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Interim Head of School

Home Careers Interim Head of School
Submitted: December 7
Closing: January 30


Executive Committee
Great River School Board

Phone: 651-305-2780 x10

Fax: 6513052781

Location Great River School
1326 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, MN 55108
Categories Administrative
Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Health Insurance Included
Salary Range Commensurate with Experience
Salary Notes range of $117,000 to $135,000
Work Commitment Full-Time
To Apply

Click the apply button to be taken to the application website.


Job Description

Great River School seeks an Interim Head of School to serve as an effective leadership bridge between the academic years of 2020/21 and 2022/23. This position will execute on the school’s strategic plan, facilitate and enhance its successful operations, and sustain strong relationships among faculty, staff, students, families and school partners. From an administrative, academic, operational and community standpoint, the Interim Head of School is responsible for facilitating and ensuring the smooth transition from interim to permanent leadership in the fall of 2022. The term for this position is July 1st, 2021 through June 30th, 2022 and it reports directly to the Board of Directors.

The ideal candidate for Interim Head of School will demonstrate leadership agility to quickly assess the needs of GRS, integrate and embody its values, execute its strategy, instill trust and engage stakeholders. The successful candidate will have a deep awareness and understanding of anti-racist organizational practices and deconstructing white supremacy culture; applying appreciative inquiry; and Montessori developmental concepts. This is a role for that rare and exceptional leader who can balance stakeholder needs for collaboration and transparency with operational needs for efficiency and results. The Interim Head of School will connect divergent opinions and coordinate the efforts and love of parents, faculty, staff and students into a coherent learning community.

This is an exciting opportunity to meaningfully impact the transition and success of a high-performing, independent urban public school with strong student outcomes in academics, social and emotional support, and a commitment to building an equitable learning community for all.

Community Relationships
Develop and maintain positive and effective partnerships/relationships with:
Internal constituents such as faculty, students and parents
External constituents such as community leaders, GRS Affiliated Building Corporation, GRS Foundation, authorizer, MDE, elected officials, business owners, charter school peers and surrounding residents
Demonstrate executive-level listening, communication, facilitation and consensus-building skills to mitigate conflict and drive constituents towards common goals
Delegate work to ensure constituents are meaningfully invested in finding solutions to community challenges
Respond to concerns of parents, students, and employees with respect, transparency and integrity
Oversee communication, marketing and public relations strategies and tactics across all platforms to support community-building, outreach, inclusion and stakeholder engagement

Equity Champion
Oversee and facilitate outreach to build and support the diverse student population
Lead and ensure the effectiveness of institutional-level changes to address issues of systemic bias that impact racial justice and gender equity
Engage, inspire and support the involvement and inclusion of community members in the strategic Equity Initiatives at GRS

People Leadership
Attract, retain and maintain diverse and talented employees
Support both staff and management in identifying professional learning and growth opportunities that develop position-specific knowledge, skills, and competencies
Support development opportunities to advance the school’s internal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
Clarify roles within the school’s organizational structure and ensure employees understand how they can contribute and lead from all operational levels, from staff to academics to management
Assess the effectiveness of management across the school, and build management capacity through coaching, feedback, mentoring and leadership development
Ensure job descriptions are up-to-date, and conduct performance evaluations based on the job duties and expectations outlined within them

Strategic and Operational Leadership
In the areas of operational leadership, the interim Head of School will work closely with program managers in the areas of administration, academic programming, compliance, and finance in order to guide and oversee the successful operation of the school district.

Strategic Planning and Governance
Embody, advocate for, and execute on the mission, vision and values of the school
Assist the Board in contributing to a systematic strategic planning process that includes the voices of all constituents and results in clear, concise and measurable goals
Monitor and report progress on all strategic initiatives, and ensure Board is well-informed
Support Board Governance and fiduciary responsibilities, and reinforce Board policy
Develop Recommendations on behalf of the school
Finance, HR and Compliance
Work with Business management firm, Business coordinator, and HR Manager to apply policy
Ensure fiscal stewardship and sustainability in both the short term and long-term
Develop and manage annual operating budget for Board approval
Facilitate annual audits and implement audit findings if applicable
Ensure all employment policies and practices comply with local, state and federal law
Meet all local, state and federal submissions & reporting requirements
Maintain Educational Compliance with Authorizer
Consult with Foundation to determine fundraising goals
Support the Foundation and their efforts to cultivate and secure donors and donations
Create fundraising investments and priorities to best support the school’s mission and development
Oversee the operation of a successful school food and nutrition program
Oversee facilities and maintenance staff and contracts

Academic Program Oversight
Ensure pedagogy is aligned with the school’s mission & vision
Oversee performance (NEO Rubric) measures including:
College Readiness
Positive School Culture (Attendance, Retention, Survey)
Intervention - Multi Tier Systems of Support for student success
Special Education program compliance and oversight


Master’s degree or higher educational degree.
15+ years of experience in education. Primary, secondary, public and/or Montessori-based education experience is strongly preferred. Baseline knowledge of Montessori philosophy and curriculum required.
5+ years leading teams (managing managers), with formal leadership training and a track record of effective management practices
Experience successfully leading a public school or district, with a strong understanding of the fiscal, compliance and operating needs. Independent/charter school experience preferred
Demonstrated knowledge of change management theory and practices, with experience successfully leading organizations through major changes

Strategic planning skills, with the ability to operationalize and execute tactics to achieve goals
Financial and business acumen, with budget oversight and management experience
Conflict resolution to include effective listening and reflective communication skills in tense and complex disagreements
Ability to speak meaningfully to the need of each individual in the community to contribute to deconstructing the impact of white supremacy in school and the community
Effective time-management skills, including self-sufficiency with technology and digital tools
Effective and inspiring leadership skills, with the ability to build supervisory skills in managers
Direct, compassionate, empathetic, transparent and supportive communication skills; sense of humor is a big plus

Demonstrated ability to comply with the standards for ethical and professional performance established by the State Board of Education
High degree of emotional intelligence, with the ability integrate disparate and possibly conflicting opinions to facilitate consensus and reach common goals
Ability to articulate tools and approaches that define an approach to racial equity, gender equity, and naming the ways that institutional oppression and bias impact work
High integrity, dedication to the mission, strong work ethic and the ability to be a role model for others

Institution Description

Great River School (GRS) is a tuition-free public charter serving grades 1-12 located in the heart of St. Paul, Minnesota. Founded in 2004, its curriculum and pedagogy are informed by the Montessori philosophy and the International Baccalaureate diploma program. GRS integrates academic and social experiences in an environment of civility and trust. Its learning community thrives on inquiry, open dialogue, and building responsible and independent students. Instruction through travel, practical learning, the arts, and micro-economic ventures provide relevant skills to meet the world with compassion and a sense of responsibility. GRS fosters an anti-bias, anti-racist educational practice and work environment. For parents and faculty alike, GRS is sought after for its innovative, highly successful, experiential and student-focused environment.
MISSION: to prepare students for their unique roles as responsible and engaged global citizens.
VISION: global peace through education.
GRS is an independent school district with governance overseen by its Board of Directors. It has approximately 2500 community members including students, teachers, and caregivers/guardians. Current enrollment is approximately 800 students. GRS recently completed a $16M construction project on our 3.5 acre campus. Our 1st-12th grade program now includes 12 elementary classroom communities, and a thriving lower and upper adolescent Montessori program. We are the only public 1st-12th grade IB Montessori program in the nation. We are a leader in innovative education. Learn more at

Application Instructions/Comments

Great River School provides a competitive compensation package. Benefits include health, dental, life, and disability insurance. This is a full-time, temporary position based in St. Paul, Minnesota. The salary range is approximately $117,000 to 135,000, commensurate with experience and aligned with MN charter school averages.

Great River School is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

For consideration, please send cover letter, resume, and contacts for 4 references (references include one of each: subordinate, peer, and supervisor) to Priority will be given to candidates who apply by January 30th, 2021

Click the apply button to be taken to the application website.

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