Associate Head of School

  • Spelman Johnson
  • Basking Ridge, NJ 07920, USA
  • Sep 16, 2022
Full time Assistant Head

Job Description

The Pingry School is seeking an energetic and forward-looking leader to serve as its inaugural associate head of school. The expected start date is June/July 2023.

The Pingry School (Pingry) is a K-12 coeducational, independent day school recognized throughout the United States for its academic excellence, honor code, arts, athletics, and community and civic engagement. The School’s mission is to foster in students a lifelong commitment to scholarly exploration, personal growth, and social responsibility while preparing them to be global citizens and luminaries of the 21st century. At Pingry, students interact with diverse ideas through meaningful inquiry and respectful debate, never forgetting that they are members of a global community. The curriculum and school activities promote a deep commitment to exploration, academic engagement, and problem-solving both inside and outside the classroom.

Dr. John F. Pingry founded the school in 1861 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and today there are three campuses: grades K-5 in Short Hills, grades 6-12 in Basking Ridge, and a shared campus for grades K-12 in Pottersville that focuses on experiential education. The diverse student body comprises more than 1,100 students from nearly 100 New Jersey and New York towns.

Reporting directly to Tim Lear, head of school, the associate head of school serves on Pingry’s senior administrative team to champion the School’s various strategic initiatives relating to academics, curriculum, and pedagogy. They are responsible for promoting and advancing the School’s mission, vision, values, and Honor Code with all constituents, both internally and externally, and advancing Pingry’s commitment to excellence and honor in all dimensions of school life and community. The associate head is a strategic partner to the head of school and the Board of Trustees and a collaborative partner to all division directors to ensure the School’s initiatives and goals are advanced and accomplished. As such, they will provide collaborative and strategic leadership for developing and maintaining a positive, thriving, and healthy school culture. They will support Pingry’s day-to-day operations in partnership with the head of school and the administrative team while simultaneously advancing all strategic goals in partnership with Board committees to secure strategic success.

The associate head will supervise the directors of the lower, middle, and upper schools, as well as the director of academics. This senior leader is charged with supporting the work of the three division directors and serving as a crucial link to the operational elements of school life. The associate head will support faculty curriculum and course development in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, with a focus on both foundational and elective courses, as well as encouraging curricular innovation. They will co-lead the Academic Committee, lead the Student Competency Task Force, and identify student outcomes that are reflective of a mission-driven K-12 education for student learning and growth.

This position is an excellent opportunity for candidates with a strong proclivity for building relationships and trust with faculty members and providing mentorship to them. They must also possess a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) and the requisite skills to work cross-functionally with diverse constituency groups across the organization.  

A master’s degree and five years of progressive school leadership experience are required. Essential attributes of a successful candidate include excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills; diplomacy and sensitivity to the opinions of others while also being a decisive leader; deep understanding of trends in education; and expertise in program development and evaluation, including data-informed decision making. Additionally, candidates will be expected to have a record of success as a collaborative team player who can generate buy-in and enthusiasm for shared institutional goals.

The search committee invites applications from candidates with a strong attraction to an increasingly diverse and innovative school environment, as well as a genuine interest in collaborating with faculty, staff, students, families, and alumni, and a commitment to be visible and accountable to all constituents.  

Pingry has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin Friday, October 14, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. A resume or CV with an accompanying cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the position announcement may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at

Nominations for this position may be forwarded to Michel R. Frendian, Senior Consultant, at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

COVID Vaccination Requirement

Employment, or continuation thereof, at The Pingry School is contingent upon being fully COVID-19 vaccinated (unless a medical/religious exemption is received); proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is required before the start of employment.  

Visit The Pingry School website at

The Pingry School aspires to be an anti-racist community and is committed to the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Pingry is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Pingry School's employment policy is that individuals will receive equal opportunity in all matters pertaining to recruitment, employment, salary, promotion, and assignment, regardless of race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy status, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or status as a covered veteran, or other basis proscribed by federal, state, and local law. All employment is decided based on qualifications, merit, and business need.