Vandermont will be a groundbreaking co-educational day Kindergarten-12th grade Christian independent school entering a market with a growing population and a limited supply of high-quality educational options that truly meet the needs of 21st century learners.
The mission, "At Vandermont, through our personalized learning paths, we empower inquisitive students to develop their interests and God-given abilities to achieve their highest goals while inspiring them to learn confidently and lead purposeful lives" will add value to an already thriving community in Rockwall County, Texas.
The School's opening in an 11,000 square foot studio space on 4 acres near Rockwall, Texas, is planned for September, 2021 with grades Kindergarten- 5th grade to grow to K-12 over the next seven years. Permanent land and buildings to accommodate 400 students grades K-12 are currently in negotiation.
The vision calls for Vandermont to be an incubator for developing high functioning learners capable of success through a hands-on inquiry- based curriculum undergirded with solid skills development and Christian values for character development. At Vandermont, the student is at the center of all decision-making and the goal of the school is to employ research-driven pedagogy and programming to graduate young adults ready to live life with principles, courage and the growth mindset needed to live a life of purpose and meaning.
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:
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.
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 modelling and forecasting.
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.
Flexible with a sense of humor
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
Vandermont is a newly founded progressive Christian Prek-12 independent school located in Royse City, Texas ten minutes east of Rockwell. Located on 4 acres, Vandermont provides a dynamically balanced education for curious young people in multi-aged classrooms. With regard to how we educate students, some of our methods have been around for centuries. Others spring from the latest breakthroughs in science and education.
Opening is September, 2021, Vandermont is a school where kids are free to be kids while learning how to be kind, passionate, and powerful individuals capable of changing the world. By utilizing the latest technology and educational methods, we help empower students to be their greatest selves every day.
Supported by the latest in technology and cognitive science, Vandermont moves beyond the traditional tools of lectures, homework, high-stakes tests, and grades. At Vandermont, students learn in collaborative classrooms of multi-age learners. This flexible approach challenges each student with a personalized differentiated learning plan and inspires them through real-world projects and experiences.