Inaugural Head of Student and Academic Life

Choate Rosemary Hall
Wallingford, Connecticut, United States
30+ days ago


Inaugural Head of Student and Academic Life

Choate Rosemary Hall is a highly selective, co-educational boarding school dedicated to transformative student experiences. Drawing on over 130 years as a demonstrated leader in education, Choate has moved with confidence into the 21st century, integrating innovation with traditional strengths. Choate invites applications, nominations, and inquiries as it embarks upon a search for the Inaugural Head of Student and Academic Life. The successful candidate will demonstrate a deep commitment to independent schools and a genuine desire to engage actively in Choate campus life.   

The Inaugural Head will oversee all internal day-to-day aspects of life at Choate, working in a highly relational, visible, and collaborative way with students, faculty, and staff to support their experience in and beyond the classroom. The Inaugural Head has four direct reports: Dean of College Counseling; Dean of Equity and Inclusion; Dean of Faculty; and Dean of Students. In addition, the Inaugural Head indirectly oversees the work of approximately 200 faculty and staff. The Inaugural Head reports directly to Alex Curtis, Head of School, and partners with Dr. Curtis and the senior team in planning and development to ensure that students, faculty, staff, families, and alumni are supported holistically and, in a manner, consistent with Choate’s values and ambitions.

Choate faces both challenging and exciting issues as it looks to the 2021-2022 academic year and beyond. While some of these opportunities are a direct result of the many events of 2020, others will grow from the strategic goals that the institution is in the process of identifying through the work set forth in its current strategic plan.

The following opportunities and challenges, among others, will await the Inaugural Head and are critical to Choate’s near, medium, and long term success: supporting faculty and staff; engaging deeply with families and students; fostering a sense of inclusive community; prioritizing student mental and physical health; and encouraging the continued evolution of teaching and learning.

The most successful candidates will:

  • Be committed to the mission and expectations of an inclusive, highly regarded boarding school.
  • Speak and communicate effectively with a wide range of constituencies (trustees, students, faculty, parents, alumni, donors, community).
  • Be willing and able to make difficult, timely, and financially responsible decisions with the ability to comprehend, articulate, and resolve institutional considerations in all decision making.
  • Possess a high degree of professional discretion, integrity, good judgment, and high standards of professional conduct.
  • Be able to pivot smoothly and seamlessly from one task to another within a variety of areas of responsibility in order to support the Head of School and senior officers; direct reports and their departments; and students, faculty, and staff.  
  • Be a strong, experienced, and sophisticated leader who can create and enforce clear administrative systems, policies, and guidelines.
  • Prefer working in an environment that encourages intellectual agility and creative problem solving.
  • Possess a body of professional knowledge and experience around diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice, as well as a track record of impact and accomplishment in advancing this work in intersectional ways.
  • Be an effective, fair, and open communicator who is committed to a transparent and collaborative decision-making process with all parts of the Choate community.
  • Thrive in a close-knit, student-focused community and possess genuine interest in engaging actively in the life of the institution.
  • Work diligently to foster, among a highly committed faculty, staff, and student body, a culture that values self-examination, quality improvement, strategic thinking, mission-aligned planning, data-driven analysis, and the continuous pursuit of excellence.


Ten or more years directly related experience in a progressively responsible leadership position in an educational institution. Ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the full range of experience within an independent school environment preferred. Proven ability to affect and influence change through a collaborative and inclusive style. Excellent communication and presentation skills. Experience serving as a key strategic partner to a Head of School and Board.


Evaluation of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until a new Inaugural Head is named. The anticipated start date for this opportunity is July 1, 2022. Inquiries, nominations, and letters of interest with a resume may be sent in confidence to:

Ruth Shoemaker Wood, Partner

Erin Kalagher Meissner, Associate

Storbeck Search


Choate prohibits in all its programs discrimination against or harassment of any member or group based upon age, gender, race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic predisposition, ancestry or other categories protected by Connecticut or federal law. It does not discriminate on these bases in the administration of its admission process, educational policies, scholarship and loan.

Job Information

  • Job ID: 56698555
  • Location:
    Wallingford, Connecticut, United States
  • Position Title: Inaugural Head of Student and Academic Life
  • Company Name: Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Job Function: Academic Administration
  • Job Type: Full-Time
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