The Shipley School
  • Bryn Mawr, PA, USA
  • TBD
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Paid Time Off, Holidays, Medical, Dental, Retirement, Life Insurance, AD & D, Continuing Education

The Shipley School, founded in 1894, is a co-educational, college preparatory, independent day school currently enrolling 835 students in grades Pre-K through 12. Located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, the school is committed to educational excellence and dedicated to developing in each student a love of learning and compassionate participation in the world.


The Shipley School is committed to equal employment opportunities for all individuals. Based on receipt of federal financial assistance through a Paycheck Protection Program loan administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) under the CARES Act, the School acknowledges its obligation to prohibit discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, citizenship status, genetic information, handicap or disability in admissions, access, employment, tuition assistance, educational policies, or other school administered student and employee programs and activities. Questions regarding the School's compliance with the application and administration of the School's nondiscrimination policies should be directed to Title IX Compliance Officer or the Section 504 Compliance Officer at, 814 Yarrow Street, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010, or to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) or to the SBA. Please refer to the School's SBA Non-Discrimination Compliance Policy on the School's website for information on how to file complaints with OCR or the SBA.



The Head of Upper School will serve as a strategic thought partner for the Head of School and the other members of the Central Administrative Team, as well as lead and collaborate closely with the administrators of the Upper School division. The Head of Upper School will be responsible for oversight of the entire Upper School program and curriculum; and must develop a sophisticated understanding and knowledge of Shipley's mission, culture, community, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The Head of Upper School must have an inspiring vision for excellence in high school education in the 21st century, while also developing positive, caring, productive relationships with students, colleagues and parents. The Head of Upper School will be responsible for establishing and upholding clear standards, high expectations, and effective systems for execution by the administration of the division.



In addition to other roles that might be assigned as needed by the Head of School, the primary duties and responsibilities of the Head of Upper School will include all of the following:

  • Serve as the educational leader of the Upper School; develop and maintain a culture and educational program that bolsters a dynamic learning environment and deepens the sense of belonging for each member of the learning community.
  • Convene and collaborate with the Upper School's key leaders, including the Academic Dean, Dean of Students, College Counselors, Grade Deans, and Department Chairs, to create an engaging, 21st century learning environment.
  • Participate in the strategic planning and leadership of Shipley as a member of the Central Administration Team.
  • Advance the School's commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion, positive education and Service Learning.
  • Develop and nurture positive relationships and communication with students, colleagues, and parents/guardians.
  • Oversee and support all aspects of the Upper School student experience, including academics, the arts, athletics and service learning.
  • Support the performance and personal and professional growth of Upper School colleagues through on-going mentoring, evaluation and professional development opportunities.
  • Supervise the instructional programs of the School to encourage the use of a variety of instructional strategies and materials consistent with research on adolescent learning, growth and development.
  • Collaborate with the Upper School Student Support Team to foster and maintain the academic success and the social and emotional health of Upper School students.
  • Take primary responsibility for, and work with the Head of School and Chief Financial Officer, as well as with the Department Chairs, in hiring for the division.
  • Coordinate efforts with the admission and communication departments to recruit, admit and retain Upper School students.
  • Partner with the academic leadership team to develop and implement school-wide pedagogical and curricular initiatives, including the furtherance of culturally-sustaining curriculum for students and colleagues.
  • Establish and administer the annual Upper School budget.



The next Shipley Head of Upper School should be prepared to lead and work in effective collaboration with the Head of School and other colleagues to:

  • Capitalize on the exciting sense of momentum and that the School is poised at a positive inflection point in its history.
  • Lead the entrepreneurial process of defining and instituting the clear identity and direction of the Upper School, while also building upon the many existing strengths of that division.
  • Further develop and institute principles and practices of effective distributed leadership across the school and, in particular, in the Upper School.
  • Develop productive, supportive relationships with Upper School colleagues while also motivating, inspiring and establishing direction and expectations for them.
  • Build upon the spirit of community and the successful relational culture in the School, while also enhancing the Upper School's excellent academic program.
  • Advance, in close conjunction with other leaders, and in partnership with all members of the community, the School's deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Work effectively with the marketing, communications, advancement and admissions functions of the School to fortify and enhance enrollment and the School's market position and identity.
  • Establish greater clarity and confidence in the Upper School community about the balanced role of athletics and physical education, as well as of all other co-curricular extracurricular programs.



The successful candidate to be the Head of Upper School will most likely demonstrate all of the following qualities, characteristics, skills and experiences:

  • Demonstrated success as a steady, confident leader with the capacity to organize and motivate teams, guide others through challenges, and grow in the job.
  • Significant supervisory experience with teachers, and experience at articulating and addressing the strengths and challenges evident through classroom observation and other feedback.
  • Significant training in and experience with building diverse, equitable and inclusive communities.
  • Demonstrated success as a strategic thinker, effective manager, and master implementer, with a systems approach to improvement and change.
  • High levels of emotional intelligence, excellent listening skills, and the ability to navigate the complexities and ambiguities of leading and inspiring others in a deeply invested community.
  • Superb communication skills, in writing, in front of groups, in relationships with others, and as a team leader.
  • Success in past experience in a leadership position with a proven record of building both a sense of community and advancing professional excellence.
  • An advanced degree, with demonstrated personal and professional commitment to ongoing learning and professional development.
  • Significant training in and experience with building diverse, equitable and inclusive communities.
  • A strong work ethic, with the capacity to invest full days; yet also with the ability to establish, uphold and model appropriate boundaries and standards for others in the broader Shipley community.
  • Demonstrated ability to function as an autonomous leader, with excellent judgement in regard to when to include others, at all levels in the organization, in decisions and processes.
  • Warmth, character, a strong ethical compass, values consistent with the mission and culture of Shipley, and a sense of humor.


Candidates interested in applying for the position of Head of Upper School at Shipley should do so online at https://


Application includes:

  • Letter of interest
  • Resume or CV
  • Writing sample or personal statement
  • Names of four current references (optional)


For any questions, please contact:

Bob Henderson


John Green


The deadline for receipt of full application materials is January 29, 2021.

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