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JOB POSTING: Principal, St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy (San Francisco, CA)

NOTICE: This position has been filled as of 15 May 2012. We are no longer receiving applications or enquiries for the post.

[POSTED 14 DECEMBER 2011] The Board of Directors of the St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy, North America’s premier, fully-accredited Orthodox K-12 and college preparatory school, seeks to appoint a new Principal to begin in Academic Year 2012-13 (with the school year beginning in September 2012, though ideally the applicant will be available sooner), to succeed the outgoing Principal, Archimandrite Irenei. The annual salary for the post is in the area of $36,000-$37,000, plus benefits, depending on experience and ability to serve also in a teaching role.


Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Saint John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy ( is an Eastern Orthodox Christian, coeducational, non-profit, college-preparatory, full-time day school founded in 1994 for grades K-12. Dedicated to the memory of St. John of San Francisco, the great modern-day Wonderworker who had a particular love and ministry toward children, the Academy is an English-speaking, fully pan-Orthodox institution that seeks to take the vibrant spiritual, moral and educational heritage of traditional Orthodox Christianity and offer it to the world—including both Orthodox and non-Orthodox students and families.

Building upon a Classical curriculum and model, the Academy’s 18 years of operation have equipped it to develop its own vibrant educational context, rooted in traditional Orthodox Christian understandings of the human person, community, learning and growth. Fostering the highest-level of academic integrity and standards, St. John’s aims to participate with parents in the development of children who are well informed in both liberal arts and modern sciences, delivered in an integrated manner that fosters discussion, conversation, and a holistic engagement with learning and faith. We aim to equip our students with an education grounded in our faith, with an ethical and moral foundation that will enable them to live as devout Christians in the modern world.

Rooted securely in its Orthodox heritage, St. John’s has more recently become dedicated to sharing its life and mission with the whole Christian community. It actively seeks out and welcomes students of all Christian traditions who desire a dynamic, integrated education within the context of a school inspired, motivated by and rooted in traditional Orthodox Christianity.

The 2012-2013 school year will be a period of great change and development at the Academy, with the unveiling of a new High School program, improved provision in Middle School and elementary-level offerings, as well as dynamic pedagogical advancements. These developments aim to strengthen offerings that have grown up over nearly two decades of operation, as well as create an environment that offers something new into the educational community of north California.

Our mission is exemplified in our Expected Schoolwide Learning Results, which are the focal point of all our work. Students are expected to: (1) Know, understand and implement the basic beliefs and practices of the Orthodox Christian faith in one’s personal life; (2) Be prepared to live as a truly useful member of society who practices Christian citizenship towards others and true Orthodox piety towards God; (3) Be able to think critically and analytically; (4) Be able to express oneself in an effective and confident manner; and (5) Acquire the motivation and ability to strive for intellectual excellence.


The Principal of the St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy provides general administrative oversight to the school on a day-to-day basis, overseeing the entire teaching and administrative staff, as well as developing and maintaining an active involvement in student life. The Principal, who reports directly to the Board of Directors and sits on the Board ex officio, oversees the development of the Academy’s internal ethos and environment, its curricula and academic programs, the appointment of teachers and staff, and takes an active role in the admission of new students. The Principal advises and works together with the Board of Directors to develop the Academy’s longer-term vision and plans, and implements in the school the over-arching directives provided by the Board. The Principal is assisted in the administration of the Academy by a Dean of Students (to whom devolve many matters relating to discipline and student life), and an Office Administrator (who assists with practical day-to-day affairs such as correspondence, banking, etc.).

The Principal must be a communicant Orthodox Christian in good standing with the Church, with a deep and abiding love for God and the mission of Orthodox education. The Principal must be active in Church life (e.g. actively attending services, parish activities, etc.), so as to lead by example in the fostering of Christian piety and behavior. The Principal must have a demonstrated ability to lead, to be confident in his leadership and inspire that confidence in others, and to provide vision to the school and its community.

The ideal Principal will have a compelling background in education, including both teaching and administrative experience. Familiarity with the administrative structures affecting Private Schools in the USA (e.g. accreditation issues, AG-lists, etc.) will not be considered a strict requirement, but will be a major advantage to a potential applicant; and an ability to speedily learn and operate within such structures will be a necessity. The Principal must have an ability to inspire the highest standards of excellence in both the faculty and students of the Academy, as well as fostering an environment of joy, mutual support, community and Christian love.

As the Academy is currently developing a new High School program, the Principal must have a strong commitment to integrated learning, and a familiarity with ‘Great Books’ methodologies and programs will be a bonus. The Principal must be ready to engage with the often challenging day-to-day operations of a small school, which involve hands-on involvement in many dimensions of administration and student life that might not fall to the principal of a larger institution. The Principal should, at heart, be filled with Christian love and a deep zeal for Orthodox education, committed to the mission of providing this educational context to students of all Christian traditions. An desire to augment administrative duties by limited teaching in the classroom is a strong plus.


Reporting structure:

  • The Principal reports directly to the Board of Directors and is accountable to the Board for the fulfillment of the duties of the role, and for the overall life of the school. 
  • The Principal should energetically take counsel from a variety of sources, including administration and faculty within the school; but a key trait of the Principal shall be the ability to provide concrete personal leadership and direction. 

General responsibilities of the Principal:

  • To supervise all programs of the school: academic, pastoral, athletic, social, counseling and extracurricular. 
  • To oversee and monitor all aspects of the school’s routine operation, including the preparation of annual budgets (for proposal and approval by the Board); facilities maintenance and operation; and other practical matters. 
  • To assist the Board in the latter’s responsibility for fundraising and broader financial planning for the institution. 

Leadership, Direction and Representation:

  • To provide the leadership for sustaining, administering and developing the appropriate educational environment for the St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy. 
  • To represent the school in its relations with state and federal agencies and accrediting agencies (including overseeing the filing of all attendant documentation required for the running of the school in its relation with such agencies); as well as to the ruling bishop, synod, and other relevant ecclesiastical bodies. 
  • To represent St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy to the community and actively to promote the school and its development (e.g. organizing promotional events; speaking at such events), in concert with the representation provided by the Board and its members. 

Faculty and Staff Oversight:

  • To ensure that the school has ample faculty and staff provision through the maintenance and development of specific role profiles; interviewing and hiring qualified personnel to serve as teachers; and other measures. 
  • To observe, supervise and evaluate the faculty and staff and hold regular meetings; and to encourage and facilitate such staff and faculty development as may be appropriate and desirable. 
  • Together with the Dean, to decide upon dismissal of personnel when necessary. 

School Policies and Practicalities:

  • To work with the Board of Directors in carrying out established school policies and to make recommendations for changes when needed; to attend Board meetings and keep members informed of all aspects of the school’s operation. 
  • To supervise the preparation of the master schedule before the beginning of the school year. 
  • To interview applicant families for admissions and supervise the admissions process, applicant testing and acceptance decisions. 


Persons wishing to be considered for the post of Principal are encouraged to submit their application materials as soon as possible, as consideration of candidates will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Nominations of individuals for consideration by the Board of Directors may also be submitted.

Informal queries regarding the position should be directed to the current Principal, Archimandrite Irenei, on However, application materials must NOT be sent to this address.

Application submissions should include:
  • A signed (or electronically signed) copy of the Employment Application Submission Covering Form, which can be found on the Academy’s web site at this link
  • A Covering Letter / Letter of Application, describing your suitability, qualifications and vision for the post of Principal at St. John’s. 
  • Your complete résumé/CV, highlighting your educational background and experience, ecclesiastical background, and relevant experience in school administration or related skills. 
Additionally, THREE letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Academy by their authors. One of your referees must be your Orthodox Spiritual Father / Parish Priest, who can speak to your Orthodox life and commitment, and the other two should have direct knowledge of your educational work and suitability for a position such as this. These letters may arrive later than your application materials. Submissions will be considered in advance of the receipt of such letters, but no decisions will be taken until all three letters of recommendation are in hand. Letters of recommendation may not come from current members of the staff or administration of the Academy. 

Application materials may be sent to the Academy by post or electronically, only by the means described on the second page of the Employment Application Submission Covering Form. Please DO NOT send your materials to any other Academy individual or e-mail address than that indicated on the form.

Letters of recommendation must be received in hardcopy by post to the Academy office.