The Director of Finance and Operations oversees all aspects of the school’s finances with primary responsibilities of strategic financial planning, budgeting, accounting and reporting. The position reports to the Head of School and serves as a key member of the senior leadership team and several Board of Trustees committees. The position works closely with the Head, trustees and the leadership team. The ideal candidate is a mission-driven strategic thinker who has superb people skills, uncompromising judgment and integrity, experience in an independent school preferred, and a demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion. The candidate will have the ability to balance and prioritize the competing needs of the school and be fair but firm when necessary.
Brookwood is located 25 miles north of Boston on the coast in Manchester, MA on a beautiful 30-acre wooded campus. The physical plant includes a pond, wetland spaces, forest areas, and open green space. The 130,000 square foot facility sits under one roof with construction ranging from the original 1900 stable (now housing grades 6-8) to the 2014 state-of-the-art lower school, a dining commons and kitchen. In addition to grade level classrooms, there are five outdoor classrooms, two music rooms, three art studios and a kiln room, four science labs and science gym, a library with a 15,000 volume collection, an Idea Lab, a gymnasium and a multi-purpose theater/gymnasium space, two synthetic turf fields, and well-appointed outdoor play spaces. The surrounding area of Cape Ann is filled with beautiful natural and historical attractions such as beaches, parks, preserves, museums and hiking trails that are used frequently by our students, employees and families alike.
Challenges and Opportunities-
The next Director of Finance and Operations will oversee an operating budget of over $9 million supported by an endowment of $13 million. Like most independent schools across the country, Brookwood finds itself facing the challenge of affordability, including pricing and financial aid pressures, for its current and future families. Additionally, the School is seeking to increase its use of technology to improve business and HR processes to gain efficiencies. The School has recently identified long-term capital needs that have not been adequately funded.
To that end, the Director of Finance and Operations will play an integral role in developing a strategic road map for the future of the school, as well as internal business and HR process improvement. In addition, as a key member of the senior administrative team, the new Director must forge strong relationships with the Head of School, Board members, and faculty, staff, and parents and identify any gaps in service to the mission of the school. The candidate will demonstrate the ability to work with conflicting demands and timescales in a busy and unpredictable school environment.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Provides leadership, oversight and management of the day-to-day operation of the business office team (controller and bookkeeper) including payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, accounting, and school supply functions.
Collaborates with the Head of the School, Division heads on financial aspects of strategic planning initiatives.
Manages, develops and directs the annual operating budget.
Plans and prepares forecasts of the financial condition of the school. Reports to the Head of School, the Finance Committee, the Audit Committee, and the Board of Trustees on the results of the present operations of the school, pro forma projections for future operations, and annual audits of the financial statements of the School and retirement plan.
Establishes an effective financial modeling system for strategic planning to aid the administration and the Board of Trustees in making strategic decisions.
Provides the financial information and planning that builds trust among faculty, administration, staff, the Board of Trustees, and the parent community.
Oversees the endowment, providing information on invested funds and implementing decisions of the Board Finance & Investment Committee.
Maintains compliance with governmental regulations and changing regulatory environment by staying current on law and regulations that may affect compliance.
Establishes policies, procedures, standards and strategies for areas of responsibility and provides appropriate internal controls and strengths to safeguard the school’s assets.
Oversees the risk management function and purchases property, casualty, liability and workers compensation insurance.
Manages human resources including employee relations, benefits and compensation, and safety for employees.
Oversees and directs implementation and administration of employee benefit programs such as health insurance, dental insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, workers compensation, employee assistance, retirement and other
Works closely with the Director of Admissions on enrollment projections and financial aid policies which inform the budgeting process.
Manages financial aid process, including preparation of materials, compilation of data for financial aid committee, record keeping, notification and follow up.
Oversees the physical plant and grounds functions. Serve as liaison to the Head of
School and Board of Trustees on all facilities planning initiatives. With the Director of Physical Plant, manages all construction projects on campus.
Selects or approves and directly oversees relationships with business service providers (e.g., banks, auditors, attorneys, insurers, investment managers, food service and transportation providers, contractors, consultants). Secures the highest level of quality products and services for the school’s business functions, including measurements of cost effectiveness.
Oversees the food service program and manages the relationship with the outside vendor providing the program.
Manages transportation systems and contracts.
Effectively supervises and mentors key professional staff, including the Controller,
Manager of Benefits and Accounts, Director of Physical Plant, Director of Auxiliary Programs, Director of Food Service Contractor, and Receptionist.
In partnership with Head of the School and other staff and trustees, evaluates,
pursues, and manages additional (non-tuition) revenue-generating opportunities using the School’s resources.
Completes other responsibilities as assigned by the Head of School.
Ideal Qualifications and Characteristics
Bachelor’s degree required; CPA and/or MBA preferred.
10+ years of financial and business leadership in a non-profit or for-profit organization(s) including work with non-profit boards; independent school experience a plus.
Experienced strategic thinker who can develop a road map for the future.
Demonstrated experience in the development of analysis for strategic decision-making, including key cost drivers, competitive analysis, market analysis, etc.
Experience developing long-range capital and operational budget planning.
Experience in strategic pricing to drive enrollment and meet market demand and expertise in optimizing financial aid.
Knowledge and experience related to use of financial aid.
Experience in determining alternative revenue sources in a non-profit setting.
Ability to lead strategic initiatives to completion while anticipating issues and identifying effective solutions across the school.
Experience in human resource management, employee benefits and payroll procedures.
Demonstrated experience in measuring and improving organization-wide productivity.
Effective collaboration skills, consistent meaningful contribution to senior leadership teams, and a focus on process as well as outcome.
Exceptional written/verbal communication and presentation skills, including the ability to distill complex topics and then communicate them effectively to varied audiences.
About Brookwood School
Brookwood is an Early Childhood through Grade 8 independent school of about 300 students located on a beautiful 30-acre wooded campus in Manchester, MA on the coast of the North Shore of Boston. At Brookwood, kids come first—not the test, not trophies, not to-do lists. We know how kids learn best. Every day, we use our expertise to challenge kids intellectually and ensure they feel valued so that they can grow into their best selves. Our program focuses on building 21st century skills and graduating students of conscience, character, compassion, and cultural competence. Brookwood also offers a playful, collaborative work environment for 85 faculty and staff who go the extra mile to do what is best for kids.