Head of Upper School

Head of Upper School

Appointment for July 2022


AIM Academy is an innovative, 1-12, independent, college-prep, day school serving bright children with learning differences. AIM is a diverse community that openly celebrates the unique gifts, talents, and strengths of all individuals. In this way, AIM develops an individualized program for every child by leveraging a variety of programs from the Arts, to Robotics, to Entrepreneurship, and the Humanities. AIM believes that while we work to support young people academically through research-based techniques, we also must tap into their interests and find those activities and areas where each individual can thrive.

AIM’s Upper School is a challenging, stimulating, cohesive community that encourages young adolescents to push themselves both in and out of the classroom and to connect their classroom experiences to the broader world. Academic offerings in the Upper School include everything from small-group reading intervention classes to sophisticated high-level courses in Math, Literature, and the Sciences. Offerings also include a wide array of electives in the Visual and Performing Arts, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship.

This position will afford an individual the opportunity to join an energetic, collaborative and innovative team that is focused on being a leader in the field of teaching middle school-aged children who learn differently and on disrupting a field that often leaves students like ours behind. The Upper School Head will be given wide-ranging responsibilities and be charged with the direction and supervision of the entire Upper School program. In close collaboration with the Head of School, Associate Head of School, and other members of the Senior Leadership Team, the Upper School Head will provide input on hiring, evaluation, curriculum, budget, and enrollment. 

This opportunity will require a compassionate, effective, and inspirational leader who thinks strategically and tactically and who wants to continue to make a great school even better. The primary challenges for the Upper School Head will be to sustain enrollment in a highly-competitive market, continue to build the brand of a newer school, and to meet a community-wide expectation for staying ten steps ahead of the curve. The Upper School Head will ultimately be responsible for the individualized education of 130 students and the nurturing of their families along with the leadership of a team of about 30 faculty.

Key responsibilities include:

● Ensuring all student programming needs are addressed through the use of research-based practices and all instructional decisions are guided by data;

● Developing a smooth and equitable schedule that matches teacher strengths and knowledge with student needs;

● Adhering to AIM’s rigorous supervision evaluation protocols to ensure all programs are delivered with fidelity and all teachers have access to the tools and resources required to provide exceptional instruction at all times;

● Assigning faculty to appropriate classes/teams and helping develop faculty to meet personal and school-wide goals;

● Developing measurable and meaningful goals for students across all disciplines in conjunction with faculty, the Integrated Services Team (SLP, OT, Psych), and Curriculum and Instructional Leaders;

● Monitoring the progress of every child in the Upper School in conjunction with faculty, the Integrated Services Team (SLP, OT, Psych), and the Curriculum and Instructional Leaders;

● Being a visible and prominent leader who sets a positive tone and leads with integrity and by example at all times;

● Developing and encouraging a culture of inquiry and innovation while keeping teaching practices that are reflective of current research in the field of learning differences;

● Expanding school programming for students and families to enhance and enrich the experience for all members of the community;

● Communicating both in and out of school frequently and effectively;

● Ensuring compliance with all legal requirements of Pennsylvania and all accrediting bodies (PAIS, NAIS, Wilson, and PDE);

● Establishing programs for mentorship of new faculty and creating pathways to leadership for seasoned faculty who are interested in exploring additional roles and responsibilities;

● Overseeing the coordination of co-curricular and extracurricular programs in conjunction with faculty, the Integrated Services Team (SLP, OT, Psych), and the Curriculum and Instructional Leaders and other members of the senior leadership team;

● Establishing and ensuring guidelines and programs for appropriate student conduct;

● Collaborating with the admissions team to ensure flexible and seamless open house, visit days, enrollment, and programming of new students;

● In conjunction with faculty, the Integrated Services Team (SLP, OT, Psych), and the Curriculum and Instructional Leaders, serving as consultant to all faculty in the division in matters of instruction, classroom management, and general school procedures;

● Managing the Upper School division budget and maintaining tight records on dollars spent throughout the year;

● Developing, nurturing, and supporting positive school culture;

● Collaborating with families (AIM Parent Committee) and other community members regularly;

● Striving for unity, harmony, and cooperation through tact, helpfulness, respect, and recognition of individual differences in interactions with all faculty, children, families, and colleagues;

● Working to ensure that all systems (schedule, faculty trainings, PD days, progress monitoring, meetings, dismissal, morning supervision, lunch duty, etc.) are run with efficiency and purpose; designing new and redesigning existing systems that are not running effectively or efficiently in conjunction with faculty, the Integrated Services Team (SLP, OT, Psych), and the Curriculum and Instructional Leaders;

● Holding regular meetings with faculty to discuss school process, establish and secure positive culture, generate ideas to enhance the quality of all aspects of our program;

● Seeking to further develop community-wide expertise in the area of learning differences, attention, arts-based instruction, 21st-century teaching and learning, and leadership in order to best meet the educational, physical, social, and psychological needs of our community;

● Acting as a key academic and emotional support to students and families as they navigate school and serving as a guide to necessary resources as they learn how they learn;

● Serving as conductor of a collaborative and distributed Upper School Leadership team that includes Dean of Students, Curriculum & Instructional Leaders, Psychologist, and Student Life Coordinator.

● Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity work as it relates to community, culture and curriculum;

● Commitment to ongoing collaboration with AIM Institute;

● Performing other duties at the request of the Head of School and Associate Head.

As the school evaluates candidates qualified for its position of Head of Upper School, an awareness of the Independent school environment as well as the professional knowledge of working in the area of language-based learning differences will be essential. The ideal candidate will have a variety of experiences that include a minimum of five years’ experience as an educator and/or supervisor in an educational setting similar to AIM Academy. The ideal candidate also will have specific degrees relevant to instruction and/or leadership in a setting like AIM Academy. A Master’s level degree is preferred for this position. A qualified candidate must clearly understand and be able to articulate the essential learning environment required for students, families, teachers, and professional staff particularly in the area of language-based learning differences.


Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit the following materials for application no later than November 17, 2021:

● A letter addressed to the hiring committee detailing your interest in this interim position, professional accomplishments, and personal qualifications;

● Resume detailing educational and work experience;

● Statement of educational philosophy which describes a successful instructional environment for those with learning differences;

● A reference sheet including three references that include a person’s association with the candidate as well as phone and email contacts.

● Proof of COVID vaccination.


All materials should be sent to the attention of our Human Resources Director, Cheryl Ferst, at cferst@aimpa.org