The Roeper School is a co-educational independent school serving gifted students in grades Pre-K through twelve. Our School has an in-person, full-time year round Head of School position available for the 2022-23 school year. The position will be primarily located on our Bloomfield Hills Lower School Campus with regular visits to our Birmingham Middle and Upper School Campus.
Since its founding in 1941, The Roeper School has dedicated itself to meeting the individual needs of each of its gifted students, providing them a path towards becoming thoughtful and humane adults. Valuing academic choice, student voice, and broad opportunities to engage within the community, and beyond, Roeper strives to be a beacon of progressive, community-minded education. For mission-aligned students and families, faculty, and staff, Roeper feels, in the words of one graduate, “Like home whenever I come back to visit.”
Given the idealism, mission, history, and impact of The Roeper School, this is a compelling position for a leader seeking to strengthen a school, uphold tradition while adapting to change, serve gifted students, and promote social justice at school and in the world.
Mission and Philosophy
Educating and inspiring gifted students to think as individuals and to engage as a community with compassion for each other and this world.
Co-ed, day school, grades PK – 12, with 527 students on two campuses
Students live in over 60 metro Detroit communities, often commuting a significant distance to attend Roeper. 41% of students receive financial aid/scholarship support ($2.9 million annually), and 31% of faculty and students are BIPOC.
Oldest gifted independent school in the country.
76 instructional staff members, 73% with advanced degrees.
9:1 student-teacher ratio throughout the school.
Average class size 12 in the Middle and Upper Schools.
275+ courses offered each year, including courses through the Malone School Online Network.
25 musical, theater, and dance performances each year (though altered by COVID recently).
13 interscholastic athletic teams.
Accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).
Member of the National Association of Independent Schools, Association of Michigan Independent Schools, and National Association for Gifted Children.
The Roeper School was founded in 1941 by educational pioneers George and Annemarie Roeper.
After fleeing Germany to escape Nazi persecution, they established a school in Detroit with the goal of educating children to become thoughtful, humane adults. The school moved to Bloomfield Hills in 1946, and in 1956 Roeper focused its mission on educating gifted children, making it the oldest independent school for gifted children in the United States. Roeper added a second campus in Birmingham in 1981, creating learning communities for students from pre-school through Grade 12. Candidates will find useful information and inspiration by visiting the Roeper School History website and reading both the 1981 Philosophy and the 2010 Philosophy.
“Each path is different – and that’s what we love.”
As students move through Roeper’s three divisions, they are given an uncommon amount of choice in their academic program. This is a hallmark of the school. Teachers provide tools for learning to students and then step back while guiding them. Every student has an opportunity to create an individual path through the school.
Similarly important are units of project-based learning throughout the school. From the Medieval Feast for Stage I students through the Middle School Interdisciplinary Week to the optional George A. Roeper senior projects, students at Roeper have extraordinary opportunities to express their creativity, work collaboratively, and contemplate their place and purpose in the world. Service learning plays a significant role at Roeper as well, to help others and reinforce the Roeper mission rather than as a “box” to check along the way.
Education in the arts is broad at Roeper, starting with singing and Orff instruments in the early years and continuing with a rich array of opportunities in music, theater, dance, and visual arts throughout the school. Athletics are important as well, supporting Roeper’s strongest athletes as the Roughriders compete interscholastically. The opportunity to participate is offered to all through the inclusive, no-cut policy.
In tune with the wide options in the academic program, clubs and activities for students at Roeper reflect widely varying interests while also reinforcing the mission through affinity groups and social action.
Roeper is also a member of the Malone School Online Network, a coalition of many of the nation’s finest independent schools working together to provide academic opportunities to older students which they might not find available at their schools.
Candidates will be asked for examples around these competencies during the interview process. In addition, our survey indicated that Roeper seeks a leader with:
An ethical and honest approach in all situations.
A non-defensive reaction when divergent points of view and/or criticisms arise.
Comfort when communicating the ‘why’ of decisions.
Demonstrated experience building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
Excellent listening skills.
Mission-driven alignment with the Roeper philosophy.
Optimism, respect, and a genuine desire to work in collaboration with students, parents, and the Roeper faculty and staff.
The ability to work well with and balance the needs of different constituencies.
Willingness and ability to engage the community.
Optimal experiences for candidates would include:
An advanced degree in education or a related field.
Experience in some or all the following areas:
Fundraising and Communications
Leading DE&I Efforts
Of note: "The Head of School also serves as the Executive Director of The Roeper Institute, a separately incorporated 501(c)(3) organization that serves to advocate within and beyond the walls of the Roeper School for the needs of gifted and talented children in accordance with The Roeper Philosophy. The operations of the Institute are managed by an Associate Director with the Executive Director serving as an advisor and ex-officio member of the Institute's Board of Directors."
The Roeper School primarily offers in-person instructions to its students. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our concern for the wellbeing of our community, Roeper employees are expected to be vaccinated unless they qualify for an exemption. Employees are required to follow school policies including the health and safety guidance in the Roeper School COVID-19 protocols.
The Roeper School is a uniquely personalized, coeducational school for gifted children in preschool through grade 12 with campuses in Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham, Michigan. Ever since George and Annemarie Roeper founded our school in 1941, we have been known for educating the whole child in an emotionally supportive, intellectually engaging environment. We work hard to empower children at every level, instilling the attitudes, values, and skills that will enable them to lead lives of meaning and substance. Our alumni can be found throughout the world, building on the creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative skills learned here.