Illinois Association for Gifted Children

Avery Coonley School is Seeking a Middle School Division Head

  • 11/22/2019 6:07 PM
    Message # 8135485

    Position Summary

    • The Avery Coonley School is seeking an exceptional The Middle School Division Head for the 2020-2021 school year. The Middle School Head maintains congruence between the school’s board-approved mission statement and academic and affective activities in the Middle School, serving as a member of the Administrative Team, and leads the academic life of the Middle School at The Avery Coonley School. The Middle School Head is the instructional leader of the Middle School Division managing all functions related to curriculum development, academic and student support, and scheduling for the Middle School.  

      The position is salaried, benefits-eligible, full-time, 12-month position starting on July 1, 2020.

      Description of School

      Founded in 1906, The Avery Coonley School (ACS) is a coed Pre-K - Grade 8 nationally recognized independent school serving academically bright and gifted students. The school is located on 11-acres in Downers Grove, a suburb 15 miles west of Chicago. For more information about the school, visit its website at


    • We believe that the joy and excitement of learning must begin early in life. We place a high premium on developing the desire in our students to become critical thinkers and independent, life-long learners. 
    • We assist our students in realizing their intellectual, emotional, social, creative, and physical potential by promoting academic achievement, character development, self-reliance, self-confidence, independent thought, and personal fitness.
    • We recognize and are sensitive to the unique needs of gifted children. Within a traditional structure, we provide acceleration and enrichment, and foster a supportive atmosphere that provides opportunities for creativity, problem-solving, and risk-taking.
    • We believe that diversity is the foundation for a strong, competent, and compassionate community. Therefore, we value racial, religious, economic, and cultural diversity in our student body, faculty, and staff.
    • We strive to build a community that encourages understanding and mutual respect and nurtures appreciation of the individual, civility, gratitude, honesty, kindness and consideration, responsibility, and volunteerism.
    • Academics

      The school-wide curriculum offers classes in Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, 

      Foreign Language (French), Fine Arts, Physical Education, and Computer Literacy. From the curricular content to the instructional methods, classes are designed to meet the needs of bright and gifted children.

      ACS offers three levels of mathematics in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Group. The algebra track students complete a high-school-level honors program in algebra; geometry students master a high-school-level honors geometry course. High academic expectations are set forth for all learners. 

      Field trips are thoughtfully planned at each grade level to meet the needs and interests of academically talented students. From a walking field trip through the local community in Group One to a week-long French immersion experience for Group Eight in Quebec, each trip is planned to enrich and deepen the students' understanding of the academic content. 

      ACS is committed to integrating technology to enhance the rigorous curriculum and engage students at a deeper level. Each student in Groups Four through Eight receives his/her own tablet computer. Additional tablet computers and iPads are shared among EC - Third Groups. 

      The arts program offers orchestra, choir, studio and performing arts. Concerts, exhibits, and performances are presented throughout the year. 

      Physical education instruction begins in Junior Kindergarten. Students in Groups K-8 receive physical education five times a week. Students in Groups 6-8 may also choose to participate in team sports. 

      Foreign Language instruction begins in Junior Kindergarten. French is the universal second language taught at ACS. Students in Group 1 – 8 have French four times each week. 

      The School offers five interscholastic sports across three seasons: co-ed soccer and girls' volleyball in the fall, boys' and girls' basketball in the winter, and co-ed track in the spring.

      Student Activities

      Student Council provides leadership training and opportunities for school and community service for students in Groups 1-8. ACS students enjoy participating in a number of academic competitions, including spelling bees, geography bees, and numerous math competitions. 

      Many clubs and activities allow ACS students to pursue their interests in greater depth. These options generally include Art Club, Book Club, Chess Club, Chorus, Computer Club, Creative Writing Club, Debate, Drama, Film Club, French Film Club, Intramurals, MATHCOUNTS, Orchestra, Science Olympiad, Tech/Video Club, and Yearbook.

      Many community service initiatives take place throughout the year, most prompted by student leadership and interest at all grade levels.


    • Ensures that educational programs are in alignment with ACS goals and mission statement.
    • Is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Middle School.
    • Supervises and evaluates Middle School and Interdivisional Faculty (groups 5-8) and School Social Worker, by providing annual evaluations.
    • Works with Human Resources on the hiring, termination, and promotion of employees.
    • Coordinates and implements, with Lower School Head, professional development activities for Faculty.
    • Manages all functions related to curriculum review and development, academic support, and scheduling of the Middle School.
    • Oversees the Middle School Advisory program.
    • In partnership with Middle School Faculty and School Social Worker, schedules meetings regarding student-learning issues and communicates accommodations for student support plans.
    • Maintains correspondence and record keeping for Middle School student academic and social-emotional concerns, including re-enrollment.
    • Provides guidance and conflict resolution for Middle School students and monitors disciplinary practices.
    • Meets regularly with:  Administrative Team, Lower School Head, Department Chairs, and Middle School Faculty.  Attends meetings of the Board of Trustees.
    • Serves as an administrative liaison on designated committees. 
    • Schedules and communicates (in conjunction with the Lower School Head):  Academic Class schedule, Grandfriends’ Day activities, Curriculum Night, Supervision duties, ERB testing, and special student events. 
    • Oversees the development of curriculum maps for Groups 5-8 and Interdivisional classes. 
    • Oversees Middle School standardized testing process (WrAP online; ERB CTP-online); analyzes and communicates test data.
    • Manages and oversees the Middle School report card process, including the editing of narrative comments.
    • Plans and presents parent programs.
    • Keeps Head apprised of Middle School issues and concerns.
    • Participates in long-range planning and other Board-initiated activities.
    • Participates in own professional development activities to remain current.
    • Is fully versed in the Lower School Head’s position and acts as a backup when he/she is unavailable.
    • Completes any additional tasks assigned by the Head of School.
    • The ideal candidate will

    • Demonstrate a consistent, transparent, and supportive leadership style
    • Exhibit a forward-thinking growth mindset
    • Possess an ability to appropriately organize, prioritize, and delegate
    • Communicate effectively across a variety of platforms
    • Have relevant experience with adolescents in an educational setting
    • Possess a working knowledge of and appreciation for diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Education and Experience

    • Master’s degree.
    • Minimum of five years’ experience in teaching at the middle school level.
    • Minimum of five years’ experience in curriculum and supervision.
    • Experience with bright and gifted student education.
    • Knowledge of teaching methodologies.
    • Understanding of independent school culture.
    • To Apply

      Interested candidates should submit the following documents to

    •   A cover letter expressing how you might be a good fit at Avery Coonley School
    • Educational philosophy statement (one page is sufficient)
    • Current resume
    • At least two letters of recommendation
    • At least three references

Contact Us:

Illinois Association for Gifted Children

1500 Sullivan Road
Aurora, IL 60506

Ph: 630-907-5047
Fax: 630-907-5976

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