About Us

The Academy of Thought and Industry is an innovative new high school model that offers a deep knowledge curriculum within a framework of self-directed learning. Our carefully crafted program offers an integrated approach to achieving personal, academic, and professional excellence. Together with our students, we identify and support individualized development plans that help each student engage in meaningful work and acquire the requisite content, skills, and experiences necessary for the life he or she wants to live.

 Our program is built upon two pillars:

  • Socratic humanities core in which students discuss, digest, and debate the core competing ideas that shape our world
  • A focus on real projects, with mentoring, community outreach, and a school schedule that enables students to spend substantial time off-campus pursuing entrepreneurial and community work                                             

ATI combines the knowledge and reasoning ideals of a liberal arts education, with the real-world experiential opportunities that should be afforded to today’s urban teenagers. It’s a blend of the best of a classical approach to education with the best of what alternative and experiential education have to offer. In addition, ATI offers a strong college preparatory curriculum, including a systematic approach to standardized testing knowhow and an integrated approach to AP courses. 

About You

Our ideal candidate is a brilliant, amazing professional who may or may not have any education experience at all. We're looking for an innovative, intellectual mentor for our students and leader for our staff. Because we plan to start our program with a limited number of students, our ideal candidate for this role is someone who is comfortable with both teaching (either broad humanities or math/science) and administration. We're about as far away from a conventional high school as you can imagine, so if you're frustrated with traditional education today and are seeking to be a part of building a better solution, ATI is the place for you!

We're looking for someone who is:

  • Intellectually curious
  • An expert in the area of humanities or math/science (see our teacher job ads to learn more)
  • Deeply motivated to foster autonomy and individuality of students and willing to personalize instruction and assessment significantly based on student needs
  • A mentor as much as a teacher
  • Enjoys working with adolescents
  • An excellent communicator 
  • Strengths-based focused
  • Committed to the idea of endless improvement personally and professionally
  • Experience with administration and staff management is highly preferred, but not required

Ideally, you will have a variety of interests, passions, and/or accomplishments that you'll bring to our school to share with our students. Examples may include, but are not limited to: art, entrepreneurship, makerspace, robotics, coding, design thinking, improv, creative professional skills, martial arts, yoga, mindfulness, quantified self, foreign languages, etc.

Real-world expertise and serious intellect are highly valued. No credentials or degrees in education are required. We are willing to train amazing people who do not have a conventional background in education. In fact, we often prefer this!

If you do have experience with AP coursework, SAT content and prep, and are knowledgeable and practiced in the Socratic method, let us know in your cover letter!

Our Founder

Michael Strong is one of the most experienced designers of highly successful innovative school programs in the U.S. His projects include Montessori secondary school program design at The Judson Montessori School (San Antonio), The Emerson School (Palo Alto), and Hacienda School (Pleasanton). He also created The Winston Academy, where middle school students passed AP exams. Another of Michael’s projects, Moreno Valley High School, a Paideia charter high school, was ranked the 36th-best public high school in the U.S. by Newsweek in its 3rd year of operation, and continued to outperform other New Mexico high schools thereafter. More recently he co-founded KoSchool in Austin, Texas, which combines his high-performance approach to AP coursework and SAT score gains with a focus on entrepreneurial and creative projects. ATI began as a “next generation” version of the stellar program at KoSchool.

Michael was educated at Harvard, St. John's College, and the University of Chicago, where his dissertation advisor was Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker, under whom Michael wrote on “Ideas and Culture as Human Capital.” He is the author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice, which was endorsed by brain-based learning experts Geoffrey Caine and Renate Nummela Caine, MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning educator Deborah Meier, authentic assessment expert Grant Wiggins, and 1994 National Teacher of the Year Elaine Griffin, who cites Michael as a mentor.

He is the lead author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World's Problems, co-authored with John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, Mohammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Hernando de Soto, author of The Mystery of Capitalism, and others. Michael has published in academic journals (Economic Affairs, Critical Review, Journal of Business Ethics, etc.), as well as in publications reaching a broader audience (HuffPo, RealClearPolitics, Policy Innovations, Carnegie Ethics, etc.). He has consulted for hundreds of schools and has spoken at Harvard, Columbia, MIT, Dartmouth, Cornell, the University of Chicago, and dozens of other universities as well as at conferences around the world. View his TEDx talks here for a sampling:  VIDEO 1 |  VIDEO 2 |  VIDEO 3

Additionally, Michael is a co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, Peace through Commerce, the Startup Cities Institute, and Radical Social Entrepreneurs.

Graduates of Michael’s schools have matriculated and succeeded at dozens of universities, including Stanford, Harvard, Parsons School of Design, Reed, St. John's College, Hebrew University, Southwestern University, Texas Christian University, and many others. They have also launched successful businesses, including in areas of software, aquaponics, and concert promotions. 

The Academy of Thought and Industry is a project of Higher Ground Education

Our Location

We're located in the East Village! Visit our website to learn more.

If you're as excited about this project as we are, please apply below and include a detailed cover letter explaining your qualifications and interest in this role. 

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