Explorer West redefines the middle school experience – offering rigorous academics and a diverse range of enrichment programs in a small, vibrant learning environment. Explorer West was founded in 1996 and today enrolls 105-110 students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Located in West Seattle, the school’s award-winning sustainability and outdoor education programs inspire adolescents to learn how they can positively impact their environment and community. Explorer West graduates become adventurous and confident leaders who flourish, both academically and socially, wherever they go.
We seek a dynamic community builder to serve as the Admission Director, responsible for recruiting and stewarding the students and families that make Explorer West so special. This is a unique opportunity to join a small, creative team of educators who are committed to helping middle school students recognize and develop their own capacity. Charged with the critical work of leading and growing our strategies for forming and cultivating long-lasting relationships with families, the Admission Director will be a key member of the administrative team and will help the entire school community work together to ensure sustainable enrollment. This is a permanent, full-time salaried position.
Principal Responsibilities Include:
Admission Strategy and Implementation
Evaluate current practices around admission and enrollment management, and develop yearly strategies to recruit and retain a diverse group of students who will flourish in our program and uphold our core values of personal and community responsibility, integrity, creativity and inquiry, confidence, and respect.
Manage all aspects of the admission experience for families, from initial exploration to continued enrollment.
Manage the logistics of the admission process: scheduling, applications, etc.
Develop and maintain relationships with schools and organizations that can help us connect with prospective students and families.
Develop and manage creative and authentic ways for prospective families to get to know Explorer West and understand the value of what we offer, including Open Houses, tours, and other opportunities to visit.
Engage the entire school community, including faculty and staff, and current and former students and families, in admission programs, including a spring event welcoming new families into the community.
Help determine admission criteria and engage the faculty and staff in evaluating candidates.
Work with the Head of School and Business Manager to ensure our Financial Aid program is administered with integrity, and reaches its goal of making an Explorer West education accessible to more families.
Provide ongoing and forward-looking admission and enrollment reporting for the Head of School and Board of Trustees.
Communications and Marketing
Develop a strategy for communicating the value of an Explorer West education through marketing and outreach materials and other forms of advertising.
Evaluate modes of communication with current families and develop and oversee a communications strategy that helps our community stay informed, connected, and engaged with our program.
High School Advising
Develop and oversee a program to ensure Explorer West families are well informed about their high school options, and well positioned to navigate the process of high school admission and/or selection.
Develop relationships with area high schools, both public and non-public, to maintain and enhance the reputation of our students, and to ensure we are well-informed regarding high school admission criteria and processes.
Play a central role in planning and coordinating graduation.
Parent Community Network (PCN)
Together with the Head of School, reimagine and reinvigorate the Parent Community Network as a structure that encourages volunteerism, fosters strong relationships and understanding between families and the school, and helps families build stronger relationships with one another.
Facilitate regular meetings and events of the Parent Community Network, and serve as a liaison between PCN leadership and faculty and staff.
Desired Characteristics, Skills, and Experience of the Ideal Candidate:
Strong support for the Explorer West mission and program, and a demonstrated ability to embody the values that define our school culture: personal and community responsibility, integrity, creativity and inquiry, confidence, and respect.
A warm and welcoming personality, cultural competence, and the ability and desire to connect with all members of a diverse community.
Demonstrated ability to work well both on independent, self-initiated projects and in collaboration with colleagues, and to maintain focus in the midst of a dynamic middle school environment.
Ability to effectively organize and manage concurrent projects and multiple priorities, while maintaining a sense of humor!
Highly proficient with technology (e.g. word processing, spreadsheets, websites, databases, etc.) and a willingness to learn more.
Ability to maintain high standards of professionalism, organization, accountability, and confidentiality.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills (including presenting to groups), and attention to detail, are critical. Skill in graphic design is preferred.
Willingness to attend occasional events outside of school hours, both related to admission and other key aspects of school program.
At least two years experience in school administration, preferably independent school admission. Experience working at a middle school and/or with middle school-aged students preferred but not required.
Familiarity with the Seattle area independent school market is preferred.
Explorer West Middle School embraces the energy and enthusiasm of our diverse young people on the journey to adulthood. As a small and inclusive environment, we view adolescence as a unique window of opportunity to build a community with strong academic skills, creative expression, and character development required for a sustainable future.
Explorer West Middle School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Additional Salary Information: Competitive salary based on experience, plus full medical, dental, vision, and retirement benefits.
About Explorer West Middle School
Explorer West Middle School is a small learning community where young adolescents thrive. Explorer West combines academic rigor with a special emphasis on the character growth of each student by fostering confidence and discovery.
Explorer West redefines the middle school experience:
Small learning community designed to help adolescents thrive – Fostering confidence and discovery in adolescence through core academics (Math, Science, English, Latin, History, Music, Art, Drama); extra-curricular athletics; peer/mentor-based advisory groups and outdoor education program.
Academic achievement and preparation for future learning – Rigorous academics in an individualized and supportive environment so that students can attend and prosper at the high schools of their choice.
Sustainability and community participation – Focus on civic responsibility and community involvement through the award-winning sustainability curriculum, environmental stewardship efforts, and hands-on community volunteerism.