Founded in 1728, Norfolk Academy is an independent, non-sectarian, coeducational day school of approximately 1200 students in grades 1-12. Located on a 70-acre campus in the Southeast area of Virginia, the school for generations has prepared young men and women not only for the most selective colleges and universities in the country but also for lives of learning, leadership, and service. Among its graduates Norfolk Academy counts Fortune 500 CEOs; Emmy and Tony award winners; an Ivy League president and provost; a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist; a former U.S. Congressmen; a Commandant of the Marine Corps; and other men and women who have achieved distinction in their respective fields. Norfolk Academy has been recognized as a national educational leader, one of only a handful of schools in the nation to have twice been named a Blue Ribbon School; to have been awarded a major leadership grant by the E.E. Ford Foundation; and to have been recognized by the College Board and the Advanced Placement program as having the best German program in the nation. A recently completed $68M capital campaign has added a new lower school, leadership center, dining hall, and stadium complex, as well a significant increase to the school’s endowment.
An honor system is central to the school’s philosophy, as are traditions such as a public speaking program, seated lunches with students, open lockers, and chapel. The school not only supports a rigorous and high-quality academic program, but also is a regional leader in the arts and athletics, offering extensive performing arts opportunities in music, drama, and dance, and fielding 72 inter-scholastic athletic teams. Norfolk Academy is committed to the professional growth and development of its faculty and administration through grant programs for summer personal and professional enrichment; instructional technology; and continuing education funding for graduate work, conference attendance, and other professional growth opportunities.
The Director of Admissions, who reports to the Headmaster and oversees the admissions office, marketing, and enrollment cycle, works with the Director of Communications, the Assistant Headmaster for Development, and the Headmaster in promoting the school to the public and larger community. The Director works with the school’s Division Directors in coordinating the different grade level admissions processes and also serves on the Senior Administrative Team.
Major Areas of Responsibility
Admissions Process The Admissions Office processes several hundred applications per year. Obtaining school records and recommendations for each applicant, coordinating testing for all applicants, scheduling division interviews and student visits, and maintaining files and databases for inquiries and applicants constitute the core administrative work overseen by the Director. In addition, the Director and Admissions team convene the Admissions Committee, assemble and provide data to the committee on each candidate, transmit decision letters, fields calls, and prepare and mail enrollment packages. After the admissions process is complete, the Director is responsible for working with the families of all applicants who may need further information or support.
Financial Aid Working with the Assistant Headmaster for Business and Auxiliary Operations, the Director of Admissions convenes the Financial Aid Committee, provides financial aid information to new enrollees, and processes financial aid applications, grant letters, and appeals.
Communications and Public Relations Working with the Director of Communications, the Director of Admissions helps develop messaging for, but not limited to, the view book, the website, and other marketing materials. The Director plans and oversees admissions Open Houses as well as our distinctive “Mornings at the Academy” program. The Director also schedules and conducts campus tours for prospective parents and responds to a wide variety of external inquiries. The Director of Admissions also supports the Director of Communications in working with firms in connection with branding and advertising in local and national media.
Institutional Relationships The Director of Admissions is responsible for maintaining close relationships with local schools in the Hampton Roads area whose students apply for admission to Norfolk Academy, particularly pre-school or kindergarten programs that furnish first grade applicants. This includes maintaining a rapport with the directors of various schools, and developing knowledge of the various programs and academic qualities of sending schools.
Office and Budget Management The Director leads the Admissions team consisting of an Associate Director, an Assistant Director, and Administrative Assistant. The Director is also responsible for preparing and overseeing the Admissions budget.
Professional Development The Director of Admissions attends national conferences each year (ERB, SSAT, etc.), two meetings of the Virginia Admissions Group a year, and visits at least one leading independent school outside of Virginia annually.
Extensive experience in independent school admissions and familiarity with the special nuances of day school admissions are prerequisites. Candidates should possess strong communications skills—with an emphasis on persuasive public speaking ability and strong writing skills—an ability to quickly establish strong rapport with both parents and children, and a healthy, balanced appreciation and understanding of the competitive features of admissions. With the increasing importance of data analysis in enrollment management, the successful candidate will also have a background and experience in demographic and enrollment analytics. Norfolk Academy has well-established avenues of admissions, but in today’s market needs an innovative and creative thinker to tap non-traditional enrollment sources, both inside and outside the school community. A bachelor’s degree is required, master’s degree preferred.
About The Norfolk Academy
Norfolk Academy entered into official existence on November 13, 1728. Today, the school enrolls 1,200 students in grades 1-12, 500 of those students in Lower School. A college-preparatory curriculum, coupled with a strong sports program and exciting arts program, innovative curricular offerings, and time-honored traditions, provides students an exceptional educational experience. Students who attend Norfolk Academy come from all areas of Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach), the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. Twenty-three percent of the student body is made up of students of color, and 21% of students receive need-based financial assistance.
Norfolk Academy’s 114 faculty members (36 in Lower School) seek to develop engaged learners who possess both the intellectual abilities and the character traits needed to thrive in today’s world. Faculty have an average of 19 years of experience teaching at Norfolk Academy. With a student-to-teacher ratio of less than 14:1 in Lower School, teachers know their students well and dedicate themselves to making sure their students achieve their highest potential.
The school’s... most cherished tradition is its Honor Code. Each member of the Norfolk Academy community commits to behaving honorably in all school activities and programs. Being truthful helps build a community of trust. It is in this environment that the Honor System helps students and all members of the community strengthen and advance their ethical development and their capacity to make sound, moral, and mature decisions about matters of right and wrong.
Norfolk Academy is the only school in the region that enjoys accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/AdvancEd), the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS). Under the auspices of the Virginia Council of Private Education (VCPE), Norfolk Academy is recognized as an accredited school by the Virginia State Board of Education. The school is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the College Board, the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), the Secondary School Admissions Test Board (SSATB), and the World Leading Schools Association (WLSA).