The Opportunity

Founded in 1952, Stevenson School is one of the leading independent boarding and day-schools in the western United States. Enrolling approximately 750 domestic and international students in grades PK-12, it is a distinctly warm and supportive school, and operates two campuses on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. Stevenson offers its students, faculty, and staff a values-driven community experience influenced by the beauty, ecological biodiversity, and contemplative culture of California’s Central Coast. Stevenson’s mission includes three aims: to prepare students for success in college and beyond, to foster a passion for learning and achievement, and to help students shape a joyful life. The region offers an exceptionally high quality of life with numerous and diverse cultural, recreational, civic, and outdoor opportunities—both locally and in the nearby San Francisco Bay area.

The Position

Role of the Director of Human Resources for Stevenson School

The position reports to the chief financial officer (CFO) and has a high public profile at Stevenson—broadly collaborating with and supporting faculty, staff, and administrators at the School. The director of human resources works closely with Stevenson School’s president, CFO, and legal counsel to develop all key human resources policies; directs and coordinates human resource activities such as employee benefits, employee relations, employment agreements, compliance, compensation, residential housing agreements, etc. Among a broad array of responsibilities, the director of human resources supports the CFO, division heads, and senior staff in the recruitment and hiring process. This includes writing and placing ads, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, making hiring recommendations, checking references, verifying credentials, and preparing offers. The director develops, implements, and maintains effective compliance with all applicable employment regulations (FSLA, FMLA, ERISA), as well as Federal and State labor laws and preparation of the EEO-1 report. The position participates in risk management processes, including renewal of all insurance policies.

The director of human resources prepares and maintains accurate job descriptions; supports the division heads and CFO with employee-related contract and budget items including compensation analysis, as well as salary and benefit budget comparisons; prepares employment, residential, and coaching agreements; administers waivers for all students and related activities; and maintains secure and confidential human resources files and records. The director advises and consults with the president, CFO, division heads, senior staff, and legal counsel (as necessary) to resolve and/or diffuse employee relations issues; oversees and directly engages in the resolution of delicate personnel matters, and seeks at all times to protect Stevenson School’s best interest. The director of human resources is expected to attend professional conferences, webinars, and workshops to remain current on best practices in human resources and labor laws. 

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

In transitioning to Stevenson School, the director of human resources may likely encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges:

  • Stevenson School has an institutional culture that emphasizes a strong sense of community and mutual support, and a collaborative approach to work. There will be a strong commitment within the School to support the director of human resources in making a successful transition to Stevenson. The director will find a supervisor and administrative peers who are welcoming and promote open communication. While much of the director’s job is transactional in nature, the School also desires a knowledgeable and forward-thinking human resources professional who can implement best HR practices at Stevenson. 
  • The new director will be expected to conduct an operational review of HR practices, policies, and protocols. Specifically, the director will need to take an in-depth look at what is functioning at a high level and what areas need additional focus. Further, taking the time to make interpersonal connections and build collaborative relationships at both the Pebble Beach and Carmel campuses is strongly encouraged. 
  • There are several human resources functions that would be well-served through additional focus as the new director of human resources transitions to Stevenson:
    • Review the on-boarding process for new Stevenson hires to ensure faculty and staff are fully aware of benefits options as well as cultural norms and expectations at Stevenson;
    • Look for opportunities to better integrate technology and other information systems into HR functions;
    • Look for opportunities to support diversity and equity at Stevenson, and review opportunities for hiring a more diverse faculty and staff;
    • Review, critique, and as necessary amend performance review protocols (and performance improvement plans as needed);
    • Review and update the employee handbook, and update organizational charts;
    • Ensure that training manuals and training protocols are well-structured and followed;
    • Due to the size/scale of Stevenson, review opportunities for cross-training of staff to better manage short-term absences.
    • The new director will likely encounter individuals/groups who will imply that all HR functions are running smoothly, while others intimate change is needed. The director should engage both groups in open dialogue and work to discern where systems are running smoothly and where there are pinch-points to be ameliorated. Stevenson administrators, faculty, and staff are genuinely enthused by the opportunity to use this transition period to actively review the various elements of the human resources office, and support the new director as they make a successful transition to the school.
    • The new director will continue to expand use of the HRIS platform (DayForce) in order to maximize functionality and capabilities of the system.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Stevenson School, the following items will initially define success for the new director of human resources:

  • provide clear evidence that the director has built productive and collaborative relationships across the Stevenson School;
  • demonstrate clear, effective communication; good rapport; and swift responsiveness to all School stakeholders;
  • review, assess, and make recommendations for improvement of the human resources unit by bringing forward new and innovative ideas;
  • serve as an internal “brand ambassador” for the School and the employees, emphasizing that Stevenson School is a great place to work.

Qualifications

Qualifications and Characteristics

Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of ten years of increasingly responsible human resource experience; excellent strategic, analytical, and problem-solving ability; and demonstrated organizational and project management skills. The director must have experience administering 403(b) retirement plans and preparation of Form 5500. In addition, the director must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills; ability to multitask and work effectively in a fast paced environment; and work independently with flexibility, adaptability, and a strong attention to detail. Strong computer skills with an emphasis on using Microsoft Office (especially Excel and Word) and Google (Sheets, Docs) are highly desirable. The director must possess the highest standard of professionalism, ability to maintain confidentiality, and work independently with a strong customer service approach. Desired qualifications include substantive experience as a human resources generalist (preferably with independent schools), knowledge of California payroll laws, and SPHR or SHRM-CP certification.

In addition the qualifications, the following characteristics have been identified as important attributes of the director of human resources:

  • A strong communicator with the ability to support a wide variety of human resources functions, and work closely with full- and part-time faculty and staff to support their human resources-related questions and needs;
  • An open, transparent, and collaborative work style;
  • Strong subject matter expertise in generalist HR functions;
  • Political savvy, and the skills to de-escalate polarizing conflicts and issues;
  • A high level of discretion and commitment to confidentiality as related to personal/professional issues, health-care issues/needs, interpersonal conflict, etc.;
  • An understanding of parental leave, flexible work schedules, and how to work with “quirky” requests from staff in a generally familial/egalitarian environment;
  • Knowledge of progressive discipline practices;
  • An understanding of risk management, liability insurance, and general legal issues related to personnel;
  • A keen ability to think and act in a progressive and creative manner, and to help lead strategic change management;
  • Flexibility and the ability to manage issues nimbly and keep processes/protocols moving forward;
  • The ability to set priorities to achieve objectives, and manage multiple projects concurrently;A holistic thinker with the ability to network with colleagues and build trust;
  • Involvement with professional associations and an understanding of national perspectives and best practices in human resources;
  • A kind, friendly, hands-on, and engaging style;
  • Someone with high ethical standards and professional integrity.

Institution & Location

Institutional Overview

Founded in 1952, Stevenson School is a selective coeducational PK-12 boarding and day school on 50 acres of land across two campuses on the Monterey Peninsula, part of the Central Coast of California.

Pebble Beach Campus (9–12)

Stevenson’s Pebble Beach campus is a selective, co-ed college preparatory school for 500 boarding and day students representing 25 countries and 19 U.S. states. The School’s beautiful 60-acre campus is nestled within a private, gated residential community, surrounded by a pine forest, and just minutes from the majestic Pacific Ocean. The Pebble Beach curriculum is designed to challenge students to think deeply, critically, and creatively. Classes at Stevenson are very challenging, and the curriculum is designed for motivated students who are ready for that challenge. With an average class size of 14 and a 1:1 advisory program, students get the very best education possible and interact on a daily basis with like-minded classmates and engaging, passionate teachers. Stevenson’s broad curriculum pushes even the strongest of students. Student life is packed with opportunities to lead, get involved, or find a new passion. There are more than 50 extracurricular activities and clubs, including yearbook, student government, Model United Nations, and community service. Stevenson has a very strong Outdoor Education Program, with weekend trips to Sierra Nevada and the Ventana Wilderness that allow students to have regular access to hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, mountaineering, and surfing. The Sophomore Wilderness Expedition (known as “Expo”) takes students into the back country for 10 days, where they learn leadership and survival skills.

Carmel Campus (PK–8)

Stevenson’s Carmel campus is located in a quiet, residential community, surrounded by trees, and just a short walk to the beach. Set on three acres, the campus overlooks Carmel Bay and Point Lobos National Park. With more than 250 students ranging from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, the campus is alive with energy, laughter, and a palpable love for learning. Challenging academically, supportive emotionally, and joyful socially, the Carmel campus is a place for children to explore, grow, make friends, and learn. With a student/teacher ratio of 12:1 the Carmel campus creates an intentional environment that engages children in their learning and that supports each grade’s curriculum in developmentally appropriate ways. Students are academically engaged, intellectually curious, energetic, and independent. The co-ed, PK–8 day program consistently focuses on each child’s individual learning and growth. It is a three-tiered campus containing spacious, light-filled classrooms, including art and music rooms, a dance studio, three playgrounds, an organic garden, and a state-of-the-art turf field. The PK–8 student body represents a variety of ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds. 

About Pebble Beach, CA

Tucked between Pacific Grove and Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Monterey Peninsula lies the coastal community of Pebble Beach. From the Monterey pine–studded Del Monte Forest to the glassy waters of Stillwater Cove, the region is packed with so much natural beauty that there’s an iconic view nearly everywhere you look. It’s a place where both elegance and Mother Nature’s raw spirit reign.

One of the most famous scenic motorways in the world, 17-Mile Drive is a route best taken at leisure so you can enjoy time with the legendary Lone Cypress, the giant trees at Crocker Grove, and the boardwalk above the beach at Spanish Bay. Debuting in 1881, the drive introduced newcomers to Pebble Beach’s shores, and today remains one of the most popular activities here, whether you’re a first-timer or a return visitor. There are 17 stops along this road—from Shepherd’s Knoll to Ford Meadow—taking drivers past mystical forests, dramatic coastal cliffs, pocket beaches, and world-renowned golf courses.

California’s golf history has its early beginnings in Monterey County and the region’s dramatic scenery and famous links inspire awe and attract players of all levels. With three public courses along its coastline that Golf Digest ranks among the top 50 in the nation, Pebble Beach offers devotees of the sport truly unforgettable experiences. Tee it up for the towering pines of the Spyglass Hill Golf Course, sand dunes at The Links at Spanish Bay, cliffs of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, or, in 2021, a new nine-hole, par-3 short course designed by Tiger Woods.

Visitors are drawn to annual events like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, an internationally renowned classic-car competition, and Pebble Beach Food and Wine, a celebration of the world’s finest cuisine and vintages. Sample big flavors year-round at award-winning restaurants that feature the freshest and most flavorful sustainable ingredients—from Monterey seafood to local organic produce.

Some visit Pebble Beach to enjoy the spectacular seaside tranquility and relax in luxury at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay, or Casa Palmero at Pebble Beach. Others come to unwind with an indulgent spa treatment or tennis game, or perhaps to go on a kayak voyage at Stillwater Cove. But above all, visitors trek here to marvel in its out-of-this-world scenery and ability to remind you that there’s still magic in the world.

https://www.visitcalifornia.com/places-to-visit/pebble-beach/

Mission

Inspired by the proposition that education is the means by which we both discover our world and contribute to its transformation, and that one’s education is best pursued in the company of others, for others’ benefit as well as one’s own, Stevenson School has long been committed to a mission described by three central aims:

  • to prepare students for success in School and their lives beyond School;
  • to foster their passion for learning and achievement;
  • to help them shape a joyful life.

In keeping with this mission, Stevenson seeks to:

  • train students in critical academic, intellectual, social, and emotional skills;
  • help students to develop honor and integrity;
  • teach students to engage productively and peacefully with others;
  • nurture students’ ambitions and healthy pursuit of excellence;
  • balance convention and innovation such that Stevenson remains true to enduring values and relevant to the emerging needs of the present generation of students.
  • We therefore expect all members of our community to be:
  • devoted to our tenets of scholarship and citizenship;
  • honest, honorable, and empathetic;
  • able to examine and be responsible for their beliefs and behavior, respectful of the consequences that may attend both;
  • willing to risk failure in the pursuit of wisdom;
  • committed to embodying and sustaining our community’s core values of safety, trust, respect, belonging, and inclusion.

Core Values

Our core values include safety, respect, trust, belonging, and inclusion. In practicing these values in all of our dealings, whether observed or unseen, we seek to create an environment that is truly conducive to everyone’s personal and academic growth.

https://stevensonschool.org/presidents-welcome/guided-by-purpose/

Leadership

Kevin Hicks, President

Dr. Hicks has been the president of Stevenson School since 2015. Raised on the Monterey Peninsula, he graduated from Stevenson in 1985. Prior to returning to Stevenson, from 2010 to 2015, he served as dean of faculty and then head of school at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT. From 2005 to 2010, he served as dean of Berkeley College at Yale University, where he also taught in the English department.

Over the course of his thirty-year career, he has taught, served as an administrator and admissions officer, and coached at a range of other schools and universities, including Princeton University, Brown University, Boston University, Trinity College, Bennington College, Endicott College, Wellesley High School, Middlesex School, Avon Old Farms, and The Peddie School.

Dr. Hicks received his BA in religious studies from Yale University (1989) and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University (2005). He and his wife Cornelia Cannon Holden live on Stevenson’s Pebble Beach campus under the watchful eye of their daughter, Zuleika Alice ’29.

https://stevensonschool.org/news/dr-kevin-hicks-85/

Academic Programs and Faculty

Stellar teachers. Engaging courses. Meaningful work.

Across all three divisions, our students learn how to learn, how to challenge themselves and support one another, and how to seek excellence free of perfectionism.

Distinctive for its balance of tradition and innovation, Stevenson is an original home of the growth mindset.

Our teachers are experts at meeting students where they are. They know how people really learn. Warm and patient, they provide constructive and empowering feedback and inspire curiosity and hard work. Our students are appropriately challenged and supported at every stage of their development and at every level of mastery.

They know that their presence each day really matters and their contributions in class are truly valued. By the time our students leave us for the next chapter in their lives, they can:

  • Listen and hear.
  • Read and understand.
  • Talk with anyone.
  • Work well with others.
  • Make good use of constructive feedback.
  • Write clearly, persuasively, movingly, and accurately.
  • Research and solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems.
  • Make creative, authentic connections among facts, concepts, and ideas.
  • Practice discipline and organization as tools in the search for truth.
  • Get things done in the world beyond school.

https://stevensonschool.org/academics/

Benefits Overview

Benefits Overview

Stevenson School offers in terms of benefits:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage through Anthem Blue Cross
  • Life and Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • A retirement plan with a direct contributions 
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Vacation, sick, and paid holidays

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination

Stevenson School has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin Wednesday, February 16, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter.  Nominations for this position may be emailed to Quincy Martin III at qm3@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Stevenson School website at www.stevensonschool.org.

The Stevenson School does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, citizenship, military or veteran status, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, genetic characteristics, and any other characteristic protected by Federal, State, or local laws in the administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other School-administered programs, or in the administration of its hiring and employment practices.