Upper School Director

  • Spelman Johnson
  • Basking Ridge, Bernards, NJ, USA
  • Oct 13, 2022
Full time Division Director/Head

Job Description

The Pingry School is seeking a creative and mission-driven leader to serve as its next upper school director. 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 inquiry, 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 the associate head of school, the upper school director (director) oversees the day-to-day operations of Pingry’s Upper School, grades 9-12, and serves as its educational leader for approximately 570 students and over 100 faculty members. The director will be the steward of implementing the School’s mission, vision, and strategic plan, as well as manage, lead, and collaborate with the Upper School leadership team and a body of dedicated faculty members to uphold Pingry’s pillars of excellence. With high emotional intelligence, they will be a model of collegiality, diplomacy, and empathy for faculty and students alike. The director will marshal and champion diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) for the Upper School, ensuring that both students and faculty feel connected, supported, and included.  

Pingry’s next upper school director will lead, manage, and partner with a team of department heads to innovate and develop the Upper School curriculum and support the growth and development of faculty members through professional development and evaluation. They will manage the day-to-day operations, functions, and student life of the Upper School and its constituents by leading a team of divisional administrators, including the academic and student life deans, and facilitating critical conversations in the design of a more inclusive Upper School curriculum. Further, the director will model and cultivate positive relationships between faculty members, divisions, students, and families and encourage and support a culture of growth mindset and lifelong learning within the Upper School.

This position is an excellent opportunity for candidates with a record of fostering a culture of both academic rigor and a commitment to student well-being, including social and emotional health, and an understanding of a wide range of learner needs. 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 Pingry community.

Minimum qualifications for the position are a master’s degree and five years of progressive academic leadership experience. Required knowledge, skills, and abilities include the following:

• Commitment to the mission, vision, and pillars of the Pingry School.

• Ability to lead, support, and inspire faculty, balancing a culture of creativity and collaboration with consistent feedback, structure and support.

• Nuanced understanding of best practices in curriculum design, instructional excellence and promotion of student learning.

• A collaborative and relational style built on active solicitation of input, excellent listening skills, and a commitment to building consensus.

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 being a visible presence throughout the School and exhibiting educational leadership and partnership.

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 Monday, November 7, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. A resume 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 https://www.spelmanandjohnson.com/open-positions/.  

Nominations for this position may be forwarded to Michel R. Frendian, Senior Consultant, at mrf@spelmanjohnson.com. 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 www.pingry.org.

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.