Founded in 1999 and located (since 2018) in the fast-growing community of Tysons Corner, Virginia(1),
Ambleside School is an accredited,(2) K-8th primary school organized as a Virginia non-profit corporation. The school’s foundational principles and mission are:
We are a Christ-centered school where Jesus is taught, honored and experienced.
We are a Charlotte Mason school,(3) faithfully applying the pedagogy of this gifted 19th century
educator which holds that “education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life,” has as its goal the maturing of each student in knowledge, character, and wisdom, and emphasizes “great books,” good habits, and the cultivation of imagination and inspiration.
We are a member of Ambleside Schools International (ASI),(4) an association of 25 schools across the US and the world that share a common curriculum and approach, engage in joint teacher and staff training, and collaboration.
Our mission is to (i) partner with families to equip students for a lifetime of vital relationships to God, people, nature, history and ideas, and productive service to God and country, and (ii) be a best in class school that serves as a shining city on the hill example of what is possible to attain through primary education.
With a stable financial model, a governance model pursuant to which the Head of School (HOS) and Board of Trustees (Board) have distinct but complementary functions,(5) and leased space that is zoned for 160 students within a church (6) , Ambleside School is poised for a new chapter of growth and optimization based on the above-described firm foundation which is embraced by the entire Ambleside community, including its Board, faculty, staff, students, and current and alumni families. Replacing a beloved incumbent who is retiring after 18 years, the new HOS will have the exciting opportunity and challenge of maintaining the school’s strengths while completing its transition to a mature, professional institution and charting its course for expansion and/or replication.
Scope of Responsibilities:
The HOS serves as the chief executive of the school and reports directly to the Board. S/he leads, manages and accomplishes the implementation of all instructional and operational aspects of the school, in conformity with the policy and budgetary guidelines established by the Board, the curriculum and training provided by ASI, and Ambleside’s foundation as a Christ-centered, Charlotte Mason school. S/he embodies and maintains the school’s Core Values (see attached). Key functions performed by the HOS include:
Provide spiritual leadership to the school, including through (i) inspiring and guiding its faculty, staff, parents and students to live as authentic followers of Christ in their day-to-day interactions, (ii) modeling the fruits of the Spirit, (iii) promoting reconciliation in and spiritually mature resolution of conflict, and (iv) maintaining a Christ-honoring school atmosphere.
Ensure academic excellence and classroom fidelity to the Charlotte Mason pedagogy and ASI curriculum, including (i) faculty recruitment, training, support, inspiration, monitoring and accountability, (ii) on-going study and implementation of best practices, (iii) coordination with ASI, and (iv) maintaining a positive and inspiring school environment.
Ensure administrative excellence, including the areas of finance, facilities, human resources, admissions, development, and planning, as well as maintaining an orderly and professional school environment.
Serve as the primary school representative and point of two-way communications with all internal and external stakeholder communities, responsible for the effective promotion of the Ambleside vision, value-proposition and philosophy.
HOS Personal Qualifications:
A lover of Jesus Christ, children, and knowledge who is committed to advancing the principles and mission of Ambleside School. Inspirational in leadership, comfortable in management and public speaking, resourceful, growth-oriented, administratively excellent. Spiritually mature, psychologically resilient, service-oriented, teachable, loving towards all persons, peaceful in and under authority, joyful, patient. Thoughtful, thorough, collegial, articulate, flexible and enthusiastic. Authentically devoted to Biblical discipleship.
HOS Professional Qualifications:
Minimum Requirements: Bachelor’s degree; seven years of experience in the field of education, independent school leadership or non-profit leadership; knowledge of Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy from professional experience or through the following essays: “Three Instruments of Education” and “Children as ‘Persons’”.7 All HOS candidates must affirm agreement with Ambleside’s Statement of Faith, Code of Conduct, and other Board directives.
Preferences: Demonstrated ability to lead organizations in growth and continuous improvement; track record for attracting, training and retaining teachers; experience with fiscal management, development, admissions and establishing school policies. Committed to leading the school for at least the next seven years.
Compensation: Competitive; commensurate with experience
Ambleside School – Core Values
Ambleside Leaders are:
Mature in Christ, courageous in conflict
We are personally devoted to Christ.
We pray for our work daily.
We take initiative in mending relationships.
Connected and compassionate with children
We are safe and remain our best self, even when others do not.
We always treat children with respect, no matter what they do.
Committed to Charlotte Mason as implemented by ASI
We study and embrace Charlotte Mason’s approach to education.
We collaborate with Ambleside Schools International to implement Mason’s pedagogy.
Invested in shepherding children and families
We invest in children and families while we do our work at Ambleside.
We approach children and families with hope and a growth mindset.
We understand our job and are clear about our areas of responsibility.
We solve problems instead of talking about them.
We admit failure and move toward growth.
Collaborative with the team and relational with the community
We work as a team “for the children’s sake.”
We uphold the agreements of the team, even when we disagree. ○ We talk to people not about them.
(5) Pursuant to our governance model, designed with the consulting firm Aligned Influence, the HOS is responsible to “lead, manage and accomplish” strategic objectives and policies set out by the Board. See www.alignedinfluence.com.
AMBLESIDE SCHOOL is an independent, Christ-centered School serving students from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. Ambleside School offers a direct encounter with the Bible, great books, art, music, science, mathematics, geography, language, handwork, and nature. Our educational foundation is based on the philosophy of Charlotte Mason (1842-1923). Ambleside School is associated with Ambleside Schools International, an association of schools, educators and leaders working together for educational renewal.