Position Title: Director of Finance and Operations
Position Type: Full Time, Twelve Months, Exempt
Start Date: August 2, 2021
Reports To: Head of School
School Name: The Valley School
City, State: Seattle, WA
Posted: June 2021
The Valley School
The Valley School is a co-educational day elementary school serving approximately 115 students in grades pre-kindergarten through the fifth grade in the Madison Valley neighborhood of Seattle. Founded in 1985, The Valley School offers a high-quality academic foundation in a small school setting, rich with opportunities for creativity, exploration, and play. We celebrate childhood. Our learning program is a mixture of playful work and purposeful play and is designed to be developmentally appropriate at each grade. Social emotional learning and skill development form an important pillar of our program, in addition to academics, specialist classes, and dynamic playground spaces designed to offer myriad opportunities for students to learn and grow.
The Valley School is an Accredited Member of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS).
Mission and Values
At The Valley School, we ignite children’s natural passion for learning. Our students develop an academic foundation and become joyful learners through playful work, purposeful play, and the practice of community.
Values: celebration of childhood, collaboration, creativity, equity and inclusion, kindness, and respect for individuality.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) Statement
The Valley School honors diversity, practices inclusion, and invites courageous conversations. We strive to create a community where each individual is valued, respected, and included. Though the journey can be muddy – much like our playground – we aim to give every child the tools necessary to flourish.
The Valley School seeks a full-time Director of Finance and Operations (DFO) to manage the School’s finances, resources, and operations and ensure the continued development of our rich, child-centered educational program. The DFO reports to the Head of School, is a member of the Leadership Team, supervises the Facilities Manager, the Business Office Assistant, and the Extended Day & Summer Camps Manager, and manages the outsourcing of key external functions, including accounting, IT, retirement plan and custodial services. The DFO also works closely with the Finance Committee, Board of Trustees, and faculty in fulfilling our Mission to create educational experiences whereby “students develop an academic foundation and become joyful learners through playful work, purposeful play, and the practice of community.” In all areas, the DFO will be guided by Valley’s Mission and Values.
Valley has a history of steady enrollment, sound financial management, healthy reserves and sustainable operations, with an approximate $3.0 million operating budget funded almost entirely through tuition. In the 2021-22 school year the DFO will play an essential role in Valley’s Strategic Plan, a process that sets the course for the school’s short-term and long-term development.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Director of Finance and Operations is directly responsible for:
Ensuring the long-term financial strength and sustainability of The Valley School
Providing counsel and support to the Head of School, Board of Trustees, and faculty on all matters relating to finance and operations
Leading the preparation of the annual operating budget and Five-Year Financial Outlook and managing the budget upon its approval by the Board of Trustees
Directing day-to-day accounting and finance activities and refining policies and procedures that ensure cost-effective and efficient operations
Developing financial models and projections for long-range and strategic planning that balance the school’s current realities with our aspirations
Establishing financial aid goals, policies, and objectives, and managing implementation of the financial aid program
Overseeing bank relationships, cash and debt management, and investment of operating cash and reserve funds
Coordinating and managing external audits with Valley’s CPA firm
Administering and maintaining all property, casualty, and liability insurance
Overseeing and selecting investment accounts and investment managers in collaboration with the Board Finance Committee
Preparing financial dashboards and reports for Board meetings, internal management use, and external requirements
Developing and maintaining all legal contracts and agreements
Developing and maintaining historical management information systems for school records, including documents, reports, and databases
Contributing to regular administrative meetings and sessions of the Board of Trustees and presenting information as requested and appropriate
Communicating with parents about all Business Office issues
Managing all aspects of human resources, including recruiting and hiring all employees, preparing employment agreements for all faculty, and maintaining relations with benefits administrators
Collaborating with appropriate administrators, trustees, teachers, and parents in communicating about and managing various capital, school promotion, facility, financial, and organizational projects
Overseeing all risk management dimensions of school operations
Contributing fully to the life of the School by participating in activities such as class coverage, playground duty, and field trips
Applicants must submit a letter of interest, resume, and list of references to Alan Braun, Head of School, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subject Line: The Valley School Director of Finance and Operations
In experience, qualified candidates will have:
A minimum of five years in senior level finance and administrative positions, preferably in an independent school or non-for-profit institution
A Bachelor’s degree required; CPA, MBA, or other relevant certifications or graduate degree desirable
Experience in developing and implementing new and revised policies
A strong track record of participating in major strategic and resource decision-making
Experience preparing and implementing annual and long-term budgets
Experience in financial planning and analysis, accounting and financial reporting, audit and tax returns, information technology, plant management, human resources, and construction oversight
A strong record of working collaboratively with multiple constituencies, including parents, faculty, students, and Board of Trustees members, and with people of diverse backgrounds
Experience supervising employees and promoting their professional growth
In skills and attributes, qualified candidates will have:
Excellent skills in oral and written communication, research, and professional networking
Excellent organizational and analytical skills, with a detail-oriented approach to work
The ability to work independently and to take initiative, while remaining committed to teamwork
Effective interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and flexibly with teachers, school personnel, and members of the Board and wider community
A facility with digital tools, including accounting, presentation, data management, and writing software
A flexible, accessible, and engaging approach to people and a sense of humor
A commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access
A character of integrity and honesty
A commitment to our child-centered philosophy of education and an eagerness to participate in school life and in the learning of children
Additional Salary Information: The Valley School offers a salary that is competitive with comparable schools in the Seattle area and is commensurate with experience and credentials. We also offer an excellent benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, and Paid Time Off, plus opportunities for professional development.
The Valley School is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation (including gender expression or identity), race, creed, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability.
About The Valley School
The Valley School is a progressive, pre-kindergarten through 5th grade, independent school that carefully attends to the individual development of children through intellectual exploration, community, and play.
We believe childhood is to be celebrated rather than rushed. It is a special time of exploration, unsuppressed creativity, friendship, and wonder. By understanding and respecting childhood, children — brimming with curiosity and imagination—grow into whole-hearted learners, practiced in thoughtful inquiry and critical thinking.
Our Mission and Values
At The Valley School, we ignite children’s natural passion for learning. Our students develop an academic foundation and become joyful learners through playful work, purposeful play, and the practice of community. Our school values include: celebration of childhood, collaboration, creativity, equity and inclusion, kindness, and respect for individuality.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) Statement
The Valley School honors diversity, practices inclusion, and invites courageous conversations. We strive to create a community where each individual is valued, respected, and included. Though the journ...ey can be muddy – much like our playground – we aim to give every child the tools necessary to flourish.