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Clapham Head of School Opportunity Profile

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OPPORTUNITY

PROFILE

HEAD OF SCHOOL

CLAPHAM SCHOOL

Wheaton, Illinois


Dear Prospective Head of School Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the Head of School position at Clapham School. This profile is meant to

provide a brief overview of our school’s mission and vision, as well as highlight the important characteristics

we hope to find in our next leader.

As the Clapham community celebrates our 15-year anniversary, we are thankful to God for His provision

and faithfulness to the school, leadership, teachers, faculty, parents, and children. Furthermore, we rest in

His Goodness, Truth and Beauty to guide us in our journey into the next phase. In this transition, we look to

build on a strong foundation of highly engaged parents, faculty, administration, and board. In addition, we

are thrilled to be moving into a new home in late spring/summer and welcoming current and future families

desiring a classical Christian education.

GREETINGS

We desire a Head of School who first and foremost loves Jesus exemplifying Christian maturity and courage

in an increasingly secular time. Not surprising! Second, we are looking for a leader who has a passion for

classical Christian education. Finally, we believe that the next leader must have demonstrated the ability to

recruit, develop and retain the best staff, as well as an ability to engage and serve the broader Wheaton

(Western Suburbs) community to grow our brand and presence.

Thank you for your interest in our Head of School position. While this is a vitally important decision for us, we

also understand this would be a major decision for you and your family to join our community and we invite

you to learn about us. We encourage you to read through this Opportunity Profile and to further explore our

website for additional information.

If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, please reference the Process of Candidacy (page 12) to

begin the application process. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Coverstone or Ed Poff (615-

261-4623), the JobfitMatters Consultants who are assisting us in this search.

Sincerely,

Chris Stiernagle

Clapham Board Chair

2


Clapham School in Wheaton, Illinois is a classical Christian school serving 122 students PK-12th grade.

Clapham was conceived in 2005 to meet a felt need for an academically rigorous and distinctively Christian

school in the Wheaton area. Interested families began discussing plans for the school in late 2005 and

began praying together weekly to seek God’s guidance in that effort. The school’s formal journey began in

the fall of 2006.

OVERVIEW

During its short 16-year history, Clapham School has grown and flourished with a dedicated staff and

committed families. As the only K-12 classical Christian school in the Wheaton area, the community sees

great potential in Clapham’s future. Enrollment has remained stable over the last 5-6 years, somewhat

constrained by the capacity of the current location on the College Church campus near Wheaton College.

A larger space on the same campus has been generously offered by College Church, and 75% of the $1.75

million needed for new buildout has already been raised. The Clapham Board plans to begin construction

in March 2021 and move in by summer 2021. In this promising new space, the new Head of School will lead

Clapham forward.

This leader will have a strong, positive foundation on which to build this future. In a recent survey, satisfaction

levels and energy levels in the Clapham community were notably strong. On both missional progress and

spiritual progress at the school, Clapham’s scores benchmarked “high” compared to other independent

Christian schools around the country. Clapham’s next Head of School will be the administrative, academic,

and spiritual leader of the school. The next Head needs to be someone who will prioritize existing programs

and directions and then focus resources on those priorities. Also, the Head will take a leadership role in

strengthening the visibility and reputation of the school by increased community involvement and being a

good public speaker. This person should have the educational background to navigate academic philosophies

and Biblical doctrines.

Clapham seeks a caring, servant leader who loves the Lord. This person should be joyful and able to

connect with all types of kids. The Head should be gifted to bring out the best in others and be personally

engaging with those in the school and the community. Through this person’s leadership of the team,

ultimately Clapham’s enrollment and fundraising will increase.

In summary, Clapham School is seeking an experienced school leader who is gifted to 1) lead strategic

planning and vision casting for current and prospective parents and families, 2) recruit, encourage and lead

the best and brightest faculty and staff, 3) lead fundraising efforts to support faculty compensation, fund

scholarships, and finish the facility expansion and improvement campaign, and 4) champion the classical

Christian distinctives of Clapham to the greater community.

We trust the additional information in this Opportunity Profile will help prospective candidates learn more

about the needs and opportunities moving forward. For additional information about Clapham School, visit

the website at https://claphamschool.org/.

3


VISION

Clapham School equips young men and women to intentionally serve Christ by cultivating His

goodness, truth and beauty in the world.

MISSION

Clapham School inspires students with an education founded on a Christian worldview, informed by

the classical tradition, and approached with diligence and joy.

MISSION &

VISION

WHY THE NAME CLAPHAM?

Along with a passion for a Christian school of excellence, a life of service to Christ

was a key component in the school’s inspiration, thus, the school name “Clapham

School.”

Clapham” is today an area of southwest London. It served as the location in the late

18th and early 19th centuries for worship and fellowship for a group of believers who

became known as the “Clapham Saints.” Their devotion to Christ helped change

countless lives in London and beyond.

Perhaps the most famous member of the Clapham Saints was William Wilberforce.

As a young student at Cambridge in the 1770’s, he turned away from his evangelical

youth and pursued a worldly lifestyle. He eventually became one of the youngest

and most charismatic members of the British Parliament. His life changed, however,

after taking two trips to the New Continent with a dear friend and mentor, Isaac

Milner. It was on these trips that he immersed himself in his own study of the classics

and Scripture, was convicted of the depth of his sin, and turned to Jesus Christ as

his Savior.

William Wilberforce felt compelled to retire from public life and Parliament, but after

some counsel was persuaded instead to use the position of influence to serve Christ.

He dedicated his parliamentary life to the abolition of slavery, and he and his friends,

dubbed the “Clapham Saints”, labored over twenty years until the slave trade was

outlawed. Wilberforce then lobbied another twenty-five years for the emancipation

of slaves. Three days before his death, Wilberforce was sent word that the House of

Commons had outlawed the institution of slavery.

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CHRISTIAN

Clapham believes that all truth is God’s truth. All knowledge of the true, good and beautiful comes

as a result of God’s revelation.

Clapham promotes a Biblical worldview. Faculty teach through the lens of God’s truth, seeking to

discover the biblical perspective inherently present in all subjects.

Clapham sees children as created in the image of God. As stewards of creation all children are

capable of learning and have the capacity to engage ideas at all levels of development. Indeed,

children’s minds are “not vessels to be filled, but fires to be ignited” (Plutarch).

DISTINCTIVES

of Clapham School

CLASSICAL

• Classical in Content. Students read through the Western canon of great books and study math,

science, art, music, history, literature and both ancient and modern languages.

• Classical in Method. Clapham School’s classrooms hearken back to the disciplines of the past.

Narration, or the telling back of what has been read or heard, memorization and socratic discussion

help advance students’ growing skills in each discipline.

• Classical in Purpose. Learning should provide the training of discipline for both mind and body,

forming moral and intellectual virtues, as well as the cultivating of the affections (emotions, heart) to

desire what is true, good and beautiful, therefore, preparing the whole person for life-long learning

and service.

JOYFUL DISCOVERY

• Students study ‘living texts,’ that is texts that contain ideas which make a delightful impact on the

mind, causing the intellectual stir that marks the inception of an idea. Many are classic works of

literature, art and music that reflect what is true, good and beautiful.

• Students learn in an atmosphere free from artificial distractions. Instead, beautiful artwork, plants,

inspiring quotes and music fill the space. Free from competition, grades and prizes, children learn

for the joy of learning.

• Students cultivate habits proper to learning and mature living, growing them in relationship to

themselves, God and others.

5


Rooted and grounded in the historic Christian faith, Clapham School is neither sectarian nor parochial, and

it is unaffiliated with any one specific church or denomination,

WE BELIEVE IN GOD,

Who has primary concern for His own glory and provides the example for all we do at Clapham School,

Who is the Infinite Author and Sustainer of all things, Who called the universe into being, created

persons in His own image, and set before each one the ways of life and death,

Who in holiness and love sent prophets and apostles to declare His will and Who, in the fullness of time,

sent forth His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our crucified and risen Savior,

CLAPHAM

Statement of Faith

Who, in Jesus Christ, lived among us, shared our common lot, set a perfect example, taught with divine

authority, died in the place of sinners, and rose again to give salvation to all who believe in Him,

Who, with Jesus Christ, sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment,

and to create and renew the Church that unites faithful people of all ages, tongues and races,

Who has called us by grace into His church through faith in Jesus Christ to accept the cost of

discipleship, proclaim the gospel to the world, and to serve our neighbor in humility and love.

Who grants us forgiveness and grace, Who calls us to share in His work in the world, Who assures us of

the triumph of good over evil, and Who brings us home to the glory of His presence.

Who calls us to a life of obedient faith in the cross of Jesus Christ, Who through His Spirit enables us to

serve Him and engage His world with truth and grace for life to all who believe,

Who has revealed Himself and His will in Holy Scripture, which is without error or untruth, and is our

final authority.

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AT-A-GLANCE

ENROLLMENT

52 CLASSES 6-12

TOTAL

ENROLLMENT

122

ENROLLMENT TREND

150

120

90

2015-16

FACULTY

27

70%

STUDENT/

FACULTY RATIO

2016-17

8/1

2017-18

HOLD

ADVANCED

DEGREES

2018-19

FACULTY AND STAFF

7 PRE-K-K4

11 K5

52 CLASSES 1-5

2019-20

FINANCIAL

$ANNUAL BUDGET 2020-2021: $1.4M

GIVING FOR 2020-2021: $ 330 K*

($91K Annual Fund, $238K Capital Campaign) *as of 12/31/20

TOTAL DEBT: $0

PPP FORGIVABLE LOAN 4/23/20

Forgiveness in process

TUITION 2020-2021

FINANCIAL AID

PRE-K4 $4,070

K5 $5,960

CLASSES 1-8 $11,880

CLASSES 9-12 $13,200

In 2020-2021, $510,640 in need-based tuition

discounts and faculty discounts was offered to 50%

of Clapham families.

CLUBS AND ENSEMBLES

ATHLETICS

Math Olympiad, Birders and Botanists,

Junior Classical League, Drama Club, Tea

and Sewing, Equestrian Club, Clapham

School Orchestra

Co-ed Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Boys

Basketball, Girls Basketball, Co-ed Cross

Country, Boys Golf

STUDENT LIFE

COLLEGE MATRICULATION

BETHLEHEM COLLEGE

BIOLA UNIVERSITY

CEDARVILLE UNIVERSITY

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY

CHICAGO, CONCORDIA

UNIVERSITY WISCONSIN

EMMAUS BIBLE COLLEGE

Semester Retreats, International Trip,

Per Se Lecture Series, Student Leadership,

Service Projects

CLASS OF 2020

CLASSICAL LEARNING TEST: 86 composite score

compared to national average of 67 ACT

Clapham does not offer Advanced

Placement (AP) courses. However, our

students are typically well prepared to

take AP tests.

ACCREDITATION

Clapham students have been accepted

at the following colleges:

GROVE CITY COLLEGE

HILLSDALE COLLEGE

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY

MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE

VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY

WHEATON COLLEGE

ISACS (Independent Schools of the Central States)

Received full accreditation for grades 1-8 in Fall of 2013.

Currently completing preparations for accreditation of

grades 1-12.

ACCS (Association of Classical Christian Schools)

SCL (Society for Classical Learning) Individual

Memberships- HOS, Principal, Dean of Upper School

State of IL Registered Non-Public School

7


During its short 16-year history, Clapham School has grown and flourished with a dedicated staff and

committed families. As the only classical Christian school in the Wheaton area, the community sees

great potential in Clapham’s future. Enrollment has remained stable over the last 5-6 years, somewhat

constrained by the current location on the College Church campus near Wheaton College. A new site on

the same campus has been generously offered by College Church, and 75% of the $1.75 million needed

for the new buildout has already been raised. The Clapham Board plans to begin construction in March

2021 and move in by summer 2021. In this promising new space, the new Head of School will lead

Clapham forward.

THE POSITION

This leader will have a strong, positive foundation on which to build this future. In a recent survey,

satisfaction levels and energy levels in the Claphan community were notably strong. On both missional

progress and spiritual progress at the school, Clapham’s scores benchmarked “high” compared to

other independent Christian schools around the country. Clapham’s next Head of School will be the

administrative, academic, and spiritual leader of the school. The next Head needs to be someone who will

prioritize existing programs and directions and then focus resources on those priorities. Also, the Head

will take a leadership role in strengthening the visibility and reputation of the school by increased community

involvement and being a good public speaker. This person should have the educational background

to navigate academic philosophies and Biblical doctrines.

Clapham seeks a caring, servant leader who loves the Lord. This person should be joyful and able to

connect with all types of kids. The Head should be gifted to bring out the best in others and be

personally engaging with those in the school and the community. Through this person’s leadership of the

team, ultimately Clapham’s enrollment and fundraising will increase.

Reporting to the Head of School will be the following: Administrative Assistant, Principal and Finance

Manager (to be hired).

CLAPHAM SCHOOL ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

HEAD OF

SCHOOL

ADMIN ASST.

PRINCIPAL

FINANCE MGR

(FUTURE HIRE)

DEAN OF THE

UPPER SCHOOL

LOWER SCHOOL

ASSISTANT

ADMISSIONS

8


Successful leadership in any educational institution is judged by how well its leader meets the expectations

of its governing body, meets the needs of its students, and responds to the input of its faculty, administration,

parents, and other constituent groups. The next Head of School of Clapham School will implement and

shape a future version of the existing 2019 Strategic Priorities which focuses on these specific goals:

IDENTITY includes the School’s mission, vision, educational model, shared community, and

reputation in the relevant geographic (general population) and organizational (churches, colleges,

competing schools) spheres.

EXPECTATIONS

of the Head of School

1. Reinforce the School’s Identity: Maintain a clear and visible Christian worldview and stance,

consistent with our Statement of Faith, within all aspects of the School operations and in its

dealings with all its communities. Acknowledge and accept that a large majority of our parents

choose Clapham for its Christian commitments and the ability to help educate, develop, nurture,

and model for their children the Christian faith lived out in all spheres of life.

2. Minimize situational risk: Adhere to best practices among the Christian School community to

minimize social and political risk while not deviating from our core Christian identity as unapologetically

God-centered, Christ-honoring, and theologically conservative.

3. Build the School community: Ensure all appropriate communications with the Clapham community

(faculty, staff, Board, parents, donors) is open, transparent, informative and appropriately frequent –

with the aim of building and maintaining strong bonds of Christian fellowship generally and Christian

missional support for Clapham School.

DELIVERY includes the School’s ability and effectiveness to provide the type and quality of education

and student life experience Clapham’s educational model, mission and vision specifies.

1. Protect and Reinforce the School’s educational model and philosophy. Maintain and invest in

Clapham School’s educational distinctiveness, to include Christian worldview, classical educational

content and structure, elements of Charlotte Mason pedagogy that supports diligence and love of

learning, etc.

2. Maintain existing parent evaluations of high quality (97% ISACS survey) and high value (80% ISACS

survey) of a Clapham education.

CAPACITY includes the allocation of School resources enabling the School to thrive as a viable

classical Christian school providing high quality education in its served community consistent with its

mission and vision.

1. Grow school enrollment. Establish processes and personnel that facilitate increased school enrollment

to fully fund School operating costs through tuition revenues. A focus will be to strengthen and grow

the Upper School. (Note: We could easily imagine Clapham’s enrollment growing from 122 to 200+

in the first five years).

2. Improve the fundraising of the School. Take actions to improve near and long-term financial health

of the School. Establish and improve processes and events that allow for needed funding beyond

student revenues to fully fund school operations yearly.

3. Strengthen faculty/administration capacity, capability and stability. Identify and address limitations

and controllable circumstances affecting staff performance, satisfaction and retention.

9


The ideal candidate will likely come from a classical Christian or Christian school, but the right leader may

come from a variety of vocations. We believe someone from one of the following areas will likely have the

skills and experiences that are needed to lead Clapham. The candidate may approximate one or more of

these descriptions. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to encourage potential candidates to

understand the breadth of experiences that may fit well in this position:

• An experienced administrator in a classical Christian or Christian school with at least 250+ students,

ideally with an understanding of Charlotte Mason.

• A successful private or public-school leader who believes wholly in classical Christian education, has a

solid Biblical background, and preferably teaching experience in a Christian school.

• An experienced leader from higher education who has fundraising experience and a passion for K-12

classical Christian education.

WHERE IS

the Ideal Candidate Today?

10


Located 25 miles west of Chicago, Wheaton, Illinois offers the benefits of life in a college town while

only a 30-minute train ride from the third largest city in the United States. The city of Wheaton was

established as a small railroad community in the late 1850s. It is now home to 55,000 residents and

variety of shops and restaurants.

THE LOCATION

Wheaton, IL

170 churches within 20 minutes

8 professional sports teams and venues in Chicago

56 forest preserves in DuPage County

17 museums in downtown Chicago that offer free days to Illinois residents

Home of WHEATON COLLEGE

See video about Wheaton College here.

11


If you sense that the gifts and experience God has given you are a good match for Clapham School, we invite

you to begin the inquiry process. We handle all candidate information and conversations confidentially. You

may contact Laura Coverstone at any stage of the process for more information and to ask questions (see

contact information below).

PROCESS

of Candidacy

Please provide the following for review:

• A current resume

• Responses to the following essay topics:

1. Describe your spiritual journey of faith in Jesus Christ.

2. Why are you interested in serving Clapham School? What are the main characteristics that distinguish

a classical Christian school from other educational models? Include any experience you bring with

Charlotte Mason pedagogy.

3. Provide the names and contact information (telephone numbers and email addresses) for four

references who know you and your career well enough to comment on your suitability for the Head

of School position at Clapham. References will only be contacted after we have requested and

received your permission to do so.

Submit this information in one document or PDF to:

Laura Coverstone

JobfitMatters

resumes@jobfitmatters.com

Phone: 615-261-4623

In the subject line of the email, please write “Clapham School HOS.”

SEARCH TIMELINE: All candidate information will be reviewed upon receipt and candidate review will continue

until a Head of School is selected. The selected candidate can start July 2021 or by July 2022 at the

latest. The quality of the candidate fit is more important than the timeline.

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