Head of School

Vermont, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Apr 23, 2021
Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Head of School

The Putney School, a mixed gender boarding and day school serving 231 students in grades 9-12, located in Putney, Vermont, is eager to welcome nominations and applications for an innovative, thoughtful, and inspiring leader to serve as its next Head of School effective July 1, 2022.


Since its founding in 1935, The Putney School has been at the forefront of the progressive school movement. With a mission to develop active, critical thinkers and members of a democratic society, Putney takes a holistic approach to education. In addition to a rigorous academic program, students participate actively in running the school, work on Putney’s 500-acre Elm Lea Farm, participate in sports, apprentice with local artisans, and express themselves through the performing arts, becoming the makers of their own education. Consistent with Putney’s commitment to engage students with real dilemmas and decisions, there are student members of the Board who are full voting members.

Social justice has been a core value at Putney since its founding. Committed to building an inclusive community that respects and affirms each of its members, Putney honors their diversity of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and socioeconomic status. Building on the 10 Year Vision Statement, Putney provides an educational program that recognizes and values the many peoples and perspectives of their community and the world. While conflicts may arise in the creation of such a community, these conflicts are seen as opportunities for growth, for open and honest communication, and for learning. With sustainability, community building, and diversity woven into the fabric of life at Putney, students develop a well-rounded view of the world and the skills needed to thrive in and shape it. 

At Putney the curriculum encompasses the full range of student activities, so that the great majority of employees engage with students and with teaching. Of the 35 full-time teaching faculty, 30 of them have advanced degrees. These committed educators enjoy working with students and value their time together. Putney teachers believe that connecting with students, helping them realize their passions and potential, is essential work at an important time in its history.

During the 2019-2020 school year, the Putney School enrolled 231 students from 26 states and 17 foreign countries. Boarding students represent 72% of the total student population, and 19% of the student body identifies as students of color. Putney prides itself on small class sizes and a close-knit community where students and teachers develop strong relationships that last far beyond graduation.

The Putney School is situated in Putney, Vermont, about two hours northwest of Boston. Putney is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to a wide array of activities from hiking and biking trails, orchards, a vineyard and quaint country stores and family-run businesses.

The Role of the Head of school

Putney’s next Head of School will oversee all aspects of its academic and operational programs and report to the Board of Trustees.

The ideal candidate for the Head of School position will demonstrate the following qualities of leadership and stewardship: 

  • Celebrate and prioritize the student experience
  • Articulate, model, and support a fluent vision for progressive education
  • Balance Putney’s culture of creative, flexible holistic education with efficient and effective organizational processes
  • Prioritize and affirm Putney’s foundational commitment to equity and anti-racism at Putney and in the world
  • Engage multiple audiences and constituencies to philosophically and financially support and sustain Putney’s distinct community and progressive approach to educating students, supporting faculty, and preserving its surroundings.

The search committee for The Putney School’s Head of School position will begin accepting nominations and reviewing applications immediately. Requested application materials include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and professional reference list. References will not be called without explicit permission. 

Applications will be welcomed until a new Head of School is selected. Candidates should submit materials to putneyheadofschool@storbecksearch.com.

The Putney School is being assisted in this search by Storbeck Search. For additional information, please contact:

Nishant Mehta, Managing Director & Independent Schools Practice Leader

Sherry Coleman, Consulting Managing Director

Staci Williams Seeley, Managing Associate

Storbeck Search | PutneyHoS@storbecksearch.com

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