Director of Finance and Operations
  • Finance
  • Full-time

Charles River School, Dover, MA

Accredited by AISNE

Charles River School

Since its founding more than 100 years ago, Charles River School students have learned to use both inquiry and creativity to build practical skills, discover new interests, and take responsibility for themselves, their communities, and the future. The school offers students in PreKindergarten through eighth-grade a global curriculum grounded in thematic, hands-on teaching and learning. CRS classes are small, learning is personalized, and teachers are accessible. The faculty and staff at Charles River School are exceptionally talented, diverse, active individuals concerned with the development and education of children. 

The school is located on 16 acres in idyllic Dover, Massachusetts, approximately 30 minutes from Boston. Charles River School facilities include a theater, dining room, academic buildings, gymnasiums, a wetlands laboratory, two playing fields, tennis courts, and an outdoor swimming pool.

The Position
The Director of Finance and Operations manages all aspects of Charles River School’s finances, including strategic financial planning, budgeting, accounting, and reporting. The Director will also oversee all human resources functions, as well as the physical plant and food services operations. Reporting directly to the Head of School, the Director of Finance and Operations is a member of the senior leadership team and several Board of Trustees committees. The next Director will have the opportunity to reimagine the structure and workflow of the office; they will decide how best to allocate financial duties with a half-time assistant (a newly created position, to be hired). The ideal candidate is a mission-driven strategic thinker with uncompromising judgment and integrity, experience in an independent school preferred, and a demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion.

The next Director of Finance and Operations will oversee an operating budget of more than $8 million supported by an endowment of $10 million.

The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to work with conflicting demands and timescales in a busy and ever-changing school environment. They will be able to balance and prioritize the competing needs of the school. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership, oversight and management of the day-to-day operation of the business office including payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, accounting, and school supply functions
  • Collaborates with the Head of the School on financial aspects of strategic planning initiatives
  • Oversees all human resources functions, as well as the physical plant and food services operations
  • Manages and oversees the auditing process
  • Manages, develops and directs the annual operating budget
  • Plans and prepares forecasts of the financial condition of the school. Reports to the Head of School, the Finance Committee, the Audit Committee, and the Board of Trustees on the results of the present operations of the school, pro forma projections for future operations, and annual audits of the financial statements of the School
  • Provides the financial information and planning that builds trust among faculty, administration, staff, the Board of Trustees, and the parent community
  • Liaisons with the endowment portfolio manager, providing information on invested funds and implementing decisions of the Board and Finance Committee
  • Maintains compliance with governmental regulations and changing regulatory environment by staying current on law and regulations that may affect compliance
  • Establishes policies, procedures, standards and strategies for areas of responsibility and provides appropriate internal controls and strengths to safeguard the school’s assets
  • Oversees the risk management function and purchases property, casualty, liability and workers compensation insurance
  • Manages human resources including employee relations, benefits and compensation, and safety for employees
  • Oversees and directs implementation and administration of employee benefit programs such as health insurance, dental insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, workers compensation, employee assistance, retirement and other related plans.
  • Selects or approves and directly oversees relationships with business service providers (e.g., banks, auditors, attorneys, insurers, investment managers, food service and transportation providers, contractors, consultants). Secures the highest level of quality products and services for the school’s business functions, including measurements of cost effectiveness
  • Effectively supervises and mentors business office assistant
  • In partnership with the Head of the School and other staff and trustees, evaluates, pursues, and manages additional (non-tuition) revenue-generating opportunities using the School’s resources.
  • Completes other responsibilities as assigned by the Head of School

Desired Qualifications

A successful candidate will be dependable and attentive to detail, with the ability to manage the pressures of fast-paced financial operations. 

  • Experienced strategic thinker who can develop a road map for the future
  • Demonstrated experience in the development of analysis for strategic decision-making, including key cost drivers, competitive analysis, market analysis, etc.
  • Experience developing long-range capital and operational budget planning
  • Experience in determining alternative revenue sources in a non-profit setting
  • Experience in human resource management, employee benefits and payroll procedures
  • Demonstrated experience in measuring and improving organization-wide productivity
  • Effective collaboration skills, consistent meaningful contribution to senior leadership teams, and a focus on process as well as outcome
  • Exceptional written/verbal communication and presentation skills, including the ability to distill complex topics and then communicate them effectively to varied audiences


  • Bachelor’s degree required; CPA and/or MBA preferred
  • Five or more years of financial and business leadership in a non-profit or for-profit organization(s) including work with non-profit boards is a plus; independent school experience a plus

Charles River School Quick Facts

Founded: 1911
Enrollment: 190
Grades: PreK-8 (Day)
Gender: Coed
Teaching Faculty: 36


At Charles River, the school's mission guides the community every day, in all that they do.

“Charles River School honors the pursuit of academic excellence and the joy of childhood. We nurture each child by igniting curiosity, encouraging creativity, and cultivating intellectual engagement.  Our graduates know themselves, understand others, and shape the future of our diverse world with confidence and compassion.”

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion

At Charles River School, diversity, inclusivity, and cultural competency are essential parts of the curriculum and the community and are central tenets of the Mission Statement. Through their teaching practices and the authentic learning experiences provided for students each day, Charles River School shows a deep dedication to graduating well-rounded students. As stated by the school:

We commit ourselves to:

  • Cultivating cultural competency and diversity throughout our curriculum, our student body, and our faculty and staff
  • Deepening our knowledge and appreciation of the many aspects of cultural identities, in ourselves, our local communities, and globally
  • Providing an environment and an education that equips children and adults to become successful, contributing members of a global society
  • Understanding both historical and current implications of diversity, power, and privilege
  • Engaging in this complex work with careful thought and enduring dedication.
  • And most of all, we commit ourselves to fostering a school community in which each of us is welcomed, recognized, and valued as an individual and as a member of the Charles River School family.

Notice of Non-Discrimination Policy

Charles River School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, personnel policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs and athletic and other school-administered programs. It is the policy of Charles River School to admit students of any race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin.

To Apply
Interested and qualified candidates are invited to contact Head of School, Gretchen Larkin, in confidence. 

Candidates will ultimately need to submit the following materials as separate PDF documents: 

  • A cover letter expressing their interest in this position; 
  • A current résumé; 
  • A list of 3-5 professional references with name, relationship, phone number, and email address of each (references will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission) to: