Head of School

  • Charlotte Preparatory School
  • Charlotte, NC, USA
  • May 28, 2024
Full time Head of School

Job Description

Charlotte Preparatory School

Charlotte, North Carolina

Head of School

Start Date: July 2025


Carney, Sandoe, & Associates is leading the search at Charlotte Preparatory School for the next Head of School. A full Position Profile is available at CarneySandoe.com


Located in thriving South Charlotte, Charlotte Preparatory School brings a deep commitment to the Early Childhood-Grade 8 educational model with its focus on these most important and influential years of one’s life. Intent on allowing students to be “children a little longer and leaders a little sooner,” Charlotte Prep takes great pride in the graduates the school sends on to high school, where students continue to thrive as their authentic selves, empathetic global citizens, and joyful learners.

Charlotte Prep’s 420 students benefit from a program built on the values of respect, integrity, perseverance, and courage. Consistent with that first pillar, the school demonstrates an abiding respect for the learner and for a challenging process of deep learning across grade levels. Children are actively and joyfully engaged in that process, imagined as writing their own personal narratives even as they hold space for the narratives of others in a diverse and inclusive setting. 

Side by side with exceptional academics are robust programs in the arts and athletics, providing students with a well-balanced educational experience. From Charlotte Prep’s youngest learners through Grade 8, students benefit from a spiraling curriculum in visual arts, music, and drama, exploring their own creativity and building confidence. Middle School athletics are an extension of the Charlotte Prep mission, as students challenge themselves, cooperate as team members, and compete with character. 

Charlotte Prep was founded in 1971 as Charlotte Montessori School, moved to its current location in 1992 and, with the addition of Middle School in 1998, changed its name to reflect its overall philosophy of preparing young people for success in high school and well beyond. The Montessori Early School, which includes an option for Montessori Kindergarten, continues to reflect Charlotte Prep’s founding configuration.

While its history stretches back more than half a century, Charlotte Prep became a nonprofit entity only recently, in 2012. So, this school with a history of more than 50 years conveys the vigorous feel, along with both the opportunities and some of the needs, of a much younger institution as it continues to mature as an independent school. Students, parents, and faculty and staff praise the close-knit community that benefits from small class sizes, a commitment to getting to know children and families well, and the strong relationships that result. 

In June 2023, Charlotte Prep unfortunately lost its Lower School building in a fire. An ambitious strategic planning process expanded to include a master plan for the school’s 11.5-acre campus, reimagining instructional spaces to enhance student learning and further differentiating Charlotte Prep in a competitive school landscape. The first phase of construction, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2025, comprises a 24,000-square-foot, two-story home for the Kindergarten-Grade 4 Lower School and other instructional and community spaces.

Charlotte Prep now seeks a Head of School to build on the strong tenure of Chris Marblo, who is retiring in summer 2025, after successfully leading the school through COVID, the reimagining of facilities on the heels of the 2023 fire, significant enrollment growth, the development of an ambitious strategic plan, and the launch of the school’s first significant fundraising efforts. Charlotte Prep’s next Head of School will partner with an engaged and committed Board of Trustees and parent body, excellent faculty and staff, and curious and confident students to lead the school in writing its next chapter, as Charlotte Prep moves ever closer to its vision of serving as the “preeminent educator of children in the Charlotte region.”


Charlotte Preparatory School fosters lifelong learning and provides an exemplary educational experience founded on academic excellence, positive character, and leadership development in a diverse, inclusive community.


Courage, Perseverance, Respect, Integrity

At a Glance

Established: 1971

Enrollment: 420

Total faculty and staff: 95

Student/teacher ratio: 8:1

Early School enrollment (age 2- Montessori K): 116

Lower School enrollment (Traditional K-4): 176

Middle School enrollment (5-8): 128

Students of color: 43%

Faculty of color: 36%

Faculty with advanced degrees: 60%

Annual operating budget: $10.4M

Campus size: 11.5 acres

Opportunities and Challenges

The challenges and opportunities for the next Head of School include: 

  • Leveraging the momentum of the current strategic plan, financial and enrollment health, and new facilities, to propel Charlotte Prep forward and further establish its reputation for excellence;

  • Continuing to build Charlotte Prep’s identity as the region’s preeminent educator of children in an age 2-Grade 8 setting intentionally designed with those very children in mind;

  • Retaining (and, as necessary, recruiting) an excellent faculty, staff, and senior administrative team and supporting them in order to make full use of their talents;

  • Partnering with the Director of Development and Board of Trustees to further develop a “culture of philanthropy”;

  • Communicating with inspiration and clarity to a wide variety of stakeholders, serving as the school’s chief storyteller and greatest advocate for both internal and external audiences;

  • Ensuring a smooth transition to the new Lower School building (opening fall 2025) and continuing the facilities improvements as detailed in the Campus Master Plan;

  • Strengthening retention of students from Early School into Lower School and, in turn, from Lower School into Middle School;

  • Continuing to build the Middle School program and student body through the ongoing articulation of the academic program, continued support of the school’s strong outplacement program, and the recruitment and retention of academically excellent, racially and ethnically diverse, mission-aligned students, establishing the Middle School as a destination in itself; and

  • Serving as a community connector across the three divisions and facilitating strong relationships between and among students, faculty, staff, and parents. 

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

Charlotte Prep is seeking in its next Head of School a deeply experienced and inspiring educational leader who fully embraces the school’s mission and vision. The strongest candidates will offer most or all of the following qualifications and qualities: 

Professional Qualifications 

  • A deep understanding of, and appreciation for, the joys and compelling qualities of an age 2-Grade 8 school;

  • Experience recruiting, hiring, supporting, and retaining talented, broadly diverse, and mission-aligned faculty;

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with inspiration and clarity, both orally and in writing; 

  • The ability to articulate vision and strategy and the tactical skills necessary to manage the systems and processes necessary to implement strategy; 

  • Personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and the requisite skills to support a diverse student body and faculty community, facilitating critical conversations in support of a culture of belonging;

  • Depth of experience in school operations, strategic planning, and board relations; 

  • Experience in academic leadership and understanding of evolving best practices in teaching and learning, supporting the school’s ongoing curriculum development;

  • Demonstrable skills in developing, implementing, and cultivating the administrative structures, processes, and staffing that will promote a relatively young school’s maturity as a top-tier institution; and

  • Experience working in partnership with an engaged parent community that has appropriately high expectations for the school.

Leadership Style

  • A style that is collaborative when possible and decisive when necessary, built on approachability, responsiveness, and transparent communication;

  • A commitment to honoring multiple perspectives in order to maintain an authentic, inclusive community;

  • A history of thoughtful innovation moderated by a sensitive approach to change; and

  • The confidence and humility to advocate for new ideas, invite disagreement, and welcome feedback, engaging in challenging conversations with grace.

Personal Qualities

  • Alignment with Charlotte Prep’s mission and vision, including a fundamental belief in the joy of working with young children; 

  • Eagerness to engage actively with students, parents, and faculty and staff and willingness to prioritize visibility amidst the demands of a busy professional schedule; and

  • Highly relational, upholding the highest levels of integrity.

Learn More

Click on the links below to learn more about Charlotte Preparatory School.

School Website

School History

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Strategic Plan

High School Placement

About Charlotte, North Carolina


To Apply

Interested and qualified candidates are asked to submit the following materials as separate PDF documents:  

  • A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position 

  • A current résumé 

As the process moves forward, selected candidates may be asked to submit: 

  • Writing samples specific to this search 

  • A list of five professional references with name, relationship, phone number, and email (references will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission)  

Candidates are invited to contact the consultants in confidence and to submit their résumé and cover letter to: 

Marsha Little

Senior Consultant, Director of Professional Learning and Growth

[email protected]


Peter Barrett

Senior Consultant

[email protected]