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The Lovett School

Chief Financial Officer

Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc. has been retained by The Lovett School, located in Atlanta, Georgia, to conduct a national search for a Chief Financial Officer

The Lovett School

The Lovett School, founded in 1926, is an independent, coeducational day school serving children from Kindergarten through Grade 12. The Lower School comprises 492 students (Kindergarten through Grade 5), the Middle School comprises 496 students (Grades 6 – 8), and the Upper School comprises 629 students (Grades 9 – 12) for a total school enrollment of 1,617.

As a college-preparatory institution, the coursework is strong, and creative and critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and a love of learning are major objectives. Outside the classroom, Lovett encourages students to discover themselves through the arts and athletics. The statistics bear this out: close to 90 percent of the student body participates in a Fine Arts activity during the year, and more than 80 percent of students in Grades 7-12 are members of at least one sports team.

The Lovett community is guided by the school’s character pledge, which begins: “We, who are members of the Lovett community, seek to live lives of good character.” Lovett welcomes students of many different faiths and backgrounds. Although not formally affiliated with any specific denomination, Lovett’s philosophy is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition and values and encourages a sense of responsibility to God, respect for diversity, service to others, and moral awareness. The annual operating budget of the school is $57 million dollars, and the endowment is approximately $100 million dollars.

To learn more about The Lovett School, visit

The Position

The Lovett School seeks a strategy-oriented and experienced financial and business leader to fill the key position of Chief Financial Officer. As a member of the senior leadership team, the Chief Financial Officer provides consultation and support to the Head of School and the Board of Trustees and works with the leadership team to identify and support the achievement of The Lovett School’s objectives.  The CFO is responsible for providing strategic leadership and vision for the school in the areas of financial planning and analysis, as well as in the day-to-day financial operations.  The CFO will report directly to the Head of School. This opportunity is available in the Fall of 2019.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for establishing financial strategies and fiscal oversight of the financial functions of the school
  • Oversees the investment professionals who manage the school’s endowment assets
  • Serves as a liaison to the Board of Trustees Endowment, Finance, Audit, Executive, and Retirement Governance Committees; acts as an ex-officio member of the Buildings and Grounds and Human Resources Committees
  • Develops and manages a long-term strategic financial plan to assist the school in achieving short-term objectives and long-term sustainability
  • Oversees the annual audit of the school’s financial records and financial positions
  • Plans and prepares forecasts relative to the financial condition of the school
  • Leads a business office team of 12 professionals, including the Campus Store
  • Oversees overall risk management for the community
  • Consults and works with Head of School and Human Resources Director in managing legal matters and plays a key role with the school’s attorneys
  • Actively participates in strategic planning, campus master planning, and capital campaign processes
  • Owns relationships with international interests, namely Siempre Verde
  • Works closely with Head of School and the senior leadership team to understand and develop resource needs that support Lovett’s mission and vision

Qualifications and Skills:

The Lovett community is interested in all candidates who possess the proven leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills to further expand its commitment to excellence within a child-centered community. The most promising candidates will be leaders who understand the functions of all aspects of a large independent school and how they work together.  The school is most interested in candidates who possess or are able to demonstrate the following qualifications and skill sets:

  • A strong passion and commitment to The Lovett School’s mission and values
  • A collaborative, yet clear and decisive, leadership style built on a foundation of servant leadership
  • The ability to build and lead teams effectively, empowering others through delegation, valuing the contributions of all team members, and cultivating the talents and strengths of each individual for the success of the team
  • Demonstrated skills in financial management, risk management, and contract negotiation
  • A minimum of 10 years of leadership and financial responsibility in a complex organization, preferably in a nonprofit or education setting
  • Exemplary written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills
  • Superior listening skills and the ability to understand and respond appropriately to the multiple perspectives represented in the school community—parents, trustees, key school leaders
  • An awareness of trends and issues challenging education and the capacity to relate them to the school’s opportunities
  • Effective negotiation skills in developing contracts with external vendors
  • Creativity, analytical skills, project development and management skills
  • Ability to motivate and manage a high-quality staff and hire new talent when necessary
  • An effective financial and business manager, capable of earning the respect and trust of the Head of School, faculty, administration, staff, students, and the Board of Trustees
  • The ability to serve as a critical business thinker, capable of providing positive and proactive solutions to business issues
  • A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in finance, accounting, and/or business is strongly preferred

The Lovett School Mission:

The Lovett School is a community that seeks to develop young men and women of honor, faith, and wisdom with the character and intellect to thrive in college and in life.

The Lovett School Vision for Learning:

Lovett offers experiences that inspire our students to love learning. We encourage them to think critically, communicate effectively, engage creatively, and collaborate purposefully. We provide the opportunities and resources that help our students develop independence and self-direction and extend their learning beyond the walls of the classroom as they grow intellectually, emotionally, physically, aesthetically, morally, and spiritually.

The Lovett School Diversity Mission Statement:

The Lovett School celebrates the uniqueness of each individual within an intentionally inclusive, diverse, and welcoming environment. We recognize that our community is enhanced as we seek to appreciate and respect the differences among our students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. We are committed to supporting this environment through classroom instruction, professional development, and other curricular and co-curricular programming, and in accordance with our nondiscriminatory policy.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Meredyth Cole

Head of School

Meredyth joined Lovett as Head of School on July 1, 2018 from The Episcopal School of Dallas. During her time at ESD, Meredyth focused on preparing the school’s students for intellectual discovery, integrity, and purpose—concentrating on the classroom experience and increasing faculty professional development tenfold.  She also led the completion of the school’s first five-year strategic plan, as well as launched a highly successful $75 million capital campaign. Prior to her role at ESD, Meredyth spent 23 years at The Madeira School, serving as Assistant Head of School and Acting Head of School. Her accomplishments while at Madeira included wide-ranging operational improvements, curriculum development, teaching, and the creation of programming and communications for the school’s centennial anniversary celebration. Meredyth earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from The University of Virginia and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of New England. Her board service includes the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the Southwest Preparatory Athletic Conference.  She was also a National Association of Independent Schools E.E. Ford Fellow in 2003.

Images of The Lovett School

The Lovett School Benefits

The Lovett School offers a dynamic and supportive work environment, competitive salaries, and a generous benefits package including a retirement plan, paid vacations, and medical insurance. The Lovett School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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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