The High Mountain Institute (HMI) is an independent boarding school and gap semester provider that focuses on experiential education and wilderness expeditions. With an eye toward building on HMI’s core successes over its first 25 years, the High Mountain Institute welcomes nominations and applications for an innovative, thoughtful, and inspiring leader to serve as its next Head of School beginning July 1, 2023.

Place-based and experiential learning are hallmarks of the HMI curriculum. Ecology courses come to life on the banks of the nearby Arkansas River; historical discussions of western water rights are made explicit on trips through the desert of southeastern Utah; the themes of American Transcendentalist writers are brought home as students travel into the Colorado backcountry to explore the natural landscape and critically examine the ways in which they interact with it. Intentional community is at the center of HMI’s residential life curriculum, where students and adults alike take part in creating a community of shared responsibility. Students come to HMI for life-changing experiences during a high school semester or summer term, or in the years immediately following high school for a gap semester. The Apprentice Program, a teaching fellowship program, works with college graduates beginning a career in education, and the Educators’ Expedition offers summer professional development for teachers and school administrators. From HMI’s campus high in the Rocky Mountains to the wilds of Patagonia, HMI students are given the tools to challenge themselves and think in new ways, creating the foundation for rigorous intellectual experiences.

HMI’s Head of School serves as chief executive officer overseeing all aspects of HMI’s programs and operational functions. The Head of School is appointed by and reports to the Board of Trustees. The Head of School lives on HMI’s residential campus, in community with students, faculty, and staff. The Head of School leads a senior administrative team of eight: Director of Finance & Operations, Director of Wilderness Programs & Risk Management, Director of Admissions, Director of Communication & Engagement, Director of DEI & Admissions Associate, Academic Dean & Director of HMI Semester, Dean of Apprentice Program, and Director of HMI Gap.

Compensation and benefits are competitive for this role, which are detailed below:
• Annual salary of $160,000 – $220,000 (dependent on experience)
• Health, dental, and vision benefits
• 4-9 percent retirement benefits match after one year of service
• Six weeks of vacation per year
• On-campus housing in Head of School house (condition of employment)

To view the full position profile for HMI’s next Head of School, please visit: https://assets.storbecksearch.com/files/resources/hmi-hos-pd.pdf?628cec3bd51df

Tagged as: Administrative Staff, Full Time, Teaching/Education


The ideal candidate for HMI’s next Head of School will be a highly engaged and collaborative leader with a deep understanding and appreciation for independent school education and experiential learning opportunities, particularly those with an emphasis on outdoor education and wilderness expeditions.

Required Skills:

This position requires a leader with a high level of emotional intelligence; a person who is confident and competent, with strong skills in management and leadership; one who understands the subtleties of motivating and directing a diverse group of individuals. The next Head of School will be committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice efforts that foster an environment that equally welcomes, respects, and values all members of the community.

About High Mountain Institute

A semester school for high school juniors, the High Mountain Institute (HMI) combines the best of a traditional independent school with outstanding outdoor education. HMI connects students to the natural world and teaches them essential leadership and communication skills through participation in a rigorous, experiential academic program, extended wilderness trips, and an intentional community. HMI also offers a Summer Term for high school students and a variety of adolescent and adult programming. For more information, please visit www.hminet.org.

HMI’s Diversity Statement: The High Mountain Institute is an equal opportunity employer that strives for diversity by honoring the differences of each member of the community. We seek to build a community (of trustees, faculty, staff, and students) that represents ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity and that brings a diversity of experience, background, talent, and perspective.

Application Instructions

The search committee for HMI’s next Head of School will begin accepting nominations and reviewing applications immediately. Requested application materials at this stage include a letter of interest and current resume. For best consideration, application materials should be received no later than July 31, 2022. Candidate materials should be sent to the following email address: [email protected]