Founding Head of School

Rockwall County, Texas
Apr 26, 2021
Job Type


Beginning in July 2021, the Founding Head of School will work closely with the founders to launch Vandermont, and to lead the School’s curriculum development, establish school culture and build a high functioning team aligned to the mission and vision. The Founding Head will have access to the Founder and an independent school founding consultant on a regular basis to make the transition as smooth and as manageable as possible. 


Rockwall County, Texas's estimated population is 113,653 with a growth rate of 4.00% in the past year. The northeast Dallas suburb made it into the top five in Money's list of Best Places to Live in America 2020.

Money ranked communities based on factors such as safety, cost of living, and diversity. Rockwall has experienced 19 percent job growth over the past five years and is projected to grow another 17 percent in the next five. The city's recovery from pandemic-related job losses contributed to its ranking. The local unemployment rate was 7.2 percent compared to a national average of 11.1 percent.

Rockwall’s super-walkable downtown district has a small-town vibe, with historic false-front buildings and a broad variety of locally owned shops and restaurants. In the summer and fall, live music events liven up San Jacinto Plaza, while the Rockwall Farmers’ Market attracts visitors from all over the Dallas metro area.

Currently, the public schools are bursting at the seams and the growth trend assures Vandermont has the projected growth trend necessary for the success of a start-up school.  With a median annual income of $93,269 and an estimated $44,539 annual cost of living, there is a plethora of opportunity for the Schools' success. 




The Founding Head of School will report to the Board of Trustees. Currently, with no plans for change in the immediate future, the Founding couple are 2/3s of the Board of Trustees.  It is their vision that the Founding Head will work to manifest. 



Mandy and Ken Goggans of Rockwall, TX are the School's founders. Ken serves as a background investor/advisor and Mandy is the visionary and driving force behind the School's mission and vision. 

Mandy is a proud stay-at-home Mom to two sets of twin boys, a wife of twelve years, and an entrepreneur who dedicates each day to her family and living an intentional, productive, and meaningful life. Education has always been a passion and through research, development, and an unwillingness to settle, Vandermont was born. 

Her interest in education led her to certifications in Montessori teaching and brain-based child development. She brings this knowledge to her founding vision and along with her positive outlook and effervescent personality, she will make a solid thought partner and valued teammate for the Founding Head of School.

 When Mandy incorporated Vandermont as a 503(c) not for profit, she intended to create a school that is fresh, fun and in every way, fabulous. Her vision of an intentional school, blending pencil and paper with up the minute adaptable data-driven technologies in open learning studios where personalizing the learning experience for each student takes place in a stable and nurturing Christian school is just a moment away from reality.  Whomever is appointed at the Founding Head of School will surely enjoy the added benefit of a true partner who will do anything possible to support the Head's success.



There is wide scope for the Founding Head of School to determine strategy, programming, the school’s culture and team, since the founders themselves are not educators (although trained in the above-mentioned programs and working with respected consultants and advisors). The Head will be responsible for ensuring the successful launch, growth and sustainability of Vandermont.

She/he will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the start-up organization as well as working with the Founder and her advisors to establish Vandermont's long-term vision and mission. 

Specifically, the role will involve the following responsibilities:

Start-up Leadership

During the first two years of the Head’s tenure, the successful candidate will be focused on: 

  • Developing the School’s curriculum and programs.
  • Promoting the School and benefits of a progressive Christian education to North Dallas parents and students;
  • Establishing the School culture
  • Leading the initial faculty to embrace the Vandermont mission
  • Articulating the benefits of the School to stakeholders and candidates for admission
  • For at least the first two years, the Founding Head will be assisted in admissions, marketing, fundraising, and teacher professional development with the aid of the Founder and an independently contracted school development consultant.

Long-term, the role will involve:

  • Educational & Organizational Leadership
  • Establishing Vandermont's reputation for academic excellence and innovation within a Christian worldview
  • Creating an institutional culture that is reflective of the school mission and values
  • Attracting and retaining a diverse population of highly motivated students, 
  • Team & Resource Management
  • Recruiting, developing and retaining extraordinary teachers.
  • Cultivating a goals-oriented, collegial, and high-performance teaching staff
  • Overseeing responsible financial and resource management.
  • Participating in Phase II site preparation; overseeing space, planning to determine required building and construction needs for optimal learning and safety.

External Engagement

  • Assuming a leadership role in fundraising alongside the Board of Trustees.
  • Cultivating a diverse and inclusive student body and staff through broad outreach.
  • Establishing strong relationships with the parent and neighborhood communities.
  • Representing Vandermont in the greater Rockwall, North Dallas Community assuring the School visibility and a reputation above reproach. 





Educational & Organizational Leadership

  • Entrepreneurial, risk-taker able to meet the day-to-day demands and opportunities of a start-up.
  • Passionate believer in, and advocate for progressive education with an ability to persuasively articulate its advantages. 
  • Dynamic speaker with strong interpersonal and communications skills.
  • Experience developing an innovative and successful program; with an understanding of existing research and best practices for project-based learning and/or an understanding of Montessori or Reggio Emilio a plus. 

Team & Resource Management

  • Proven ability to establish a high performing, collaborative team by nurturing and retaining talented staff.
  • Experience working successfully with a board of trustees or founder, ideal.
  • Exposure to financial management, cross-departmental budget planning, as well as scenario modellingand forecasting.

External Engagement

  • Proven ability to network with general public representing a non-profit organization.

Experience/ Personal Qualities

  • Master's Degree and at least 5 years in a School or non-profit environment that serve children.
  • Devotion to living a principled life grounded in the Gospel teachings of Jesus Christ. 
  • Growth mindset
  • Flexible with a sense of humor



The Head with be appointed by the Board of Trustees. 

Applications should include a resume and letter of interest addressing the candidate’s 

qualifications to serve as Vandermont's Founding Head of School and what is motivating your application at this time. A list of 5 professional references with their email addresses should be included. Please provide the requested material in a single PDF document and email applications to Jenifer Fox ( with the email title, Vandermont. 

This is an unprecedented fast-track search process. The School is aware of the unorthodoxy of the hiring to school opening timeline. Successful candidates will not be from the ordinary candidate pool as this is an extraordinary school and leadership opportunity. Non-traditional candidates are encouraged to apply. All qualified candidates will be contacted immediately for a Zoom interview followed by a visit to Rockwall to meet with the Founder. Salary and benefits are commensurate with experience

Vandermont is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, ethnicity, national origin, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, or any other legally protected status. 


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