About the Organization
DeLaSalle Education Center (DLSEC) is a historic high school and beloved part of Kansas City's educational fabric dating back to its founding in 1971. The program serves students whose needs have not been met within a traditional education setting and has been viewed across Kansas City as a beacon of hope for the city's most at-risk students. Over time, leaders from diverse contexts (e.g., business, philanthropy, district and charter schools, social service organizations, faith-based institutions, etc.) have built a special relationship with the school, leading it through significant capital campaigns for expansion and innovation all in the name of supporting the area's most vulnerable youth.
In recent years, the school has experienced significant programmatic and financial challenges. In response, an "all-in" community-based rebuilding effort has been set in motion (including a $2M+ commitment from the local funding community) in order to bring the school back to stable ground and prepare it for an exceptional future. Rooted in a desire to bring in fresh and innovative perspectives, the redesign effort currently underway involves national and local school design experts along with key partners from the business, social service, and education sectors. Together, they are starting to build a replicable model for at-risk youth grounded in highly relevant career-pathway programs and effective credit recovery offerings, all to be housed in the school's highly desirable 70,000 square foot facility that is exceptionally well suited for this design. The next chapter of DLSEC (slated to launch fall of 2019) will enable students to realize their innate potential and graduate with a diploma, an industry-recognized credential and/or earned college credit, and, above all, a plan for the future.
About the Position
The Executive Director (ED) role presents an extraordinary opportunity for a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader seeking a platform on which to build a new and innovative approach for supporting at-risk youth.
Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, and building on a strong base of resources and community support, the ED will be a critical driver of the school design efforts (taking place during this 2018-19 school year), and thereafter lead the oversight of this new school model (commencing fall 2019). Both the design and oversight aspects of the role will afford the ED the opportunity to partner closely with a wide range of stakeholders (e.g., school design consultants, facility experts, corporate and community partners, students, families, funders, fellow-school leaders etc.). Additionally, the multi-faceted nature of the role will allow the ED to leverage his/her executive leadership skills through building/managing a high-performing administrative team, establishing effective operational systems, and ensuring overall financial solvency for the school and its respective programs.
This is a unique opportunity for a proven leader to design and lead an innovative and scalable education model aimed at improving life outcomes for students in Kansas City and beyond.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Strategic Planning & Leadership
- Manage the strategic design and development of an innovative, scalable career-readiness school model that promotes critical thinking and student leadership consistent with DLSEC's mission and guiding principles (bulk of work to occur across the 2018-2019 planning year)
- Create an operating model and staffing structure that will deliver exceptional opportunities for students and serve as a model for possible replication and/or expansion (bulk of work to occur across the 2018-2019 planning year)
- Create and lead a five-year strategic plan to ensure DLSEC serves its target number of students providing all with access to exceptional academic and career opportunities
- Lead an inclusive annual strategic planning process; ensure key stakeholders are involved and invested and data is leveraged to set ambitious annual goals
- Leverage data to identify and evaluate risks and opportunities for the organization and implement measures to adjust course as needed
- Manage all operations at the school site (e.g., finance, facility, etc.)
- Ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations
Relationship Building and Development
- Represent the school throughout Kansas City (and beyond) serving as an ambassador for the important and innovative work happening at DLSEC
- Build strong and meaningful internal working relationships (e.g., staff, families, students, and community members) in support of serving DeLaSalle's unique student population
- Partner effectively with key stakeholders (e.g., partner organizations, fellow school-leaders, local leaders, etc.) to strengthen community relationships and leverage key community assets in support of the schools mission
- Conduct fundraising efforts securing donations from a wide variety of funders (e.g., foundations, individuals, corporations etc.)
- Serve as the main liaison between the school and the Board of Directors, including regular reporting on overall health against school success metrics (e.g., student outcomes, finances, operations, etc.)
People & Culture Leadership
- Foster a warm and welcoming culture that demonstrates care for students, families, and staff and promotes an environment of optimism
- Design, hire, and lead an effective, collaborative team responsible for the attainment of school goals and committed to achieving excellence
- Coach, develop, and grow staff; providing opportunities for staff to develop new skills, develop their own leadership, and improve their practice
- Promote a culture of ongoing learning and continuously improving through professional development, collaboration, modeling, and collaborative planning
The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:
- Minimum of ten years of professional experience; strong education administration and/or youth development program management experience required
- Experience working within the launch phase of a start-up organization and/or leading a turnaround effort strongly preferred
- Knowledge of youth development programming and/or Career Technical Education (CTE) and experience working with at-risk student populations required
- Experience working with or alongside social/emotional, project-based, and/or personalized learning models a plus
- Experience working within socioeconomically and racially diverse communities, with the ability to connect and collaborate across lines of difference
- Commitment to DLSEC's mission and purpose, with a strong belief that when provided with the right supports and opportunities, all young people can thrive
- Strong strategic thinking and planning skills, with the ability to leverage qualitative and quantitative information in decision-making
- Ambitious and entrepreneurial mindset with a track record of translating strategy into action and delivering results
- Business expertise and operational savvy; experience effectively managing complex budgets (ideally $1M+) and the strategic allocation of resources
- Experience building high-performing teams (e.g., recruiting, selecting, onboarding) with evidence of managing teams towards outcomes while coaching and developing the strengths in others
- Experience cultivating partnerships with a wide array of individuals and institutions (e.g., community members, donors, education/nonprofit leaders, private sector leaders etc.)
- Exceptional communicator; adept at sharing information both verbally and written in a way that resonates with a variety of audiences, both internally and externally
- Ability to start fall/winter 2018 strongly preferred; willingness to consider creative/flexible start-dates and work arrangements to support school design efforts for candidates currently under contract for the 2018-2019 school year
Compensation and benefits:
Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
DeLaSalle Education Center is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.