Head of School

Harrisburg, PA
Type: Clergy or Lay
Posted Jun 13, 2022
Job Title
Head of School
Name of church or organization
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
Harrisburg, PA
Job Description
Head of School
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
For July 1, 2023OverviewSt. Stephen’s Episcopal School (SSES) is searching for a Head of School to begin on July 1, 2023. It is preferable that the next Head of School has earned a graduate degree in an education-related field of study, has independent school administrative experience, and possesses a deep understanding of the Episcopal school ethos, including experience in an Episcopal parish school environment. SSES is at a crossroads, poised for positive change that calls for a dedicated, compassionate, mission-centered Head of School.Founded in 1978 as the primary outreach of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA, SSES offers “an Episcopal education in a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment” for preschool through 8th grade co-ed students. SSES and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral, built in 1826, are located in the shadow of the state’s capitol building, along the shore of the beautiful

Susquehanna River. The SSES motto is “The city is our school,” as student learning experiences extend to the neighborhood public library, the nearby state capitol building, and adjacent Riverside Park.

Founding Head of School Pat Cameron’s mantra was: strong academics, diversity and love. Her vision remains intact as the 150 students are 70% students of color and 40% are from families whose incomes are below the poverty line. Many SSES students qualify for state benefits such as lunch and breakfast programs or academic support and more than 50% of students qualify for tuition assistance. The school is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the Episcopal Urban School Alliance. SSES is accredited by the Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association.

Mission and Vision

The school is welcoming, celebratory, and supportive of families from all faith traditions or no faith tradition. The Head of School must be enthusiastic about the inclusive nature of the school’s mission and vision statements, which are as follows:

Vision Statement – The vision of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is to educate and nurture children in a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment.

Mission Statement – The mission of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is to provide a superior education in an Episcopal setting to students of all faiths and ethnic heritages, cultivating confident individuals who contribute positively to their families, school, and larger community.

Head of School Duties and Responsibilities

The Head of SSES is responsible for advancing the school’s mission and vision; achieving the academic, operational and financial goals of the school; and implementing the Board approved strategic and fundraising goals. The Head is responsible for the daily business and academic operations and for the school’s internal and external matters, effectively working with all school constituents and with the Dean of the Cathedral. The following are responsibilities of the Head of School at SSES.

In interactions with the Board of Directors, the Head is responsible for:

  • Reporting to the Board as the sole employee of the Board.
  • Initiating and directing the development of school policies by providing the Board with    pertinent information including Principles of Good Practice offered by the National Association of Episcopal Schools- so the Board can reach mission appropriate decisions and craft and approve sound policies.
  • Serving as an ex-office member at Board and committee meetings.
  • Directing and supervising the implementation of Board policies and procedures, including strategic planning goals the Board sets for the school.
  • Reporting regularly to the Board about progress toward organizational objectives, financial status of the school, and other issues of interest or concern to the Board.
  • Partnering with the Board chair to plan Board meeting agendas and events, including plans for Board education, evaluation and development.
  • Partnering with the Board chair to determine and report on the progress of annual goals for the Head.

In managing and leading the school’s daily operations, the Head is responsible for:

  • Hiring, evaluating and, when necessary, dismissing faculty and staff members.
  • Coordinating and implementing all curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and related policies.
  • Overseeing all aspects of the school’s curricula while working closely with the administration and faculty to ensure academic program continuity, sequence, relevance and effectiveness.
  • Supervising the school’s student support systems such as counseling, academic support, health and wellness, etc.
  • Directing and working with administrative staff in the performance of their duties.
  • Designing and implementing faculty and staff professional development opportunities.
  • Maintaining, developing and improving the school’s buildings and grounds in collaboration with the Cathedral property committee.
  • Overseeing the school’s volunteer programs, including meeting regularly with parent volunteer leaders.
  • Managing the school’s outreach to alumni through meetings and written/ video/social media communications.
  • Ensuring that student academic and behavioral progress is reported accurately and clearly to families on a regular basis.

In relation with the Cathedral, the Head is responsible for:

  • Maintaining a functional, collaborative, communicative relationship with the Dean of the Cathedral.
  • Reporting, when necessary or appropriate, to the Vestry about the state of the school.
  • Reporting on the state of the school to the Cathedral community at the Annual Meeting.
  • Working with the school Chaplain and Cathedral staff to organize the annual Episcopal School Sunday service, weekly chapels (if held in the Cathedral), and other school activities held in Cathedral facilities other than the school buildings.
  • Partnering with the Dean and Cathedral Property Manager to ensure ongoing efficiency in sharing facilities and other resources with the Cathedral.
  • Working with Cathedral personnel to ensure the property is secure and safe for all constituents, especially students.
  • Providing, with the school chaplain, spiritual, ethical, and character development programs for students.

In managing the school’s finances, the Head is responsible for:

  • Working closely with the Business Manager and Finance Committee to prepare, implement, and monitor the Board-approved annual operating budget.
  • Managing the school’s financial affairs with the goal of producing a balanced budget at the conclusion of a particular fiscal year.
  • Providing regular financial reports to the Board and Board Finance Committee.
  • Ensuring effective, auditor-approved financial policies and procedures are in place and adhered to.
  • Ensuring the completion of an annual financial audit and completion of the school’s 990 tax form.

As the school’s chief executive officer, the Head is responsible for:

  • Acting as the school’s lead spokesperson and representative in all dealings with outside organizations, individuals, and the public.
  • Serving as the chief communicator and exemplar of the school’s unique story and its Episcopal mission and vision.
  • Working collaboratively and communicatively with the administration and Board as the school’s point person during times of crises.
  • Overseeing the school’s communications efforts in connecting with all school constituents.
  • Working with the Board to create, prepare, and implement long-range strategic plans.
  • Maintaining the school’s accreditation, annual reports, certifications, and documentation as required by independent school associations and state agencies.
  • Being visible and present to students and their families on campus and at off campus school events.

In managing the school’s fundraising and development efforts, the Head is responsible for:

  • Working directly with the Board and Development Committee to establish, pursue and meet/exceed the school’s annual fundraising goals.
  • Supervising and supporting development personnel in attracting donors to endowment, planned giving, annual giving and capital campaigns and to all other fundraising and marketing events.
  • Overseeing the school’s relationships and interactions with philanthropic foundations and organizations, including the writing of grants and proposals.
  • Supervising the organization of and is the school’s chief representative at fundraising events or occasions.
  • Working with the Board chair to solicit annual giving donations from Board members.

Challenges and Opportunities

The next SSES Head of School will successfully face challenges and opportunities by:

  • Providing stable leadership for the school over the next several years, thereby having time to establish connections and relationships throughout the SSES, Cathedral and wider communities.
  • Devising and implementing a plan to substantially increase salaries and benefits for faculty and staff, all of whom are currently paid well below the average for Harrisburg area educators.
  • Establishing and maintaining a functional and productive relationship between the Cathedral and SSES. It will be essential for the next Head to work well and collaboratively with the Dean of the Cathedral.
  • Organizing the school’s systems of operations including revisiting job descriptions and responsibilities, reviving and managing the employee evaluation and professional development programs, and shoring up admissions and development duties.
  • Working with the Board to plan for increasing the school’s revenue to fund the changes necessary for the school to develop and thrive.

Before July 1, 2022, please either email a cover letter, resume and references to Interim Head of School Kirk Duncan at kduncan@sseschool.org or mail to Kirk Duncan, ℅ St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, 215 N. Front St., Harrisburg, PA, 17101

Type of Commitment
Full Time
Does this job pay?
Application Process
Before July 1, 2022, please either email a cover letter, resume and references to Interim Head of School Kirk Duncan at kduncan@sseschool.org or mail to Kirk Duncan, ℅ St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, 215 N. Front St., Harrisburg, PA, 17101
Application Deadline