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The Elisabeth Morrow School

Director of Enrollment Management

Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc. has been retained by The Elisabeth Morrow School, located in Englewood, New Jersey, to conduct a national search for a Director of Enrollment Management.

The Elisabeth Morrow School

The Elisabeth Morrow School, a coeducational day school serving students age 2 through grade 8, was founded in the 1930’s as the “Little School,” by Smith College classmates Elisabeth Morrow and Connie Chilton. In their quest to start a school for young children, these passionate educators traveled the world studying with pioneers such as Maria Montessori and John Dewey. According to Elisabeth, this new school would include a balance of “faith in the old education and trust in the new” in an environment of “individuals working toward a common purpose.” On July 1, 2019, Dr. Fonseca became EMS’ seventh Head of School.

More than 90 years later, the School, on the site of the former Morrow family estate, occupies a beautiful 14-acre setting, which includes nature trails, a brook, and many forms of wildlife. The School educates 430 students from over 50 towns in Bergen, Hudson, and Union counties in New Jersey and from Manhattan, the Bronx, and Rockland counties in New York. The students speak over 20 home languages, mirroring the demographics of the area in which the School is located.

Dedicated to providing an exemplary academic program and a transformative student experience, the school offers cutting-edge programming in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) while the humanities programs allow students to explore themselves and the world through multiple perspectives. The nationally renowned instrumental music program allows every third through eighth grade student to practice an instrument four times a week. The School’s commitment to social and emotional learning, as well as the emphasis on leadership and character education through the 4 C’s (Courtesy, Consideration, Cooperation and Compassion), ensure that students have a holistic and child-centered experience through their years at the School.

The School has recently completed a strategic plan that will guide its priorities for the next five years. Underscoring all of the plan’s goals is a shared commitment to inspire students to become curious scholars, ethical leaders, and global citizens, and that starts in the classroom. The Elisabeth Morrow School’s shared purpose is to provide exemplary academics and character development in a diverse and inclusive child-centered community, inspiring students to become curious scholars, ethical leaders, and global citizens. To learn more please visit

The Position

The Elisabeth Morrow School seeks a visionary, dynamic and charismatic leader to inspire and guide our admissions team as Director of Enrollment Management. The ideal candidate is someone who is an experienced, entrepreneurial, marketing, results-oriented admission professional. The new hire will work closely with a dynamic, compelling Head of School in Maureen Fonseca. The opportunity is available immediately. The ability for the new hire to work closely with our Department of Institutional Advancement team to provide for a comprehensive and effective recruitment and marketing effort to attract the right student for The Elisabeth Morrow School is essential.
Responsibilities for the position fall broadly into six basic categories: development of recruitment and retention strategies, initiatives, and relationships that will strengthen the school’s enrollment starting with Early Childhood Education and retain our current students in all three Divisions, increase the general public’s awareness and recognition of the school through outreach and relationships with feeder schools and school recruiters, work with Institutional Advancement to bring the school’s story more personally to an ever-growing number of prospective students and families and others who work with those students and families as they reach decisions about education; dissemination of the school’s materials describing the programs, faculty, and facilities of the school; collection of any and all information pertaining to the appropriateness of a candidate for The Elisabeth Morrow School; review of applications for admission and the decisions that follow from that review; enrollment of new students; and the award, review, and renewal of all financial aid with the Chief Financial Officer and other Division Heads as appropriate.

The Elisabeth Morrow School is in the silent phase of a capital campaign to secure funds for facilities improvement that will improve the learning and teaching experiences starting in the summer of 2020 with improvements to the Early Childhood building, Chilton House, and the 5th and 6th grade corridor in Morrow House, the middle school. This sequenced campaign will run over several fiscal years.

Maureen Fonseca, the new Head of School, enjoys admission work and has a proven track record of successful fundraising in the tens of millions of dollars. Dr. Fonseca, to whom this new hire will report, values a person who is strategically oriented, knowledgeable about admission and enrollment management topics, enthusiastic, genuine, able to most effectively interact and engage with prospective students and parents, an effective manager and leader of people, a team player and one who will become dedicated to the mission of The Elisabeth Morrow School. It is important that the person forge relationships with the heads of all of the divisions and work collaboratively with the administrative team on enrollment and admission topics.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead, plan, develop and implement a strategic plan of action for recruiting and retaining potential students. Identify prospective students and cultivate on-going relationships with families. Make certain that all inquiries to the school receive a prompt, courteous and effective response
  • Collaborate with the Head of School and senior members of faculty and staff to build “good-will” on behalf of the school and understand the strengths of each division working closely to help align the strategic plan with admission criteria.
  • Ensure the school’s message and mission are accurately represented and disseminated to parents, students, alumni and constituents in a cohesive manner. With Institutional Advancement, maximize media exposure for the school, its programs and its students, including conceptualization and development of pitches and correspondence.
  • Manage Admissions staff and provide oversight on recruitment and admissions efforts. Coach staff in the etiquette of conducting interviews, pursuing qualified candidates for enrollment, and determining appropriateness of candidates for admission.
  • Ensure that staff conducts all activities in accordance with the highest ethical standards. Adhere to all state, and federal accreditation and institute rules and regulations regarding student recruitment.
  • Manage departmental travel schedule and budget to ensure travel is distributed equally amongst staff and within set spending parameters. Make certain that a constant level of contact is maintained along with exerted efforts on the part of staff.  Advise on appropriate level of energy/time to exert when pursuing potential students.
  • Provide oversight for recruitment and enrollment activities to maintain and/or increase visibility of The Elisabeth Morrow School including: open houses, regional presentations, training sessions, orientation programs, and career days.
  • Increase the activities of the Parent network with respect to referrals, recruitment, and endorsement of the School.
  • Advise the Head of School and the Trustees regarding enrollment management including providing regular reports presenting results of enrollment applications and acceptances, enrollment trends, and challenges and opportunities specific to The Elisabeth Morrow School.


  • Development of creative programs with Institutional Advancement, initiatives, and relationships that will increase the general public’s awareness and recognition of the school and will bring the school’s story more personally to an ever-growing number of prospective students and families and others who work with those students and families as they reach decisions about education. The Director has responsibilities that will take him or her away from the school for significant portions of the year for visits to schools, school fairs, in-home receptions, area admission meetings, public and independent educational counselors, and others who work with students and their families. These responsibilities are shared with other staff members, but it is the Director who coordinates the office’s efforts in these areas. The Director is also responsible for building a network of personal contacts and for guiding the efforts to organize the interest that exists in many alumni with the Director of Alumni Relations and parents of current and recent students. In this and other efforts for the school’s marketing, the Director will need to work collaboratively with the Advancement Office.
  • Preparation and dissemination of information about the School: The Director is responsible for the many tasks that are a part of the school’s marketing, student recruitment and retention. These responsibilities include: the development and implementation of enrollment outreach strategies; preparation of the school catalogue the distribution of materials to interested families, students, schools, guidance counselors, educational consultants, and others; frequent review to update the website information and stories on admissions.
  • Collection of information about candidates: The Director is responsible for the collection of school transcripts, standardized testing, teacher recommendations, and parent questionnaires for each candidate, and all other materials necessary for the completion of an admission file.  The Director and other admission staff are responsible for interviewing each candidate in a thorough and thoughtful way, so that information about the school is presented to candidates and their families and information about the candidates is gathered for review.
  • Review of student applications for admission: The Director chairs the Admission Committee of the faculty (does this committee exist at EMS?) and is responsible for guiding the review of each applicant’s credentials and reaching admission decisions that will serve both the applicant and the school.  For this, care, honesty, and good judgment are essential.
  • Enrollment of new students: The Director is responsible for the preparation and dissemination of all materials relating to a new student’s enrollment; consequently, the Admission Office also functions as the primary developer of the student and parent data base for the school.  The Director works closely with the Chief Financial Officer to assure the proper and efficient process of re-enrollment of returning students.  Enrollment of new students includes working closely with the Division Heads in seeing that proper course selection is made.
  • Award of financial aid: The Director is also Director of Financial Aid and is responsible for the formulation of a financial aid budget and for the award of all financial aid.  He or she is responsible for seeing that awards are made on the basis of demonstrated family need following the guidelines of the School.  The Director is also responsible for the periodic review of the performance in school of each financial aid recipient and for the renewal of all financial aid awards.  In addition, he or she is responsible for the appropriate designation of any restricted financial aid funds to particular students, either need-based or merit awards, following the expressed wishes of the donors of the terms of those restricted funds.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the Director must ensure an effective and efficient office operation, realizing that timely, thoughtful, and effective communication with parents and students at all times is at the heart of a good admission program. The Director provides leadership, training, and evaluation for Admission Office. In summary, the Director of Enrollment Management at The Elisabeth Morrow School must be a person of energy and judgment, someone who enjoys working with people but also one with exceptional organizational and administrative skills.


  • Knowledge and experience with a successful admission program, including experience in organizing and leading an Admission Office.
  • Ability to interact effectively and earn the respect of all the constituencies of the School community: Head of School, the administration, staff, faculty, the Board of Trustees, alumni, parents, and friends of the School.
  • Knowledge of how to effectively market and communicate the values and mission of The Elisabeth Morrow School both internally and externally.
  • A vision and interest in being involved in the strategic planning process.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to oversee the identification, cultivation and securing of key external referral sources of new students.
  • Knowledge and experience in applicant-tracking and reporting procedures for the admission programs.
  • Knowledge and experience in applying financial aid to the admission decision process.
  • Interest in and willingness to travel.
  • Experience, track record and interest in managing volunteers. Ability and interest in managing, developing and mentoring staff.
  • A creative marketing orientation which leverages technology to maximize results.
  • Integrity, warmth, confidence, a positive outlook and a good sense of humor.
  • A strong commitment to a School which focuses on students age 2 through 8th
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Commitment to data-driven decision-making.
  • 5+ years of admission experience required, preferably at an independent school or in higher education.

The Elisabeth Morrow School
Maureen Fonseca, Ph.D.,
Head of School

Dear EMS Community:

It is with great pleasure that I announce that the Board of Trustees has unanimously selected Dr. Maureen Fonseca to be our seventh Head of School, effective July 1, 2019.

Maureen brings to us outstanding experience in independent schools and non-profit organizations. She understands what students and schools need to thrive and she has a proven track record of success. Coupled with her exceptional experience, Maureen’s strength of character, warmth, and enthusiasm captured our hearts and minds. At every step of the search process, Maureen evinced both strength and humility.

She inspired us with her vision for children in the world of tomorrow. At the same time, she articulated personal standards and principles that align beautifully with our mission and core values. We wholeheartedly believe that Maureen is exactly the right person to steward EMS as we continue to grow and achieve the goals of our strategic plan. Maureen has had many significant professional accomplishments. In 1988, she founded St. Philip’s Academy in Newark with a mission of preparing students for competitive secondary schools. In her 12 years there, St. Philip’s grew from an opening enrollment of 10 children in first grade to over 200 students, in kindergarten through eighth grade.

From 2000-2015, Maureen served as head of The Masters School, a day and boarding school in Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she led a significant expansion increasing enrollment by 70% in grades 5-12. She led the evolution of school, which had just become co-educational, and introduced comprehensive strategic plans and programs for faculty retention and professional development. While at Masters, Maureen and her husband organized forgiveness and reconciliation trips to rural areas in Rwanda and engaged Masters’ students in an international community of learners and educators in Haiti.

Prior to joining EMW, Maureen served as currently Chief Executive Officer of Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation/New York Edge, a community-based organization serving 35,000 students in 150 under-resourced New York City public schools. There she has increased private funding, implemented a new strategic plan, and attained city-wide recognition for the organization’s work. In fact, throughout her professional life, Maureen has distinguished herself with success in annual fundraising, large capital campaigns, and long-range vision and planning.

Maureen has contributed to many professional organizations. She is currently a Board Member of the French American School of New York and has served as Chair of the Fairchester Heads Association and as Treasurer of the Headmistresses Association of the East. She recently completed nine years of service as Commissioner on Accreditation for the New York State Association of Independent Schools.

Maureen is married to The Very Reverend Petero A. N. Sabune, chaplain and director of the New York Theological Seminary master’s degree program at Sing Sing, the maximum-security prison in Ossining, NY. She has four children and four grandchildren.

Maureen earned a B.A. in French and Russian from Vassar College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in French Literature from Fordham. She speaks French fluently and is conversant in Spanish, and Russian.

The combination of Maureen’s impressive credentials as well as her many personal qualities convinced our Board of Trustees that she was the right choice to lead the Elisabeth Morrow School. Maureen’s lifelong commitment to and love of children shone through her many conversations with members of our community. Her engagement in service to others and her focus on our common humanity demonstrate that she lived the 4C’s before even meeting us.

Warm regards,
Hanita Walia
President, Board of Trustees

One of the first things that families notice about EMS is the strength of our community. From the moment families enter our admissions process (when they are assigned their own admissions concierge) to new family coffees, cocktail parties, welcome dinners and monthly information sessions just for them, families are embraced by our school.

We also know that different families need different things. Beyond the support that we provide to children so that they can become the best version of themselves, we also provide many opportunities for families to get involved, whether it’s through the many volunteer activities our innovative Parents Association sponsors, or through assisting on field trips or with our many fundraising activities. As your family evolves and your needs change, our school is always eager to partner with you to support the education of your child. We at EMS know that educating the whole child means that families must play a central role.

Contact Information

To explore this superb career opportunity on a highly confidential basis please send a letter of interest and a resume (both as Microsoft Word documents) to:

Doug Cooney, Executive Search Consultant, Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc.
572 Washington Street, Suite 15, Wellesley, MA 02482
Telephone: 781.237.2800

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