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Employment Opportunities at Thayer Academy


The Mission of Thayer Academy is to inspire a diverse community of students

to Moral, Intellectual, Aesthetic, and Physical Excellence

so that each may rise to

honorable achievement and contribute to the common good.


Thayer Academy Office of Development & Alumni Relations


Reports to: Director of Development 

General Summary
The Director of Major Gifts, reporting directly to the Director of Development, will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of individuals capable of making gifts of $5,000 and above to support the mission of Thayer Academy. This person will create strategies for existing supporters, as well as new prospects, and work closely with the Alumni Board and Development team to move them along the continuum of giving to achieve annual financial goals. Focused primarily on the Campaign to support the building of a new field house, the Director of Major Gifts will work with alumni, current and former parents as well as other friends of the Academy to raise the funds necessary to make this project a success.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities

  • The Director of Major Gifts will develop a portfolio of prospects with a goal of carrying 150 prospects annually.
  • Cultivate, solicit and steward prospects for Annual Fund gifts of $5,000 and above and Campaign gifts of $25,000 and above. With a goal of closing $500,000 in gifts for FY16 and $1,000,000 for FY17.
  • Strategize with faculty, senior leadership and fellow development staff on the appropriate engagement of alumni as well as current and former parents.
  • Staff a campaign committee for the field house project with the Director of Development planning meeting, creating agendas as well as minutes.
  • Participate in Alumni Board meetings and provide oversight to the Development Committee of the Alumni Board.
  • Strategize ways to engage key alumni and parents, particularly those with the capacity to make gifts of $100,000 or more.
  • Participate in cultivation and stewardship events, including possible travel events and General’s Council events.
  • Steward donor relationships so that donors feel highly appreciated by Thayer Academy.
  • Prioritize work to have primary focus on face-to-face meetings and solicitations with current and prospective donors.
  • Research alumni as well as current and past parents to identify potential donors.
  • Coordinate with development staff to develop best strategies for growing the pipeline of prospects.
  • Work with the Development Team to reenergize the General’s Council in order to maximize face time with key donors.
  • Identify organizational needs, innovations and other funding opportunities that would appeal to appropriate donors.
  • Responsible for data integrity in Raiser’s Edge donor files including updating all personal information, keeping actions and proposals up to date and ensuring all notable information is recorded.
  • Work with the gift processing team to ensure integrity of donor files, records, tracking, pledge reminders and communication.
  • Attend and assist with all Development Special Events (occasionally on weekends or evenings).


  • Bachelor’s Degree required
  • 3-5 years of a proven track record in major gifts fundraising relationship building/raising funds for a non-profit.
  • Proven ability to identify, cultivate and solicit major gifts.
  • Demonstrated ability to use good judgment to handle confidential information sensitively.
  • Natural ability to establish rapport with donors and alumni.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Working knowledge of The Raiser’s Edge software, Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook, preferred.

Skills/ Abilities/ Competencies Required

  • Superb written and oral communication skills are essential.
  • The ability to communicate to diverse constituencies in an effective and compelling manner.
  • The ability to build successful professional relationships with faculty and staff.
  • Mature professional judgment.
  • Analytical thinking capacity.
  • Ability to work independently in a self-directed manner and in collaboration with others.
  • Superior follow-through and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong organizational capabilities.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks.
  • Unflinching integrity seasoned with humor, perspective and curiosity.

The above is intended to describe the general contents and requirements of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. It is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive statement of all duties, responsibilities, or skills of personnel so classified.

Please direct your letter of Interest, resume, and list of references to Director of Development Melissa Tuthill Forger '92.

Preferred: Submit materials via email and attachments to mforger@thayer.org.



The Upper School Counselor works closely with the Upper School Director, school nurses, advisors, teachers and grade level deans to create a safe school environment for students and faculty.   The Upper School Counselor serves all school constituents, not just those with problems or those in crisis.  In addition to helping students manage common stressors, the Counselor is a resource in the community to support the adults who work with and care for Upper School students.

When necessary, he/she may screen students for symptoms of more serious mental health concerns and help parents find appropriate outside mental health providers.  He/she can serve as a liaison between the school and provider and be an advocate for the student at school.

As the foundation of his/her work, the Counselor adheres to professional and ethical standards within the field.   


Aside from what is mentioned above, the Upper School Counselor also:

  • Meets weekly with the Upper School Deans Group;
  • Meets weekly with the Upper School Director to discuss specific student/faculty concerns;
  • Meets weekly with the Hale Learning Center team;
  • Plans periodic Parent Education Forums on topics of adolescent development (in conjunction with the Middle School Counselor and the Thayer Academy Parents Association);
  • Teaches some portions of the ninth grade Health course;
  • Teaches the eleventh grade Decisions course (spring only);
  • Oversees the Upper School Advising Program;
  • Coordinates school-wide counseling-based initiatives, such as the annual Freedom from Chemical Dependency program;
  • Helps plan student orientations with US Director and grade deans;
  • Serves as a resource to parents who may have concerns about their child’s personal development.


  • Advanced degree/certification in social work, counseling, or clinical psychology
  • Experience working with high school age children, their parents, and their teachers (preferably in an independent school environment)
  • Good communication and organizational skills
  • An appreciation of and ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Approachability and trustworthiness

In order to apply, send a letter of interest and resume to: Highley Thompson, Upper School Director (hthompson@thayer.org).


Thayer Academy is an equal opportunity employer.  The Academy complies with and adheres to all state and federal anti-discrimination laws with respect to its employment practices.  Thayer Academy does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin or ancestry, age, or disability, or any other category protected under state or federal law. This policy extends to recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, assignment, working conditions, promotions, transfers, termination, re-employment, education, tuition assistance, employee treatment, and all other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. All employment-related decisions are made on a nondiscriminatory basis so as to further the principle of equal employment opportunity.

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