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The McGillis School Salt Lake City, Utah Head of School July 2017

The Position

Mission Statement

The McGillis School is located in the northeast corner of Salt Lake City, an area adjacent to the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains that offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. For more than 25 years, The McGillis School has centered on a resounding purpose: to create individuals committed and able to repair the world.

Serving over 400 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, McGillis enjoys a unique niche as a secular school richly grounded in Jewish values, ethics, and culture. With 75 percent of enrollment comprised of non-Jewish families, the school has done a brilliant job of harmonizing and optimizing upon these two aspects of its identity to resonate with an increasingly diverse community in a competitive independent education market. To educate children and instill in our students a love of learning and the abilities to think critically, live ethically, and appreciate the value of each individual.

The school is home to a pervasive spirit of community and inclusiveness. Parents deeply love and trust the many individuals at McGillis who embody the mission and values that initially attracted them to the school. The faculty, staff, and administration of the school are collegial and professional. They hold very high expectations for themselves and have remarkable work ethic. Talented, deeply caring, and capable teachers work collaboratively and tirelessly to meet the needs of every student, and the close-knit, trusting relationships between the faculty and students foster an environment in which community members embrace both the hard work and joy inherent in the journey of intellectual and personal growth. Though only established as an independent school in 2002, The McGillis School rivals other independent schools in Salt Lake City in maturity and sophistication. The school is financially strong, disciplined in managing its finances, and governed by a dedicated and committed Board of Trustees. The challenging academic program prepares children to be successful students, mindful community members, and critical thinkers. Equally important is the school’s wide array of experiential, environmental, and outdoor education programs, as well as artistic, athletic, and service learning opportunities, all of which promote students’ socialemotional development and provide avenues by which they can discover and purse their passions. With an enrollment that will reach 425 this fall and waitlists in most grades, McGillis has thrived under the collaborative leadership of Matt Culberson, who is leaving in July 2016 to become the Head of the Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington. Assistant Head, Dr. Melanie Battistone, will serve as the Interim Head for the 2016-17 school year. Aided by a clear sense of identity and strong sense of community, McGillis is well positioned to welcome a new Head, effective July 2017. The next Head of McGillis will join a community that is justifiably proud of its growth and accomplishments yet eager to continue challenging itself to innovate and improve. The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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The successful candidate will be a visionary and skilled leader who believes in the school’s Mission, Purpose, and Values. The candidate will be committed, capable, and eager to join this warm, diverse, inclusive, and aspirational community.

School History McGillis began life in 1990 as the Jewish Community Center Elementary School. In 2002, it separated from the JCC to become The McGillis School. The following year, it purchased, renovated, and seismically upgraded the historic Douglas School, a former public school located near the University of Utah. The school has grown steadily from 129 students in 2003 to a projected 425 students in 2016. To accommodate that growth, a campus expansion plan was completed in 2010, which led to The McGillis School becoming the first K-8 school in Utah to achieve Gold LEED Certification. The school has received the Platinum Utah Green School Award every year since 2012.

The School At McGillis, teachers understand that children’s intellectual skills develop on an individual timeline. Faculty use differentiated learning approaches that allow students to develop at different paces. Small classes and low student-to-teacher ratios ensure individualized attention and support, and a wide array of teaching methods—from small group instruction to independent research to learning support—allow teachers to help students elicit their strengths and tackle their challenges.

School Culture McGillis has a unique and intentional culture that is framed upon ethics, academics, and community, and driven by the school’s mission, foundational values, and Essential Attributes. Teachers and students alike strive to create a culture that is inclusive, welcoming, and understanding of differences and individuals while The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates


Values Our teaching and our community are grounded in the fundamental values found in Jewish culture and shared by all who seek to better the world. We celebrate Jewish traditions and holidays and bring the values they represent to life in the ways we educate our students, build our community, govern our school, and utilize our resources.

McGillis students practice Limud L’shma, learning for the sake of learning. Curiosity, experimentation, critical thinking, dialogue and debate are the foundation of our vigorous, secular academic curriculum.

We practice Tzedakah, acts of giving freely to others. Our students learn that giving is part of living, and that Tzedakah is core to ethical, active citizenship.

We actively seek Tikkun Olam, acts of repairing the world, through understanding and action. As engaged learners, our students explore the complex issues facing our neighborhood and the world beyond, and develop and undertake acts of service individually and as a community.

We care for each other in Gemilut Hasadim, acts of doing good and kind deeds. We are a diverse community, brought together by a commitment to raise and teach ethical, caring and inquisitive students. By doing good and kind deeds we strengthen our bonds across our many traditions and differences.

We teach tolerance and kindness through Derech Eretz, having respect for all people and beliefs. McGillis is a school where students are safe, welcomed, accepted, understood, and loved. Our desire to truly know and respect each other extends to our educational focus on the whole child, our curriculum’s strength in ethics, world cultures and religions, and self-expression through the arts.

The McGillis School embraces the family we create within Kehilah, our community. We value and nurture a strong and vital institution that informs, includes, and involves all members in our shared commitment to our purpose, mission, and values.

We govern our school with Achrahyut, fiscal responsibility, transparency, and respect for the resources given to us by our founding benefactors Richard and Joanne McGillis, those who have helped to build our school, and those who will support our school for generations to come. The Board of Trustees is mindful of the trust placed in them to use resources wisely and to be accountable to their supporters McGillis School parents and students. |

developing productive, curious, creative, and critically thinking students. A secular school that uses a value-based foundation of Jewish tradition, McGillis is uniquely guided by these values in curricular decisions, cultural celebrations, as well as interpersonal interactions. The McGillis School is committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive community. Believing that such community is an essential element of a rich educational experience, McGillis embraces diversity of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, belief, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, learning, physical abilities, and more. The school’s curriculum and teaching integrate divergent perspectives and educate students about our complex, ever-changing world. The McGillis School advances an understanding of and respect for diversity through efforts to raise social awareness and sensitivity to the issue. The school is dedicated to attracting and retaining faculty, students, administration, staff, and trustees with diverse backgrounds.

Academics Learning begins in the lower school, where students are encouraged to reach beyond their own educational experiences to engage with their surrounding community. They come to situate themselves within the larger world, and are encouraged to consider how their own actions can impact and repair the world. The K-2 core program is designed to prepare children with fundamental skills that lead them to be successful students, mindful citizens, engaged lifetime learners, and critical thinkers. This is achieved by partnering with families and tapping into students’ natural curiosity. Concrete skills are taught through engaging, interactive lessons influenced by the Essential Attributes: sense of place and purpose, curiosity and creativity, humility, authenticity, perseverance, critical thinking, empathy, integrity, independence, open-mindedness, academic preparation, and global vision. Fluency in basic math and literacy skills is attained through frequent opportunities for repetition and practice. Students are encouraged to collaborate with peers to solve problems that are meaningful to them and to the school community. The school values taught in these formative years serve as pillars for social development. Within The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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a nurturing and safe environment, students are encouraged to reach beyond themselves to view the larger community that surrounds them, and begin to understand and articulate the impact of their actions in the world. In the upper elementary grades, students strengthen their critical thinking skills and develop a deep and abiding joy in learning. As they better understand how their actions impact the world around them, they develop a global vision and learn to advocate for themselves. The core program in third through fifth grades aims to develop a sense of curiosity and creativity as students explore the joy of learning. As students move from the concrete to the abstract, they begin to develop critical thinking skills. Learning is purposeful, dynamic, rich, experiential, and engaging. Through community experiences like the annual Brownies-in-a-Bag, which raises funds for the Utah Food Bank, or the Fall Leaf Haul and Spring Spruce Up, which give back to the school’s neighbors, students begin to understand how their actions impact the world around them as they develop a global vision. Peer relations become increasingly important as students learn the value of effective communication. McGillis students are given the opportunity to move beyond self in order to embrace the gifts and contributions of others. Students work to find their voice and to advocate for themselves and others as they build a sense of place and purpose. Students are encouraged to become independent, confident, and critical thinkers by persevering through challenges. Learning in middle school (grades 6-8) extends beyond core academics. Teachers strive to produce students who are global citizens and critical thinkers by creating experiences that actively involve students in all aspects of exploration, sense making, and learning through multiple lenses, perspectives, and representations. In addition to the core subjects, students take courses in visual arts, performing arts, outdoor and environmental education, ethics, foreign language and cultures, service learning, and physical education to more actively engage their minds and bodies.

Student Life McGillis’ After School program engages students in an environment that encourages social, academic, and creative growth, further stimulating the development of the Essential Attributes through recreational and extracurricular activities. In the After School program, students participate in supervised homework time, free play, quiet reading, games, and arts and crafts. Throughout the McGillis experience, the study of ethics is essential to the curriculum. The Ethics and Cultures program comprises lower school Ethics and Cultures class, Ethics-In-Action Days, Family Groups, Jewish culture, and Shabbat. The goals of the program are to teach students to engage in moral reasoning, to be a The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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vehicle for understanding the breadth of Jewish culture and values in the school community, and to help students develop a strong sense of self and responsibility to serve their community. Through the lens of history and culture, this program strives to broaden student awareness of different peoples and to develop in students a sense of purpose and place. Students focus on improving their immediate community through a schoolwide initiative called Sustainable Pathways. This initiative, launched in Fall 2011, challenges the school community to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rethink the use of its resources including energy, water, and waste management. The overarching goal is to help each constituent make sustainable decisions with environmental integrity, social equity, and awareness of economic consequences. This goal is accomplished through individual programs including Divide-the-Ride, Ethics-in-Action events, Green Cup Challenges, Green Fiber Recycling, and more. In addition to their hearts and minds, McGillis helps to nurture students’ bodies. As an official member of the Wasatch Athletic Conference, the school offers athletic teams in which students can participate at both beginning and competitive levels. Students can join the soccer, volleyball, basketball, or cross country teams. Additionally, through the Wonderful Outdoor Winter (WOW) Program, students can take advantage of Salt Lake City’s beautiful outdoor recreational sports activities. Through WOW, students in grades one through eight have the opportunity to try a new winter sport or practice a sport they already enjoy. WOW offerings include Nordic skiing, snowshoeing/hiking, ice-skating, hockey, alpine skiing, snowboarding, and Olympic Park training. Beyond the class trips that take students in grades 3-8 outside of the classroom, the Middle School Outdoor and Environmental Education (OEE) Program introduces students to a broad variety of ways to find purpose and meaning in their lives through connections to outdoor places. Students gain an understanding of the natural world, its systems, and its landscape. They also come to understand their own ability to effect positive change as environmental stewards and outdoor leaders. OEE fosters personal growth by challenging students to stretch beyond their comfort zones. Through the program, they gain an understanding of ecology, social and political implications, and the importance of sustainable wildlife resources.

Salt Lake City, Utah Often included in top-ten lists of Most Livable Cities, Salt Lake City has become a fascinating blend of natives and transplants. Drawn by the quality of life, easy access to nature, world-class arts and culture, and a large pool of college-educated workers, Wall Street firms have discovered Salt Lake City. Goldman Sachs has been expanding its presence to more than 2,000 employees, making Salt Lake City the firm’s fourth-largest center behind New York, London, and Bangalore. Founded by Mormon leader Brigham Young, Salt Lake City The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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is home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in addition to being Utah’s state capital. Salt Lake City draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to its plentiful array of performing arts, sports and recreation, and educational attractions. The city rests atop the Salt Lake Valley, surrounded by the Great Salt Lake to the northwest and mountain ranges to the east and southwest. Canyons line the city, and a dozen world-class ski resorts are mere minutes from downtown. Host of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City offers a plethora of outdoor sports, including skiing, snowboarding, boating, fly-fishing, hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. The Sundance Film Festival, held each winter, presents groundbreaking documentaries and films in and around the Greater Salt Lake City region, as the festival expands beyond its traditional home in Park City (25 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City). Salt Lake City’s other attractions include the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Natural History Museum of Utah, Hogle Zoo, Pioneer Theatre, Red Butte Garden, Tracy Aviary, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and the new George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Theatre, which houses Broadway shows. Dance is well represented by companies that include Ballet West, Repertory Dance Theatre, and RirieWoodbury Dance Company. Professional, semi-professional, and collegiate sports offer residents yet another outlet; the NBA Utah Jazz and Utah Stars, the MLS Real Salt Lake, baseball’s Pacific Coast League Salt Lake Bees, the mid-level professional hockey team Utah Grizzlies, the Pac-12 University of Utah Utes, and the independent BYU Cougars all compete within minutes of the city center. Salt Lake City’s economy is strong, mainly service-oriented, with major industries including government, trade, transportation, utilities, and professional business services. The low unemployment rate and cost of living led CNN to cite Salt Lake City as the “least stressed-out” U.S. city in 2014. Housing prices remain affordable with many options in neighborhoods, single-family homes, townhouse communities, and downtown condos. Salt Lake City is diverse, with strong ethnic communities and culture and over 80 languages spoken in its public schools. Home to five national parks, 43 state parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and “The Greatest Snow on Earth,” Utah represents the best of the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest. Visitors enjoy easy access to scenic vistas, outdoor recreation, shopping, dining, and Western culture. Filled with natural beauty, cultural attractions, fine dining, arts, and sports, Salt Lake City is a wonderful place to call home.

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Opportunities and Challenges Since its founding, The McGillis School has accomplished tremendous growth and matured significantly as an organization. The growth has been thoughtful, purposeful, and intentional. Fully enrolled with waitlists in most grades, the school has done a masterful job creating a home away from home for its students and an exceptionally strong sense of community for its families, many of whom have moved to Salt Lake City from elsewhere. The next Head of School will join a community that, while delighted by the school’s many accomplishments, looks forward with great ambition and excitement to the school’s future. The teachers, parents, and alumni share a passion for the school’s commitment to inspiring its students to be ethical, global citizens, and critical thinkers. As a school that is secular, diverse, and inclusive, as well as united and informed by Jewish traditions and holidays, McGillis seeks in its next Head someone who will embrace and constantly strive to maintain the healthy balance between these two important aspects of its identity. As the school’s chief ambassador, the Head will also communicate the school’s distinctive values in a compelling manner to current and prospective members of the McGillis community and to the broader Salt Lake City populace. The school benefits from a high-functioning faculty and staff, as well as a committed and talented senior leadership team who have been empowered to use their gifts and energy in support of the school’s mission. The Head will work to ensure that staff, teachers, and senior administrators are supported in their roles and will foster an environment that attracts and retains the best educational talent possible. The next Head will have the opportunity to guide and learn from the leadership team, a strong collective that has successfully embraced a model of shared parity and collaborative decision-making. Within the organizational structure, the Head of School leads and facilitates decision-making where ideas are discussed, examined, and challenged in a healthy climate. McGillis is committed to an outstanding academic program. The Head of School, aided by the senior administration and in partnership with an inspired faculty, will provide the academic vision and leadership necessary to ensure that the school’s curriculum and pedagogy are appropriately innovative and reflect current best practices. There is an expectation that the next Head will help the school strike the right balance between innovative thinking and thorough implementation of new ideas and approaches. The McGillis community places a high value on the Head as a visible symbol who embodies the community and its mission and values. The strong sense of community at McGillis requires The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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that the next Head be highly visible and establish strong relationships with all constituencies of the school. The next Head of School will need to maintain clear communications with faculty and staff, parents, and alumni, ensuring a sense of community and a common purpose. McGillis delights in being a family school, enrolling siblings of current and former students and children of faculty at the school. The school has elected to support a range of learning styles as part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The next Head will help the school continue to understand and refine the learning profile of students it can confidently serve. In the fall of 2016, the middle school will expand, adding a third section to the sixth and seventh grades, followed by the addition of a third section to eighth grade in the fall of 2017. This will challenge the school to consider the most prudent use of human resources, dining hall schedules, outdoor play spaces, and both parent and faculty communities, as well as demand intention in the execution of adjustments and communications. In addition, the expansion of the middle school means there will be two points of admission—Kindergarten and sixth grade. More attention will need to be given to the admissions funnel, communications, and marketing in order to achieve current growth goals, which include increasing applications for admission by 20 percent every year for the next two years. The next Head will need to understand and support these new initiatives. The school’s ambitious goal of offering an education on par with top K-8 schools in the country while keeping tuition more accessible to attract socio-economic diversity requires a high level of philanthropic support. The school has enjoyed the generosity of a founding philanthropic family and now needs to transition to a broaderbased culture of philanthropy with increased focus on major gift donors. The next Head must be able to guide and direct the Board of Trustees and Institutional Advancement into the next level of fundraising capacity and sophistication to ensure the school continues to have the resources required to sustain its success. The Board of Trustees is a healthy self-perpetuating governing board that clearly understands its role as strategic guide and visionary. The next Head will have the opportunity to grow and work with an extraordinarily committed group of trustees who entrust the daily operations of the school fully to the Head.

Qualifications and Qualities of the next Head of School The McGillis Board of Trustees and the school community are interested in all candidates who possess the proven leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills to help guide McGillis confidently into the future.

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The most promising candidates will be able to demonstrate most, if not all, of the following: • An educational visionary and strategic thinker who sees the big picture and identifies major potential opportunities for the school. • Embrace the School’s Mission, Purpose, and Values and be able to understand and continue to promote the careful and intentional way McGillis is a secular, diverse, and inclusive school grounded in Jewish values and culture. • Serve as an effective and articulate spokesperson for the school, thereby uniting the school’s current constituencies and exciting prospective families. The position also requires someone who is approachable and enjoys being a hands-on and visible presence in the life of the school and the surrounding community. • Possess or develop firm grounding in the principles and practices of K-8 education, including knowledge of strategies to serve different learning styles, experiential and global education, current thinking regarding best practices in pedagogy, and new advances in educational technology. • A consultative and collaborative leadership style that utilizes effectively the commitment, energy, and wisdom of others – including a strong, dedicated leadership group – yet is able to be decisive when needed. • Excellent leadership skills with the commitment to delegate appropriately and hold everyone accountable, serving as a role model of self-awareness and honest self-evaluation. • Commitment to a strategic external affairs program, including admissions, fundraising, marketing, secondary school placement, and broader community involvement. The favored candidate will be an outgoing, energetic, warm, confident person of keen intellect, with impeccable character and deep integrity who will enjoy developing and guiding the McGillis community. The school will be best matched by a leader whose down-to-earth, hands-on style enables him/her to connect easily with parents, teachers, staff, and students, and whose vision and energy unite the community in support of the school.

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To Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically in one e-mail and as separate documents, preferably as PDFs, the following materials: • • • •

Cover letter expressing your fit with the values and needs of The McGillis School Current résumé Statement of educational philosophy and practice List of five references with name, phone number, and email address of each to: Robert Fricker | Burke Zalosh | Senior Search Consultants Carney, Sandoe & Associates 44 Bromfield Street, Boston, MA 02138

Search Calendar • • • •

June 30 July 31 August 13-14 Mid-September

Applications Due Search Update First Round Interviews Finalists Visit

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McGillis School Head of School Search  

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