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Executive Director

Anchorage Montessori School

Executive Director / CEO


Contact: Catherine Bradshaw
Address: 161 Klevin Street, 101, Anchorage AK 99501
Phone: (907) 743-1200
Anchorage Montessori School has been serving the children and families of Anchorage as a well-respected private nonprofit school for nearly 50 years. Dedicated to Montessori philosophy, AMS provides high quality individualized instruction to children ages 1-12 years. AMS students engage with a rich and diverse curriculum exploring math, language, history, science, geography, music, art, and physical education.

Job Summary

Date Posted:   3 months ago Closing Date:   January 6, 2022
Location:   Anchorage, AK Salary: $90,000.00 - $105,000.00 Exempt; salary
Status:   Full time
Benefits:
Anchorage Montessori School provides competitive benefits including PTO and employer-provided health insurance with the option to add family members for an additional premium.
How to Apply:
To apply, email your materials to AMSsearch@forakergroup.org. Applicants should include a resume and cover letter describing interest and qualifications. For questions, contact Catherine Bradshaw, lead recruiter, at AMSsearch@forakergroup.org. Communications will be treated in confidence and resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. Resume reviews begin immediately.

Job Description

Executive Director |Anchorage Montessori School | Anchorage, Alaska

The Position: Executive Director

Anchorage Montessori School (AMS) seeks an experienced educational leader who is committed to the Montessori philosophy of education to serve as their next Executive Director. In partnership with AMS’s dedicated nonprofit board of directors the new leader will build on AMS’s strong reputation, solid financial base, and high-quality teaching staff to further expand and diversify the student body and increase AMS’s presence/visibility in the broader community. The ideal candidate will have educational leadership experience, business acumen, and strong financial management skills; they will be an emotionally-tuned, collaborative, and visionary leader who can lead AMS through an ever-changing educational landscape and steward the organization through the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.

The Organization

Anchorage Montessori School has been serving the children and families of Anchorage as a well-respected private nonprofit school for nearly 50 years. Dedicated to Montessori philosophy, AMS provides high quality individualized instruction to children ages 1-12 years. AMS students engage with a rich and diverse curriculum exploring math, language, history, science, geography, music, art, and physical education.

Guided by their mission to make Montessori education a dynamic and positive force in the lives of children, families, and the community, AMS is a 501(c)(3) organization deeply rooted in the following principles:

  • We believe in the dignity of children and in their inherent right to our protection, assistance, and guidance in fulfilling their potential
  • We are committed to the Montessori philosophy and trust the Montessori approach to education
  • We wish to support parents’ efforts to raise capable, joyful, confident children without undue stress or financial hardship and without abdication of their parental responsibilities
  • We are willing to share our lives with children and to grow and learn alongside them
  • We are dedicated to the well-being, integrity, and development of the larger Montessori community
  • It is our most fervent desire to help bring about a peaceful world in which every person’s contribution is cherished and in which all barriers to understanding and acceptance have been removed

Twenty-six dedicated teaching and administrative staff support the learning of over 170 children. The school is governed by an eleven-member board comprised of AMS and Anchorage community members who oversee an annual budget of $1.8 million.

Services and Program

AMS offers five distinct programs for children ages 1-12 years. Classrooms are multi-age and rooted in the Montessori philosophy of education. Each classroom environment is carefully designed and intentionally prepared to facilitate child-centered learning, as well as developmentally appropriate instruction that follows the Montessori curriculum progression. All classrooms have a lead teacher and an assistant teacher. Before and aftercare hours are offered for families that need student care beyond the school day hours. 

·       Toddler Program: This program is designed for students ages 19-36 months and provides age-appropriate opportunities for classroom learning in the areas of practical life, sensorial, language, and math. Students are given opportunities for gross motor activities both inside and outside, and also work on toileting. Both half and full day programs are available. Full day programs provide students with the opportunity to nap each afternoon.

·       Primary Program: The primary environment is designed for students ages 3-6 and provides sequential learning activities in the areas of practical life, sensorial, math, language, science, cultural studies, geography, art, and music. Both half and full day programs are available. Full day programs provide students with the opportunity to nap each afternoon.

·       Extended Day Program: The extended day program is intended for students ages 4-6 who no longer require the opportunity to nap each afternoon. Students in this program are ready for an extended day of academic exploration during the afternoon as they acclimate to a full school day in preparation for the Elementary program.

·       Elementary I and II Programs: Both elementary programs offer a rich Montessori curriculum that includes instruction in the areas of language arts, math and geometry, science, cultural studies, geography, art, music, and physical education. The Lower Elementary classroom is designed for students in 1st-3rd grade (or 6-9 years of age). The Upper Elementary classroom is designed for students in 4th-6th grade (or 9-12 years of age).

·       Summer Programs: Students attending 10-month school year programs are offered an opportunity to participate in half or full day summer sessions to support their continued growth and learning throughout the summer.

Strategic Priorities

AMS approved their most recent strategic plan in 2018, running through 2024. Through the plan, AMS hopes to build upon their success through several initiatives that will be led or managed by the incoming Executive Director:

·         Diversifying AMS revenue sources to decrease reliance on tuition funding

·         Create tuition assistance opportunities for low-income families

·         Achieve accreditation by the American Montessori Society

Twelve to Eighteen-Month Priorities

The incoming Executive Director will be expected to focus on the following priorities over their first twelve to eighteen months:

·      Support and develop AMS staff, implement evaluation and coaching systems to ensure consistent performance across roles and classrooms, and maintain and enhance staff compensation and benefits (including salary, benefits, and training and certification opportunities) to attract and retain top talent.

·      Ensure continued financial stability. While AMS is currently in a stable fiscal position with excellent internal financial systems, there is room for further growth in the area of revenue diversification. The incoming Executive Director will focus on exploring different revenue streams, including grants, donations, and fundraising.

·      Continue to guide AMS through the COVID pandemic. As we continue to navigate the ebbs and flows of this public health crisis, the new Executive Director will be relied upon to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. This will require a leader with the ability to communicate clearly and foster creative problem-solving among the team.

·      Improving AMS’s communication structures. To maintain and grow a deep sense of community (especially during the COVID pandemic), AMS requires a renewed focus on communication. Ensuring that families are involved and well-informed is an important area of focus. The new leader will also be expected to revisit existing internal meeting and communication structures to ensure staff have ample opportunity to collaborate and share critical information.

The Leadership Opportunity

The next AMS Executive Director will join a team of dedicated educators and professionals with a long-term commitment to providing outstanding individualized education for children and families in Anchorage. Recent survey data reveals that AMS has an outstanding reputation within the community. Staff, board members, and families agree that the school is currently operating with excellence in the areas of teaching and learning, financial position, and overall effectiveness. From this position of stability, the Executive Director – in collaboration with the board – has the opportunity to lead AMS into the next stage of its development. This will involve listening and learning from the community while building and developing AMS’s team. As partners in this work, the Executive Director will work alongside two veteran Program Directors and an active board.

Key Responsibilities

The Executive Director is the internal driver and external face of AMS who oversees the day-to-day affairs of the organization. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

·      Provide support to the Board and their committees, regularly report the organization’s status and progress, and inform staff of Board decisions regarding organization’s activities.

·      Provide direction and oversight to program areas; develop, implement, and monitor programs in support of strategic and annual plans.

·      Supervise and approve the fund development plan and participate in all phases of its implementation to assure that adequate and diverse funding is secured.

·      Develop annual budget and maintain sound financial practices within the operations budget approved by the Board.

·      Ensure the best use of resources to meet AMS’s goals, including ensuring classroom teachers have all necessary facilities, furniture, and materials.

·      Ensure organizational and program compliance with law and established policies and procedures.

·      Maintain an ethical, efficient work environment that attracts, keeps, and motivates a staff of top-quality people.

·      Hire, supervise, and evaluate direct reports; encourage staff development and education, and assist in relating their specialized work to the goals of the organization.

·      Serve as the face of AMS’s mission to the public.

·      Ensure through an ongoing outreach component that AMS and its mission are consistently presented in strong, positive image to the public.

·      Ensure compliance with all licensing, insurance, and legal requirements.

·      Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Attributes

·      Demonstrated commitment to the Montessori philosophy of education and passion for children and making Montessori education a dynamic and positive force in the lives of children, families, and the community. For candidates without Montessori experience, a willingness to learn and embrace this philosophy of education is required.

·      A good listener with strong emotional intelligence and relationship skills who is approachable, engages people, and possesses a spirit of warmth, humility, and patience.

·      An inclusive approach that respects and values diverse life experiences and heritages, and ensures that all voices are valued and heard.

·      A transformational leader who holds a vision and communicates strategic direction while able to identify and respond creatively to growth opportunities and community circumstances.

Skills and Experience

·      Demonstrated organizational management experience, including coaching, managing, and developing high-performance teams and setting and achieving strategic objectives.

·      Strong financial management skills: demonstrated experience in developing and monitoring budgets, managing cash flow, ensuring high-yield investments, and efficiently and strategically aligning and maximizing resources.

·      A demonstrated history of building and maintaining strong working relationships with staff and board members, as well as with parents, supporters, and business and community leaders.

·      Experience securing and managing grants.

·      Demonstrated success in diversifying and expanding revenue streams; the ability to lead the board and staff in executing a comprehensive fundraising plan and strategic revenue model.

·      Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

·      Experience leading and supporting a team of professionals, preferably in an academic setting.

·      Degree in Education or Early Childhood education or experience as a classroom teacher or childcare professional is strongly preferred.

·      Familiarity with and knowledge of Montessori curriculum is desired. 

Application Process

The salary range is $90,000-$105,000 annually, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Anchorage Montessori School provides competitive benefits including PTO and employer-provided health insurance with the option to add family members for an additional premium. To apply, email your materials to AMSsearch@forakergroup.org. Applicants should include a resume and cover letter describing interest and qualifications. For questions, contact Catherine Bradshaw, lead recruiter, at AMSsearch@forakergroup.org. Communications will be treated in confidence and resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. Resume reviews begin immediately.

Please note: The position will begin in May of 2022 to align with the ending of the 2021-2022 school year.

Anchorage Montessori School is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. AMS is especially interested in candidates whose background and experience have prepared them to grow our commitment to engagement and inclusion with culturally diverse groups.


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The Foraker Group, 161 Klevin Street, Suite 101; Anchorage, AK 99508
tel: 907-743-1200 or toll free: 1-877-834-5003