Website Presidio Knolls School
Presidio Knolls School (PKS) is a coed, PK-8, progressive Mandarin immersion school in the heart of San Francisco. Founded in 2008, the school has expanded in its first 15 years from just 35 students to almost 400 students. This significant and rapid growth has been intentionally and thoughtfully directed by the Head of the School and Board of Trustees, who have a common vision for the school, a shared sensibility for entrepreneurial thinking, and the united desire to identify the appropriate steady state for the school.
The history of PKS starts in 2008 with a two-room immersion preschool. Due to heavy demand, the school moved to its present location and added K-8 classes in 2012. In 2016 the school purchased its current property and by 2021 graduated its first 8th grade class. All this growth and change reflects a board that is comfortable with taking measured, yet bold, risks. This entrepreneurial mindset permeates all aspects of school life. At the same time, the school has matured significantly as an institution and is interested in continuing to establish best practices, systems and structures that reflect its current level of stability.
PKS is a school with high community morale, smart, passionate people, and bold and brave ideas about the future of education. The next Chief Finance & Operations Officer (CF&OO) will work closely with Head of School Chris Livaccari as a trusted partner on financial and operational matters, as well as broader school matters. Open communication, transparency, and collaboration will be key to supporting the Head’s expertise in and comfort with the school’s financial profile and strategy. Working with the Board of Trustees, the CF&OO will build a strong working relationship with dedicated colleagues committed to ambitious goals and open to innovative ideas that advance the school and its mission.
Opportunities & Challenges
Presidio Knolls has embraced a start-up ethos since its founding that has enabled rapid, steady growth and success during its tenure. The next Chief Finance & Operations Officer will contribute to the maturation of the school while it maintains that spirit of thinking boldly to advance its mission and support its students. The process will involve further professionalizing and unifying the school’s systems, adding time tested best practices, and enhancing capabilities around budgeting, controls, forecasting, and financial aid.
The Head, Chris Livaccari, is eager for a thought partner to collaborate on schoolwide initiatives and the broader vision of the school, which will include the implementation of the strategic plan. The school, while still relatively young, is well past concerns about financial viability and now focusing on the next layer of services and processes that are the hallmark of great schools.
As the entrepreneurial board transitions from operational to strategic concerns, the new CF&OO will balance strategic plan implementation with attention to policies and procedures that will allow the school’s professional community to flourish. The CF&OO will lead an experienced and dedicated business office that is eager for collaboration, communication, and professional development opportunities. The CF&OO will also partner with administrative leadership on the budget process and opportunities to pursue new programmatic initiatives.
In September 2022, PKS launched a five-year strategic plan looking ahead to the school’s 20th anniversary in 2028. The CF&OO will be immersed in all aspects of honoring the plan’s goals and will be charged to work closely with the board on initiatives relating to the school’s aspirations for facilities, continued financial growth and stability, and increased community connections.
- In close partnership with the Head of School, make strategic decisions that reflect the school’s mission, vision, and core values;
- Provide strategic leadership and management of finance and operations;
- Maintain all proper financial controls and systems, and prepare annual budgets for approval by the Board;
- Maintain school grounds, resources, and property, including oversight of continued campus improvement and buildout;
- Collaborate closely with the school’s Advancement Team on tuition assistance, annual enrollment contracts, and supporting strategic fundraising goals and appropriate recording and stewardship of gifts;
- Oversee the school’s technological systems; • Maintain and cultivate strong relationships with banks, lenders, and other financial partners;
- In close partnership with the Head of School, provide regular updates to the board, and work closely with the Board’s Finance, Audit, and Master Planning Committees.