Opportunity: Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Organization: St. John’s-Kilmarnock School (SJK)
Location: Breslau, Ontario, Canada
Report To: Head of School

About St. John’s-Kilmarnock School (SJK)

SJK is the leading co-educational independent school in the Waterloo Region of Ontario. The School, which was founded in 1972, is located on a beautiful 36-acre natural campus offering enriched educational programming for day students from JK-Grade 12 and international boarding students from Grades 9 – 12 through its accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. The School’s co-ed Boarding Residence is located in close proximity to the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.

SJK offers a world of learning where they embrace innovation, diversity and internationalism. The School has dedicated and inspirational educators, attentive to the needs of individual students and their families. SJK’s expectations are high; students are encouraged to find balance through academics, sports, arts, service and leadership. As the only accredited IB World Continuum School in Southwestern Ontario, their students love to learn and graduate as confident, well-rounded individuals fully prepared for post-secondary education and life beyond. SJK graduates take their passions to the world as leaders and global citizens.

As a community, SJK believes in the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. The School strives to be a place where every student, faculty and staff member, parent and alumni feel that they are welcome and valued. SJK achieves this by living their core values and by appreciating that their learning community is enhanced by human differences. The School values the unique experiences that each individual brings to its community and the myriad of perspectives that its diversity provides. SJK also recognizes that it is our common humanity that binds us together as a community. The School welcomes applications from individuals who feel that they could make a positive contribution to its diverse community.

Position Summary:

SJK is seeking an experienced and dynamic Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to join its leadership team. The CFO will play a crucial role in overseeing all financial aspects of the school, ensuring fiscal responsibility, sustainability, and strategic financial planning.

As a seasoned financial leader, you bring a wealth of progressive experience in senior finance and operations roles, coupled with strong leadership abilities. You embody the values of a forward-thinking leader who fosters innovation and collaboration and you are also committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Preferably, you possess a background in working with non-profit boards, possess a deep understanding of financial logistics related to fundraising, and have a track record of creating new revenue streams.

Furthermore, experience in financing and overseeing the execution of substantial capital projects will greatly benefit you in this role. Your communication skills are outstanding, enabling you to cultivate harmonious relationships with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including staff, students, parents, and community partners. Your leadership style reflects a high level of emotional intelligence, and you excel in motivating and mentoring a cohesive and high-performing team.

This role entails developing and implementing financial strategies in alignment with the school’s mission, collaborating with leadership on comprehensive financial planning, managing budgets, and providing insightful financial reporting. It also involves identifying and mitigating financial risks, overseeing investments, and managing financial operations with a focus on compliance. Additionally, the position requires strong leadership, mentorship, and a deep understanding of financial regulations in the context of Ontario. Qualifications include a degree in finance, proven CFO experience, financial acumen, leadership skills, and proficiency in financial software.

Key Responsibilities:

Financial Strategy and Planning

  • Develop, implement, and monitor the school’s financial strategies in alignment with its mission and long-term goals.
  • Collaborate with the Head of School and Board of Governors to create a comprehensive financial plan.

Budgeting and Financial Management

  • Prepare and manage the annual budget, ensuring prudent allocation of resources to support the school’s educational objectives.
  • Monitor budget performance, analyze variances, and recommend adjustments as needed.

Financial Reporting

  • Prepare accurate and timely financial reports for the Board of Governors, Committee Members, senior leadership, and other stakeholders.
  • Provide clear financial insights and forecasts to support decision-making.

Risk Management

  • Identify and assess financial risks, implementing strategies to mitigate them.
  • Ensure compliance with all regulatory and legal financial requirements.
  • Annual review of insurance with providers.

Investment Management

  • Oversee the school’s investment portfolio, maximizing returns while managing risk.
  • Collaborate with external investment advisors as necessary.
  • Manage the school’s banking relationship.

Financial Operations

  • Manage financial operations, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and cash management.
  • Establish and enforce financial policies and procedures.
  • Ensure all regulatory and compliance documents are filed in a timely manner including T4’s and OTPP reporting.

Human Resources and Leadership

  • Lead the finance and accounting team, fostering a culture of collaboration, professionalism, and continuous improvement.
  • Provide mentorship and professional development opportunities to team members.
  • Respond to and assist with general HR inquiries from employees and management
  • Maintain personnel files, ensuring proper forms are completed, organized, and securely stored
  • Facilitate the new hire process, including onboarding paperwork and orientation tasks
  • Supportive and empathetic with sound judgment, and a high level of integrity and ethical conduct in dealing with sensitive and confidential information.
  • Ability to set goals and manage multiple projects and initiatives with excellent attention to detail.
  • Self-starter and able to work both independently and as part of a team.

Capital Projects and Fundraising

  • Collaborate with the Advancement Office to support capital campaigns and fundraising efforts.
  • Oversee financial aspects of construction projects and capital improvements.


  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field (Master’s or CPA designation preferred).
  • Proven experience as a CFO or in a senior financial leadership role, preferably in an educational institution or nonprofit organization.
  • Strong financial acumen, including expertise in financial planning, analysis, and reporting.
  • Excellent leadership and team management skills.
  • Proficiency in financial software and technology.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal abilities.
  • Knowledge of Canadian financial regulations and reporting requirements, specifically within the context of Ontario.

Application Process with Pender & Howe:

St. John’s-Kilmarnock School has retained Pender & Howe to lead the recruitment initiative for the Chief Financial Officer position. Pender & Howe is a boutique retained executive search firm specializing in collaborating with human capital leaders, governing boards, and organizational leaders in identifying exceptional talent.

The search is led by Travis Hann (he/him). For consideration, please email a copy of your CV in confidence to:

Travis Hann (Partner) – [email protected]

SJK is an equal opportunity employer, offering a competitive salary and opportunities for professional development in a vibrant, collegial work environment.

While we appreciate all applications, only individuals selected for interviews will be contacted. As a condition of employment, a vulnerable sector screening will be required.