Head of School

Posted by
Explorations Academy
Bellingham, WA

Explorations Academy

Published 10 days ago

April 1, 2021

Position Overview

Explorations Academy, located in Bellingham, Washington, is seeking exceptional candidates for the Head of School role for a small, but growing, non-profit independent school. The successful candidate will be a highly self-aware leader, with a strong personal vision in the field of experiential education and excellent interpersonal and managerial skills. This position involves direct interaction with students in grades six through twelve, and their families, while working in a team with other staff to support the continued growth of our organization. To participate as a member of the school learning community, the Head of School joins field outings whenever possible. It is essential for the candidate to have a strong academic and administration background, to be able to work well with a wide variety of individuals, and to maintain humor and good spirits in a close working environment on an ongoing basis. Candidates must be willing to engage in fundraising on behalf of the organization and be an articulate and enthusiastic spokesperson for the school and its programs. 

About Explorations Academy

Explorations Academy is a fully accredited independent school that has provided meaningful, life-changing educational experiences for over 25 years. Our campus, located in Bellingham WA, is nestled between the Salish Sea and the North Cascades, but our field programs have included urban and backcountry settings on five continents. Our staff is composed of dynamic and engaging individuals who are skilled in connecting with students and demonstrate a clear commitment to the value of independent education. We value experiential learning, healthy individuals and communities, and environmental awareness. Since our founding, we have incorporated environmental education, field study, and ecological literacy into our programming. Community responsibility is also central to our mission, and students engage in service learning work with a variety of environmental, social justice, and other organizations.

Core Responsibilities

Board Relations

  • Keeps the Board informed of all matters relating to the school through reports at board meetings and immediate communication following major school events or happenings.
  • Makes recommendations to the Board for approval of the operating and capital budgets, including all categories of income and expenditures.

Curriculum and Instruction

  • Upholds the academic and ethical standards of the school.
  • Hires, supervises, evaluates, and dismisses all administrators, faculty, and staff members.
  • Fosters professionalism, collegiality, and ethical conduct in the faculty.
  • Provides for the professional development of the faculty.
  • Supervises the selection of curricula, class schedules, assessments, graduation requirements, and all aspects of the school’s academic program.
  • Optimizes the physical learning environment and technology in all instructional areas.

Student Life

  • Administers the school’s discipline policies and standards of conduct.
  • Oversees the school safety programs including building security, emergency procedures, transportation regulations, tsunami and fire drills, etc.
  • Promotes a healthy student culture in and out of school.
  • Oversees faculty reporting of student progress to parents on a timely and helpful basis.

Business, Finance and Plant Operations

  • Understands and supervises the business functions of the school, including budgeting; monitoring and reporting income, expenses, investments, and cash flow; maintenance of appropriate records; and assisting the school’s auditors when required.
  • Oversees all employment and human relations matters, such as contracts, salaries, benefits, job assignments, job orientation, performance evaluation, retention and dismissals, personnel records, employee handbooks, etc.
  • Oversees the maintenance and cleaning of the buildings, grounds, and all plant operations including vehicles, grounds, etc.
  • Plans and executes all major capital purchases, repairs, and building projects.

Admissions, Marketing and Financial Aid

  • Supervises and assists the admissions functions of the school, including recruitment programs, internal marketing, external outreach, website development and maintenance, information dissemination, and applicant testing and interviewing.
  • Supervises the admissions decision-making process, including administration of the school’s financial aid program.

Advancement and Fund-Raising

  • Plans and optimizes the school’s fund-raising programs such as the annual fund, capital campaigns, planned giving, and major events.
  • Oversees the school’s relations with its alumni including development and maintenance of the alumni database, communications programs, and special events.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Solid understanding of experiential education including teaching experience.
  • Familiarity with progressive pedagogies and school design. 
  • Demonstrated strength in management of schedules and budgets.  
  • Ability to build rapport with youth and articulate a vision in language they can understand.
  • Tolerance of uncertainty and ability to effectively undertake simultaneous challenges.
  • Must be highly articulate, comfortable with public speaking, and have excellent writing skills
  • Experience in fund development and willingness to continue building fund development infrastructure.
  • Familiarity with Washington State laws regarding independent schools.
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s License required.
  • Advanced First Aid/Emergency Response Training and wilderness travel skills a plus.
  • MA or MEd required; administrative (Principal’s) credentials are a plus but not required.


Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience. Employees enjoy a monthly stipend allocated for healthcare expenses, a SIMPLE IRA plan, and discounted tuition for students. 

COVID-19 Considerations


Please send a resume and letter of application to Applicants will be contacted to schedule an initial remote interview, to be followed by in-person interviews if requested.

The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed; it is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position. Employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform other job-related duties requested by their supervisor in compliance with Federal and State Laws.

Explorations Academy’s policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex, gender identity, religion, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition including genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local law or ordinance or regulation. 

Position Overview

Explorations Academy, located in Bellingham, Washington, is seeking exceptional candidates for the Head of School role for a small, but growing, non-profit independent school. The successful candidate will be a highly…

Details at a glance

  • Full Time Schedule
  • Master's Degree Required
  • Managerial


Bellingham, WA

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