• Farmer Educator

    Posted: 08/10/2022

    Founded in 1961, Sandy Spring Friends School is a progressive, coed, academically-rigorous day and boarding school serving approximately 600 students from age three through 12th grade. The campus is located on 140 acres in the historic Sandy Spring area of Montgomery County, Maryland, and the School is approved by the Maryland State Board of Education and accredited by the Association of Independent Maryland Schools.

    SSFS offers an inquiry-based college preparatory program that emphasizes deep understanding throughout the curriculum while encouraging collaboration, instilling confidence, fostering practical experience, and cultivating respect for others. The School's teachers help students internalize a process we call "QRA” —Question, Reflection, Action—which ensures that they think critically, integrate new knowledge, and apply what they learn. We help students develop their individual sense of purpose as they become caring citizens of the world.

    Our school’s culture, rooted in the idea that collaboration engenders achievement, can be traced to our Quaker heritage and abiding belief in the Quaker values of simplicity, equality, honesty, stewardship of the environment, and peaceful resolution of conflict. Our teachers are lifelong mentors and strive to identify and cultivate each student’s intellectual, extracurricular, and social passions. In doing so, we help shape students whose actions speak volumes and whose lives become exemplars—not only among their peers and families today but also in their personal, educational, and professional communities long after high school. Sandy Spring Friends School students are taught to act upon what they learn. This call to action propels their accomplishments as graduates, in college, and beyond. 

    School Farmer Educator, Full time, Housing Included (living on-site is preferred)

    Description: SSFS seeks a visionary, mission-driven, and committed School Farmer to join our community, stewarding the School’s 1.25-acre farm and collaborating with our PK3-12th grade faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni to promote and teach sustainable and regenerative agriculture methods. Harvested crops will provide some produce to be used in the School’s food service operation. 

    We are seeking a thoughtful and professional farmer and communicator who is skilled in fostering partnerships with adults and children; an advocate for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; a reflective, growth-mindset-driven educator who embraces Quaker values and Quaker process. In addition to the duties described below, the Farmer Educator will prepare and submit the farm’s annual budget, and participate in SSFS employee meetings, events, and committees. On campus housing includes residential program responsibilities that support the residential students.

    Based on the needs of the farm, vacation for this role may not align with school-designated closure times. 

    Education and experience

    • Minimum 3 years hands-on farming and farm-management experience using regenerative agriculture practices 

    • B.A. preferred

    • Prior teaching experience preferred 

    • Ability to read, write and speak English sufficiently to perform all of the duties of the position

    • Proficient in GoogleSuite, MS Office, and other software applications

    • Must have a valid Maryland driver’s license

    • Must have valid First Aid, CPR, and AED certifications (Sandy Spring Friends School will provide training to achieve certification(s), as needed)

    Farmer: Manage and oversee 1.25 acres of farm land on SSFS school property using regenerative agriculture practices and methods in order to 

    • Ensure healthy soil that improves each year for optimal plant health and pest control;

    • Grow and harvest premium, organic vegetables and fruits to supplement offerings in our School cafeteria; 

    • Plant and maintain cover crops, flowers/pollinator attractors, and “green manure” on unused portions of the farm as part of a comprehensive and sustainable land usage plan.

    In addition to regular farming duties (seed ordering, equipment and tool maintenance, managing compost, crop planning and planting, weeding, harvesting, cleaning and transporting produce for use in the cafeteria, etc.), the School Farmer will also

    • Help plan and execute fundraising events for the farm guided by the Advancement Office (for example: Farm to Table Dinner, Spring Plant Sale, Fall Pumpkin Sale);

    • Work with the school’s Farm Committee to put forth a vision for the farm in the life of the school and to plan farm related events and experiences;

    • Attend grower’s meetings, make connections with local farms and farmers, attend sustainable agriculture related conferences.

    Connecting to Curriculum: Work with SSFS faculty and staff to build upon and enhance curricular tie-ins for experiential learning opportunities at all grade levels, from seed studies in the Lower School, to a composting unit in the Middle School, to AP Environmental Science and a “Science of Growing Our Food” course in the Upper School. In addition, this position will also 

    • Work with the Director of Curriculum and Professional Growth to coordinate, plan, and implement curricular and co-curricular tie-ins and experiential learning opportunities across divisions;

    • Plan and lead a stipend-ed Upper School “Farming for Fitness” class in the fall and spring, for which students may earn a P.E. credit;

    • Work with the Dean of Boarding to provide farming experiences for our residential community throughout the school year;

    • Play a key role in organizing and leading projects during all-school community days (one in the fall, one in the spring);

    • Help plan and lead a week-long farming experience during the Upper School’s “Intersession Week” in the spring;

    Functional Competencies:

    • Leadership/Integrity - Effectively communicates the School’s shared purpose; builds trust among colleagues; is accountable; lives up to commitments

    • Team Player/Commitment - Understands the big picture and manages areas of responsibility in a manner consistent with the School’s mission and culture

    • Interpersonal Skills - Relates to employees, students, parents, and clients in a cooperative manner

    • Productivity/Organizing/Planning - Meets deadlines, demonstrates effective use of time and handles multiple assignments successfully

    • Professional Growth - Understands and acknowledges the need for growth and is receptive to constructive feedback  

    Sample division of time throughout the calendar year:

    Mid-August through Late November, and Mid-March through Mid-June

    • 3-4 hours/day working with students and teachers as part of curriculum work; planning and overseeing volunteers and service work at the farm

    • 4-5 hours/day farm duties (planning, planting, weeding, mulching, harvesting)

    Late November through Early March

    • Farm duties only (planning, ordering materials, cover crop and soil management, seeding, some cold frame lettuce planting and harvesting)

    • No academic class responsibilities

    Mid-June through Mid-August

    • Farm duties (planting, growing, harvesting produce; weeding; soil management)

    • Supervising or leading a farm camp during the day


    Physical Requirements: Must be able to safely perform all physical duties related to farming including planting, harvesting, moving heavy equipment and materials, and working in varying temperatures and weather conditions. Daily desk work includes computer time. As part of daily routines, the job requires the ability to maneuver around a large campus with several buildings and uneven pavement; bending and squatting as required to participate in farming and classroom activities; shifting furniture as needed; lifting/carrying boxes up to 50 pounds; frequent walking inside and outside as part of general job duties and responding to students and/or job needs. 

    Commitment to Diversity: Sandy Spring Friends School embraces the Quaker testimony of Equality and seeks applicants who represent all backgrounds and demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We greatly value our diverse student population with 42% of students self-identifying as people of color and 89 international students representing 21 different countries. We actively seek faculty representatives of our students’ diversity. Click to learn more about diversity at Sandy Spring Friends School. Special consideration may be given to members of The Religious Society of Friends.

    Sandy Spring Friends School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or a person's status as a qualified candidate with a disability in administration of its educational program, admission policies, financial aid program, staff hiring, and other school-administered programs.

    Please submit a letter of interest, resume, completed application, and three professional references by selecting the link.