Chief Financial and Operating Officer | Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
Carney, Sandoe & Associates
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Type: Full Time
Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
Princeton, New Jersey
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Start Date: July 1, 2024
Located in Princeton, New Jersey, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (Stuart) educates approximately 300 students on a bucolic, 55-acre campus. The Early Childhood Center program is co-educational while the JK-12 program is dedicated to the education of girls. Stuart is well known for possessing a close-knit community that honors academic excellence, moral and ethical development, personal growth, and service to others. Stuart is nationally renowned for its National Center for Girls’ Leadership, a signature program founded in 2015 that focuses on research and professional and curriculum development specifically for girls' education. The school is a member of the Sacred Heart community of over 150 schools worldwide.
Stuart was founded in 1963 by local parents committed to the development of a rigorous, faith-based educational program for their daughters. Partnering with Sacred Heart, and with the help of generous benefactors, they acquired a large woodland tract and developed the property utilizing the vision of renowned architect Jean Labutat. The school is named for Mother Janet Stuart, an early advocate for the education of girls. The school has a long and demonstrated history of female leadership and in 2022 the Stuart community enthusiastically welcomed Julia Wall, a passionate educator, as Head of School.
Now, Stuart seeks an experienced and mission-aligned professional to serve as the school’s next Chief Finance & Operations Officer (CFOO). As a senior leadership team member, the CFOO will lead all aspects of finance and operations at Stuart, report directly to the Head of School, partner strategically with the Board of Trustees, and work closely with faculty and staff. Compelling candidates will demonstrate financial and operational acumen, high emotional intelligence, and the capacity to thrive in a highly collaborative, tight-knit community.
To prepare young women for lives of exceptional leadership and service within the framework of the Goals and Criteria of the Schools of the Sacred Heart.
At a Glance
Students of color: 55%
Total faculty and staff: 94
Faculty of color: 22%
Faculty with advanced degrees: 70%
Student/teacher ratio: 5:1
Financial aid budget: $3.6M
Students receiving aid: 52%
Annual operating budget: $16M
AP courses: 18+
Interscholastic sports: 11
Annual student performances: 25
Clubs and Organizations: 45
Student-led experiences in the Upper School: 16+
Community services hours: 200+
Network of Schools in over 40 countries: 150+
Campus size: 55 acres
Opportunities and Challenges
The next Chief Finance and Operations Officer at Stuart will be fortunate to join a program with a stable financial foundation and a talented and dedicated team. The position has been occupied for over a decade by a nationally regarded financial leader who has created well-run systems, developed and nurtured talent, and developed meaningful, authentic relationships throughout the Stuart community. Via her leadership and disciplined financial planning and allocation, Stuart’s financial health is remarkably stable, even as the school has confronted enrollment challenges.
The CFOO will serve as a thought partner to Head of School Julia Wall. Julia is a highly collaborative leader who desires and appreciates thoughtful feedback, providing the CFOO with a strategic seat at the table. In addition, Stuart is fortunate to have a talented and dedicated Board of Trustees. These volunteer leaders are talented, committed to Stuart’s mission and values, and embrace best practices for healthy governance. The CFOO will join a highly functioning and convivial professional community. They will work collaboratively with academic and operational leadership with shared vision and goals. Last, the CFOO will lead the Business Office, along with technology, facilities, health, and food services.
Priorities for the coming years will include:
Ensuring Financial Stability via Resource Development & Enrollment Management
Along with their work with the Head of School and Board of Trustees, the Chief Finance and Operations Officer will work closely with the Directors of Enrollment Management and Development on setting and achieving goals pertaining to enrollment and fundraising. Stuart leadership is focused on aligning school enrollment outcomes with planned targets. The CFOO will play a key role in this shared community goal.
Stuart possesses a tremendous campus with appealing facilities, the CFOO will work closely with the Director of Auxiliary Programs to strategize on how best to augment revenue via facility rentals and auxiliary programming, including after school and summer activities.
Investing in Campus Facilities
As Stuart looks to the future, they will continue to invest thoughtfully in their beautiful campus. In the Summer of 2024, the school will build a new Campus Wellness Center. Future plans may include the enhancement of athletic facilities.
Developing and Implementing the Next Strategic Plan
With the current five-year Strategic Plan set to expire in 2025, Stuart leadership will begin its work on the next framework in the Fall of 2024. The next CFOO will play a key role in the development and implementation of strategic goals that will ensure Stuart’s continued financial stability.
In addition to embracing Stuart Country Day School’s mission, supporting its Head and leadership, and
representing the school at professional and public forums, the new CFOO has a number of primary responsibilities:
Provide strategic leadership, analysis, and management of finances and operations.
Establish financial and capital strategies that are consistent with the strategic priorities.
Serve on the Head of School’s Administrative Team and lead, co-lead, or participate in several other teams and committees.
Oversee all business office functions including all financial reporting to the Head of School, Board of Trustees, and various committees.
Serve as chief staff liaison to Board committees.
Build and/or maintain the school’s short- and long-term strategic financial models.
Oversee the administration of the school’s endowment.
Oversee School operations including personnel, maintenance, and vendors.
Maintain strong relationships with banks and lenders to ensure that funding is secured for the needs of the school and compliance with loan terms.
Administer and manage all employee benefit programs including health insurance, retirement, worker’s compensation, life insurance, and other related plans.
Manage insurance programs including property, casualty, medical, workers’ compensation.
Ensure compliance with all local and state reporting requirements.
Collaborate effectively with Advancement, Enrollment Management, and other departments.
Participate in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging professional development.
Coordinate closely with the Facilities Director on oversight of the physical plant, grounds, and construction functions.
Qualifications and Personal Attributes
Bachelor’s degree required, MBA or CPA preferred;
10-15 years of senior-level experience creating and executing financial planning and management strategies;
Dedication to helping students fully develop their abilities through a rigorous curriculum, deeply rooted in the Goals and Criteria of the Sacred Heart;
Experience in an independent school preferred, though individuals with strong financial and leadership skills are welcome;
Demonstrated skills in cross-cultural leadership practices, and a dedication to working in a diverse community;
Experience managing a team, setting clear goals, responsibilities, expectations, and clear methods of accountability;
Experience managing a team with both in-office and remote members, successfully creating cohesion among the team itself;
Proven record of accomplishment designing, implementing, and managing large-scale organizational change;
Superb communication skills; excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills;
Demonstrated ability to understand complex subjects, distill them, and then communicate them to varied audiences;
Experience on senior administrative teams and working with non-profit Boards;
Demonstrated experience in measuring and improving organization-wide productivity;
Demonstrated experience in the development of analysis for strategic decision-making, such as key cost drivers, competitive analysis, market analysis, organizational strengths, and weaknesses, etc.;
Experience in human resource management, employee benefits (including pension plans), and payroll procedures. Knowledge of business and not-for-profit accounting policies, procedures, practices, facilities, and software programs. Blackbaud experience a plus;
Ability to think and plan strategically and creatively;
Ability to supervise, manage, and delegate multiple functions and activities;
Ability to remain calm, flexible, and work effectively under pressure;
Skilled at negotiating and initiating contracts with external vendors;
Aptitude for high customer-service standards;
Consistent demonstration of an entrepreneurial mindset;
Demonstrated commitment to equitable and inclusive practices;
A track record of strong integrity.
Click on the links below to learn more about Stuart Country Day School.
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