Cushing Academy, a co-educational independent school serving 400 boarding and day students in grades 9 through 12 and postgraduates, seeks a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). This is an excellent opportunity for an individual with proven strategic leadership abilities and strong managerial, technical, planning, and communication skills to participate in shaping the future of a dynamic independent school. The CFO will engage in complex work related to finance and will see the impact of that work, both immediately and long-term, in the lives of students, employees, and the surrounding community.
Founded in 1865 in Ashburnham, MA, Cushing Academy was among the first co-educational institutions in the United States. With a longstanding and proud history of academic excellence, Cushing Academy offers students an opportunity for active learning within the arts, athletics, and academic support programs. It is a vibrant and diverse school, enrolling 400 students from 28 states and 31 countries. With approximately 170 employees, including 55 full time faculty members, an operating budget of $24 million, an overall endowment of $31 million, and a 162-acre campus, the scale of the enterprise is comparable to a small, tuition dependent liberal arts college.
The Chief Financial Officer will join the school at a time of significant strategic change and campus expansion. The CFO will help lead the institution in continuing to strengthen the Academy’s long-term financial sustainability and management, as well as the administrative oversight of the business, finance, investments, and human resources functions for the Academy. This individual will be responsible for all short-term and long-term financial matters and for implementing school-wide financial and administrative objectives and action steps as delineated in the School’s strategic plan. The CFO will ensure best practices and policies are in place to continuously provide Cushing Academy with sound transparent financial structures.
Reporting to the Head of School, the CFO is expected to provide strategic counsel to the Head and Trustees to enable the School to deliver on its important educational mission and ambitions. This individual will serve as a key member of Cushing Academy’s senior leadership team initially focused on the implementation of a new budget model to support school priorities. The Chief Financial Officer will oversee the activities of approximately 170 full- and part-time employees in financial operations, financial planning, technology, physical plant, human resources, and auxiliary services and contract management.
Candidates are expected to bring a deep appreciation of Cushing Academy’s educational mission, goals, and community and will embody the integrity, leadership, openness to learning, and service to others that are consistent with the School’s core tenets. The ideal candidate will bring significant experience overseeing budgeting and planning, financial forecasting and analysis, endowment management, legal and risk management, accounting, human resources, and information technology and business operations, gained through increasingly responsible roles in comparably complex settings. Significant experience in education, either at the secondary school level or in higher education, or nonprofit settings would be a distinct asset. A BA/BS in business, finance, or related field is highly desirable; an MBA, CPA, or graduate degree in a related field is strongly preferred.
Cushing Academy has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in conducting this important search. All inquiries, applications, and nominations for this opportunity should be submitted electronically to Liz Vago and Joanna Cook at www.imsearch.com/6283.