Hackley School

Director of Communications

Tarrytown, NY

Position Description

Executive Summary

Hackley School was founded in 1889 through the generosity of local Mrs. Frances Hackley, who, in partnership with leading Unitarians of the era, sought to create a non-sectarian school that embraced Unitarian values of intellectual questioning and inclusiveness, welcoming students of diverse religious, economic, ethnic, and national origin. Hackley has evolved since its founding into a coeducational K-12 day school with five-day Upper School boarding. Those who walk through the entrance of Hackley’s main building are greeted by the engraving, “Enter Here to Be and Find a Friend,” this core value permeates Hackley’s beautiful 285-acre campus, known as the “Hilltop.” Located just 30 minutes north of New York City, the campus features a new Center for Health & Wellness, numerous playing fields, and the Hackley Forest complete with outdoor classrooms and wetlands facility. Today, Hackley teaches 840 students across three divisions (Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools), boasting an average class size of 16 and a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Hackley offers an exceptional, well-rounded experience - reimagining a liberal arts education with a broadened curriculum of competencies and experiences to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners and citizens. The School cultivates a strong and distinct culture emphasizing relationships, diversity of perspectives, accomplishment defined by serving a greater public purpose and enduring academic skills. Students, parents, alumni, faculty and the administration form deep relationships in an inclusive community in which they respectfully challenge and support one another to grow in new ways for meaningful connection. This deep sense of belonging empowers students and alumni to transcend beyond individual achievement and exemplifies another of Hackley’s core values – to go forth and spread beauty and light – rising to complex challenges and anticipating the needs of a constantly changing modern era as citizens of the world.

Hackley’s historical legacy and core values are the foundation of a special environment. Prior leadership significantly increased philanthropic capacity and committed resources for transformative investments in the School’s infrastructure and in recruiting and retaining exceptional faculty. Over forty percent of Hackley’s faculty reside on campus enabling them to participate in the life of the campus beyond the classroom and the opportunity to provide formative guidance and celebrate in the success of students that is rare for a day school.

Head of School Michael C. Wirtz, now in his fourth year at Hackley, is bringing a thoughtful arc of evolution and appreciative inquiry to Hackley, uplifting proficiencies in the liberal arts curriculum while advancing its offerings in STEM (Science, Technology and Math), as well as affirming commitments to equity and inclusion and the social/emotional well-being of students. Hackley features a MakerSpace that encourages students to learn what happens when they experiment in a hands-on, social environment to create something meaningful that had not existed before. The School’s new Center for Health and Wellness is a community-building platform. An exciting new strategic plan led by a steering committee of diverse stakeholders and launched in 2018, Redefining Excellence, charts a vision for the next era of the Hackley School that promotes learning opportunities for students beyond the boundaries of disciplines, classroom, and campus, and position Hackley as an educational leader and incubator that: pushes the boundaries of existing programs; promotes lifelong professional learning within Hackley’s faculty and the next generation of independent school educators; and champions a culture of wellness – both at the student and institutional levels – as cornerstones of a healthy learning environment and school community.
Position Description

Search Team

Tracy Welsh  

Eva Kotilinek  

Connor Daley  

Chadam Ferrari Pires