Principal Search

About St. Mary's Ryken

School Mission: St. Mary’s Ryken is a Catholic, coeducational, college preparatory school community operated under the Xaverian Brothers’ sponsorship dedicated to academic excellence and individualized student growth.   

­Our school’s rich history of Catholic education dates back to 1889 when the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth opened St. Mary’s Academy for girls. In 1981, it merged with the Xaverian Brothers’ Ryken High School, an all-boys school founded in 1956. With that, St. Mary’s Ryken was born.

As a Catholic college preparatory high school, St. Mary’s Ryken is a community of faith and service. SMR embodies Xaverian values by recognizing each student as a unique individual with God-given talents that can be nurtured by a committed and compassionate faculty. Th­e school steadfastly pursues the Xaverian Brothers’ educational goals: to form enduring personal relationships and to create a community that fosters the values of compassion, simplicity, humility, trust and zeal

Located in the heart of Leonardtown, Maryland, SMR is 55 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. ­The 87-acre, waterfront and 100 percent wireless campus overlooks Breton Bay and models a small college with four academic buildings, a campus cafe, several athletic fields, tennis courts and a stadium with a six-lane track. Construction on the Donnie Williams Center, which will provide 48,000 square feet of modern, spacious facilities for student life, health and wellness programming and community events, will be completed this summer. Renovation will begin in June at Paschal Hall to transform an Innovation Lab, with classrooms, labs, and build and collaboration spaces modeled after university-level STEM labs.

Academic and scholastic enrichment opportunities are available to students through partnerships with the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, College of Southern Maryland and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. 

A strategic planning process and re-accreditation by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools was recently completed.

While SMR prides itself on its many unique programs and academic and athletic records of accomplishment, it is the culture, the atmosphere, and the spirit of community that students, faculty, the administration and the staff create that is valued most.  

St. Mary’s Ryken is a 1:1 iPad school and a leader in using educational technology to enhance and differentiate teaching and learning in the classroom.  SMR has a student enrollment of 685 who come from a large geographic region including Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's and Prince George's counties, as well as from Virginia. St. Mary’s Ryken welcomes students from all over the globe to its International Program. Although the majority of our students are Catholic, a variety of religions are represented.  St. Mary’s Ryken is a member of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and supports 26 different sports.

The school community fosters an environment of mutual respect and nurtures a faith-filled view of existence. Intellectual growth is fostered by acknowledging students' varying learning styles and promoting the creative use of every student's talents. Students experience diverse and progressive opportunities in academics, fine arts, athletics, community service and campus ministry. By graduation, a St. Mary's Ryken student is an honorable young adult who is well prepared for college and committed to Christian service and responsible citizenship.

SMR is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Maryland State Department of Education. SMR is recognized as an independent Catholic high school by the Archdiocese of Washington, and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

Role of the Principal

The current Principal has been selected as the new school President beginning July 1, 2019. St. Mary’s Ryken has a strong administrative team in place and a dedicated faculty and staff. This is an ideal time to join the St. Mary’s Ryken team and with the school President to lead the school into the future. The Principal is the chief academic officer of the school and is responsible for leading the instructional, spiritual and co-curricular programs of the school and its day-to-day academic operations. The Principal provides leadership for faculty, staff and students and ensures the orderly and safe operations of the school in all aspects. The Principal coordinates, plans, oversees and executes the school’s educational programs, policies and school accreditation processes. The Principal leads and articulates the formation of the school’s rich culture, unique mission and clear academic goals in a program of continuous improvement.

The Principal is a member of and active collaborator with the school’s Executive Leadership Team. The Principal leads the Administrative Leadership team and Athletic Department.

Principal’s Main Areas of Responsibility

  • Catholic Identity and Mission-centered programming
  • Teaching and Learning / Supervision of School Personnel
  • School Culture and Community Involvement
  • Allocation of Resources for Academic and Co-curricular Programs
  • Strategic Academic Planning and Accreditation

Position Requirements

  • A practicing Catholic with demonstrated understanding and appreciation of Catholic education, spiritual and liturgical life, and Catholic social teaching
  • Demonstrated support of the teachings of the Catholic Church
  • Master’s Degree required, preferably in educational administration or curriculum and instruction, and significant high school teaching and administrative experience
  • Commitment and capacity to serve and connect on a personal level with mission-appropriate students and their families
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire, lead, supervise, evaluate and work collegially with faculty and staff by fostering a culture of collaboration, professional development and teamwork
  • Ability to delegate
  • Strong background in developing and implementing a rigorous, college-prep curriculum
  • Demonstrated success as an instructional leader who creates a culture of continuous improvement through ongoing instructional feedback to teachers and counselors
  • Evidence of an ability to analyze and utilize data to increase student achievement
  • Ability to set and attain goals and articulate a vision for a growing, high performing high school
  • Sensitivity to and appreciation for cultural diversity and inclusivity
  • Exceptional organizational, written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience managing a school budget
  • 5 years of successful experience in academic leadership, preferably at the secondary school or higher education level.
  • Willingness to embrace the XBSS charism and values and SMR mission
  • Proven ability to engage with all stakeholders, including but not limited to: faculty/staff, students, parents, community partnerships and board members
  • Outstanding leadership, management, collaboration, and multi-tasking skills
  • Commitment to 21st-century learning and awareness of current trends affecting education
  • Technology skills as they relate to the position

How to Apply

  • Submit a resume and cover letter communicating what attracts you to the Xaverian mission and why you are seeking the opportunity to lead St. Mary’s Ryken High School.
  • Please provide four professional references that can speak to your leadership in education, faith life and personal attributes that are specifically relevant to the position.
  • Submit a statement of educational philosophy. Please write an essay limited to two pages that responds to the following questions:
    • Describe your philosophy of a faith-based education and how you would put it into practice at St. Mary’s Ryken.
    • What vision would you bring to a school that is in its thirty-eighth year of operation and positioning itself for growth in enrollment and new facility programming.
    • Describe your leadership style. What past experiences in educational leadership best align with what you perceive to be the challenges of leading a school like St. Mary’s Ryken?
    • St. Mary’s Ryken has a strong community of adults committed to the school’s mission. What qualities and dispositions do you look for when hiring teachers and staff? How would you support, evaluate and train teachers?
    • How would you ensure the Catholic identity of our school? Define effective Catholic school leadership.
    • As principal you are the lead learner of the school community. Give an example of how you engage in reflection and ongoing learning as a school leader.
    • What is your view on the role technology plays in educating today’s student?
    • Describe your commitment to enhancing the extracurricular student experiences that center on spiritual life, being a member of a nationally recognized athletic conference and a robust fine arts program.

Application Deadline

Applications are due by April 15; however, applicants who do not meet the requirements will not be considered. Applicants selected for further consideration may be asked to submit additional materials.  Please submit a cover letter, resume, educational philosophy statement and four professional reference contacts through the Employment Application Form.  Application questions can be submitted to principalsearch@smrhs.org.

Apply Here

Salary and Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with background, education and experience with a full benefits package.

For more information about the Xaverian Brothers network of schools, visit www.xbss.org.