Friends Seminary—New York City’s oldest continually operating co-educational K-12 school, and the only Quaker school in Manhattan—seeks a creative, visionary, and thoughtful educational leader to serve as its next Head of Upper School beginning July 1, 2024.
ABOUT FRIENDS SEMINARY
More than two centuries ago, members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in New York City founded a school to educate their own children. Over the years it evolved into Friends Seminary and has become a nationally recognized school that educates students of all faiths from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Today, Friends Seminary is NYC’s oldest continuous coeducational school and is distinguished by a legacy of intellectual vibrancy informed by the Quaker values of integrity, equality, simplicity, community, service, and peaceful conflict resolution. In 2023, Friends Seminary welcomed 802 students from 100+ zip codes to its community, reaching a new record high in enrollment. Students are supported by 176 dedicated faculty and administrative staff members.
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HEAD OF UPPER SCHOOL
Co-reporting to Head of School, Robert “Bo” Lauder, who has led Friends Seminary since 2002, and Associate Head of School, Devan Ganeshananthan, the primary work of the Head of Upper School is to implement the school’s mission within the Upper School, grades 9-12. Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the division, the Head of Upper School serves as the educational leader for approximately 300 students and 60 faculty and staff within a curriculum that is vigorous, creative, and college preparatory. The next Head of Upper School will work in partnership with other members of the Upper School leadership team as well as a cohort of talented and dedicated educators to oversee the continued implementation of the school’s strategic vision focusing on excellence, forward-thinking innovation, and collaboration within the educational program. Moreover, they will both model and foster positive relationships between all constituent groups and nurture a culture of continuous growth and learning.
The next Head of Upper School will also work closely with senior leadership to strengthen a school culture grounded in Quaker values and traditions, excellent academics, and outstanding programs in athletics, arts, global immersion experiences, social justice, and more. While the school benefits from an urban campus in the Gramercy Park/East Village of Manhattan that has been largely renovated or purpose-built over the last twenty years, the next Head of Upper School will have the joy of helping to shape, imagine, and open Friends Seminary’s new Center for Math, Science, and Technology, and to inspire accelerated collaboration between and among these departments. The successful candidate will have educational leadership experience, and a clear vision for day school programming that attends to the whole child—the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and the artistic. The Head of Upper School will regularly collaborate with the Associate Head of School, Dean of Faculty, Department Chairs, and the Heads of Lower and Middle Schools, respectively.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
The ideal candidate for Friends Seminary’s Head of Upper School should possess and demonstrate many of the following qualifications and characteristics:
- Compelling experience as a school leader and teacher;
- Deep commitment to and experience in Diversity, Equity, and Belonging work, both at the institutional and personal levels;
- A warm and caring demeanor in the day-to-day work with and alongside students, faculty, and staff
- Demonstrated interest in working in a K-12 environment and the desire to work across divisions to foster a more cohesive experience for community members;
- A proven affinity and joy for working with faculty and the belief that learning is a lifelong process;
- A collaborative approach to leading with confidence;
- Outstanding organizational skills;
- Significant experience with and knowledge of students, their developmental needs, and the K-12 curriculum;
- Demonstrated experience as a strategic, forward-thinking, innovative academic leader;
- Flexibility, imagination, positivity, strong sense of self, and outstanding relational skills;
- Fluid and highly developed speaking and writing skills;
- A sense of humor, love of children, and high expectations for self and others;
- Experience at a Quaker school or a deep interest in the educational practices and values of the Religious Society of Friends; and
- Master's Degree or significant experience preferred.
The anticipated salary range for this role is $225,000-$275,000 (depending on experience) with a generous benefits package.
The search committee for Friends Seminary’s Head of Upper School is now accepting applications and nominations and will begin reviewing materials immediately. Requested application materials include a letter of interest and current resume. Candidate materials should be sent to the following email address: FriendsSeminaryHoUS@storbecksearch.com.