kew-Forest School continues to embody these values nearly 105 years later.
The mission of The Kew-Forest School is to do more than just educate—it is to deeply inspire. Through challenging, thought-provoking curriculum taught in a vibrant multi-cultural community, students at The Kew-Forest School are encouraged to ask questions, to challenge the norm, and to try new things every day, so learning is perpetually exciting and rewarding.
Dedication to the mission and goals of The Kew-Forest School demands a high set of standards for all. Teachers at the school aren’t just expected to educate—they are empowered and challenged to invent new ways to excite and motivate students, both inside and outside their classrooms. The Kew-Forest School's students enter the school with enthusiasm and with the resolve to take advantage of all that is offered. Parents are also strongly encouraged to be involved in the education of their children and are active members of the school community. It is through this alignment of school and home that each child can meet their true potential.
In June 2022, The Kew-Forest School began a journey towards creating a new Campus Master Plan that will reimagine and restructure the campus. The school is also at the half-way point of a five-year strategic plan, which includes goals to enhance The Kew-Forest School's student-centered program; foster school identity and community; support the people who inspire students; discover The Kew-Forest School world; and build a durable and sustainable financial future. These goals are aimed at ensuring that The Kew- Forest School will continue to inspire students throughout its next 100 years.
The Kew-Forest School is fully accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools, meeting the most rigorous standards of excellence in independent school education. The school is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and the Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York. Additionally, The Kew-Forest School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the New York State Department of Education.
The Director of Development and Alumni Relations will report to the Head of School, Tiffany D. Trotter, and serve on the school's eleven member Senior Leadership Team. The Director of Development and Alumni Relations will oversee one staff member.
From the Head of School
When I came to interview at The Kew-Forest School in the spring of 2018, I was on crutches and so rather than giving me a tour, my two designated 7th grade guides, Matthew and Lauren, met with me in an alcove and talked to me about their school experience. As we paged through a yearbook together, I remember being shocked at the number of students of color in not one or two, but in nearly every photo on every page. I was impressed that the school truly had a diverse student body and wasn't merely highlighting the two or three “diverse“ students that most schools have on their homepage.
Despite my limitations that day, I wanted a sense of the school's physical layout and asked my tour guides to draw me maps of the school. Looking back, that proved to be an inspired request. Matthew’s map diligently showed the Middle School hallway, the Upper School hallway, the gym, and the cafeteria; and he talked about all the people he encountered over the course of his day. Lauren’s map, however, was on an entirely different level. It looked like she’d recreated Chutes and Ladders! There were hallways and stairwells and seemingly secret passages, and she explained that if you went down the stairs in one hallway, you could come out in a completely different hallway, or by a different classroom. It was fascinating! What was most impressive, though, was the way that she identified each teacher in each classroom not just in the Middle School, but also in the Upper School. She then went on to identify each administrator’s and each staff member’s office and spoke about what each of them did. Here was a student who was new herself and who already knew not only all her classmates and peers, but also all the teachers, administrators, and staff members in the Middle School and beyond.
I walked away from that experience feeling that The Kew-Forest School was a warm and welcoming community where folks get to know each other across offices, roles, and ages. I am pleased to say that my impression proved to be correct. The school is home not just to extraordinarily talented students, but to a community of faculty, parents, and a Board that’s willing to dig in and work to elevate The Kew-Forest School's mission, ask hard questions, be reflective about—and continually strive for—best practices, and who pull together to accomplish far more than any of us could alone. The Kew-Forest School is a rich, diverse, and close-knit community of caring individuals committed to making a difference within and beyond our school. These individuals inspire me at The Kew-Forest School: students who support each other and explore thoughtfully; parents who not only trust but partner with us to support their children’s growth and learning; faculty who take the time to know each child and continually refine their craft; a Board that is working to ensure the school’s long-term future; and a small group of alumni who cherish and share fond memories, remain connected, and give back to the school.
In our next Director of Development and Alumni Relations, I’m looking for a partner who thinks creatively, identifies, and taps into a wide range of funding sources, and speaks effectively to donors across a wide range of ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and experiences. Our current group of committed alumni donors could and should be larger, so there’s work to do. We clearly have a devoted and enthusiastic community of parents, students, and faculty willing to contribute to the school’s success, but we need their continued support beyond graduation and beyond our walls. I’d like nothing less than to transform this school’s culture of giving, so if you’re up for the challenge of building a culture of philanthropy and expanding our reach, and if you want to join a lean, warm, hard-working team, I’d love to connect and perhaps work together on this transformative effort.
- Tiffany D. Trotter, Head of School
The Kew-Forest School's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Access
For nearly 105 years, Kew-Forest has served the ever-changing population of Queens, the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. Whereas other independent schools must seek out diversity, Kew-Forest lives it. Its students and families represent over 70 different nationalities and speak more than 30 languages at home. In addition, Kew-Forest students are socioeconomically diverse: 64% receive some form of tuition assistance, including those from families with incomes as low as $70K and as high as $300K+. Few independent schools can boast such a multi-faceted student body.
In this unique environment, The Kew-Forest School's faculty have the privilege of creating an expansive academic program that acknowledges, supports, and transcends many cultural, ethnic, economic, and racial identities. The school's teachers approach this work with joy and curiosity, and this draws out the same in their students. In every classroom, students explore topics from a variety of authentic perspectives. The school's cultural celebrations span the globe and highlight the unifying forces of shared humanity. At the same time, The Kew-Forest School achieves the more traditional goals of an independent school education through its highly personalized college application process; each year its students receive individualized support in finding their best match schools. Ultimately, they matriculate to a number of selective post-secondary institutions.
The Kew-Forest School seeks to more clearly identify and articulate its strengths as a community that lives its mission to educate citizens who will have the capacity, skills, and confidence to make a global impact. To meet that goal, it must open its ears to new voices and its minds to new practices so that it is able to embrace its identity and live it more boldly, more loudly, and more fully.
The Director of Development and Alumni Relations will
- oversee and manage all aspects of the Development & Alumni Relations Office with a focus on fundraising, event planning (both in-person and virtual), and alumni relations including oversight of gift processing and information systems, ensuring that internal systems and state-of-the-art technology are in place to support development efforts;
- formulate a comprehensive development program in consultation with the Head of School and the Board of Trustees;
- cultivate and solicit leadership gift prospects personally and work closely with the Head of School, trustees, and volunteers, supporting them in all of their fundraising responsibilities and accompanying them on donor visits when appropriate;
- act as the staff liaison to the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees, including the organization of fundraising and stewardship trainings;
- oversee the Alumni Council and collaborate with the Parent Association;
- collaborate on marketing and communication initiatives to expand and enhance the school’s visibility and reputation, including collaborative work on the annual report and other school publications; and
- work closely and collaboratively with the senior leadership team to advance the mission and priorities of the school.
Tiffany D. Trotter, Head of School
Tiffany D. Trotter was appointed Interim Head of School in July of 2022 and permanent Head of School in February 2023. She previously served the school as Head of Middle and Upper School for four years. Ms. Trotter brings to her role 23 years of experience in education and a true passion for supporting, enhancing, and engaging with the community. Before assuming her role as Head of School, Ms. Trotter had already helped shape the lives of many of The Kew-Forest School's graduates and their families. Through her love of learning and willingness to experiment and challenge those around her, she has positively impacted the minds of students and faculty alike. She has contributed to identifying and addressing institutional needs to create a brighter and sustainable future for the school's community.
Preferred Competencies and Qualifications
The Kew-Forest School seeks a Director of Development and Alumni Relations with
- a commitment to the mission of The Kew-Forest School;
- experience and success directly soliciting and closing gifts of significant institutional impact, individually and as part of a team;
- leadership experience that includes managing and motivating staff and volunteers;
- a willingness and desire to be part of a collaborative environment and work closely with colleagues, board members, alumni/alumnae, and parents;
- excellent strategic thinking skills combined with an entrepreneurial, flexible approach;
- exceptional interpersonal skills and an ability to work with all school stakeholders using a professional and empathetic approach while maintaining confidentiality;
- an ability to communicate clearly and effectively, verbally, in writing, and across multiple platforms;
- exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail;
- a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion consistent with that of The Kew-Forest School;
- fluency with fundraising data and database management software; and
- experience with grant writing (preferred).
The Kew-Forest School will consider candidates with a broad range of backgrounds. A bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience and at least four years of relevant experience in a development-related role in an educational environment, are preferred.
Salary and Benefits
The salary range for this position is $150,000 to $165,000 annually. The Kew-Forest School offers a comprehensive package of benefits.
The Kew-Forest School is in the Forest Hills neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of The Kew-Forest School as well as the responsibilities and qualifications presented in the prospectus. Preference will be given to applications received by April 21, 2023.
The Kew-Forest School believes that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity. The school prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, color, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, culture, background, physical or mental disability, or any other legally protected classes or classifications. No employee or job applicant will be discriminated against in recruitment, compensation, promotion, or termination practices.
To apply for this position, visit: Director of Development and Alumni Relations, The Kew-Forest School.
To nominate a candidate, please contact Patrick Key, email@example.com.
All inquiries will be held in confidence.