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With permission from Cristo Rey Network

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Chief Executive Officer

Teach Plus

OVERVIEW

The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. The organization recruits and selects expert teachers to advance policy changes and improve instructional leadership and teacher supports; trains and coaches teacher leaders to successfully mobilize and lead teacher teams; and empowers teacher leaders to be change agents among their peers and policy makers.  Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes to create a more performance-based teaching profession, and improving the instructional practices of teachers to better serve all students. 

Teach Plus believes that leadership and growth opportunities are key levers in improving the teaching profession overall. Top-performing teachers must be leaders in transforming both schools, and the larger system in which they work, in order to ensure that high needs students have access to effective teaching. To that end, Teach Plus programs focus on two things:  1. supporting teachers to advance policy change, and 2. empowering excellent teachers to help other teachers improve through teacher-led professional development. Teach Plus’s programs allow great teachers to spread their expertise and drive improved student learning beyond their own classrooms, while also expanding their impact and influence as leaders in their schools, and in state and district policy.

Teach Plus focuses on leadership opportunities that allow teachers to make an impact across several issue areas:

  • Performance-driven talent systems and practices such as strong evaluation systems, modern compensation systems, and tenure reform.
  • Effective teacher leadership roles and structures that create and sustain transformative change in schools.
  • Quality teacher preparation and professional development that ensure teachers and teacher leaders are equipped to succeed in their roles.
  • High K-12 academic standards and meaningful assessments that enable teachers to understand and measure student performance.
  • Access and equity approaches that ensure high-needs students have access to excellent teachers.
  • Next-generation unions that prioritize student success and lead in elevating the profession.

Teach Plus is having real impact, and has a track record of ensuring that teacher advocacy results in improved policies and supports in schools and districts. The organization’s work has led to: improvements in federal and state policies as well as local teachers’ contracts; new programming to increase high-needs students’ access to strong teachers; nationally significant teacher-driven reports, and greater media attention to the voice of reform-minded teachers. What’s more, Teach Plus attracts top talent internally: bright and relentlessly focused professionals with a deep commitment to Teach Plus’s mission, and to each other. Together, they have given the field dozens of proof points that demonstrate how teacher leaders can be highly valuable, solutions-oriented partners in discussions about policy, and established Teach Plus as a sector leader at the district, state, federal and union levels and, above all, among teachers themselves.

OPPORTUNITY

Since its inception, Teach Plus has been led by Founder Celine Coggins, a preeminent policy expert whose ability to speak provocatively and passionately about the power of teacher voice is powerful, and has helped the organization achieve its place at the forefront of the movement. After a decade of leadership, Celine has decided to return to her first passion: the classroom. In early 2017, after supporting and ensuring a smooth leadership transition at Teach Plus, she will step down and launch her own new teaching chapter at the university level. 

Teach Plus’s next CEO will lead an organization at a critical juncture in its evolution; at once arriving at the 10 year milestone having achieved both significant revenues and critical mass, while also facing pivotal decisions, in a swiftly changing education landscape, regarding a sustainable path to scale. The ideal successor will foster and maintain the existing mission and culture of excellence, and position the organization to play a distinct leadership role in an increasingly competitive field. S/he will be a proud and compelling brand ambassador, and lead confidently around fiscal stewardship, strategic fundraising, values-driven leadership of staff, and partnership with like-minded policy and advocacy organizations that will yield even greater, collective impact.

POSITION

Ready to leverage the strength and momentum of its policy and teacher-led PD programs, top talent, and history as a bellwether, Teach Plus must capitalize on its strong foundation and track record of success to respond to the demands of an ever-changing field. In this context, the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must have a deep and nuanced understanding of how to lead the continued development of a performance-driven profession that empowers teacher leaders to fuel change in the classroom and across school systems. S/he will guide the organization through several important strategic decisions, provide organizational leadership, strengthen organizational culture and capacity, and develop the team to provide ongoing support to teacher leaders, colleagues, clients and partners.

Specific RESPONSIBILITIES include:

Organizational Leadership

  • assuming ultimate oversight for the leadership, vision execution, and management of Teach Plus, its budget of $8+ million, and team of approximately 40 personnel;
  • actualizing Teach Plus’s mission by ensuring a disciplined organizational focus, clear goals, tactics, milestones, metrics for success, and the mechanisms to communicate them efficiently;
  • providing inspirational, distributed leadership that fosters courtesy, professionalism, trust, transparency, collaboration and productivity in every day and high-pressure situations;
  • creating the conditions for high staff performance and talent retention by ensuring that Teach Plus is managed efficiently on a day-to-day basis, and communicating comfort with ambiguity, and
  • engaging, managing and expanding the Board.

Strategic Direction

  • leading the development of multi-year strategic, programmatic, and financial plans that are responsive to needs in the field, and leverage opportunities to optimize Teach Plus’s impact on teachers and students;
  • translating Teach Plus’s competitive strengths into an institutional fundraising strategy and revenue model that supports the organization’s growth and sustainability;
  • ensuring that the Teach Plus team, its expertise, and significant talent resources are appropriately and optimally allocated to these plans; and
  • cultivating strategic relationships with policymakers, major investors, and other key players to support development and delivery of programs at scale.

National Visibility

  • providing national and local thought leadership while promoting a portfolio of policies and practices that form Teach Plus’s core platform to legislatures, state boards and campaigns;
  • advocating for teacher voice and teacher leadership opportunities in public policy circles;
  • collaborating with other advocacy and policy organizations to increase collective impact;
  • developing and disseminating policy briefs, research, and thought leader pieces that make the case for creating new teacher leadership and instructional opportunities, and giving teachers a voice in improving their profession;
  • leading marketing and development of a national presence and brand; and
  • overseeing a communications strategy including earned media, events, speaking engagements, and social media.

QUALIFICATIONS

Above all, the successful candidate will bring to the role a firm belief in the critical need to empower effective teachers to take leadership over policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Further, s/he will be a leader who can strengthen Teach Plus’s position in the field, refine its voice, chart the course for its next chapter, and expand its influence over education policy using the levers described in the approach above. S/he will possess the following additional professional skills, experience and personal characteristics that validate his/her stated readiness to lead a complex educational organization with an ambitious mission:

Experience

  • a minimum of 10 years’ experience in a senior staff or executive management position in at least one public policy organization, such as a state agency, school district, federal administration, political campaign, or prominent and relevant non-profit;
  • a professional background yielding a deep familiarity with education and teacher policy and the dynamics of organizations and political affiliations that shape it;
  • experience serving as an external advocate and spokesperson for an organization, and as a public thought leader in the space;
  • experience effecting healthy change, and creating organizational strength and synergy by encouraging collaboration and cohesion;
  • experience leading a geographically dispersed team, balancing the granting of autonomy with coherence and structure;
  • experience managing and delivering innovative programs with a focus on quality and results; and
  • experience in the classroom, or other experience that yields understanding of teachers and relevant policy levers.

Skills

  • well-honed ability to listen actively and communicate authentic understanding to teachers, field staff and other relevant stakeholders;
  • an understanding of the current national education policy context, and recognition of the ways in which it varies from one state or district to another;
  • the ability to guide the Teach Plus team through strategic decision making and direction setting in a way that clearly communicates the strategy to all constituencies: the internal Board of Directors, Teach Plus key leaders and team members, funders and other external parties;
  • political savvy, and instincts sharp enough to navigate and establish productive relationships across the national educational, philanthropic and political landscape; a reputation for “flexing together” to unite and create synergies among members of a competitive field
  • a track record of providing inspirational, distributed leadership; fostering a productive and joyful, results-oriented culture;
  • the managerial and financial acumen required to leverage resources, seize opportunities, and maximize impact;
  • the resourcefulness and persistence required to identify and secure sufficient funding from foundations, corporations, and/or individual donors through relationship-building and story-telling; and
  • finesse to manage complex situations and multiple priorities while focusing on mission critical work.

Personal Characteristics

  • a passionate commitment to improving public education by retaining and supporting outstanding teachers in high-needs schools;
  • a deeply held belief that inclusive, culturally responsive training for and increased racial diversity of educators are vital to student success; the authenticity and credibility to lead critical conversations about race and equity in education policy; and
  • a high degree of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and excellent interpersonal skills.

LOCATION

Geo-flexible. Boston preferred. Significant, regular presence at Boston HQ required.

COMPENSATION

Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, retirement, disability, and generous vacation and paid time off.

APPLY

The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications, including a cover letter and resume, should be submitted electronically, and will be considered on a rolling basis. Nominations, applications, or inquiries about the position and/or the search process should be directed to Leslie Nair via leslie@bellwethereducation.org.