Head of School


Tallahassee Classical School (TCS) is looking for a principal to lead the school in Tallahassee, Florida in Fall 2022.  TCS is a chartered, publicly-funded, board-governed, tuition-free, classical school.  It is part of the Barney Charter School Initiative of Hillsdale College, a network of classical charter schools united by curriculum and purpose. TCS will be a K-10 school in 2022  and grow to K-12.  

Partnership with Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative

The board has established a relationship with Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI) whereby the school delivers BCSI’s content-rich, classical curriculum, and BCSI provides teacher training and support to the Principal and the Governing Board. The board expects the Principal to adhere to the BCSI curriculum while carefully balancing Florida standards and testing requirements. (BCSI’s K-12 scope and sequence is available upon request.)

Relationship with the Board

TCS’s board operates as a non-profit, volunteer board. 

TCS’s board operates according to a model of governance called Policy Governance. The most important aspects of Policy Governance are these:

  1. The Principal is the sole report to TCS’s board of directors; likewise, the board relates to the school solely through the Principal.
  2. The board does not co-manage the school with the Principal. Rather it holds the Principal accountable for producing outcomes within parameters established by law, the Charter Agreement, and the board’s policies. 
  3. The board views organizational performance and the Principal’s performance as one.
  4. The board acts as one; only motions passed by the board are binding on the Principal.
  5. The board has committed to governing with an emphasis on outward vision rather than internal preoccupation, strategic leadership more than administrative detail.

The Position

The Principal is the most significant leadership position in the TCS community and is entrusted with many important concerns:  the wellbeing of children, the reputation of the school community, the financial trust of public monies, and the responsibility of ensuring that civilization—our vast inheritance of tradition, knowledge, and skill—is passed down to the next generation.

Qualities and Characteristics

  • Leadership.  A principal should have the ability to discern the outcomes that fulfill the nature and purpose of the organization and to chart a course to reach those outcomes; the ability to inform and inspire people to follow, to commit, to take responsibility, to perform, and to cooperate in an effective manner that will mobilize the resources of the organization so that it can follow the course laid out before it by the leader; and the ability to raise up new leaders in an organization.
  • Intellectual depth and curiosity. A principal should have an inclination toward the life of the mind, befitting of the leader of an academic institution; a love of learning demonstrated by on-going personal pursuit of knowledge and the passion to share knowledge with others.
  • A commitment to school reform. A principal should recognize the unique substance and form of classical education and be able to articulate what it is and why it is needed in the modern world.
  • High moral character. A principal should generate trust and confidence in others by exhibiting prudence, integrity, transparency, decisiveness, courage, collaboration, kindness, and humility.
  • Ownership. A principal should possess a sense of ownership of the mission, performance, and future of the school, and a strong desire to become a part of the Tallahassee community.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Knowledge of the classical liberal arts, its roots in the Western tradition, and its historical presence in American education prior to the 20th century.
  • Knowledge of the craft of teaching, and the ability to teach well.
  • The ability to coach teachers to greater degrees of effectiveness in the classroom.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written forms.
  • The ability to maintain a high degree of energy and personal productivity and to manage the productivity of others.  The ability to prioritize and accomplish necessary tasks.
  • Knowledge of personnel management, including recruiting and hiring, supervising and evaluating, terminating and conducting exit interviews, and individual and organizational development.
  • The ability to create a climate and culture in which people are motivated to do their best to help the school achieve its goals.
  • The ability to navigate difficult conversations and make difficult decisions.
  • Knowledge of financial management principles, including budgeting, auditing, and controls.
  • Understanding of Florida’s accountability system for K-12 public schools; knowledge of Florida laws relevant to charter schools.

Required Qualifications

  • Possession of a Master’s degree or higher in Education or in one or more of the liberal arts.
  • Minimum of three (3) years teaching experience at the K-12 or college level.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Florida certification in Educational Leadership, School Principal, Administration, or Administration and Supervision.
  • Prior experience leading a classical liberal arts school, ideally K-12, with demonstrated success e.g., producing favorable academic outcomes over time.
  • Prior experience opening a new, public charter school and managing its student, faculty, and facility growth and expansion over time.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Hire faculty and staff.
  • Provide general management of all school operations, including safety and emergency response, personnel selection and performance, budgeting and financial management, fundraising, communications and public relations, monitor timely completion of regulatory requirements, and facility and inventory management.
  • Observe teachers at defined intervals, document results, and provide feedback as coach and supervisor.
  • Report to the board at regular intervals on the status of the school’s performance including but not limited to student achievement data; financial reports; teacher recruitment and retention data; status of regulatory compliance; etc. 
  • Assist the board in the development of long-term strategic plans for the school; implement these with integrity and provide comments for future plans.
  • Represent the school as the senior executive leader in interactions with the board, TCS’ charter authorizer: Leon County Schools, philanthropic donors, the public, employees, students and their families, and other government agencies.

Salary and Benefits

  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience and expertise.  
  • Full benefits including retirement contributions and health, dental, and vision insurance.  

Qualified candidates interested in this opportunity are invited to submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, and professional references to the Interim Principal:

Dr. Alan Chen


Interviews will be scheduled for Winter 2021/22. Preferred start date: July 1, 2022.

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