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Principal (2023)

The Principal reports directly to the Board of Trustees and serves as the chief executive officer of the school, responsible for the overall advancement and success of Waldron Mercy Academy (WMA). In collaboration with the Board, the Principal will lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of the school’s strategic plan. The Principal provides active leadership and works collaboratively with the Vice Principal managing day-to-day academic, faculty, and student matters. In collaboration with the School Leadership Team, the Principal will provide leadership in developing a strategic vision to advance the school in the areas of fundraising, admissions, marketing, and communications.

Specific Responsibilities

Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Ensure the promotion of WMA’s Catholic identity and Mercy mission through the oversight of faith development, implementation of Gospel values, liturgical celebrations, and the practice of Christian service.
  • In collaboration with the Board of Trustees, develop and implement organizational plans and goals that advance the mission of WMA and the priorities of the Board.
  • Develop and monitor a school climate and culture that adheres to the teachings of the Catholic faith while embracing and articulating the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy – immigration, earth, racism, nonviolence and women.
  • Prioritize availability to the school’s faculty and staff, students, and families while fostering clear, open, engaging, and welcoming communication with all constituents. Effectively communicate and clearly articulate the mission, philosophy, and educational goals of the school to both internal and external constituents.
  • Serve as strategic team leader for all faculty and staff with direct supervision and evaluation of the School Leadership Team which includes the Vice Principal, Director of Finance and Operations, Director of Innovation, Director of Student Support Services, Director of Admissions and Advancement, and Director of Religious Education and Outreach.
  • Ensure ongoing professional, academic, and religious development of WMA employees.
  • Promote professionalism and positive staff morale while fostering collaboration and healthy relationships with employees, students, families, and volunteers.
  • Set strategic vision for fundraising and enrollment goals, and actively participate in institutional advancement.

Academic Leadership

  • Exercise direct responsibility for the daily operation and educational development of the academic program.
  • Create and sustain a culture of continuous improvement that provides students with opportunities to develop and demonstrate proficiency.
  • Ensure that curriculum, assessment practices, and policies are comprehensive and in alignment with the school’s mission.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current, relevant, and culturally competent instructional methodology, curriculum differentiation, child development, behavior, and learning.
  • Provide ongoing instructional feedback, engaging faculty in the development of a rigorous curriculum.
  • Exercise general supervision and evaluation of faculty and staff members.
  • Provide an environment in which all employees feel encouraged, supported, and valued.
  • Maintain WMA’s accreditation and certifications.
  • Select and retain faculty and other instructional and extracurricular staff to best support the mission of WMA.
  • Cultivate and support an environment of 21st-century learning and teaching, ensuring that emerging trends are recognized, studied, and applied appropriately.
  • Set performance objectives for teachers and students.
  • Oversee development of activities and goals, seeking support and resources beyond WMA.

Institutional Advancement/Board Relations

  • In conjunction with the Director of Admissions and Advancement, engage donors, volunteers, and the community to support the mission and vision of the school to secure resources that will support the school’s long-term strategic needs.
  • Build and maintain relationships with current and prospective donors.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Admissions and Advancement in determining programs for the recruitment of students, including marketing and outreach, information dissemination, applicant testing and interviews, and acceptance decisions to cultivate and grow enrollment.
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board of Trustees and ensure open communication about the measurement of performance against stated milestones and goals.
  • Work with the Board of Trustees to carry out established school policies; to review those policies and make recommendations for changes; to attend meetings, prepare reports, maintain board records, and keep trustees informed on all aspects of the school’s operation.

Operations/Finance

  • Implement and monitor WMA’s safety policies and procedures to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and volunteers.
  • Manage any school crises and emergencies.
  • In collaboration with the School Leadership Team, monitor all programs of the school (religious, service, academic, high school counseling, athletic, ethical, and co- and extra-curricular), including curriculum, grading, testing, reporting to parents, disciplinary policies, and standards of conduct.
  • Maintain accurate and current records and policies ensuring that all employees and volunteers comply with the mandates of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia regarding the maintenance of a safe and secure environment, including clearances and mandated reporter training.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Finance and Operations, oversee the preparation of preliminary and final budgets; monitor income, expenditures, and cash flow while maintaining appropriate financial records.
  • Select and hire properly qualified individuals to serve as members of the faculty and staff, and hold regular meetings of the faculty and staff to ensure that the general policies of the Board of Trustees are understood and followed.
  • Monitor and coordinate matters regarding hiring, retention, and dismissal of personnel, including salaries and contracts, employee benefits, job assignments, performance evaluation, and orientation and training.
  • Represent the school in all relations with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, school district, township, county, Commonwealth, and federal agencies and with local, state, regional, and national educational organizations and accrediting agencies.

THE CANDIDATE

The ideal candidate will be a faith-filled, dynamic leader who will continue the Catholic education mission in the Sisters of Mercy tradition. The new Principal will lead with a servant’s heart, loving and respecting all people, with special loving regard for children. The Principal will exhibit a passion for learning, a commitment to academic excellence, and cultural competence to build an inclusive school culture. The Principal is a visible, supportive, and accessible presence, known and respected by the WMA community.

Qualifications

  • A practicing Catholic with a deep-rooted commitment to Catholic faith and values, modeling the teachings of the Catholic Church, along with a strong understanding and appreciation of the Mercy charism.
  • Minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible senior leadership and management experience in an academic setting.
  • Demonstrated strength, skills, and experience in leading an organization, with a proven track record in marketing, enrollment, and fundraising success.
  • Broad knowledge of overall operations of an independent school, including academics, finances, development, admissions, marketing, and care and maintenance of facilities.
  • Proven crisis management and problem-solving skills with the ability to make wise decisions in collaboration with team and Board members.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach, inspire, and empower others while modeling professional conduct, demeanor, and work habits.
  • Ability and willingness to participate in fund development, including identification, cultivation, and stewardship of donors.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to build, foster, and maintain positive relationships with both internal and external constituencies including administrators, faculty, trustees, volunteer leaders, students, donors, and prospects.
  • Excellent public speaking skills complemented by a demonstrated ability to interact in a social setting with ease and grace.
  • Attentive listener and superior communication skills to express, both orally and in writing, the mission and goals of WMA with clarity, passion, and persuasion.
  • Self-confidence and humility combined with a sense of humor and a collaborative management style.
  • Master’s degree and Principal certification preferred.
  • Limited travel required; must be available to attend events after work hours or on weekends as needed.

THE INSTITUTION

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy and conducted in partnership with lay faculty, Waldron Mercy Academy is a Catholic co-educational school serving students aged three years old through grade eight. Grounded in the rich history of Merion Mercy Academy for Girls and Waldron Academy for Boys, Waldron Mercy Academy enables students to become capable and discerning adults. Waldron Mercy Academy strives to increase their students’ awareness of the need for responsible membership and leadership in the global family. Waldron Mercy Academy is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and a member of Mercy Education.

The U.S. Department of Education recognized Waldron Mercy Academy as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2001, 2009, and 2020. Additionally, the Academy is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and received recognition as a Program of Distinction in Service Learning from Middle States in 2017.

Mission
Waldron Mercy Academy, a Catholic school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, is a diverse, faith community rooted in the gospel values of mercy and justice. We are a school where the joy of discovery inspires serious study, social responsibility, and strong faith.

For additional information, please visit our website at https://www.waldronmercy.org/.

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