To be an Episcopal school head is to lead a particular kind of educational community, one that attends to the intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual development of children of many faiths and backgrounds within the traditions and values of the Episcopal Church.

If you are wondering if heading an Episcopal school is right for you, here are some key concepts and processes you should understand.

Role and Responsibilities

Episcopal heads of school may have a variety of titles, including: head of school, head, headmaster or headmistress, or director.

Like other independent school heads and early childhood program directors, the head of an Episcopal school is the school’s chief executive officer. In an Episcopal school, the head also serves as an important spiritual leader, embracing, articulating, and advancing the school’s Episcopal identity.

The head articulates the mission of the school and serves as the primary voice of the school to all constituents. She or he works closely with the school’s governing body on all aspects of short-term and long-range planning for the school and has primary responsibility for developing and implementing instructional practices, polices, and programs consistent with the school’s stated mission and purpose.

In addition, many Episcopal schools have a governance relationship to an Episcopal parish, cathedral, seminary, or diocese. In these Episcopal schools, the head plays a key role in insuring a positive and collaborative relationship between the church and school.

Search Processes

Each school sets its own criteria, process, and timeline for the recruitment, selection, and hiring of the head of school. You should contact each school’s search committee or designated search consultant. The position description will outline the qualifications sought.

Head of school searches normally begin 6–18 months in advance (most often in the spring, summer, or fall) of an appointment beginning July 1 of the following year. Many schools use professional search firms while others direct their own search.

As part of the search process, we recommend that you gain a complete understanding of the school’s

  • history,
  • mission, and
  • governance relationship to the parish or other sponsoring organization, if any.

This information will help you anticipate the leadership joys and challenges you may encounter should you accept an offer from the school.

Some schools may require that the head be an Episcopalian while others may not.

Unless specifically stated in the position description, a license or certification in school administration is not required.

Salary, compensation, and the terms of any employment agreement are determined by each school.

The need for new heads of school will be great in the coming years. If you are considering heading an Episcopal school, we invite you to explore our website and to learn more about what makes Episcopal schools unique.