Employment Opportunity: Head of School

Olney Friends School seeks an inspiring and visionary Head of School to implement the school’s Realizing Our Future growth plan. Olney is an ISACS accredited, co-educational boarding and day high school that possesses an impressive set of strengths; however, recent leadership challenges have placed the school in a position of low enrollment and financial vulnerability.

Olney Friends School has a very strong influence on students’ lives, and alumni and other supporters are very loyal. Passion about the school, the Olney spirit, and the Olney experience forms the basis of a very solid foundation. In 2017-18, the school has made progress to stabilize and rebuild. Olney conducted a fundraising appeal in February and March that exceeded the fundraising goal by more than 50%, with alumni and other supporters contributing $380,000 on a goal of $250,000. In April, Olney was highlighted as a success story in a Chronicle of Philanthropy article.
Olney has the ability – and the support – to execute its plan to rebuild and grow, so that future generations may benefit from the Olney Experience. Optimism is high and the future looks bright.

ABOUT OLNEY: a special place that leaves a deep and lasting impression on students and alumni
We describe Olney’s unique niche as “humanities with an environmental sustainability twist.” Our 350 acre farm provides much more than the organic food that is served at meals; it provides the basis for exploring the questions What is the role of our natural surroundings? and What is our role in relation to the planet?Environmental sustainability is woven throughout the Olney experience, from the integration of practical farming into the curriculum to “Goat Watch,” when students sign up to assist during the school goat herd’s kidding season.

Characteristics of Olney:

  • Solid college prep academic program
  • Inquiry-based academics
  • Faculty who treat teens like they have a brain, respect them for their ideas, challenge them as they would an adult
  • Accepting, nurturing, supportive community
  • Acts in accordance with its Quaker values


  • Find themselves, grow into who they will be
  • Have a sense of purpose
  • Consolidate their identity
  • Are active learners, inquisitive, critical thinkers
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Self-launch, are motivated
  • Accept and celebrate others with different cultures, identities, and beliefs

Olney takes pride in its 180-year history. Founded in 1837 by the Religious Society of Friends, the school’s values are Quaker in nature: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and environmental stewardship. Olney attracts students from diverse backgrounds and cultures.


The Board seeks a Head who is invigorated by the opportunity to implement the Board’s growth plan. The foundation for success exists: a solid educational program with a unique niche, an environment that supports and nurtures students, and a supportive and active community of alumni and other stakeholders.

In order to successfully implement the Realizing Our Future plan, the Head will focus on recruitment, retention, increasing communication with alumni and other stakeholders, fundraising, implementing best practices in management and operations, and facilities management. The Board is in full support of these priorities, and will ensure that they are appropriately resourced.


The Head of School is accountable for all operational and educational affairs of the school and for implementing policies established by the Board of Trustees.

The Head sets the tone; leads and inspires growth and improvement; is the public face; and manages operations, including recruitment and supervision of teachers, school curriculum, student recruiting and admission standards, general supervision of students, financial matters, building and grounds, fundraising, public relations, communication with stakeholders, and other duties that may be prescribed by the Board or Trustees.


The Head will exhibit:

  • A style of leadership that builds trust, respect, a collaborative work environment, and a sense of community
  • A tone of leadership that emphasizes listening, clear communication, and the joy of engagingwith students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni
  • The ability to motivate and lead growth and change, and to productively challenge thecommunity to succeed

The Head will believe in the enriching power of diversity for a school community, and appreciate and be willing to be guided by Quaker values and practices in leading the school.


We welcome candidates who are experienced educators, as well as those who can establish how his/her work history has prepared them to lead the school.

We are eager to discuss this exciting and challenging position with anyone who is interested in exploring this opportunity. To schedule a 15 minute discussion prior to submitting application materials, please email us atsearch@emdconsulting.com.

Applicants should send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three professional references to search@emdconsulting.com. Please limit the size of the email to 5 mb in order to ensure delivery.

Olney Friends School is a 501(c)(3) and an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.