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Chief Finance and Operations Officer

Chief Finance and Operations Officer
Updated

The school 

Founded in San Francisco in 2010, Alta Vista School implements an inquiry-based STEAM program serving approximately 300 students across two campuses. 

Alta Vista School encourages students to go beyond a strong academic foundation to pursue their passions with the help of our community. Faculty, administrators, and families believe experiences and hands-on activities are the best practice for meaningful learning. AVS educators benefit from small class sizes and are intentional in their instruction. Teachers serve as guides for students as they explore, observe, predict, measure, and analyze for themselves in an inquiry-based journey of discovery and knowledge-making. Likewise, AVS teachers are serious about play. We love learning alongside our students, believing that children learn better in joyous, authentic settings. Most important to the AVS approach is a foundation rooted in the scientific method and a belief that science and technology, guided by the arts, can be leveraged to benefit all. At AVS, students learn to embrace technology and to apply principles of design-thinking as powerful tools for innovation. Technology is thoughtfully integrated into each classroom. 

 

Opportunities and Challenges

Building on the solid foundation created by the founding administrators and Trustees, the Chief Finance and Operations Officer at Alta Vista will be charged with overseeing all aspects of the school’s financial operations. The CFOO reports directly to Head of School Dr. Sean Hamer, while also partnering closely with the school’s senior administrative team and Board of Trustees. The CFOO is responsible for overseeing the annual budgeting process, revenue collection, and expense management. In partnership with Trustees, the CFOO will conduct financial modeling to ensure the school’s financial future and identify opportunities to advance Alta Vista’s mission via sound and strategic financial planning.

Alta Vista has developed two unique campuses that are several miles apart. As one of the properties is owned and the other is leased, the school has affirmed the goal to find a future permanent, unified home. The school has a strong financial position and is engaged in a capital campaign to expand the range of potential opportunities. While early in the campaign Alta Vista has quickly gathered significant pledges to support this transformational initiative. Down the road, bolstering the school’s financial status through the creation of an endowment will be a priority.

The school has people – both full time and contractors – resourced to support accounting, facilities, technology, HR and legal. The CFOO will have the opportunity to assess staffing needs to ensure that Alta Vista has the personnel required to meet its operational goals.

As the school continues to enhance its administrative functions, The CFOO will be charged with creating new and building upon current systems that support the school's daily operations. The CFOO will also work closely with administrators to ensure that the budgeting process aligns with programmatic goals and objectives.

 

Responsibilities

The CFOO will be responsible for embracing Alta Vista School’s mission, supporting its Head of School and leadership team, and representing the school at professional and public forums.  The primary responsibilities for the new CFOO include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Provide strategic leadership, analysis, and management of finances and operations

  • Establish financial and capital strategies that are consistent with the strategic priorities

  • Serve on the Head of School’s Administrative Team and lead, co-lead, or participate in several other teams and committees

  • Oversee all business office functions including HR, Facilities, and Finance

  • Spearhead all financial reporting to the Head of School, Board of Trustees, and various committees.  

  • Clearly and effectively communicate financial objectives and outcomes.

  • Conduct financial analyses to better inform decision making (e.g., ROI, KPI, etc.)

  • Partner with the Business Manager on general financial operations 

  • Serve as chief staff liaison to Board committees

  • Build and/or maintain the school’s short- and long-term strategic financial models

  • Implement processes and controls

  • Oversee School operations including personnel, maintenance, and vendors

  • Maintain strong relationships with banks and lenders to ensure that funding is secured for the needs of the school and compliance with loan terms

  • Administer and manage all employee benefit programs including health insurance, retirement, worker’s compensation, life insurance, and other related plans

  • Manage insurance programs including property, casualty, medical, workers’ compensation

  • Ensure compliance with all local and state reporting requirements

  • Collaborate effectively with Advancement, Admissions, and other administrative departments

  • Participate in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) professional development

  • Coordinate closely with the Facilities Director on oversight of the physical plant, grounds, and construction functions

  • Engage fully in the life of the school

 

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

  • Strong financial acumen with experience in annual budgeting, and financial forecasting and planning

  • A compassionate leader with high emotional intelligence

  • A creative and strategic thinker who identifies, pursues, and implements growth opportunities on behalf of the institution

  • Desire to build a team and professionalize the finance function

  • Comfort with databases. Veracross experience is ideal but not required

  • A commitment to building community and living Alta Vista’s mission

  • Capacity and willingness to collaborate thoughtfully and the ability to build trust with colleagues, creating open dialogues and team-building morale

  • Sophisticated communication skills, both oral and written, and the capacity to tailor messaging based on needs and interests of audience

  • The ability to disseminate financial and budgeting information with transparency and clarity

  • A demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion is vital 

  • Appreciation for fast-paced, high energy academic environments

 

Salary

The full-time equivalent salary range for this position is $175,000-$250,000. The starting salary is based upon, but not limited to, several factors that include years of experience, education level, and expertise.

 

How to apply

Interested and qualified candidates are invited to contact the consultants in confidence. Candidates will ultimately need to submit the following materials as separate PDF documents:

  • A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position;

  • A current résumé;

  • A list of five professional references with name, relationship, phone number, and email address of each. 

References will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission. 

Please submit materials to: sean.hamer@altavistaschool.org