Head of School, Stratford Hall School, Vancouver, BC, Canada, effective July 1, 2018

The School and its Mission

Founded in the late 1990’s, Stratford Hall distinguishes itself among the independent day school options in central Vancouver, BC as a K-12 School fully authorized to offer the continuum of International Baccalaureate programs. From 40 students housed in a local community centre, the School has grown to an enrollment of over 500 situated in three uniquely designed buildings which support the needs of each of the three IB programs. Vancouver consistently is at, or near the top of a variety of rankings of world cities for overall quality of life. It is vibrant, cosmopolitan and multicultural, and Commercial Drive, the School’s physical address, is in one of the area’s most dynamic neighborhoods.

Stratford Hall operates under the authority of the British Columbia Ministry of Education as a Group 2 Independent School. The School follows the required BC curriculum. All students graduate with the BC graduation certificate, the Dogwood Diploma as well as being eligible to graduate with the IB Diploma. The School is a member of the Independent Schools Association of British Columbia.

“Stratford Hall educates students to the highest global standards, through the programs of the International Baccalaureate. Excellence and confidence are developed through a challenging academic curriculum with further emphasis on creativity, action and service.” An integrated and continuous IB curriculum and culture permeates the entire School; parents, faculty and staff are passionate about it. Complementing the IB and contributing to the development of the whole child is the hands-on experiential program. In the Primary Grades this includes PE, Music (Orff concepts) and beginning in Grade 4, Outdoor Education (OE). In the Middle Years OE expands, and social service activities, Taiko drumming and theater based upon Cirque du Soleil activities are added. In the Diploma Program, students are expected to complete fifty hours each of the three strands of Creativity, Action and Service over the two year period.

“We foster a strong pluralistic community that is built on integrity and respect”. A powerful sense of community among faculty and staff, students and families at Stratford Hall is palpable and it is a strong draw for prospective families as well as a retention tool. The overall student and faculty morale and culture are very positive. The majority of constituents would agree that the faculty is highly engaged and attentive to ensure that Stratford Hall delivers upon the following:

“Our Graduates will:

Be successful at their post-secondary endeavors;
Be principled in their work and personal lives;
Be curious and continue to learn throughout their lives;
Engage in local and global issues, for the betterment of all:
Demonstrate balance in their lives.”

The Opportunity

Stratford Hall seeks a visionary Head of School who clearly demonstrates a firm understanding of and commitment to IB curriculum. The ideal candidate will possess a strong record of achievement as an educator, a leader, a communicator and a financial manager. An appreciation of a multicultural learning environment is important.

The ideal candidate will have earned an advanced degree and demonstrate evidence of other intellectual pursuits and professional growth and will be a sitting and accomplished head of school. Without experience as a head, the candidate will have held senior management positions, such as assistant head or head of a large division for at least three or more years. The successful candidate will have International Baccalaureate experience and absent this, will immerse him or herself in gaining full knowledge of that curriculum and will embrace it with passion.

Reporting to the Board of Governors, the Head will be expected to:

  • Celebrate, advance and be loyal to the mission and core values of Stratford Hall
  • Oversee overall program development to maintain high standards of excellence and an environment of intellectual curiosity for students with a range of backgrounds and abilities
  • Cultivate and delegate appropriately to the four members of the senior management team
  • Oversee all administrative areas and continue to introduce and put in place systems and formality where needed
  • Expand the culture of giving and fundraising
  • Pursue the strategic initiatives developed by and agreed upon with the Board of Governors
  • Attract, retain, develop, inspire, mentor, supervise and evaluate the faculty and staff to preserve high quality and consistency in the delivery of the program
  • Maintain and enhance the current positive school climate and sense of community, including encouraging parental volunteerism

The Successful Candidate

While recognizing that no single individual is likely to embody all of the following strengths and abilities in equal measure, the following characteristics of Stratford Hall’s next Head of School have been identified as being most important:

  • A proven track record in his or her personal and professional life that reflects a commitment to and passion for academic excellence, globalism and a desire to foster the IB atmosphere of intellectual curiosity, creativity and independence
  • The ability to multi-task, prioritize and delegate with confidence
  • An overall management style characterized by inclusiveness, appropriate transparency, approachability and support balanced by decisiveness and accountability
  • A compassionate yet authoritative and politically astute approach to dealing with students, parents and faculty and staff
  • Active listening skills or “keeping the door open” and the ability to respond with empathy but firmly and without wavering to constituents, when necessary
  • A proven capacity to communicate orally and in writing to faculty, staff and parents with consistency, clarity and vision
  • Sophistication in financial management and strong analytical skills that ensure the continued financial stability of the institution
  • The skills to build a broader culture of giving leading to successful fundraising
  • The ability to market the Stratford Hall brand with charisma to a wider applicant pool
  • An affinity for the lifestyle and culture of Vancouver and an appreciation of a small school environment
  • The highest ethical, moral and professional standards

An Invitation to Apply:

This is an international search for a Head of School who would be expected to assume responsibility on July 1, 2018. The compensation and benefits package will be competitive with that offered by schools of similar size and stature.

Please provide the following: Letter of Application, CV, Statement of Educational Philosophy and three references. Electronic submission is preferred.

Inquiries are strictly confidential and should be directed to:

John C. Littleford
Senior Partner
Littleford & Associates
P.O. Box 14806
Baton Rouge, LA 70898
1-800-69-TEACH
John@JLittleford.com