Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.
A private institution with a public purpose, Ransom Everglades combines rigorous college preparation with a commitment to leaving the world better than we found it.
From the days when the school split the year between the Adirondacks and Coconut Grove, Biscayne Bay has been the true center of student life, the setting for everything from biology classes to sailing and kayaking. Stewardship of nature remains a core value. Every freshman receives a compass and is taught how to use it during a five-day Outward Bound trip to the Everglades.
Learning to navigate unfamiliar environments has always been a key part of a Ransom Everglades education, whether the challenge is physical, academic or ethical. Developing leadership capabilities is equally important and, at RE, leadership is defined as creating opportunities for others. Almost all of our students participate in service programs — many of which are conceived, funded, staffed and led by students.
Paul C. Ransom once wrote that the kind of young people he wanted to teach “… believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it.”
More than a century later, Mr. Ransom would still recognize his school and its students.
Ransom Everglades at a Glance: https://www.ransomeverglades.org/page/about/re-at-aglance
Since 1903 the school has emphasized rigorous academics and experiential learning, developing ambitious and confident students who strive to meet and solve great problems, serve others, and make the world a better place.
Student Enrolled: 1091 in grades 6-12
Teacher / Student Ratio: 1:10 average in grades 6-12
Average Class Size: 15
Ransom Everglades is a highly diverse institution with over fifty percent of the students coming from multicultural backgrounds, 20% of the students who speak languages other than English at home, and 31% of faculty of color. In addition, 74% of the faculty hold advanced degrees while 19% of the faculty hold doctoral degrees. The average tenure for the faculty is 21 years.
Southern Association of Independent Schools; AdvancED; NAIS; NACAC, SACAC, ACCIS; CSEE; Independent Curriculum Group; Mastery Transcript Consortium
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) directs and manages all business practices and operations including finance, investments, human resources, risk management, accounting, facilities, bookstore and food service, overseeing the activities of all employees in these eight areas.
The CFO is expected to ensure the continual excellence of all financial and administrative aspects of the School, providing the leadership and wise counsel to the Head of Schools and to the Trustees that will enable the School to deliver on its important educational mission and ambitions.
The CFO will oversee a total staff of approximately 30 employees and a budget of $40 million. In addition, Ransom Everglades currently has a $35 million endowment and is in the middle of a $75 million capital campaign.
• Responsible for the long-term health and sustainability of the School’s financial and physical resources.
• Plans, directs and manages the School’s financial operations including accounting, reporting, budgeting, internal controls, tax and regulatory compliance. Finance team uses Blackbaud’s Financial Edge; the HR team uses Paycom.
• Analyzes and recommends strategies to efficiently use resources and personnel to achieve School goals.
• Works closely with Board Treasurer and the Chairs of the Audit, Finance, Investment and Buildings and Grounds Committees.
• Prepares and presents financial reports and modeling to support enrollment, financial aid, investment, capital improvements, staffing and development decisions for consideration by the Head of School and Board of Trustees.
• Analyzes key performance indicators to determine how the School is performing in comparison to peer institutions. The institution uses three different benchmark groups comprised of national and local schools.
• Drafts, receives approval and monitors the annual budget process.
• Develops and maintains professional relationships with the School’s banks, lawyers, auditors, investment managers, insurance carriers, architects, contractors, vendors and local government officials.
• Collaborates with the Chief Advancement Officer to articulate operating support targets as part of annual budget plan.
• Collaborates with the Director of Admission and Director of Financial Aid to provide oversight of financial aid awards and manage the financial aid budget.
• Ensures compliance with all government regulations.
• Ensures fiduciary responsibility for retirement plans.
• Supervises the administration of human resources programs and policies including hiring and termination procedures, attendance, workers’ compensation, performance evaluations, payroll, benefits administration and compensation.
• Establishes and maintains standards of ongoing infrastructure needs for all facilities. Develops plans for the replacement, renewal, and scheduled maintenance for all building systems.
• Supervises the administration of maintenance and security functions.
• Performs risk management to ensure that appropriate precautions and safety policies are in place and adequate and cost-effective insurance is in force.
• Works collaboratively with the Chief Technology Officer on all tasks related to technical, infrastructure, and integration of technology.
• Supervises bookstore operations including the purchasing and distribution of textbooks and supplies.
• Provides oversight of outsourced food service contractor.
The ideal candidate is expected to bring a deep appreciation of Ransom Everglades’ educational mission and goals. He/she will bring a strategic and forward-thinking style balanced with significant experience overseeing budgeting and planning, financial forecasting and analysis, endowment management, legal and risk management, human resources, information technology, and business operations, gained through increasingly responsible roles in comparably complex settings.
This operationally-minded executive will ideally bring working experience with leading well performing schools or organizations. His/her leadership skills will be supplemented in other related business support areas or cross services offerings demonstrated by excellent problem solving skills; an ability to prioritize job responsibilities; a strong sense of urgency; and, a results driven orientation.
It is essential that the individual chosen for this critical position possess the credibility, business acumen, confidence and interpersonal skills to quickly gain respect allowing them to mentor their direct reports and staff; he/she will be collaborative by nature and a team player, having a high sensitivity to collegial environments. He/she will have an engaged leadership style manifested in their dedication and value respect of people, and positive outcomes to the community they serve.
• Experience as the senior-most financial executive, or direct report thereof, at a relevant organization.
• Complements his/her core financial executive skills with experience in other adjacent operating and/or administrative domains.
• The candidate will be a creative thinker; looking at the future and trending of the business side of school administration.
• Ideally, but not necessarily, significant experience in education, either at the secondary school level or in higher education, would be a distinct asset, but not required.
• Best-in-class skills in operating disciplines around processes, procedures, and methodologies.
• Comfort in setting enterprise-wide goals and strategies, and also leading the operational aspects to achieve results.
Undergraduate degree required. Advanced degree preferred.
Ideally, the successful candidate will have attended and graduated from a private school, thereby bringing an appreciation of the differing environment of such schools.
Jodi Weiss, Practice Leader, Nonprofit & Education Practice
202.955.5943 / Jodi.Weiss@kornferry.com
Adolfo Miñoso, Managing Consultant, Nonprofit & Education Practice
786.425.8929 / Adolfo.Minoso@kornferry.com