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Our Mission: To illuminate the often-opaque world of U.S. independent school employment, empowering educators to make informed career choices.

The Problem: Job seekers in the independent school market face a critical disadvantage: a lack of insider information. They apply blindly, unsure of salary ranges, benefits packages, or the true culture and values of the schools they consider. This leads to disappointment, wasted time, and ultimately, poor career fit.

Our Solution: The Schoolhouse Grapevine is a data-driven platform that lifts the veil on independent schools. We provide job seekers with the critical insights they need to make informed decisions, including:

  • Compensation: Salary ranges and benefits review.

  • School Culture: Insights into leadership styles, faculty dynamics, and student life.

  • Academic Integrity: Review of overall academic rigor.

  • Community: Information about the surrounding area, amenities, activities, and family life.

  • Et Cetera: Yes, there are more insights provided by The Schoolhouse Grapevine!

Empowered Educators, Brighter Futures: By equipping job seekers with data and insider knowledge, The Schoolhouse Grapevine fosters a more transparent and efficient employment market. This benefits not only educators, who can find the perfect fit for their skills and aspirations, but also independent schools, who can attract and retain top talent.

Join the Movement: We invite educators, schools, and anyone passionate about education to join our mission. Together, we can build a brighter future for independent schools and the educators who shape them.

The Schoolhouse Grapevine: Where transparency meets opportunity.


Ken Derby is a lifelong educator dedicated to improving the U.S. independent school employment landscape. After working in private international schools for much of his career, Ken decided to continue his career in independent schools in the U.S. Ken discovered it was next to impossible to access detailed information about independent schools he was considering as potential employers. Frustrated by the lack of transparency in the industry, Ken founded The Schoolhouse Grapevine with a mission to empower educators and provide them with the information needed to make informed career choices. The company’s data-driven platform offers insights into salary ranges, benefits, school culture, academic integrity, community, and more, addressing the critical disadvantage faced by job seekers in the independent school market. Through The Schoolhouse Grapevine, Ken is committed to fostering a more transparent and efficient employment market, benefiting both educators and independent schools. Outside of his professional pursuits, Ken enjoys spending quality time with his wife and dog, indulging in his interests such as traveling, photography, reading, writing, fitness, and savoring spicy food and chocolate chip cookies.

Ken Derby is a lifelong educator dedicated to improving the U.S. independent school employment landscape.

Ken Derby

Founder of The Schoolhouse Grapevine

The Schoolhouse Grapevine was launched in January of 2024 and is a division of Colobela LLC.

The Schoolhouse Grapevine's anonymous reviews give you the inside edge on finding a fulfilling employment experience. Membership is free until December 31, 2024. A credit card is not required to join.

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