St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies - President

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sjn leadership academies



Laborare Ludere Orare – Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard

St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies was originally founded as St. John’s Military Academy in 1884 in Delafield, Wisconsin, by Rev. Sidney T. Smythe, who served as president until his death in 1923. In 1995, SJMA merged with Northwestern Military and Naval Academy in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to become St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy on the Delafield campus. The Academy is principally a boarding school for grades 7 through 12, but has an active day program for those grades as well. It was an all-male school until summer 2018 when it became coeducational. At the same time, the Academy implemented the current governance structure now called St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academy. Within this structure is St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, the academic year program, St. John’s Northwestern Summer Leadership Academy, the summer academic and adventure camp programs, and The Global Leadership Academy, an enhanced ESL program, slated to open in fall 2019.


The St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies prepares boys and girls to become young adults who can achieve their highest personal potential for lifetime success, by immersing them in a disciplined environment that inspires maximum personal growth through core commitments to excellence in Academics, Leadership Skills, Spiritual and Character Development, and Athletics/Wellness. These core commitments are the foundational pillars for the individual St. John’s Northwestern academies, each of which offers a discrete solution to best serve the unique needs and goals students in a secure, financially sound setting.

The St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy student body is organized as a Corps of Cadets under the auspices of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program. All cadets participate in leadership education and training courses for at least one year. St. John’s Northwestern has the rating of “Honor Unit with Distinction” with members of the Corps of Cadets among all high school cadets enrolled in Army JROTC Distinction. This rating provides the authority to nominate cadets to all of the U.S. service academies. Based on graduating classes of 2018 through 2022, St. John’s Northwestern holds the record of having the most number of cadets (five) from Wisconsin high schools enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point.


St. John’s Northwestern has a rich history of providing a distinctive education for pre-collegiate young people. The Academy combines personalized academic instruction, mandatory participation in athletics, ongoing instruction in ethics and values, and a structured, military-style environment that together allows students an opportunity to achieve at their full potential. The Academy’s goal is to prepare cadets for success in life by instilling in them a solid work ethic, an understanding of the value of integrity and teamwork, and the ability to think critically, communicate well, and function as a leader in a diverse and ever-changing world.

The Academy’s academic program is rigorous; it is designed to provide a solid foundation of knowledge that will allow success in college. Average class size is 12 students with individual attention available for every student. Support services such as a learning center, structured tutorial services and peer tutoring are available, and supervised study hours are conducted Sunday through Thursday evenings. Teachers are readily accessible to parents and guardians, and academic progress reports are emailed mid-quarter. The integrated experience and structured environment are carefully tailored to inspire young men and women to become leaders of character. The overarching value of such an environment is simply unavailable in a typical boarding school.


The military academy boarding enrollment in recent years has ranged from approximately 180 to 250 students, including students from 15 states and four foreign countries. Maximum capacity is 350 students. There are 29 full-time and five part-time faculty members, most of whom have advanced degrees. Carefully selected staff members live in the residence halls and serve as resident faculty officers.

The annual tuition for 2018-2019 is $39,000 for seven-day boarding cadets, $38,000 for five-day boarding cadets, $14,000 for day cadets, and $44,000 for international cadets. This fee includes tuition, room and board, haircuts, student accident insurance, hardcover textbook usage, and computer usage.

St. John’s Northwestern is located on a 110-acre campus in Delafield. Located in the heart of Waukesha County’s “Lake Country,” Delafield is 35 minutes west of Milwaukee and one hour east of Madison, adjacent to US I-94. The city is a thriving and vibrant community of 7,085 people (as of the 2010 U.S. Census) with a county population of almost 389,891.


St. John’s Northwestern is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt corporation governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees. The board consists of 20 members, including alumni, higher education leaders, parents of former cadets, and business professionals. Members serve three-year renewable terms and meet four times each year.

The Academy is in its fourth year of a five-year campaign to raise $25 million, Complete the Dream; Secure the Future. The campaign mission is to create the solid foundation for our Academy that will secure it today and propel it into the future. Capital plan priorities include fiscal stability, facilities maintenance, endowment expansion, annual fund support, athletic enhancements, and construction of a performing arts center.

These improvements and its mission, curriculum and faculty, position St. John’s Northwestern to be one of the finest military schools in the nation. The Academy is fully accredited and holds membership in the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, National Association of Independent Schools, Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States, The Association of Boarding Schools, National Association of Episcopal Schools, and the American Camp Association.

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St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies offers an exceptional opportunity for an educational leader with strategic vision and bold leadership to continue the development of a truly exceptional boarding school for young men and women. Its mission, heritage, location, facilities, and people combine to make St. John’s Northwestern a superb educational environment for an experienced leader in education.

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St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies seeks a leader who is committed to the accomplishment of its mission and embraces the strategic initiatives and plans of the school and its board of trustees. The ideal candidate will have an earned degree from an accredited college or university, as well as advanced degrees or certifications in education and/or other disciplines.

The ideal candidate will have exceptional interpersonal and communications skills, both verbal and written. The president is primarily responsible for communicating and interacting with internal and external constituencies, thus needs to be articulate, energetic, diplomatic, collegial, inclusive, persuasive, and decisive. It is imperative that the president demonstrate excellent judgment. A personal and professional reputation for unquestionable integrity and morality is paramount. Candidate should have a moral commitment to serve for 7-10+ years.


The ideal candidate will have successful experience in a coeducational boarding school as chief executive officer, chief academic officer, chief operations/finance officer, or similar responsibility. A comprehensive understanding of the application of the military model for the education of young leaders at the middle and high school level must be evidenced in candidate’s background. Demonstrated success in sound strategic planning is needed as the Academy adapts itself to the ever-changing challenges of the 21St Century. Background should also include successful financial resource development, recruitment and enrollment expertise, and financial acumen.

The ideal candidate will be motivated by the mission of St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies, as well as the challenge and opportunity available.

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Nominations and letters of interest with supporting documents should be forwarded electronically in PDF FORMAT to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For confidential inquiries prior to submitting documents, interested parties may contact our consultant:

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Jon McRae, Executive Search Consultant
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Mobile: 404-754-5189

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. All applications will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin,age or disability. We endorse the letter and the spirit of the law.