Head of School
Start Date: July 1, 2024
Co-ed Day School, Grades PK-8, 130 students
Traverse City, MI

Do you love the beauty of a pristine lake, the lush canopy of towering trees, and the joyful laughter of children happily engaged in learning? Perhaps you are drawn to a school community bonded together through friendship and a common passion for exceptional education? Are you ready to take the next step in your professional journey and lead a school that treasures hands-on experiential learning and embraces the outdoors as yet another classroom? Then The Pathfinder School could be your next home.

About the School

Since 1972, The Pathfinder School has been inspiring children to achieve their personal best as lifelong learners, young global citizens, creative thinkers, and stewards of the earth. With an expansive 22-acre historic estate intertwined with beautiful wooded grounds and lakeside access to Cedar Lake, Pathfinder’s campus provides an extraordinary natural habitat for learning, play, growth, and inspired curiosity.

Pathfinder’s expert faculty emphasize deep understanding of varying concepts through experience-based learning, while employing the Multiple Intelligences pedagogy developed by Howard Gardner. Teaching with this approach has been a primary focus at Pathfinder since the school’s inception. The school’s responsive, innovative, and engaging curriculum develops higher achieving students who are inspired to become more active learners, as a result of their natural curiosity and joy in finding success.

Fully accredited by the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS), Pathfinder is recognized increasingly as a destination school, attracting families from across the country to its bucolic setting. With a close-knit and highly engaged parent community and a school culture that honors diversity in its many forms, children and families joyfully make Pathfinder their home year after year. The next Head of School will have the enviable opportunity of not only stewarding Pathfinder’s nearly half-century legacy but shaping the next 50 years of its evolution. 

The Mission

The Pathfinder School mission is to ensure each student builds a foundation of intellectual facility and self-assurance through immersion in vigorous learning environments that require creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, initiative, and responsibility.

Pathfinder Value Proposition

Families choose The Pathfinder School to assure their student has a happy, enriching, supportive, and purposeful educational experience. They want their child to be set on a path of enthusiasm for learning and confidence in their ability to contribute to their community.

About the Position

The Pathfinder Board of Trustees seeks a leader who enthusiastically embraces and champions the school’s commitment to educating the whole child through experience-based learning that prepares students for a successful academic journey at Pathfinder and beyond. The next Head of School will be a visionary leader and passionate educator—and, of course, love children! An inspiring communicator who is warm and approachable, and brings enthusiasm, integrity, flexibility, and innovative thinking will thrive and experience success in the Pathfinder community. Ideal candidates will reflect:

  • A commitment to a holistic approach to education that encompasses a constructivist approach, academic challenge, creative and artistic expression, and an emphasis on moral and ethical standards.
  • A proficient understanding of strategic financial sustainability, budget development, student and faculty recruitment and retention, and enrollment management. 
  • A personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and the capacity to nurture cultural competency throughout the community.
  • Excellent communication skills and a warm, approachable demeanor 
  • A strong, charismatic leadership presence that fosters a culture of kindness and respect.
  • A high degree of emotional intelligence with a penchant for innovative, open-minded, out-of-the box thinking.

How to Apply

Candidates interested in the position are asked to submit the following materials by April 1, 2024:

  • EC Candidate Summary Sheet (contact Tracy Bennett for this document)
  • Letter of interest addressed to the Search Committee
  • Resume
  • Statement of educational leadership philosophy
  • A list of five or more references with contact information (name, relationship to candidate, phone and email addresses)

Application materials are to be sent electronically via email to:

No longer accepting applications
Tracy Bennett, Partner, Educators Collaborative

Phone: 425-466-4748

Listing Date: February 22, 2024