Join Us on This Transformational Journey

Head of Upper School

Transformational Leadership Opportunity
Start Date: June/July 2021

The Mount Vernon School seeks the next Head of Upper School, effective June/July 2021, to lead this innovative community of learners. Amplifying the mission and executing the vision of the School, the Head of Upper School plays a creative, collaborative, and inclusive role in impacting the School’s future.

Established in 1972, Mount Vernon, serving 1,120 students in preschool through grade 12, is located in the heart of Sandy Springs, Georgia, within metropolitan Atlanta. On the 40-acre Upper Campus, the Upper School, with an enrollment of 430 students in grades 9-12, builds relationships, develops strengths, and follows customized pathways for learning in a new state-of-the-art Upper School building.

At Mount Vernon, we believe students have big ideas, and when teachers really know their students’ curiosities and passions, incredible things can happen.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit a resumé to Carney Sandoe & Associates.

Karen Whitaker
Search Consultant
[email protected]

Marsha Little
Search Consultant
[email protected]

Application Requirement & Search Process

Selected candidates will also be asked to provide the following:

  • Cover letter expressing interest in this position
  • Statement of leadership philosophy and impact
  • Statement of educational philosophy and impact
  • Statement of inclusion, diversity, and equity philosophy and impact
  • List of five references with name, phone number, and email address of each (references will be contacted only with the candidate’s permission)

What Matters Here

Mount Vernon’s Mission

We are a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact. Grounded in Christian values, we prepare all students to be college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders.

Mount Vernon’s Vision & Values

To continually develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to actively design a better world, one must learn to thrive in any context. This requires engaging with a diverse network.

Mount Vernon’s IDEA

We are committed to creating and sustaining a school culture where all members feel valued and safe, sharing their authentic selves to design a better world…together.

Transformational Journey of Inquiry Innovation & Impact

Beginning with the Preschool in 1972 and adding a grade level each year, The Mount Vernon School operated as a preschool through grade 6 until the mid 1980s. By 1989, Mount Vernon expanded by offering grades 7-8. In 2004, the School finalized plans to form an Upper School, and a year later the School opened the doors of the academic building on the Upper Campus. In 2007, MVPS celebrated the first graduating class of the School. In June of 2009, Mount Vernon’s Board of Trustees recruited and appointed Dr. Brett Jacobsen as Head of School.

Over the last decade, Mount Vernon has experienced a transformational period of growth, innovation, and brand recognition locally and throughout the United States. As a result, enrollment has increased from 740 to 1,120 students with a total enrollment of 430 Upper School students, tripling in size.

The educational and academic transformation at Mount Vernon has occurred through the lens of innovation tiers: (Tier 1 Innovation) innovation that incrementally moves us forward; (Tier 2 Innovation) innovation that creates breakthrough opportunities; (Tier 3 Innovation) innovation that transforms the very way that people think about “school.” Key highlights:

Strategic Plan

New Upper School Building
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Action
Stanford’s d.School Design Thinking
Buck Institute’s Project-Based Learning
Harvard’s Instructional Rounds
Harvard’s Visible Thinking Routines

Standards, Competencies & Work habits

Interim Term International Travel
Innovation Diploma

Georgia Tech Design Bloc Partner

VR Flagship for Dell & Alienware
Mount Vernon Ventures
Mastery Transcript Consortium

The Upper School

Mount Vernon’s Upper School raises the trajectory with a program built for vigor. Rather than being passive consumers of information, learners are invited to actively solve complex problems, with a growing emphasis on project- and team-based approaches, as well as significant focus on deeper learning. The defining characteristic of a 21st century school is that it is learner-centered, focused on what the learner needs to learn and succeed in today’s demanding, uncertain, and complex world. Guided by a high performing faculty, discover the programmatic elements that make a Mount Vernon education an unparalleled experience.

Fast Facts

2 Campuses (47 acres) — Lower Campus (PS-5), Upper Campus (6-12)
1,119 students (PS-12)
430 Upper School students, 279 Middle School students, 318 Lower School students, 86 Preschool students
14% of students receive financial aid
190 faculty and staff (PS-12)
17% students of color
25% of faculty/staff members of color
90% of students participate in athletics/arts

Memberships and Affliations

A Better Chance
Ashoka Changemaker Schools Network
Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools
Association of Independent School Admissions Professionals
Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools
Black Parents Forum
Center for Spiritual and Ethical Leadership
College Board
Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Enrollment Management Association
Georgia High School Association
Global Education Benchmark Group
International Thespian Honor Society
Mastery Transcript Consortium
Mid-South Independent School Business Officers
National Association of Independent Schools
National Association for College Admissions Counseling
National Business Officers Association
National Honor Society
Southern Association for College Admissions Counseling
Southern Association of Independent Schools

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Engage In Real World Work

The growing access to knowledge, information, people, and tools that Mount Vernon students are exposed to demands a shift in how we think about the work they do in school. Work that matters is work that is created for an authentic audience who might enjoy it or benefit from it, even in a small way. It’s work that isn’t simply passed to the teacher for a grade, or shared with peers for review. It’s work that potentially makes a difference in the world. Today.

Follow Customized Pathways for Learning

All courses in the Upper School are college preparatory, designed to prepare each graduate for college-level work. Our curriculum offers a personalized pathway with choice. We believe that students learn more when they are interested in what they are doing. With 154 different core course offerings and 62 different elective offerings, Upper School students may choose from a variety of challenging, academically demanding courses that interest them. Examples of courses include: Artistic Revolution and the Harlem Renaissance, Global Conflict and Compromise, and Computer Science: Hack Away. The result of this work is a schedule that provides our students with a vigorous, research-informed, inquiry-based education, giving them time to pursue their passions and focus on their well-being. Additionally, students interested in challenging themselves further or exploring a subject in greater detail have the option to pursue Honors or Advanced Placement coursework (17 AP courses).

Experience Unique Opportunities

Innovation Diploma (iD) is an original program offering students an unparalleled opportunity to partner with organizations in corporate, civic, and non-profit arenas, such as Porsche, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Delta, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, among others, to make an impact in their community. These students are able to observe, question, empathize, experiment, craft, and implement innovations in a variety of fields and contexts before Graduation. Global and domestic travel allows learners to explore personal interests, integrate disciplines, expand their minds, and serve the public good. Previous destinations include Canada, Egypt, France, Galapagos Islands, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Australia, and Zambia. These experiences connect learners with tangible needs in the world and propel learners into genuine engagement with real-world challenges in order to obtain global competence.

Design Your Future

Over the course of four years, Mount Vernon’s College & Academic Counselors cultivate strong relationships with each family in order to identify passions early on that might help propel students’ narratives through personality assessments, strengths building, and career exploration. Therefore, Mount Vernon intentionally fosters deep knowledge of science, cultures, and society; intellectual and practical skills; a commitment to personal and social responsibility; and the ability to apply learning to complex problems and challenges.

Student Life


We take a networked and multi-layered approach to advising students. All Mount Vernon learners benefit from the mentoring and counseling of faculty advisors who provide the first layer of academic and social-emotional advising for a group of around ten students.


Through an innovative industry-centered approach, our arts program partners with professional artists who collaborate with our students, empowering them to ask questions, explore techniques, and find creative solutions. Arts integration is integral in our core curriculum. Upper School learners are empowered to understand what it means to be an artist in the real world by learning from guest artists, recording new music, producing live events, writing and performing original shows and impacting their world through local, regional, and national performances and competitions.


Mount Vernon’s Athletic Department competes in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) where more than 90% of students participate in at least one of 19 athletic programs, including football, cheerleading, softball, volleyball, cross country, basketball, swimming, wrestling, baseball, golf, track, soccer, tennis, and lacrosse. Win or lose, Mount Vernon encourages athletic participation, as team sports help foster collaboration, leadership, and character as they build community and team spirit.

Clubs & Honors Societies

Upper school students may also pursue their passions through a variety of clubs, including business and entrepreneurship, fine arts, creative writing, debate, rocketry, and rock climbing, among many others. In addition, the Upper School allows qualified students to be inducted and involved in various honor societies such as National Honor Society, Spanish Language Honor Society, French Language Honor Society, and Latin Honor Society.

Prefect System

The Upper School’s student leadership utilizes a prefect system where prefects serve the School in areas of student life, admissions, communication, publicity, service, spiritual life, environmentalism, and the overall quality of experience that makes Mount Vernon so special. Prefects are composed of outstanding juniors and/or seniors who are nominated or self-nominated and then selected by a faculty review board. Each prefect has a mentor faculty or staff member to assist them in building their committee, shaping their vision for the year, and providing accountability and an invaluable resource to see it to completion.


Mount Vernon is a community with a passion for serving and giving back. Through Atlanta-based projects, domestic trips, and international journeys, Upper School students participate in a variety of service opportunities. In addition, students engage in philanthropic endeavors during the course of the year to have a deeper impact by pooling resources through collection drives to impact others beyond the community.

Spiritual Life

Students hear weekly chapel messages grounded in Christian values — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Nurturing these values through service and community, we ask questions, share stories, and build relationships. Inspiring one another through the work we undertake together, we seek to design a better world, searching for maximum impact.