No Director of Fine Arts

After working at Flint Hill for three dedicated years, Dr. Dave Venhaus, the Director of Fine Arts, has left, leaving the position open for the year. This year, the Flint Hill committee has been conducting the hiring process for a new director. 

“When you have an administrator at that level, independent schools hire them during a particular cycle that often starts in December and goes through the winter and spring,”  Head of the Upper School, Mr. Don Paige, overseer of all academic departments, said in a statement. “We weren’t able to have that regular process due to the timing of Dr. Venhaus’s departure, and we were committed to having the best national pool of directors available for the students, so we decided to do the hiring process this year during the normal hiring cycle.”


What does the position entail?

Based on the position statement, the Director of Fine Arts oversees and coordinates both curriculum-based and event-related projects for all JK-12 Performing and Visual Arts Programs at Flint Hill School. This position offers a full-time, exempt benefits-eligible, 12-month administrative role, operating under the supervision of the Director of Academics. 

“Any job is impossible to summarize in just a couple of sentences,” Mr. Paige points out. “This really does a good job of talking about managing curriculum and managing the Fine Arts events, of which there are many at Flint Hill.”


These are some of the responsibilities and duties as a director written in the position statement:

  1. Collaborate closely with faculty members to ensure a thorough review process and provide recommendations for achieving vertical alignment in the curriculum. 
  2. Manage the Fine Arts faculty across the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools that work full-time and part-time and initiate departmental meetings.
  3.  Review any comments made by Fine Arts teachers in progress reports and report cards. 
  4. Represent the Fine Arts Department at Admissions events.
  5. Nominate and serve on hiring committees for Fine Arts faculty.
  6. Create promotional content for Fine Arts events in collaboration with the Director of Marketing and Communications.
  7.  Plan and manage the Fine Arts department budget.
  8. Enter and submit all work order event requests in the submission portal, including setups and breakdowns.
  9. Review and approve all work order requests submitted by Fine Arts faculty. Approve supply orders for Fine Arts faculty and when necessary assist in placing orders.


Mr. Paige also points out that the Director of Fine Arts closely collaborates with the Athletic Director in order to support students who want to participate in both departments

and organize events. 

“This is a herculean task with the amount of arts and athletics programs that we offer. Coach [Dewayne] Robinson and Dr. Venhaus were amazing at this skill together… such a great partnership,” Mr. Paige remarks fondly.


Who currently takes on these roles?

These responsibilities have been delegated between several people. Each member of the departments has taken on the role of handling their own work order requests, attending admission events, and setting up budgets for the following year. However, Mr. Paige mentions that Fine Arts Event manager and Upper School dance teacher Ms. Ariel Harper has single-handedly taken on the crucial role of managing events. Director of Systems Operations and Systems Training, Ms. Melissa Turner makes sure that art supplies, spanning from paint brushes to play licenses, are provided to those in need. “These two are some of the unsung heroes of this operation,” says Mr. Paige. “When the Fine Arts department knew that the timing of hiring a new Director of Fine Arts would require us to go a year without one, they immediately went into fifth gear with figuring out how to make sure the program did not suffer in the least, particularly for our seniors who would be having their last experiences this year on stage or in the studio.”

The application deadline for prospective members is coming up; Flint Hill hopes to have the position filled by July 1, 2024 to begin the next school year.

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    Elliott OppenheimMar 15, 2024 at 9:49 am

    Although some may think Fine Arts are peripheral to the stringent subject, math, sciences, civics, languages, fine arts are at the core of who we are as beings. Music, dance, artistic expression, poetry, story-telling, all of that are what remain when we have forgotten how to solve quadratic equations or balance a chemical reaction. Fine arts endure. This is a crucial position. I hope someone soon takes the lead.