Head of School Search

Tulsa Classical Academy is seeking a new Head of School. We are grateful to be working with parents, teachers, and board members to execute this search. It is truly a milestone in the life of the school, and it represents an amazing opportunity for the school community to select our school leader.

First-round interviews have been completed and candidates who were short-listed have been invited to participate in the second-round process which includes an in-person interview with a small subset of the board, a 20-min. presentation by the candidate, and a 1-hour formal interview with the search advisory committee.

We aim to complete the second part of the search process by March 1st. 

Job Description

The mission of Tulsa Classical Academy (TCA) is to provide an excellent classical education for all students by cultivating wisdom, virtue, and life-long learning.


TCA was founded by a group of Tulsans committed to providing a quality tuition-free classical education in Tulsa. It is the first classical charter school in Oklahoma. Those individuals make up the founding Tulsa Classical Academy Board which functions within the Policy Governance model.


TCA is focused on the core virtues that include the following virtues: prudence, courage, moderation, justice, wisdom, humility, wonder, friendship, responsibility, and gratitude. These virtues are at the core of the mission and vision for the school, and we seek individuals who align with these virtues to teach and lead the academy.


TCA is a Hillsdale K-12 Member School and is committed wholeheartedly to the Hillsdale K-12 approach to American classical education. We are committed to maintaining our member status with the Hillsdale K12 program long-term as we believe it offers valuable support and inspiration towards our mission.

Tulsa Classical Academy is seeking a Head of School. This person would be the primary conduit and champion of TCA’s mission. The ideal candidate embodies the core virtues and is a high-capacity leader.


The Head of School is a critical position, and the Board intends to field candidates nationwide. The selected candidate will have an opportunity to work with the Board to shape the school in its formative years. The Board is committed to classical education in the liberal arts tradition and has cast a state-wide vision via the Classically Formed non-profit organization. The Board believes that the telos of education is not utilitarian and is looking for a like-minded leader who can inspire teachers, students, and parents with a classical vision of education that promotes human flourishing.


The Head of School is a significant position that carries many and varied responsibilities. This role will require considerable tenacity, courage, hard work, imagination, and initiative. In addition to being an academic leader, the ideal candidate will have the following characteristics and abilities:

  • Possess the strength of personality necessary to advocate for classical education and the school within the community of parents, philanthropic interests, and the educational establishment who may hold competing, contradictory, and progressive ideas about the foundations, ends, and means of education.
  • Be personable, eloquent, and able to speak winsomely, passionately, convincingly, and reasonably about how and why classical education is different and critically important to the preservation of Western civilization in general and the American experiment in self-government in particular.
  • Be a driven entrepreneur who is detail-oriented and can fulfill the duties necessary to manage the school through its formative years.
  • Leadership experience with other classical charter schools–especially Hillsdale-affiliated schools–is a plus.

Qualities & Characteristics

Leadership, marked by the following traits:

  • The ability to discern ends that fulfill the nature and purpose of the organization and its mission and to chart a course to reach those ends.
  • The ability to inform and inspire people to follow, to commit, to take responsibility, to perform, and to cooperate in an effective manner that will mobilize the resources of the organization toward following the course laid out before it by the leader.
  • The ability to raise up leaders in an organization.
  • Well-organized, able to delegate with clear direction, and ready to assume responsibility for everything that happens under his or her charge.

Generates trust and confidence from others in his or her leadership by exhibiting the following behaviors and characteristics: integrity, transparency, clear communication, truthfulness, decisiveness, listening, equanimity, collaboration, approachability, winsomeness, kindness, and humility.


A commitment to diplomatically advocate for school choice in the public sphere.


Intellectual depth and seriousness, with a bias toward the life of the mind, befitting of the leader of an academic institution. A love of learning demonstrated by the on-going personal pursuit of knowledge and the passion to share knowledge with others.


High moral character.

Knowledge & Skills

A broad understanding of the classical liberal arts, their roots in the Western tradition, and their central role in American education prior to the 20th century.


An understanding of the challenges that plague modern primary and secondary schools and the root causes of those problems.


Knowledge of the craft of teaching and learning, and the ability to teach well.


The ability to lead, invest in, support, and form teachers to greater degrees of effectiveness in the classroom by igniting their passion for back-to-basics teaching.


A gifted rhetorician with the ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written forms.


The ability to maintain a high degree of energy and personal productivity and to effectively manage the productivity of others. The ability to prioritize and accomplish tasks. The ability to drive
incremental and ongoing improvement. The ability to delegate responsibilities.


A general understanding of personnel management principles, including recruiting and hiring, supervising and evaluating, and individual and organizational development.


The intellectual and emotional strength, mental agility, and durability to have difficult conversations with tact and kindness.


A general understanding of financial management principles, including planning a budget and managing to it throughout a school year, auditing, and controls.


An understanding of Oklahoma’s accountability system for K-12 public schools and laws relevant to charter schools.


The initiative, drive, and commitment to develop and improve in areas where he or she is weak.


A willingness to generally learn the scope and sequence of the Hillsdale-K12 Scope and Sequence and maintain a healthy working relationship with the Hillsdale program. 

Required Qualifications

Possession of a Bachelor’s degree or higher in one or more of the liberal arts or education.


Minimum of five (5) years of teaching experience at the K-12 level.


Preferred Qualifications

Possession of a Master’s degree or higher in one or more of the liberal arts or education.


Prior experience as Head of School, Assistant Head of School, Dean of Upper or Lower School, or Dean of Students.


Prior experience leading a classical liberal arts school, ideally K-12, with a demonstrated success of producing favorable academic and life outcomes over time.


Prior experience opening a new, public charter school and managing its student, staff, faculty, and facility growth and expansion over time.


Nathan Phelps

Committee Chair 


Paige Taliaferro

Committee Vice Chair


Rob Hall

Committee Secretary


Julie James


Andrea Hogue


Holly McGonigal


Rachel Morris


Jack Lee


David Veitch