Established in 1689 by William Penn and members of the Religious Society of Friends, William Penn Charter School (Penn Charter) is a community guided by Quaker values and the central belief that there is "that of God" in every person. Today, Penn Charter is a leading, all-gender, independent day school offering a vigorous pre-K through 12 program in academics, arts, and athletics, all within the context of the Quaker values that have guided the school for more than three centuries.
We invite nominations and applications from seasoned, detail oriented, analytical, and strategic administrators with strong interpersonal skills and deep leadership and strategic acumen for the inaugural position of Chief Operations Officer.
ABOUT WILLIAM PENN CHARTER SCHOOL Penn Charter is the fifth-oldest school in America and the oldest Quaker school in the world. Over three centuries, even as we have honored tradition, the school has advocated for change. Our curriculum embraces a plurality of cultures and celebrates an array of voices, instilling in us a deeper understanding and empathy for individuals in this community and the world.
The Penn Charter educational program exposes students to a breadth of content and ideas as well as opportunities for deep exploration in the pursuit of personal passion. Guided by research and best practices, faculty collaborate across divisions and disciplines to design and deliver engaging and relevant learning experiences. We provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a complex and changing world.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, & BELONGING Penn Charter seeks to build a community representing diversity in race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender, sexual orientation—as well as learning style, opinion, and hometown. When you walk through Penn Charter's red doors, there is a reason our formal-looking school suddenly feels down to earth: the people. Penn Charter was founded not for some people but for all people. That is as true today as it was in 1689. Penn Charter was one of the first schools to open to children of all religions and races, and among the first to educate girls and to offer financial aid. Despite that history, our community is not immune from the racism, sexism, homophobia, and intolerance that challenge this city and nation. Our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) work is ongoing, and unfinished.
THE ROLE OF THE CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER The Chief Operations Officer (COO) position is a newly created role at the William Penn Charter School. The institution’s growth and increasing complexity over the years have put a strain on the existing organizational structure, resulting in a need for additional staff with the expertise and disposition to oversee a multifaceted portfolio and assess and plan proactively for potential risk and vulnerabilities. The COO exercises responsibility for operational aspects of the organization in a manner that will strategically increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of Penn Charter.
As a member of the Leadership Team reporting to the Head of School and working closely with the Chief Financial Officer and others, the Chief Operations Officer will provide day-to-day oversight and direction for a cross-section of the school’s non-academic daily operations. The inaugural Chief Operations Officer will oversee high-level operations and supervise and collaborate with leaders in facilities (including construction management, housekeeping and facilities scheduling), safety and security, outsourced dining, transportation and grounds, and campus technology infrastructure, to assess these areas and implement systems and processes to harmonize operations that foster increased alignment with the school’s mission while supporting environmentally sustainable practices and increased fiscal and operational efficiencies.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS Exhibiting the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct, the successful COO will have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, architecture, facility management, business administration, construction management, or related area and at least five years of experience in a senior facilities management role in a complex, multi-building campus setting such as an independent school, college or university, healthcare system, non-profit, or government entity. The most successful candidate will value and thrive in being part of a close-knit, diversity-minded, and student-focused school community with a deep, rich history and strong sense of tradition. Ability to work flexible hours to support operations, including emergency response and support of before and after-school and weekend events. Ideally, candidates will possess many of the following qualifications and characteristics:
One who can move easily between broad, strategic thinking and the day-to-day management of a large and diverse department and whose management approach encourages the development and execution of new ideas, promotes transparency, and supports prudent change.
A proactive self-starter who projects team spirit and has the ability to organize, motivate, coach, and focus others in pursuit of a well-developed strategic plan.
An adept manager who respects differences of opinion, seeks consensus when appropriate, and is comfortable making difficult decisions.
A supervisor who balances effective delegation to staff members while retaining ultimate accountability for results.
Skills and Knowledge
A broad and deep knowledge of facilities management, safety and security, and, ideally, food services, transportation, health services, and event management.
An ability to devise, prioritize, execute, and achieve results in a complex institutional environment with multiple demands on time and attention.
Excellent communication skills in writing, one-on-one, and in small and large groups.
An advanced understanding of and the ability to use computers and technology, including the Google campus platform, basic office equipment, and mechanical equipment.
A self-directed, goal-oriented, and well-organized manager who is also flexible, resilient, nimble, and able to react appropriately in response to unexpected changes and challenges in a high-stress environment.
An inquisitive and analytical person who asks the right questions and continually searches for opportunities for improvement and operational efficiencies.
A responsive and diligent professional with a sense of urgency who appropriately balances timeliness and high-quality results.
A team-player who thrives in an environment with a strong sense of community and who values authentic relationships.
An individual who exhibits high emotional intelligence, integrity, self-awareness, and a sense of humor.
A minimum of five years of experience in senior-level facilities management or operations positions within an educational institution, another nonprofit organization, or a for-profit corporation.
A track record of working effectively with multiple constituencies, such as faculty, administrators, volunteers, parents, students, board members, and contract workers.
Demonstrated success in motivating, mentoring, managing, and evaluating a large and diverse staff.
A history of establishing, implementing, and maintaining operational policies, procedures, controls, and standards.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience, and the position must be performed on site, in Pennsylvania. Penn Charter offers a generous benefits package as well, including 90% tuition remission for up to two children at a time for grades K-12 and a 20% discount for Pre-K.
APPLICATION PROCESS To learn more about this opportunity, please review the position profile. Evaluation of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until a new Chief Operations Officer is named. The start date for this opportunity is approximately July 1, 2024. Interested candidates can apply using the following Talent Profile link:
William Penn Charter School provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.