Head of School Position

This employment opportunity is now CLOSED.

Opportunity Statement

Job Description

Summary: The Leelanau School is an independent boarding high school that is committed to meeting the educational and emotional needs of each of their students. Situated near Glen Arbor, 30 miles from Traverse City, the school is in an area of Michigan that was voted by Good Morning America as the most beautiful place in America. Our campus includes 42-wooded acres with Lake Michigan and Crystal River frontage. It has three dormitories, two for boys and one for girls, an academic building, a multi-purpose student center, an art center, an observatory, gymnasium, health center, working greenhouse, and athletic field. Our staff views the school community as an extension of their family. They willingly do the great work of educating the next generation of leaders by making connections and helping hone the students’ natural strengths.

We seek a leader who can live our mission, help us move forward as we follow our mission, and become an integrated member of the Leelanau community.

Start date:  July 1, 2018

Mission Statement: The Leelanau School ignites a passion for learning in a boarding school where students thrive by engaging academically and by celebrating everyone’s unique learning styles in a culture of acceptance, leading to successful and meaningful lives in college and beyond.

Our Core Values:  Teaching Stewardship, Leadership, Awareness, Integrity, Resilience, Courage and Interconnectedness

Philosophy: The Leelanau School uses multi-sensory, experiential, and strength-based methodologies for bright, college-bound students. For 88 years, Leelanau has embraced the philosophy that “doing a lesson” greatly enhances learning. These strategies are ideal for students with ADHD or executive function challenges and for those students who want to build their confidence and gain awareness of their individual learning style.

Job Description

Title: Head of School

Immediate Supervisor: The Leelanau School Board of Trustees


  • Prior experience as a Head of School or Assistant Head of School.
  • Proven experience with staff supervision, budget, and financial management.
  • An advanced degree in Education or other related field.
  • Understanding of independent school world.
  • Passion for education.
  • Ability to participate in fund development, including identification, cultivation and stewardship of donors.
  • Highly self-motivated.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Appreciation for students with learning differences.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: The Head of School has ultimate and overall responsibility for board relations, curriculum and instruction, student life, strategic planning, business affairs, admissions/enrollment, marketing and communications and advancement.


  • Serve as educational leader for The Leelanau School.
  • Articulate and advocate the mission of The Leelanau School for students, families, staff, and community.
  • Serve as philanthropic ambassador within the school, alumni, parents and community.
  • Demonstrate sufficient security and judgment to handle a crisis and to use supervision constructively.
  • Ability to collaborate and educate staff for the purposes of deepening understanding of methods and pedagogy related to students’ diverse educational needs.
  • Lead the creation of a culture that reflects the core values of The Leelanau School.


  • Manage relationships with students, staff and parents.
  • Develop specific operations, goals and objectives to implement the strategic goals that have been mutually established with the Board.
  • Hire, supervise, mentor, and evaluate teaching and support staff.
  • Oversee a plan to redirect student behaviors.
  • Oversee admissions/enrollment process of students.
  • In consultation with the Board of Trustees and informed by the Leelanau Policy Manual, make final decisions regarding disciplinary action and/or dismissal of staff.
  • Lead and facilitate staff meetings to guide and support staff.
  • Oversee all aspects of facility management.
  • Provide opportunities for ongoing professional development for all staff.
  • Encourage staff to propose, plan, and develop programs in accordance with the mission of the school.


  • Maintain regular, ongoing, and open dialogue with the Board of Trustees.
  • Promote highly effective and open communication between staff, parents and Board of Trustees, and community.
  • Be the spokesperson for The Leelanau School.
  • Foster a positive relationship with other independent schools and potential feeder schools.

Finance and Fund Development:

  • Prepare and present annual operating budget to Board of Trustees in conjunction with Board Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer.
  • Administer the operating budget and be accountable to Board of Trustees for effective business management.
  • Prepare annual budget recommendations including personnel, committees, facilities and programs.
  • Prepare reports for annual audits – financial and academic.
  • Assist in identifying, cultivating and soliciting prospective donors.

Compliance, Accreditation and Accountability for School Operations:

  • Conduct written evaluations of staff.
  • Oversee student evaluations and implement student assessments.
  • Oversee ongoing program evaluation, including curriculum standards and curriculum development.
  • Ensure that all state reporting requirements are met.
  • Oversee the ISACS accreditation process.


Please email completed application package by August 1 to headsearch@leelanau.org


  1. Resume
  2. Cover letter
  3. Philosophy of education
  4. Three letters of recommendation

Notification of receipt of completed applications will be sent via email.  References will not be contacted without prior notification.  The Leelanau School is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and seeks and welcomes applications from individuals of all backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.