The mission of Open Window School is to nurture and inspire students of high intellectual potential.
Open Window School, situated on beautiful Cougar Mountain in Bellevue, Washington, is a leader in gifted education, committed to providing high challenge and high support to our kindergarten through 8th grade students every day. Faculty and staff are a collaborative and dynamic team, aligned around the school’s mission and core values: authenticity, love of learning, focus on social and emotional learning, and community. OWS is in the first year of a strategic plan which focuses on leadership in gifted education, diversity and inclusion, faculty excellence, and campus upgrades. This is a rare opportunity for a talented, forward-thinking leader to build on an excellent financial foundation to move a school forward in its ambitious goals.
The Director of Finance and Operations (DFO) serves as a strategic partner to the Head of School, collaborating to ensure the OWS mission is delivered with optimal efficiency and effectiveness. The DFO is the school’s operational leader, responsible for Open Window’s fiscal health, long-range planning, and risk management. They supervise and manage business operations, human resources, and facilities. They inspire and motivate team-members to ensure that responsibility and accountability for financial and operational excellence exists at every level of the organization. In concert with the Head of School, the DFO will provide timely, accurate, and relevant information to the Board of Trustees to facilitate strategic decisions that allow the school to achieve its goals.
The DFO will possess a strategic and forward-thinking style, balanced with significant experience overseeing budgeting and planning, financial forecasting and analysis, legal and risk management, human resources, information technology, and business operations gained through increasingly responsible roles in comparable complex settings. Their results-driven leadership experience will demonstrate initiative and excellent problem-solving skills. They embody integrity, leadership, growth mindset, and service to others. They will demonstrate through their actions an unwavering commitment to the mission of the school and will organize their work accordingly.
Major Areas of Responsibility/Specific Duties
Strategy, Planning, and Leadership:
Engage as a strategic partner to the Head of School and senior leadership team.
Communicate and interact with Board of Trustees to understand and advise on strategic plans, initiatives, and recommendations.
Serve as the financial and operational leader of the school.
Establish short- and long-range financial objectives that align with the school’s strategic plans and initiatives.
Identify and implement systems, policies, and procedures to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Financial and Accounting:
Oversee the closing process and preparation of monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements, as well as the annual financial audit.
Create, revise, and maintain the annual and five-year budget forecasting model.
Monitor and report variances in financial results and suggest corrective actions.
Oversee cash, investments, debt, and asset management.
Develop and monitor policies supporting reserve, endowment, and debt obligations as applicable.
Review and ensure the application of appropriate internal controls and financial procedures.
Develop and maintain investment advisor, banking, legal advisor, and insurance relationships.
Analyze and advise on the financing alternatives for new projects, as well as existing debt holdings.
Recruit, hire, and supervise business office personnel.
Prepare forecasts and projections to provide financial insights to the Head of School and Board of Trustees in evaluating new business opportunities and other strategic initiatives.
Human Resources and Operations
Oversee the provision of employee compensation, benefits, and retirement plans.
Ensure the school’s hiring processes, personnel records, and Employee Handbook are conducted using lawful and best practice methods.
Assist in planning and development of facilities master plans.
Oversee the maintenance and operation of school facilities; ensures planned construction, renovation, and maintenance projects are implemented.
Supervise the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Facilities.
Collaborate with the admissions office to administer the school’s financial aid program and with the development office to achieve annual and long-term philanthropic goals.
Compliance and Risk
Serve as the school’s primary risk-assessment officer.
Remain current on changes in government regulations impacting the school.
Manage and maintain appropriate levels of insurance to protect the property, employees, students, and directors of the school.
Develop and/or review all contractual documents.
Ensure regulatory compliance as a non-profit corporation, as a school, and as an employer. This includes compliance with federal, state, and local regulation in the areas of financial and tax reporting, debt covenants, human resource management, employee benefits, information security, data privacy, fire safety, building inspections, facilities/environmental, ADA, OSHA, zoning, and other regulations as applicable.
Other duties as assigned.
Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and/or significant relevant experience in finance or accounting. CPA or CMA preferred but not required.
Five years’ experience in a financial or business leadership position. Non-profit experience preferred. Experience in education would be an asset but is not required.
Excellent cultural competency, willing and able to excel to work with multiple groups of people from diverse backgrounds.
Ability to communicate effectively with faculty, administration, trustees, and parents/guardians.
Attention to detail and accuracy.
Broad understanding of business law, contracts, and state/federal regulation
Advanced technology skills including Word, Outlook, Excel, database software and financial software. Experience with Quickbooks desktop is a plus.
Schedule and Hours:
This is a full-time, exempt, administrative position, not eligible for overtime. Work schedule is generally 8 AM – 4 PM, Tuesdays until 5:00 PM for faculty meetings. This role requires some commitments outside these hours including, but not limited to evening Board of Trustee and Finance Committee meetings.
Compensation and Benefits:
Salary is competitive based upon education/training, breadth of experience, and similar positions at other independent schools.
6 weeks of vacation leave, 12 sick days and 12 holidays per year
Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance
Health Reimbursement Account
Flexible Spending Accounts
403(b) Retirement Account, Pre-tax & Roth Options (eligible for employer contribution after one year of service).
Life and AD&D Insurance
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Professional development and training opportunities
Please submit a cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for this position, your resume, and answers to the Diversity Commitment Questions below. Applicants must submit an answer to both of the following Diversity Commitment Questions as a single word or pdf document:
How would you define diversity?
Describe how you have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in your current or prior job. If necessary, candidates can draw upon their experience in community organizations if professional experience is limited.
Please be prepared to provide 3-5 professional references and one personal reference if requested. If you are unable to apply online, you are welcome to fax your resume, cover letter, and answers to the Diversity Commitment Questions to 425-644-6320.
Open Window School does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, or other status legally protected by local, state, or federal law.
Open Window School, an independent K-8 school serving intellectually gifted students, is is located in Bellevue/Issaquah, Washington and is fully accredited by NWAIS (Northwest Association of Independent Schools). Founded in 1983 to provide an educational environment specially designed for gifted learners, Open Window is, to use the school’s motto, a place “Where Students Love to Learn.” Current enrollment is 340 students. More Information is available at openwindowschool.org.