As most of our readers know, Philbert Smith, our beloved and longtime director of students, is retiring at the end of this summer after serving our student population deeply — and with great commitment — these past 22 years.
Words cannot do justice to the gratitude Eagle Rock owes Philbert for his service. And while no one will ever replace him, we do need to move ahead and start the process of finding a new director of students.
We understand that the best candidates often come from the personal relationships we have with professionals around the country, which should help us generate a great pool of applicants. So it’s critically important that the Eagle Rock community kick into high gear and help us get the word out.
If you know someone who might be a good fit, please direct them to the Eagle Rock Employment page for more information on the position and the application process. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights associated with the job:
- We’re looking for is an experienced, energetic and visionary administrator to lead our student services department into the future. Our next director of students will:
- Support the development of our residential life curriculum
- Increase our culture of inclusion
- Build on our work as a restorative community
- Advance our admissions process
- Evolve our student discipline process
- Enhance our health, wellness and counseling services.
- The new director of students will be tasked with responsibilities involving admissions; student discipline; health, wellness, and counseling; residential life; advisories; personal growth; and student activities. The director will lead our student services team, which includes our admission associate; health and wellness counselor; residential life coordinator; part-time restorative justice and Explore Week coordinator; and our house parents.
- Among the ideal requirements for the position is a bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, social work administration, or related area with a master’s degree preferred. The candidate should have five to 10 years’ experience in an administrative or leadership position; experience working in a progressive residential / boarding school; and extensive experience working with underserved, diverse adolescent populations.
If you or someone you know is interested in the position, you should know that we’re looking for someone who displays strong managerial, supervisory and leadership skills; has experience leading organization-wide initiatives; is experienced with diversity and inclusion initiatives; understands school-based, trauma-sensitive practices; has a working knowledge of mental health terms, systems, and reports; and is experienced with restorative practices.
Familiarity with solution-focused brief therapy, somatic psychology and positive psychology is a plus, as is a demonstration of proficiency in written and oral communication.
Finally, we envision our next director of students as being highly personable and skilled at one-on-one interactions and able to use systems, projects and team management to address major issues. The successful candidate will be able to remain centered in the midst of difficult circumstances and will have the skills to manage crisis situations. They will have the passion and physical and emotional stamina to work with staff and students in a year-round 24/7 residential school — and be excited to fully immerse in the Eagle Rock community.
For a complete outline of the different areas of responsibility required for the position — including detailed responsibilities for student admissions, residential life, counseling support and student discipline — please see the detailed Director of Students job description on the Eagle Rock Employment page.
First and foremost, we’re committed to finding the right person. As a result, the following timeline is offered to give a sense of our ideal process. While we intend to do as much as we possibly can to stick to the timeline, we realize there might be a circumstance with the best candidate that would require us to shift our plan. Bottom line: We hope the right person is not dissuaded from applying by incongruence between their commitments and our timeline:
- Application Deadline: February 19, 2016 (though applications will be considered as they are received)
- Phone Interviews: February 19 – March 4, 2016
- Onsite Interviews: March 9 – 25, 2016
- Start Date: May 2, 2016 (flexible)
Note: We’ve planned for a trimester overlap so the new director can work with Philbert through the summer.
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, brief skills self-assessment that indicates results produced in the major areas of responsibility listed above, and three (3) professional references (phone number and email address) to info at eaglerockschool dot org. Clarifying questions can be sent to Jeff Liddle, Head of School, at jliddle at eaglerockschool dot org. No phone calls please. We ONLY accept electronic submissions. No paper or fax materials will be considered.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
About the Author: Jeff Liddle is the head of school at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center — a nationally recognized, tuition-free residential high school in Estes Park, Colo. The school offers a second chance to students who have not been able to succeed in a traditional high school setting, and a professional development center that supports high schools nationally in re-engaging youth in their own education. As head of school, Jeff is responsible for leading Eagle Rock’s school community and its leadership team; interfacing with the organization’s board of directors; and overseeing the vision and financial health of the organization.