Founded in 1909 and affiliated with the Episcopal Church, The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational day school for 800 students in grades six through twelve located on a historic campus in the heart of La Jolla, 10 miles north of downtown San Diego.
With a student-teacher ratio of approximately 8 to 1, Bishop’s is broadly recognized for academic, artistic, and athletic excellence while celebrating character development, diversity, and inclusion. Approximately 48 percent of students self-report as students of color. More than $3.5 million is awarded in financial aid annually. Talented and accomplished, Bishop’s graduates are welcomed each year to a wide and impressive range of colleges and universities.
For a position to begin in July 2021, The Bishop’s School is seeking a forward-thinking, creative, and experienced professional to implement an exciting vision of college counseling as a signature feature of the Bishop’s experience.
Application Deadline: November 13, 2020
THE BISHOP’S SCHOOL IN BRIEF
The Bishop’s School is an academic community pursuing intellectual, artistic, and athletic excellence in the context of the Episcopal tradition. We are dedicated to offering the highest quality education to a diverse student body and to fostering integrity, imagination, moral responsibility, and commitment to serving the larger community.
Diversity And Inclusion Statement
The Bishop's School promotes an inclusive and compassionate community of students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents, trustees, and alumni. We honor and embrace diverse identities such as age, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender and gender identity, group affiliation, national origin, physical and mental ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Because diversity enriches the exchange of ideas, we foster a physically and emotionally safe environment in which different experiences, thoughts, and opinions are respectfully expressed and respectfully heard. Such an environment allows every individual to thrive in and contribute to our global community.
Accreditation and Memberships
The Bishop’s School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the California Association of Independent Schools.
National Association of Independent Schools
National Association of Episcopal Schools
Global Online Academy
School Year Abroad
Cum Laude Society
National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC)
Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS)
At a Glance
School Founded: 1909
2020–21 Enrollment: 800 students in grades 6–12
Middle School (grades 6–8): 260
Upper School (grades 9–12): 540
Students of Color: 48%
Average Class Size: 14
Student-Teacher Ratio: 8:1
Faculty: 101, 85% with an advanced degree
Endowment: $56 million
2020–21 Tuition: $38,310
Financial Aid: $3.5 million to 20% of student body (average award of $26,250)
Campus & Facilities: 11-acre campus, located steps from the La Jolla Cove in Southern California,
includes a blend of historic and contemporary buildings that ring a large grass
quadrangle. (Virtual tour at www.bishops.com/admissions/visit-us)
Founded in 1909 as a girls boarding school affiliated with the Episcopal Church, The Bishop’s School’s original focus was to prepare young women for education at “the best Eastern colleges.” As a coeducational independent day school today, Bishop’s continues to grow in excellence, providing students a comprehensive education that inspires passion and curiosity.
Bishop’s idyllic water-side location and beautiful 11-acre campus provide an extraordinary setting for learning indoors and abundant tranquil spaces outdoors where students and faculty routinely gather. Facilities range from historically significant buildings dating to the early 1900s to modern spaces dedicated to the sciences, performing arts, a library, and a new maker space housed within the historic Wheeler Bailey building. The school’s extensive on-campus athletic facilities are augmented by an aquatic facility and tennis center located off campus.
The school’s Episcopal identity is evident in the caring and supportive school culture that actively seeks and supports diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and service while encouraging students to embrace spirituality in many forms. The robust and innovative curriculum, delivered by an exceptional faculty, challenges students to engage seriously with academics while also enjoying the learning process and engagement with their peers. A full complement of co-curricular activities provides numerous avenues to explore passions and talents.
As a capstone to the enriching experience of a Bishop’s education, the college counseling program plays a vital role in guiding families as they plan for the next step in each student’s development.
To learn more about the school, visit www.bishops.com
STUDENTS AND FAMILIES
As one of the premier independent schools in California, The Bishop’s School attracts a talented, diverse, and highly motivated student body. This year’s applicant pool drew from 72 zip codes and 168 middle and high schools throughout San Diego County and beyond. New students came from 74 different schools, and many students commute more than an hour each way to access the benefits of a Bishop’s education.
Bishop’s serves a parent body that is highly educated and accomplished. Not surprisingly, they bring very high expectations regarding both their children’s academic preparation and the college admissions process.
The school has a longstanding record of preparing students for success in college. The 128-member class of 2020 included 16 National Merit Semifinalists and 25 Commended Students. In May 2019, 284 students in grades nine through 12 sat for a total of 587 Advanced Placement exams in 26 subjects. Seventy-eight percent of those exams received a score of 4 or 5, and 94 percent earned a score of 3 or above.
Graduates from the classes of 2017-2020 are matriculating at 146 colleges and universities, including an impressively broad range of schools in the U.S. and internationally. Institutions enrolling four or more Bishop’s graduates over the past four years include the following:
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
George Washington University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New York University
San Diego State University
Santa Clara University
Southern Methodist University
Texas Christian University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Chicago
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Washington University in St. Louis
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE UPPER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Overseen by a passionate, diverse, highly educated, and nationally recruited faculty, Bishop’s innovative educational program is designed to challenge and engage motivated, college-bound students. The comprehensive curriculum allows students to find their voice, inspire their passion, and prepare for their academic futures, while equipping them with foundational life skills. This preparatory approach incorporates courses in science, math, history, the arts, world languages, computer science, physical education and health, as well as religion and ethics.
Upper School students choose from among more than 150 course offerings, including classes designated at the Honors, Advanced Placement, and Advanced Honors levels. Advanced Honors courses encourage intensive study in a seminar setting beyond the bounds of the AP program. The science and history/social sciences departments now offer Honors courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Micro/ Macroeconomics and Psychology, replacing the same disciplines that were previously taught with the AP designation. Honors Economics: Microeconomics & Entrepreneurship introduces frameworks of economics concepts and business models in a collaborative environment focused on entrepreneurial projects. Student interest in Computer Science has led to the recent development of a four-year trajectory that allows students to focus on specific interests including programming, game design, and machine learning.
As a member of Global Online Academy, a consortium of leading independent schools dedicated to academic excellence and the development of 21st century skills, Bishop’s also offers students the opportunity to enroll in challenging online courses taught by faculty from member schools.
To graduate, a student must earn a minimum of 40 semester credits (five per semester) in grades 9 through 12. Specific course requirements include 4 years of English; 3 years of Math, History/Social Sciences, and Lab Sciences; 2 years of a single World Language through Level 3 (Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish are offered); 1 year of Art in a single media/discipline; 2 semesters of Religion/Ethics; and 1 semester of Health. To fulfill their credit requirements, students choose from a robust selection of academic and non-academic electives.
Additional requirements include 2 seasons of PE/Athletics in grades 9–11 and one season in grade 12. Over the course of their four years at Bishop’s, students also must complete 80 hours of community service learning, including 40 hours off campus. The service learning program emphasizes mindful reflection and relationship building and is customized by each student based on personal passions. As part of the program, students work regularly with a service organization of their choosing. Throughout this experience, students reflect and share their personal service journey with peer groups.
Bishop’s offers myriad opportunities beyond the classroom to spark students’ passions and broaden their horizons. Award-winning performing arts groups including Acting Workshop, Advanced Theatre Production, Bishop’s Singers, Performing Dance Group, and Studio Dance Group are highly selective, audition-only ensembles that require significant time commitment. In addition to the arts, Associated Student Body Council (ASBC), Journalism, Mock Trial, Peer Support, Robotics, Speech and Debate, and Yearbook also require a great commitment of time and energy. More than 60 clubs support a broad variety of student interests.
Bishop’s comprehensive athletic program is broad enough to prepare gifted athletes to compete at the college level while also ensuring that all students are exposed to the lifelong benefits of athletics and physical fitness. During the course of a school year, more than 80 percent of Upper School students will play on one or more of the 40 varsity and junior varsity teams. Offerings include Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, and Water Polo. Depending on student interest, coed athletic club offerings include Equestrian, Sailing, Squash, and Surfing.
In a typical year, Bishop’s graduating class will include up to five Division I recruited athletes and 10 to fifteen who will be recruited by Ivy League or Division III colleges.
COLLEGE COUNSELING AT THE BISHOP’S SCHOOL
With a 32:1 ratio of seniors to college counselors, Bishop’s provides careful attention to students and their families as they navigate the search and selection process. The office includes the Director of College Counseling, three experienced Associate Directors, and the Registrar.
College counselors meet with the ninth and tenth grade classes during enrichment periods and offer evening programs for parents in the winter. Individual meetings with students and parents begin during the spring of sophomore year to discuss junior-year course options and to develop a working relationship for the years ahead. At that point, each family is paired with the college counselor with whom they will work throughout the duration of the college process.
During junior year, students and their parents attend the annual fall college night program, where families are introduced to the college search and selection process in the year ahead.
Juniors and their parents meet with their college counselors early in the second semester to discuss the student's interests and needs, and to create an initial list of colleges for the student to research. Students and parents continue to work closely with the college counselors through graduation. The office also offers periodic programs on specific topics including financial aid, athletic recruitment, and essay writing.
Two years ago, the office migrated from Naviance to a new college guidance management system, SCOIR, a user-friendly and multifeatured program that has been well received by students, faculty, and the college counseling staff.
While the office recommends that students submit 10 to 15 applications to a reasonable range of choices, it does not limit the number of colleges to which a student ultimately applies. On average, Bishop’s students submit 14 applications. Approximately 90 percent submit at least one early application.
More than 200 colleges and universities seek to visit Bishop’s each fall; this year, all visits will be virtual via Zoom.
Opportunities and Challenges Awaiting the Next Director
The next Director of College Counseling will join a well-established and well-resourced office with an impressive record of success in guiding students to successful college outcomes. The Associate Directors are experienced, collaborative, student-centered, and committed to the philosophy of promoting fit over rankings. Bishop’s talented students, exceptional educational program, and well-deserved stellar reputation mean that the school has forged strong relationships with a broad range of colleges and universities.
Head of School Ron Kim, who joined Bishop’s in July 2019, aspires to build upon this solid foundation by pursuing a more expansive vision for the college counseling operation. Recognizing the importance that Bishop’s highly educated families place on the college counseling process, he is eager to establish a best-in-class college counseling operation that will become a signature element of the Bishop’s brand and reputation.
To accomplish that goal, the next Director will report directly to the Head of School. The new Director will be charged with building a comprehensive counseling experience that will delight students and parents, inspiring their confidence in both the process and the results. The school is seeking a visionary leader who is well versed in the changing landscape of college admissions and able to communicate those realities to students and parents with clarity and authority. Ideally, the program’s effectiveness and reputation will reassure students and parents that everything they need for counseling is on their campus.
Specifically, the next Director will be expected to:
Engage students and parents early and appropriately to inspire confidence while disseminating accurate and timely information.
Be an excellent communicator in writing and also as a speaker.
Use data effectively to inform the work of the counselors and to educate families.
Remain well informed about best practices and changes in college admissions nationally, continually adapting the Bishop’s operation to ensure that the school is responding nimbly – particularly in the era of Covid-19.
Lead and develop a college counseling team that has a reputation for unrivaled excellence.
Work collaboratively and collegially with all faculty and administrators who play a role in the academic advising and college guidance process.
Actively support the school’s efforts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Be a forceful and persuasive advocate for the best interests of students, reinforcing the school’s Episcopal values and its commitment to promoting fit over rankings.
THE POSITION: DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE COUNSELING
A member of the senior administrative team, the Director of College Counseling reports to the Head of School and collaborates closely with the Head of Upper School.
Broadly, the Director of College Counseling:
Manages and directs the work of three Associate Directors, who collaborate on guiding students and parents through the college selection, application, and admissions processes.
Designs programs and workshops for students and families.
Conducts outreach and develops relationships with colleges, universities, and other organizations.
Reflects the mission and vision of The Bishop’s School in all efforts.
Essential Functions and Specific Duties
Provide individual college counseling for students and parents.
Meet with students to assess their personal strengths and goals for college.
Help students select a balanced list of schools to which to apply.
Assist students in completing applications and essays.
Keep students on track with deadlines.
Write and/or review the School Counselor letters of recommendation.
Work with parents as needed throughout the process.
Participate in planning, presentation, and sponsorship of all office programming, including occasional evening and weekend commitments.
Pursue professional development by visiting college campuses, attending regional/national conferences, engaging in college-sponsored events, and participating in professional organizations (including WACAC, NACAC, ACCIS, College Board, ACT, and financial aid workshops).
Manage communications and office supervision.
Serve as the primary liaison between the college counseling staff and the rest of the school.
Supervise the performance and operations of the college counseling staff, including leading staff meetings and evaluating staff performance.
Approve office travel calendars.
Oversee and manage the department budget.
Presents, as requested, annually to the Board of Trustees.
Oversee the academic counseling process for students in grades nine through twelve.
Organize presentations of ninth and tenth grade seminars in early spring to go over academic planning.
With the Academic Dean, meet with parents at evening meetings about course planning.
Represent the college counseling office at the department chairs meetings.
Attend Academic Steering Committee meetings.
Manage and support outreach, college visits, and relations.
Build and foster strong relationships with college admissions offices.
Coordinate visits from college representatives to the school.
Coordinate office visits to colleges and college fairs.
Participate in WACAC and NACAC meetings and workshops when appropriate.
Attend yearly UC and CSU counselor workshops.
Manage and delegate responsibilities related to the presentation of workshops and seminars to students and parents.
Serve as the primary liaison between the school and external entities.
Ensure the college counseling website and external communications are accurate and up to date.
Produce the annual college profile.
Manage oversight of the UC course approval process.
Manage and delegate responsibilities related to the relationships with the College Board and standardized testing.
Stay current with trends in national testing.
Oversee process for providing testing for all Upper School students.
Keep students informed of deadlines for SAT and ACT tests.
Process National Merit applications.
Uphold the school’s Fundamental Standard, as stated in The Bishop’s School Faculty, Staff, and Administration Handbook: Each employee must act in a manner that sets the highest example for the students of the school. Accordingly, maintain integrity, honor, responsible citizenship, and respect for the rights of others.
Perform other duties as directed by the Head of School or the Head’s designee.
The Bishop’s School offers competitive compensation including a full benefits package and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
The Bishop’s School seeks a dynamic, experienced, and visionary leader to oversee all aspects of the college counseling program and office. The ideal candidate will offer most or all the following attributes:
Qualifications and Experiences
A bachelor’s degree.
Extensive experience in college counseling and/or college admissions.
A record of professional engagement with and thought leadership in national or regional college counseling/admissions organizations.
Demonstrable evidence of a deep commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Successful experience creating a strong brand and reputation.
Leadership Traits and Personal Qualities
A confident, knowledgeable, and persuasive college counseling professional who inspires confidence and trust.
A warm leader and deft communicator who genuinely enjoys engaging with students and families.
A morally grounded and caring leader who will support Bishop’s mission and values as a school founded in the Episcopal tradition.
A progressive educator who is committed to the school’s high academic standards and first-rate co-curricular programs.
A supportive supervisor and collaborative colleague who demonstrates humility, encourages the contributions of others, and models a commitment to ongoing professional development.
Skills and Abilities
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Strong organizational skills, including a demonstrated ability to manage numerous detailed tasks simultaneously, anticipate and meet deadlines, use time effectively, and problem-solve independently.
Proficiency in the use of school and college counseling software programs.
Ability to travel to attend conferences and visit colleges as circumstances permit.
Flexibility with the special needs associated with an academic calendar and schedule.
ANTICIPATED SEARCH CALENDAR
Application Deadline November 13, 2020
Semifinalist Interviews December 5–6, 2020
Finalist Visits Mid-December 2020
Appointment Late December 2020
Starting Date July 1, 2021
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SEARCH PROCESS
Wickenden Associates, an affiliate of DRG Talent Advisory Group, is conducting this search on behalf of The Bishop’s School. To discuss this opportunity in more detail, potential candidates may contact either of the lead consultants:
Wickenden Associate’s Founder & DRG Principal
Candidates should submit as soon as possible and no later than Friday, November 13, 2020, an application package including the following:
A cover letter indicating why they are particularly interested in and qualified for the position.
A current résumé.
The names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of three references. (We will obtain permission from candidates before contacting references.)
Two writing samples (e.g. recommendation letters, articles or blog posts, communications to parents, etc.) that would be useful to the Search Committee.
Application materials should be uploaded directly on this page, by clicking the ‘Apply’ button.
After an initial review of applicants, the Search Committee will interview semifinalist candidates via Zoom over the weekend of December 5–6, 2020. Shortly thereafter, finalists will be invited to The Bishop’s School for a more comprehensive series of interviews. An appointment is anticipated by late December.
This position description is based upon material provided by the Bishop’s School, an equal opportunity employer.
Founded by former Princeton University Dean of Admission James Wickenden in 1986, Wickenden Associates ranks among the nation's premier independent school consulting firms, conducting searches for Heads of Schools and other senior administrative positions. We serve schools large and small, domestic and international, coeducational and single sex, religious and secular, boarding and day, private and charter.