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A unique school with a unique history, Tandem Friends School of Charlottesville, VA, is guided by the Quaker principles that define Friends Schools and has three school mottos: kindness and wisdom, creativity and integrity, and freedom with responsibility. Founded in 1970 as an alternative to the segregation academies that proliferated throughout the south at that time, Tandem was the first school in the area founded as both coeducational and racially integrated. Over time, Tandem found Quaker schools to be kindred spirits and joined the Friends Council of Education, becoming a Friends School in 1996. With approximately 245 students and spanning only grades 5-12, the school aims to cultivate a school culture in which adolescents feel invested in their school community and are seen, appreciated, and comfortable being their full selves at school. Our 5th through 8th grade Middle School program of approximately 120 students encourages student responsibility and academic challenge in developmentally grounded ways within a dynamic and supportive school community. Our current academic program is a mix of progressive and traditional styles of teaching.
The Middle School Director is responsible for all aspects of the Middle School program. The Director’s primary responsibility is to lead the division in a manner that speaks to the school’s mission and identity as a Friends School and cultivates a community in which students and faculty feel known, respected, challenged, and supported. The Middle School Director will guide a faculty of approximately fifteen members who are dedicated to creating meaningful and engaging educational experiences for their students. As is the way of Friends Schools, teachers are highly involved in decisions that affect their division and school, thus we seek a division leader with a collaborative mindset and a skillset that supports both visionary leadership and collective decision making. The Middle School Director joins a dedicated senior leadership team collaboratively responsible for shaping the school’s practices, policies, and strategic direction and reports directly to the Head of School.
- Taking leadership responsibility and accountability for the smooth, efficient, and friendly operation of the division on a daily basis.
- Hiring, mentoring, guiding and supporting new and experienced MS faculty members; encouraging professional growth and joy in learning.
- With help from the MS Deans of Students, maintaining open and ongoing communication with parents/guardians regarding individual student academic/wellness/discipline matters and with the parent/guardian body about Middle School curriculum, programs, school events.
- Collaborating on the Middle School academic program offerings and educational supports in consultation with faculty, the Learning Resource Center Director, and other key administrators.
- Refining and developing co-curricular/student-life programs and student wellness and guidance procedures in collaboration with the MS Deans of Students, School Counselors, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Athletic Director, faculty, and Head of School.
- Planning and facilitating weekly Middle School faculty meetings and committees, special divisional programming, and professional development days.
- Collaboratively leading, with the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Head of School, and faculty and administration, DEIJB initiatives, practices, and programming.
- Collaborating with the Admissions Director by serving as a key member of the admissions team, conducting tours and open houses, and meeting with Middle School candidate families. With the Admissions Director and Upper School administration, proactively create and implement Middle to Upper School retention efforts.
- Working collaboratively with the Director of Finance and the Head of School to formulate and manage the operating budget of the division.
Professional Skills and Characteristics
- Appreciation for the wonders and challenges of Middle School life. A deep understanding of adolescent development.
- Excellent interpersonal skills; effective at building trust with external and internal stakeholders; a deep emotional intelligence.
- 3+ years Middle School leadership experience; a strong foundation in Middle School programming and pedagogy, both academic and co-curricular; classroom teaching experience.
- A high level of cultural competence and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in program development, policy development, and relationship building.
- Strong management skills, grounding in adult development and the dynamics of school change, prior leadership experience with faculty supervision and professional growth.
- Facility with classroom differentiation strategies and individual accommodations plans. Prior professional experience working with neurodivergent learners is a plus.
- A comprehensive understanding of the field of education; adeptness at understanding the K-12 educational landscape within the Charlottesville area; experience with independent school admissions.
- Commitment to the mission of Friends education; eagerness to embrace Quaker values and use Quaker processes; prior experience with Friends education a plus.
- Confident and competent; understanding of one’s own faults and strengths; approaches others with empathy and generosity of spirit.
- Excellent communication and organizational skills.
- A great work ethic and a great sense of humor.
- A master’s degree in a relevant discipline is preferred, a bachelor’s degree is required.
Tandem Friends School aspires to be an equitable and inclusive school community. The school welcomes applications from candidates who will contribute to an atmosphere in which all are valued and supported. People of color and members of other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.
Wages/Benefits: This is a full-time, 12-month, salaried position with full benefits which include a dental plan, a retirement plan, tuition remission, and a robust health insurance plan, including a school contribution that covers the employee cost.