McDowell Farm School Director
Have you dreamed of creating a place for people to learn more about the natural world, the foods they eat, and be surrounded by a loving, supportive community? Have you had experience in the field of education and want to expand it beyond the classroom walls? Do you hope to inspire curiosity, teach problem solving and empower community connections through sustainable agriculture? The McDowell Farm School (MFS) is ready for a new Director and you might be just the person!
About McDowell Farm School and the Director position:
McDowell Farm School was started in 2012 and is the only residential farm school in the Southeast. McDowell Farm School classes engage student curiosity, lay a strong foundation for meaningful inquiry based learning, encourage careful observation and evidence-based problem solving. All of this while educating participants about where their food comes from. McDowell Farm School is a located at Camp McDowell in northern Alabama’s canyon country next to the Bankhead National Forest. With 1100+ acres of forests, streams and canyons plus the 40-acre Farm to explore and utilize as a classroom, we are a premier environmental education center in the Southeast. We host about 2500 participants a year from a range of urban and rural, public and private schools. The Farm School is growing. We are looking for the perfect person to lead our team of professional educators in a full-time position as our Director.
McDowell Farm School has 3-4 permanent staff who work year-round and 6-8 seasonal instructors who work 8-9 months a year. As the Director, you are the leader of this grand group. You must be a mature person who is willing to mentor others, keep a positive attitude, and have great flexibility. It would be great if you have familiarity with sustainable farming practices. You must be an independent worker, a self-starter, one who leads by example, and has great initiative. We are looking for a person passionate about making the world a better place by starting right in our own backyard...Alabama!
As the MFS Director, you will work closely with the MFS Program Coordinator and Farm Manager to lead in staff training, marketing, and promotion via teacher workshops and teacher conferences, curriculum development, assist with grant writing and website development. You will be responsible for building a team of these educators. You must have great people skills in order to relate to the hundreds of teachers and parents who come through our residential program each year, as well as relating to your co-workers with whom you work and live.
You will also work hand in hand with the Leadership staff of the McDowell Environmental Center (MEC), as we are all one well-oiled machine here in the McDowell Education Programs. The MEC is on one side of the 1140 campus and the Farm on the other, but we share seasonal staff housing and many meals together.
You must love teaching children in the great outdoors, because all McDowell leadership staff also teach. We think it is important to keep in touch with why we are here! Your direct supervisor is the Dean of Education at Camp McDowell (includes MEC, McDowell Farm School and Magnolia Nature Preschool).
To learn more about McDowell Farm School see our website at www.campmcdowell.com and check out the Farm School page as well as our sister program the McDowell Environmental Center page. Go to our Facebook pages as well to follow along with our daily adventures.
More About Camp McDowell:
The McDowell Farm School is one of three educational programs at Camp McDowell. The original McDowell Environmental Center started in 1994 and is the premier residential program in the Southeast. In 2016, we started Alabama’s first nature-based Preschool, Magnolia Nature School. All educational programming is secular.
McDowell Farm School is a part of a larger Camp McDowell “family.” Camp McDowell is owned by the Episcopal Church and was established in 1947. In addition to the educational programs for school groups there is also the Alabama Folk School and a 150 hotel-style room Conference Center. There are two summer camp programs on site, Camp on Clear Creek and the Camp at Bethany, where facilities are accessible and camps are inclusive. Facilities include two chapels, three dining halls, 13 lodges, numerous meeting spaces, individual and dormitory-style cabins, a dance and performance facility, art studios, two pools, and extensive recreational facilities. Go to www.campmcdowell.com for more details and information.
Teaching experience (preferably in the outdoors); 2 or more years’ experience managing 5+ staff members; experience with budget creation and management; experience in program development; excellent written and verbal communication skills; basic computer skills; ability to connect to children; Bachelor’s degree or higher.
Familiarity with sustainable agriculture; successful grant writing and fundraising experience; experience with media marketing; knowledge of the flora and fauna of Alabama (or willingness to learn); experience with residential environmental education; experience with developing and
coordinating events and workshops; Medical training such as Wilderness First Responder (WFR); experience working and living in a residential community.
The perfect candidate would possess these characteristics:
Flexibility; personal initiative; make a great first impression; commitment to at least 3-5 years of hard work; collaborative thinker; interpersonal skills with peers, coworkers, and all who come through the program; open minded
Employer paid health insurance (dental and vision are employee paid), a private apartment or home with kitchen and utilities provided, 403b retirement plan, 1100+ acres to explore and creeks to paddle, the Bankhead National Forest in your backyard, flexible work schedule during non-residential season.
To apply for this position:
Please submit your resume, a cover letter, and at least 2 professional and 2 personal references to Maggie Johnston, Dean of Education:
Please submit by November 9, 2018.