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Executive Director Search

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (TJCA), a K-12 college preparatory school, was founded in 1999 in Rutherford County as a tuition-free North Carolina public charter school with the mission of: “Building upon the foundation of the Core Knowledge Sequence, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy partners with families to educate students in grades K-12 in the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, thus graduating thoughtful, articulate young adults who are prepared for college and for a lifetime of citizenship and active intellectual inquiry.”
Since its beginning, the school has been based on the classical curriculum and the classical model of education is the key to the school’s identity. The classical approach to education makes maximum use of the different developmental stages through which children and young adults progress. TJCA’s charter and the essay on which it is based (the late Dorothy Sayers’s "Lost Tools of Learning") emphasize that the trivium is foundational both for further studies and for post-collegiate life. For these reasons, TJCA requires all students to take two years of Latin (with an emphasis on grammar), one year of logic, and one year of rhetoric, culminating in a senior rhetoric thesis. Sayers emphasizes that grammar, logic, and rhetoric are stages of learning as well as foundational disciplines. During the grammar stage of learning (kindergarten through early adolescence), teachers provide a rigorous grounding in the "grammar" (or basics) of English, history, mathematics, science, art, and music by using the Core Knowledge Sequence developed by E. D. Hirsch. In accord with Sayers's essay, teachers emphasize observation, memorization, and recitation during the grammar stage. During the dialectic or logic stage (early adolescence), Socratic questioning, logical argumentation, and discursive reasoning come to the fore. Later, during the rhetoric stage (later adolescence), teachers emphasize public speaking, presentations, and a synthesis of the knowledge gained in the various disciplines. Thus, TJCA's college-preparatory curriculum is a unified whole based on the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, which enables students to graduate as thoughtful, articulate young adults who are prepared for college and ready for a lifetime of citizenship and active intellectual inquiry.
TJCA is located on two campuses: a grammar school (K-5) campus in Forest City, NC and a middle school (6-8) / high school (9-12) campus a few miles away in Mooresboro, NC. As part of TJCA’s 2020 Vision, in November 2019 the school broke ground on an exciting new building project that includes a new high school, significant renovations to some parts of the existing middle school and high school buildings, and some new athletic facilities. It is expected that the new high school will be occupied in January of 2021.

TJCA serves approximately 1,365 students in grades K-12 in the three schools: grammar school (grades K-5 with approximately 600-650 students); middle school (grades 6-8 with approximately 350-400 students); and high school (grades 9-12 with approximately 350- 400 students). Students come from approximately eight North Carolina counties with most students hailing from Rutherford, Cleveland, Polk, and McDowell counties. Admission is through a public lottery system that promotes equal opportunity for all, and TJCA does not discriminate based on disability, race, color, gender, national origin, or religion. The total number of employees is approximately 140, including approximately 80 faculty members. TJCA is accredited by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Office of Charter Schools. Academically, TJCA is a high performing school that offers a challenging college preparatory curriculum as described above. Extracurricular activities include a number of music, drama, and arts programs and activities as well as a number of student clubs. Athletically, TJCA offers 18 athletic teams in 13 different sports for men and women, and competes in the 1A classification of the NC High School Athletic Association. Sports are also offered at the middle school level.
TJCA is governed by a Board of Directors which consists of 11 members. The members of the self-appointing board include a mix of parents and community representatives. Nine members are at-large and serve three-year terms. Two members are teacher representatives, elected by the teachers, and serve two-year terms. The school also has the Thomas Jefferson Community Education Foundation, a separate but related 501c3 organization.
Reporting Relationships
The Executive Director is hired by, and reports to, the TJCA Board of Directors. Direct reports to the Executive Director include: Grammar School Principal; Middle School / High School Principal; Athletic Director; Academic Dean; Information Technology Director; Facilities/Maintenance Director; Food Services Director; Human Resources Director; and the Finance Director (some finance functions are currently outsourced to a third party, Acadia NorthStar). The Executive Director is ultimately responsible for providing leadership to all of TJCA’s approximately 140 employees and 1,361 students.
In addition to the internal stakeholders, the Executive Director will also be expected to develop, maintain, and nurture appropriate relationships, and have significant interaction with; a broad range of other constituents including, but not necessarily limited to: alumni, parents, donors, friends of TJCA, other charter and public schools or school districts (especially those in the surrounding counties in which most of the TJCA students live), the NC Department of Public Instruction, the State Office of Charter Schools, and the Rutherford and Cleveland County communities at large.
The Executive Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for leading the administrative, instructional, and support personnel in a manner necessary to accomplish the strategic and operational objectives of TJCA. The three broad strategic goals, as identified by the Board in early 2020, are:
  • Nurture a culture of excellence that will prepare students for a lifetime of citizenship.
  • Uphold extraordinary academic/curricular standards which promote active intellectual
  • Strategically allocate resources that support the TJCA mission.
In general terms, the Executive Director will provide leadership to, and be accountable for:
  • Strategic and organizational planning, implementation, and execution;
  • Maintaining and enhancing a school culture of academic excellence pursuant to the classical approach to education;
  • Human resource allocation and management; hire, develop, motivate, lead, and retain talented employees throughout the school;
  • School operations including continued development of operational policies, procedures, and systems designed to ensure efficient and effective operations; and continued focus on financial strength, fiscal responsibility, and legal compliance;
  • Maintaining school accreditation;
  • Fundraising & marketing;
  • Maintaining existing, and developing new, partnerships/relationships in the community and at the state level;
  • Board of Directors relations.
Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:
  • Develop and maintain a good working relationship with the Board of Directors in order to refine/implement/operationalize the strategic goals listed above. Ensure that any goals regarding academics, faculty and staff, financial responsibility, safety, and community engagement are pursued rigorously.
  • Ensure progress toward the strategic goals; lead implementation/operationalization, measurement, accountability, and refinement of these goals as determined by the Board; effectively communicate progress and results with the Board, staff, community, the state of NC, and any other appropriate stakeholders so that the best interests of the school are served.
  • Plan, revise, and / or implement as necessary an organization structure to accomplish TJCA’s goals. Recruit, lead, supervise, develop, evaluate, and retain principals, faculty and staff necessary to lead the school; provide leadership in a manner that promotes a diverse and dedicated workforce and a climate of continued professionalism that engages and empowers others to take action and responsibility to achieve results.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the classical approach to education, built on the foundation of the Core Knowledge Sequence and rooted in the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, to further the strong academic performance and academic reputation of the school. Develop, revise, and/or implement new research, programs, tactics, and methodologies to drive continued educational success.
  • Manage TJCA in a fiscally responsible manner; in conjunction with the Board and senior administration, oversee the development and implementation of TJCA’s budget; maintain fiscal accountability.
  • Manage TJCA’s buildings and grounds including facility operations, maintenance, and new projects.
  • Lead any re-accreditation process and successfully maintain accreditation.
  • Develop, implement, and revise policies and procedures consistent with TJCA objectives, assessed needs, applicable laws, rules, and regulations to ensure efficient and effective school operations.
  • Act as the TJCA’s representative, in the capacity of CEO, interacting with other school systems, professional organizations, the media, business firms, agencies of government, and the general public. Promote TJCA locally, state-wide, and nationally; participate in educational organizations.
  • Develop, nurture, and maintain effective strategic partnerships with the business community and the community at large. Develop and manage the marketing and public relations strategies of TJCA.
  • Demonstrate utmost integrity and professionalism in and outside TJCA; provide a role model for students; be an active participant in the community.
  • Lead and/or participate in fundraising activities for TJCA; investigate and pursue grants and external funding sources to ensure continued financial stability of the school.
  • Create an environment promoting leadership, high academic standards, and opportunities for extracurricular activities; work with the Athletic Director, the performing arts leaders, other extracurricular leaders, and principals to ensure resources are in place to support athletic teams, performing arts, and other extracurricular activities.
  • Strengthen ties to colleges/universities creating an awareness of the quality of TJCA graduates and to promote students’ admission to these institutions.
  • Maintain personal professional development activities as appropriate.
Leadership experience in public or private school administration and management, or any appropriate, equivalent combination of business leadership experience and training.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and/or local educational programs, laws, and regulations preferred; knowledge of charter school regulations preferred.
  • Knowledge of the best practices in utilizing the classical approach to education is desirable.
  • Honesty and integrity above reproach; ability to promote these same qualities in faculty, staff, and administration.
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal); ability to communicate effectively with all stakeholders both internal and external; adept at public speaking.
  • Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills; ability to lead, value, appreciate, and work with, a broad group of individuals and stakeholders.
  • Good strategic and analytical thinking ability; good problem-solving ability.
  • Financial and business acumen; sound fiscal management skills.
  • Desire to promote a culture of academic and extracurricular excellence that celebrates diverse strengths, creativity, talents, and achievements.
  • Appropriate educational credentials: degree in education administration, public or business administration; advanced degree preferred.
Compensation will be commensurate with experience, including a competitive base salary, benefits, and relocation assistance.
To make a nomination, provide a referral, or for additional information please use the contact information below. To apply, submit a resume and/or vita and cover letter to:

Ken Carrick, Consultant 704-236-0659
Janny DeLoache, Consultant 704-377-7828
TJCA is an equal opportunity employer.
The Board of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.