Chief Financial Officer

  • Montessori School of Columbia
  • Columbia, SC, USA
  • Feb 17, 2023
Full time Business

Job Description

Montessori School of Columbia (MSC), a leader in education from early childhood through middle school, seeks a strategic, experienced financial and business leader to fill the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position. The CFO embodies, in all ways, the excellence, integrity, and joy that MSC is known for and is able to represent the school with pride and professionalism at all times. Reporting to the Head of School, the CFO supports the school’s mission and strategic plan and will work toward the organization, management, and implementation of comprehensive business, financial, and investment initiatives for the school. The CFO supervises the Director of Facilities, and the Director of Technology.

Responsibilities: Finance, Strategy, Planning

●     Provide school-wide strategic leadership, analysis, and management of finances and operations.

●     Oversee all financial reporting, including the development and approval of the annual operating budget, periodic reports of operating results compared to the budget, and cash flow analysis. Audiences for financial information include the Board of Trustees, the finance committee, the Head of School, and other administrators.

●     Supervise facilities and groundskeeping.

●     Reviewing, maintaining, negotiating vendor contracts and advising the HOS including transportation.

●     Develops recommendations to the Finance Committee on annual tuition increases as well as salary pool increases in consultation with the Head of School. Prepares annual budget proposal for Finance Committee review and Board of Trustees approval.

●     Evaluate the business office's strengths and weaknesses and develop goals and systems to ensure optimal departmental performance.

●     Oversee the annual financial audit and the filing of tax returns.

●     Ensure that the school follows all local and state reporting requirements.

●     Supervise all business office activities and operations.  

●     Oversee the benefits budget (health insurance, retirement, and other related plans) 

●     Partners with the Director of Admission and Financial Aid to approve the financial aid budget.

●     Build and/or maintain the School’s short and long-term strategic financial models.

●     Work closely with the Head of School to examine school policies and industry data to ensure the school’s continued commitment to competitive and equitable compensation for their professional community.

●     Maintain and improve human resources functions, including assessing, writing, and implementing appropriate personnel policies; overseeing the preparation of payroll and benefits programs including health insurance and retirement programs; overseeing the administration of hiring, retention, termination, and personnel records; ensure all programs are in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

●     Form and maintain relationships with banks, professional accountants, legal counsel, and insurance companies.

●     Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School.

Community Participation

●     Serve on the school's senior administrative team and lead or participate in several other committees.

●     Serve as chief staff liaison to several board committees, including finance, audit, building & grounds, and health & safety committees by working closely with the various committee chairs, organizing agendas, generating meeting materials, and presenting at meetings.

●     Collaborate effectively with and provide support for advancement, admissions, and other departments.

●     Publicly represent the school in a positive and proactive way, collaborating with other local institutions, neighbors, and public officials.

●     Work collegially within a highly diverse community. Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work and participate in DEIB-related professional development.

●     Provide leadership to colleagues who are eager for mentorship, advocacy, and clear communication.


Desired Qualifications and Qualities Education and Experience

●     Bachelor's degree required; MBA or CPA preferred.

●     At least 5 years of senior-level experience creating and executing financial planning and management strategies.

●     Experience in an independent school is preferred.

●     Experience serving on senior administrative teams and working with nonprofit boards.

●     Experience in human resource management, employee benefits, and payroll procedures.

●     Demonstrated ability to take complex subjects, distill them, and communicate them to varied audiences.

●     Demonstrated experience in the development of analysis for strategic decision-making, such as key cost drivers, competitive analysis, market analysis, organizational strengths and weaknesses, etc.

●     Complete knowledge of not-for-profit administration, accounting policies, procedures, practices, and software programs.

●     Strong understanding of employment law and practices.


Skills and Competencies

●     Superb communication skills, including excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills.

●     Ability to think and plan strategically and creatively.

●     Ability to supervise, manage, and delegate multiple functions and activities.

●     Ability to remain calm, flexible, and work effectively under pressure.

●     Commitment to equity and inclusion practices.

●     Skillfully interprets and applies understanding of key financial indicators to make decisions.

●     Continually endeavors to hold the confidence and trust of all constituents, displaying honesty, authenticity, and integrity.

●     Ability to make sense of complex, high-quantity, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems.

●     Ability to serve as a critical business thinker, capable of providing positive and proactive solutions to business issues.

●     Sees future possibilities and translates ideas into strategies.

●     Maneuvers comfortably through complex policy, process, and people-related organizational dynamics.

●     Applies knowledge of the operating environment to advance organizational goals.


Schedule Requirements

A minimum of standard business hours Monday–Friday. Ability to occasionally work evenings and weekends as necessary. This appointment will begin July 2023, or earlier.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time position with benefits and a compensation package that will be competitive for the region and commensurate with experience, degree attainment, and the national independent school market.


Spending your day surrounded by enthusiastic children learning in classrooms overseen by outstanding teachers is its own reward. Of course, we provide traditional benefits, too:

●     80% Medical, 100% Dental, and Vision Insurance

●     Up to 3% Matching Retirement Plan

●     Life Insurance and Voluntary Supplemental Life Insurance

●     Short Term and Long Term Disability Coverage

●     Tuition Remission for Employees’ Children (MSC School, aftercare and Camps)

●     Generous Vacation Policy

Who We Are

Montessori School of Columbia is situated on a 3-acre campus in the Rosewood neighborhood of Columbia, South Carolina, 2 miles southeast of the State House, on the edge of the campus of the University of South Carolina. At MSC we strive to develop the unique capabilities of each child. Guided by the work of Dr. Maria Montessori and informed by current research, our committed staff honors the natural curiosity of children. Our academically rigorous, self-paced curriculum allows children to work according to their own development levels.

In multi-age classes, children discover the dignity of work as well as the importance of caring for themselves and others. Since we attract families from a rich array of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, MSC students learn to be citizens of the world. Our mission is to foster a love of learning that will guide and sustain children throughout their lives. MSC is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the American Montessori Society (AMS). MSC is the only school in the state of South Carolina to be accredited by the American Montessori Society.