A Program to Increase Faculty Diversity at Independent Schools
Program History & Description
Concord Academy established The Wilcox Fellows Program in 2000 to honor retiring Headmaster Thomas E. Wilcox, whose commitment to nurturing teaching talent and to increasing diversity were hallmarks of his nineteen years of distinguished leadership. The program celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2014-15 and with this milestone comes an opportunity to reaffirm its mission and advance its value and contributions to the School. These endowed Fellowships allow the School to identify and work with promising young people from populations under-represented in independent schools. Through mentoring, encouragement, and supportive supervision from seasoned and devoted teachers, recent college graduates are provided with an opportunity to test their interest in making teaching a career. In return, the School benefits from the presence, perspective, and insight of enthusiastic and evolving teachers.
What distinguishes this program from others of its kind is its commitment to one primary goal: helping talented people learn how to teach. Fellows meet regularly with other teachers new to the School to talk about teaching and learning. They are mentored by a colleague and supervised by the Dean of Faculty and Department Chair. Wilcox Fellows are not required to coach, advise students, or live in a student house, though they may choose to do so with the guidance of their mentor. Fellows carry half-time teaching or subject loads and are able to put their full energy into developing expertise and skill in their chosen subject or area of school life, while nurturing a commitment to working with adolescents in a stimulating and supportive academic setting.
New endowment resources launched the Wilcox Fellows Program by partially funding two fellowships each year. As a result of the program’s success, the Board of Trustees agreed in the spring of 2007 to increase the number of Wilcox Fellows from two to three per year. Since 2000, CA has hired twenty Wilcox Fellows. In some cases, Fellows have been invited back for a second fellowship year. Five Fellows have remained as permanent faculty, and all of them have had a strong and positive impact on the school community. Each year, Departments identify an opportunity and develop a job description for a Wilcox Fellow. As many as four to five distinctive openings are then posted, with the expectation that two to three appointments will be made. Prospective candidates are asked to review these job postings and apply to them directly, given a specific background, area of expertise, or interest.
By helping young people begin a teaching career in a supportive and dynamic environment, and by providing all CA’s students with inspiring intellectual and personal role models, The Wilcox Fellows Program has become one of the most important faculty initiatives in Concord Academy’s history.
How to Apply
Successful Wilcox Fellowship candidates will be able to work comfortably within CA’s environment; they will also have a strong background in their disciplines, excellent writing and analytical skills, and a demonstrable interest in working with students of high school age. Formal teacher training is not required.
The duration of the Fellowship is one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second. Housing on campus may be available, as well as coaching opportunities, but they are not required. Coaching carries additional compensation. Openings for the next academic year are posted on the School’s Employment page on or by February 1. Candidates with a specific interest, background, or expertise that matches the description of an opening are encouraged to apply. Required materials include a resume with cover letter, transcript, a statement about the ways he or she will contribute to the diversity of the Concord Academy faculty, and the names and contact information of three references. These should be sent toHR+Wilcox@concordacademy.org, or the email address noted with a specific job posting.