Tower School is an independent PreK-8 school located in Marblehead, MA. Our mission is to teach students to think critically and creatively, to develop joyful curiosity, to embrace challenge and apply knowledge with confidence, and to thrive within a community rich with diverse perspectives and talents.
With an enrollment of 260 students and 60 faculty and staff, the School is situated on an 11-acre campus consisting of a 70,000 sq ft building, turf field, greenhouse, and student gardens. There are two school-owned properties: 41 Colgate, the Head of School residence, and 37 Colgate, the Building and Grounds Supervisor residence and maintenance hub. The School maintains an active schedule of facility rentals and offers a six-week summer camp program.
Tower seeks administrators, faculty, and staff who demonstrate an interest in participating fully in the life and activities of a highly engaging elementary and middle school and will contribute to furthering Tower’s mission. Successful candidates will exhibit a strong work ethic, a demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion, excellent written and verbal communication skills, a good sense of humor, and an ability to inspire young people.
The Director of Finance and Operations (DFO) is responsible for managing all financial and operational aspects of the school. The DFO is a mission-driven strategic thinker who provides innovative financial and organizational leadership. Reporting to the Head of School, the DFO serves as the Head of School’s strategic business partner, providing fiscal and operational analysis and support. The DFO is a member of the school’s senior leadership team and works collaboratively with the Board of Trustees to ensure that the school’s financial and operational functions support Tower’s mission, core values, and strategic direction.
Roles & Responsibilities
Supervise the operation of the business office, including but not limited to accounts payable and accounts receivable, general ledger, monthly and annual reporting.
Supervise the work of the business office personnel to ensure compliance with all applicable accounting procedures and standards per Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the rules of the Financial Accounting Services Board (FASB)
Oversee management of human resources, including employee relations, benefits and compensation, and safety for employees.
Effectively supervise and mentor key professional staff, including the Director of Information Technology, Controller, Building & Grounds Supervisor, Director of Summer At Tower, and Receptionist.
Plan and prepare forecasts of the financial condition of the School. Report to the Head of School, Board of Trustees, and Finance Committee on the present and future operations results, including overseeing the ongoing maintenance and updating of a long-term financial model.
With the Controller, prepare operating statements for the Head of School and the Board of Trustees and provide timely and accurate budget vs. actual reports to the budget managers and notify these users when budget variances suggest potential issues.
Establish an effective financial modeling system for strategic planning to aid the administration and the Board of Trustees in making strategic decisions.
In concert with the Finance Committee, establish a plan and schedule to prepare the annual budget that will permit the setting of the succeeding year’s tuition and compensation.
Oversee the School’s purchasing and contracts, banking activities, payroll, benefits program, and financial investments, including the endowment. Implement the investment decisions of the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.
With the Controller and Audit and Risk Management Committee provide for the securing of an annual audit of the School’s financial records and financial positions.
In concert with the Director of Development, ensure proper receipt, accounting, and spending of designated gifts.
Manage tuition assistance, including preparation of materials, compilation of data for Tuition Assistance Committee, record keeping, notification, and follow-up.
Communicate and support parents regarding sensitive and complex financial situations.
Establish, review, revise, and ensure legal compliance and risk mitigation with all federal and state laws concerning human resource management, benefits, payroll, wage and hour, and personnel (including but not limited to ACA, FLSA, FMLA, PFMLA).
Serve as liaison to the Head of School and the Board of Trustees on all facilities planning initiatives. With Controller and Building & Grounds Supervisor, manage fixed assets and construction in progress.
Manage transportation systems and contracts.
Report and collect data to and from school associations (NAIS, AISNE, JBSA, etc.) and manage surveys of data from benchmark groups. Communicate risks, opportunities, and trends by creating, researching, and participating in surveys.
Represent the School at various regional, state, and national associations relative to the role of a CFO/Business Manager.
Act as the School’s liaison with appropriate local officials. Serve on committees, task forces, and study groups as needed.
Provide the financial information and planning that builds understanding and trust among the faculty, administration, the Board of Trustees, and families.
Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School.
Bachelor’s Degree required; advanced degree or MBA preferred.
7-10 years’ financial management experience at a senior level preferred.
Proven track record in developing and executing cross-functional operational plans.
Experience in strategic pricing to drive enrollment and meet market demand and expertise in optimizing financial aid.
Ability to lead strategic initiatives to completion while anticipating issues and identifying practical solutions across the school.
Experience developing long-range capital and operational budget planning
Experience in gathering, synthesizing, and analyzing data to provide metrics key to guiding prudent decision making.
Exceptional written/verbal communication and presentation skills, including the ability to distill complex topics and then communicate them effectively to varied audiences.
Significant experience supervising other personnel and managing multiple projects and programs.
A high level of integrity and a strong work ethic.
Ability to integrate effectively into the culture of a not-for-profit independent school while implementing strategies and tactics necessary for successful operations of the business.
Tower School is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Tower does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided based on qualifications, merit, and need.
Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to email a cover letter, resume, and list of five references with contact information (references will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission) to Patti Gillis at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Tower School
Tower School is an independent PreK-8 school located in Marblehead, MA. Our mission is to teach our students to think critically and creatively, to develop joyful curiosity, to embrace challenge and apply their knowledge with confidence, and to thrive within a community rich with diverse perspectives and talents.