Grounds Supervisor at Phillips Exeter Academy

Thursday, January 13, 2022 3:19 PM | Ronald Johnson

Position Purpose

Provide effective leadership for Grounds and Facilities Management Garage by supervising, developing, and assigning the day-to-day maintenance and operational needs.  Oversee the Academy’s grounds, athletic fields, , woodlands and trail system. Take responsibility for ensuring landscape and exterior facilities are safe, aesthetically pleasing to established standards, and functionally adequate for defined programs.

Key Accountabilities

  • Directly supervise department employees including employee assessment process.
  • Coordinate employee development plans.
  • Responsible for employee hiring and disciplinary actions.
  • Oversee and supervise maintenance operations including daily and seasonal work tasks to maintain drainage systems, roads, walks, parking lots, lawns, trees, planting areas, athletic fields (grass and synthetic), and trails.
  • Utilize computer applications and work order system to schedule and assign work required to maintain, repair and improve the campus landscape.
  • Establish and oversee maintenance programs for all grounds equipment.
  • Utilize computer applications for management and monitoring campus irrigation systems.
  • Coordinate removal and installation of ice surfaces in the PEA Ice Rinks.
  • Supervise installation and removal of PEA docks and Town dock system.
  • Utilize computer applications to review and approve time and attendance for staff payroll and leave requests.
  • Develop and establish work standards and operating procedures, taking personal responsibility for the safety and appearance of landscape, hardscape, athletic fields, and trails.
  • Ensure tasks are performed efficiently and in accordance with department quality standards.
  • Promote department cross-training opportunities for staff on equipment operations and facility maintenance needs.

Key Accountabilities

  • Lead the call-in procedure of personnel for snow and emergency weather situations.
  • Support the Senior Manager with direction of snow and ice actions and overseeing snow removal contractors.
  • Operate all motorized and non-motorized small grounds machines, and tractors with implements, (i.e. York rake, aerator, over seeder and sweeper, large rotary mowers, and forklifts).
  • Maintain a clean and orderly grounds office, equipment, vehicles and storage areas.
  • Take the lead on developing requirements and ordering supplies for grounds and athletic field maintenance.
  • Assist with quality assurance on contracted services.
  • Assist the Senior Manager on development of budget requirements and tracking of annual operating budget.
  • Attend meetings as required and communicate effectively both orally and in writing within all levels of the campus community.

Computer and Other Qualifications for Position

Must be computer literate with ability to utilize computerized maintenance management system, time and attendance software and irrigation monitoring and management systems. Valid operator's license and ability to operate a standard transmission vehicle required.

Possess and maintain a New Hampshire commercial applicator pesticide license - supervisory level.

Degree of Independent Action Performed

Incumbent is expected to work with a high level of independence and autonomy, and exercise a high degree of initiative, influence, and judgment.

Direct/Indirect Reports

Provide day-to-day supervision and direction to grounds and garage personnel. 

Internal & External Contacts


Frequent contact with PEA administrative and academic offices, staff, internal and external faculty.

Position Requirements

Skills & Knowledge


·       Strong interpersonal skills with ability to develop and maintain collegial relationships.

·        Excellent communication (written and verbal) skills.

·       Proven strong presentation skills and presence.

·       Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusivity and to serving the needs of a diverse and inclusive community with diplomacy and tact.

·       Learns, and adheres to all safety rules and academy safety policies.

·       Participates in all safety training sessions offered, and improves job safety skills of self and team.

·       Communicates well with all grounds and garage staff and collaborates with other department leaders across campus.



·       5+ years of experience in grounds operation and use of machinery required.

·       Knowledge of equipment and vehicle operations and maintenance.

·       Knowledge of “Best Management Practices” for grounds and athletic field maintenance.

·       Knowledge of outdoor athletic facility maintenance.

·       Knowledge of snow and ice removal operations preferred. 




·       Associates degree strongly preferred or equivalent of 3+ years’ supervisory experience and training.

·       Training in areas of landscape management, horticulture, or related field.

·       Education and training in landscape operations, turf management, pesticide application and irrigation required. 

·       Professional certifications preferred in the areas of grounds keeping, landscaping, horticulture, arboriculture or sports turf management.  



Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  1. Standing, sitting, stretching, bending, walking, lifting, climbing.
  2. Reaching by extending hand(s) or arm(s) in any direction.
  3. Finger dexterity required to manipulate objects with fingers rather than with whole hand(s) or arm(s), for example using a keyboard.
  4. Communication skills using the spoken and written word.
  5. Ability to see with normal parameters.
  6. Ability to use a visual display terminal with continuous wrist movement on a keyboard.
  7. Ability to hear within normal range.
  8. Ability to lift and transport up to 50lbs without assistance.

Additional Requirements

  1. Successfully complete a criminal background check (reviewed every 5 years)
  2. Clean Driving record (reviewed annually)
  3. Successfully complete a pre-employment physical/health screening examination which may include a drug screening (position dependent)


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