OVERVIEW

Founded in 1962, Presentation High School is a highly regarded Catholic independent school for young women in Silicon Valley sponsored by the Sisters of the Presentation. The school works in partnership with families to promote the spiritual and intellectual development of students, and graduates are expected to be women of faith who live by the motto “Not Words, But Deeds,” capturing its commitment to service to others. “Pres,” as it is affectionately called, believes that the all-female experience allows for increased leadership opportunities, greater empowerment, and a stronger perception of self-efficacy. The school is intentional about making every student belong, and there is a deep sense of family and community among the faculty, staff, and students. The school is fortunate to have a beautiful campus and facilities and is proud of its robust academics, competitive athletics, and amazing fine arts.

The school is able to provide small class sizes while offering a wide variety of courses, programs and activities that would normally only be seen in much larger schools. Students exude joy and sisterhood, and enthusiastic school spirit fills the halls. A formidable campus master plan has been created which visualizes an extraordinary campus expansion and renovation project.

Presentation High School is seeking a seasoned professional to become Chief Finance & Operating Officer (CFOO), assuming the role in July 2022. Working closely with the President, the CFOO serves as a strategic thought partner and as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Presentation is searching for a goal-oriented senior leader and skilled communicator who will partner with the President to design, implement, and lead the school’s operational transformation while embracing Presentation’s Catholic identity, mission, culture, and values.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

Presentation High School is at an inflection point in its history. Holly Elkins, the President for the last three years, is building out an administrative structure to better manage responsibilities and projects.  Key among those administrators will be the Chief Finance & Operations Officer role, which will oversee finance, facilities/safety, technology, and HR while leading the Business Operations Leadership Team. The role will be complemented by the Principal role, which focuses on the educational offerings. These two roles, along with the President, will operate as the executive leadership team for the school, empowering area leaders, and providing a framework for strategic decision making. Indeed, the purpose of the CFOO role will be as much strategic, operational, and managerial, as it is financial.

The next CFOO will be inheriting a strong business office with opportunities for automation and digitization. The office has a strong Director of Finance and a recently hired controller with a CPA. There are also AP and AR professionals in the office. In addition, the school intends to hire a permanent HR director. Assessing the processes and controls in the office will be an important starting point for the CFOO. There are many important decisions to be made about which modern, cloud-based accounting system they will implement, including a full review of the charter of accounts. As a result of these decisions there will be ample opportunities for digitization and automation that will greatly improve budgeting process, reconciliations and reporting, and payroll.

Beyond the business office and finances there is considerable scope for important projects and strategic decisions on the operations side. A key strategic initiative the CFOO will work to tackle is establishing and maintaining operational systems stability. The CFOO will work to ensure policies, procedures, and systems are clear, documented, and transferrable with a focus on long-term sustainability and improving employee retention. The good news there is a strong Director of Facilities with a lot of school experience with which to partner. Deferred maintenance, renovation, and campus-wide systems are all matters that will need to be addressed in a systematic manner. The school is working on a facilities audit to yield a practical course of action for updating and improving the campus.

The next Chief Finance & Operations Officer will require strong skills including, communication, people management, project management, and perhaps most importantly, strategic thinking and execution.  With a recently reconstituted board and a talented, but relatively short tenured management team, the school is poised for positive and meaningful change that honors the school history while setting a sustainable course for the future. Professionals who enjoy challenges, a true partnership with their CEO, and contributing at the highest strategic levels of an organization will have a great experience at Presentation High School.

DESIRED QUALITIES AND QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree required, MBA or CPA preferred;
  • 10-15 years of senior-level experience creating and executing financial planning and management strategies;
  • Proven track record designing, implementing, and managing large-scale organizational change;
  • Superb communication skills; excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to take complex subjects, distill them, and then communicate them to varied audiences;
  • Experience in an independent school preferred though individuals with strong financial and leadership skills are welcome;
  • Experience on senior administrative teams and working with non-profit Boards;
  • Demonstrated experience in measuring and improving organization-wide productivity;
  • Demonstrated experience in the development of analysis for strategic decision-making, such as key cost drivers, competitive analysis, market analysis, organizational strengths and weaknesses, etc.;
  • Experience in human resource management, employee benefits (including pension plans), and payroll procedures. Knowledge of business and not-for-profit accounting policies, procedures, practices, facilities, and software programs;
  • Ability to think and plan strategically and creatively;
  • Ability to supervise, manage, and delegate multiple functions and activities;
  • Ability to remain calm, flexible, and work effectively under pressure;
  • Skilled at negotiating and initiating contracts with external vendors;
  • Customer service oriented;
  • An entrepreneurial mindset;
  • Committed to equity and inclusion practices;
  • Evident integrity.

The full position description can be found at https://carneysandoe.com/assets/Presentation-HS-CFOO-03.09-FINAL.pdf.

TO APPLY

Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically in one email and as separate documents (preferably PDFs) the following materials:

  • A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position;
  • A current résumé;
  • A list of five professional and one personal references – with name, phone number, and email address of each to:

Gregory G. Britton

Chief Operating Officer, Search & Consulting Group

ggb@carneysandoe.com

 

To apply for this job email your details to ggb@carneysandoe.com