Full-Time Executive Director
The Connecticut Center for School Change (the Center) is an educational not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve teaching and learning and reduce achievement gaps in Connecticut schools. We work to ensure that all students—regardless of income, ethnicity, language, race, zip code, or disability—have equal access to and experience of a high-quality education, and are supported in achieving at high levels. We believe that educational excellence and equity for all students requires strong leadership, organizational focus, and a coherent, system-wide theory of action that shapes beliefs and guides the behaviors of individuals and teams across the district.
The Center serves its partner districts in a variety of ways and works to build organizational capacity and develop leadership for a range of stakeholders. The Center’s work includes designing professional development systems, conducting external reviews, providing executive coaching, and promoting innovative educational reform using contextually appropriate strategies and tools. The Center has extensive experience working with all district stakeholders from parents to superintendents and boards of education. The Center’s staff members act as advisors, thought partners, coaches, and critical friends to our partners.
The Center’s body of work, experience, and the expertise of its staff make it uniquely suited to support districts addressing the educational inequities, which are at the heart of Connecticut’s wide gaps in achievement. The Center works in partnership with districts throughout Connecticut. Based on our mission, we focus on working with Connecticut Alliance districts, the thirty lowest-performing districts in the state. Current partner districts include: Bridgeport, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, Milford, Naugatuck, New Haven, Stratford and Vernon.
The Center is seeking an Executive Director with a track record of innovation and revenue generation to join a highly motivated team at a key moment in the organization’s development and a critical stage in the evolution of public education in the State of Connecticut. The ideal candidate should be an expert in change management and organizational redesign with a successful history of creating financially sustainable business models preferably in the field of public education, educational reform or the development of equitable communities.
Working with the board of directors and staff, the ED will leverage the Center’s credibility and reputation with the educational community to develop new revenue sources, expand the existing base of contracts with school districts, and pursue new foundation and donor giving. S/he will have a record of credibility in the educational leadership community and track record of building successful revenue models that are client-focused while articulating the success and impact of the organization’s work.
As a passionate and optimistic public spokesperson the ED will have a demonstrated political savvy and the ability to convene public events and influence civic dialogues. S/he will bring an extensive knowledge of contemporary research as well as a deep appreciation of the use of data to develop programming and support effective decision-making.
The ED will possess prior experience in nonprofit management with a passionate commitment to educational reform. The ideal candidate would also possess an understanding of the challenges facing urban education and the ability to identify innovative solutions to systemic barriers and systems-level change that supports interventions based upon best practices in education.
This position presents an exciting opportunity for a collaborative leader who possesses a passion and vision for the future of Connecticut’s public education system.
● Act as a catalyst to the redesign of the Center’s program, business and staffing model, while expanding the reach, scope, and impact of the organization in the State of Connecticut’s public education system.
● Identify opportunities for growth; initiate new, original programs, projects, communities of practice, partnerships and collective impact initiatives that improve public education and equity for all students in Connecticut.
● Understand and clearly articulate the mission of the Center while cultivating a shared vision for the organization’s future development.
● Motivate, develop, and mentor the Center’s staff.
● Develop a results-driven work environment through the use of clear metrics to measure and demonstrate the organization’s success in improving public education in Connecticut.
Fundraising and Development
● Develop a sustainable client-focused business model that engages all members of the board and staff as fundraisers.
● Expand the Center’s menu of fee-based services for its educational partners.
● Identify and create funding opportunities with foundation, corporate and individual donors.
● Foster relationships with current and potential Center donors, and pursue additional fundraising partnerships at the national level with large foundations and corporate entities.
● Leverage opportunities for improved outcome models, create benchmarks and KPIs for success; set clear goals and maintain metrics for measuring and communicating the success of the organization.
● Provide strategies to the Board for expanding fundraising efforts and increasing outgoing grant proposals that support ongoing operations and finance new operational initiatives.
● Publicize the activities and mission of the organization to private and public donors to secure additional funding for future programming.
Human Resources/Internal Communications
● Develop and implement a new staffing model focused on revenue generation including fee-for service, contracts, grants and private donors while maintaining the Center’s content expertise in the area of educational reform.
● Cultivate a positive, motivated, and collaborative workplace environment for the Center.
● Be an effective liaison by fostering greater internal communication, engage with staff to identify growth opportunities, and communicate their ideas to The Center’s Board.
● Create an environment that supports and promotes continuous staff development.
● Develop the annual budget for the Center in collaboration with the Board.
● Report financial progress to the Board, while ensuring compliance with all financial reporting and audit guidelines.
● Implement the organization’s new business and revenue plans while initiating new revenue streams.
Community Relations/External Communications
● Establish a strong community presence that leverages the credibility of the Center’s relationship with the educational community.
● Articulate and promote the importance of the Center’s role as an agent and advocate for educational reform in the State of Connecticut while supporting and inspiring equitable educational reform initiatives.
● Establish a strong presence among superintendents, district educational leaders, and political representatives.
● Act as the organization’s key point of contact in Connecticut while encouraging and supporting the Center’s board, leadership, staff, and stakeholders to build the organization’s presence and reputation through a variety of media and public engagement opportunities.
● Ensure that the Center has a current and active social media profile; that the organization’s web presence remains up-to-date; and that its digital activities reflect the best practices of educational reform organizations.
● Recruit and utilize the capacity of the Board to increase funding opportunities and promote the Center’s success as an educational reform organization.
● Assist the Board of Directors in planning, identifying capacity gaps and recruiting to ensure the continued and sustained leadership of a highly engaged board.
Revenue, Fundraising and Development
● Experience developing the strategy and leadership for a sustainable fee-for-service model.
● Record of successful fundraising development with demonstrated growth and a history of
building strong donor relationships.
● Experience identifying, securing, and managing government and foundation grants and contracts, as well as corporate sponsor partnerships. Experience with national level funding partners highly preferred.
● Prior experience in education administration and educational reform efforts is desired but not required.
● A passion for education, equity and a deep understanding of the challenges of urban education and poverty, with experience addressing systems-wide change preferably in educational communities.
● The ability to establish and expand partnerships and promote community collaboration.
● Appreciation of the role of research and the use of data to inform and support effective decision-making across stakeholders, preferably in the field of education.
● Prior experience in nonprofit management with a passion for promoting educational reform and equitable communities.
● A track record of successful, results-driven institutional advancement with a proven experience in leading organizational change, program redesign, and developing new revenue models.
● Minimum ten years senior-level organizational leadership experience including direct supervision of at least 5 staff members and an operating budget of at least $1 million.
● History of effective program planning and the ability to implement strategic vision and optimism for the future of public education.
● Proven management and leadership skills with the ability to galvanize and build strong teams as well as develop and mentor staff through leading by example.
● Experience playing multiple roles within the office environment simultaneously; with a
willingness to engage and assist staff members at all levels.
● Strong internal communications skills.
● Experience recruiting, developing and engaging with a high-level, engaged board.
● Strong financial acumen and budget management experience including the ability to operate on tight margins.
● Experience creating and implementing data-driven management systems to improve internal operations and track performance.
● Experience developing a strong community presence with an ability to speak to a variety of diverse constituents and stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
● Political savvy with an understanding of advocacy, and public policy work on the local, state, and national level.
● Experience as a spokesperson and a demonstrated ability to convene public events and influence civic dialogues.
● An excellent writer and strong communicator through multiple modes and media.
● The ability to identify systemic barriers and systems-level change and provide innovative
● History of building and maintaining community-based partnerships and collaborations, preferably in the field of public education or the development of equitable community models.
● Experience in program management and expansion, preferably within an education or community collaborative organization that fosters and supports communities of practice, collective action initiatives and capacity building programming.
● Experience building community recognition and reputation for an organization through designing and implementing effective communications and marketing strategies.
● Experience using innovative technology to advance an organization’s mission and success
including the strategic use of social media and websites to promote and drive brand awareness and revenue.
● Proven track recording in building and expanding an organization’s digital presence.
● Experience designing systems that effectively track data to support program effectiveness.
● Advanced degree in business, education, urban systems, public policy, or related fields preferred.
The successful candidate will be offered a competitive compensation package.