We are a dedicated and dynamic group of individuals who have joined together to create a more equitable and just education system in the United States. Working with educators, administrators, state agencies, community members, parents, and business leaders, we partner with schools to create learning environments where students own their learning, engage in deep work, and prepare themselves for their chosen futures. We believe that each of us needs to be empowered to be creative, take initiative, think outside the box, work collaboratively, and assume leadership roles in our organization.
Our Commitment to Diversity
At the Great Schools Partnership (GSP), we believe our organization should reflect the communities in which we work. We believe diversity makes us stronger. Diversity of race. Of ethnicity. Of language. Of ability. Of gender. Of all the other ways we identify ourselves. We believe who you are is worth celebrating. These beliefs are foundational to all our work. We advocate for and support schools, districts, and school communities on their journeys toward educational equity. We also invest our time and money in ongoing internal equity and anti-racism efforts. Our goal is to provide a welcome, inclusive, and supportive environment for every member of our staff.
What’s the big plan for this job?
The Associate Director holds a key role in our organization spanning from strategic planning, to working directly with our partners in the field, to supporting colleagues in their work, and to procuring new contracts and grants. Working closely with the executive director and other colleagues, the associate director juggles the needs of our partners today with the overall direction of the organization into the future. The Associate Director serves as our primary first contact with all school contracts and grants, working with interested schools and districts to clarify needs and determine how GSP could help move them forward in their efforts.
What will I be doing?
Serving as a thought leader.You work closely with many colleagues on this, notably with the executive director and other directors in the organization. You get to imagine what may seem impossible and then get to work on achieving it.
Leading our contract outreach to schools and districts to help them understand how GSP can best align our resources with their needs.You collaborate with educational leaders while having limited information about them in order to help them identify their strengths and greatest needs, understand their potential next steps, and finalize a financial agreement to provide support for their efforts.
Collaborating with colleagues for renewing contracts.GSP’s talented senior associates who work with each contract have a deep understanding of what needs to happen next for each site and work with our partners in the field to clarify and finalize this. You collaborate with your colleagues to finalize the annual renewal of these contracts.
Helping to position GSP with emerging work and foundations.Our “marketing” strategy is focused on figuring out what work we can do well and making sure our colleagues in the field and in foundation offices know this. You are part of our internal development team helping to identify foundational opportunities and responding to requests for proposals.
Leading and supporting colleagues. You engage with colleagues at GSP, helping them understand their work and strategies to employ. In addition, you have direct supervision over a set of colleagues helping guide their work including identifying areas of growth and learning.
Networking with state education agencies, professional organizations, and other non-profits in the education community. You are a public face for the organization, meeting with state education agencies to help with policy and practice, with other non-profit organizations to identify areas of mutual collaboration, and with various professional organizations to help address their needs and concerns.
Supporting activities across GSP to help schools implement the following high-leverage approaches:
Anti-racist, inclusive, and equitable practices, policies, and cultures
Proficiency-based teaching and learning
Multiple and flexible pathways that promote deep learning as well as student voice and choice
Shared, data-informed decision-making amongst educators, students, families, and community members
Trusting relationships between and among students, families, and educators
Professional learning groups
What qualities do I need to succeed in this role?
You share our commitment to equitable education for every student.You have the bravery to challenge inequities in our educational systems and the strategic acumen to get results.
You are excited about meeting with educators, helping to resolve their concerns, and eager to engage them in a collaborative partnership of learning with GSP.
You are confident in the face of ambiguity.This role will often require decision making with limited information.
You bring expertise and experience in teaching, learning, and leading in K-12 education.
You are comfortable creating budgets, tracking complex information, and using a database to manage information. You see complex databases as interesting sources of information that can provide answers to confusing questions.
You have public confidence and conviction.You enjoy exploring and developing ideas extemporaneously, in collaboration with others and in public settings. You view disagreements as opportunities to explore new ideas and develop better results.
You understand that leadership needs to be shared, that everyone has the capacity to lead, and that our success is not attributable to any single individual.
You have experience leading and supporting educational improvement initiatives.
You get stuff done. You are able to prioritize among competing demands to manage multiple projects and identify strategic priorities. When problems arise, you figure out ways to push through to solutions.
Our process strives to screen in rather than out. We welcome your application even if you feel you are not strong in every qualification outlined above.
An Additional Consideration
We are especially interested in candidates who speak multiple languages recognizing that many of the communities we work with have significant language diversity. Speaking a language in addition to English is not required but is a beneficial additional skill.
Our offices are located in Portland, Maine. The associate director is not required to live in the greater Portland area but will need to be located in New England. Historically, this role included regular travel across New England and the country; recently, this travel has been reduced significantly. We are unsure of the exact nature of travel in the future although do expect this role will require some level of regular travel.
Salary range for this position is $110,000 - $140,000 based on experience. GSP covers full cost of health insurance for each staff member, 50% of costs of family health insurance, an additional 2.5% of salary contributed to a 403(b) retirement plan, an additional 4.5% of salary into a flex fund for health care or retirement, four weeks of vacation, five personal days, six sick days, eight holidays, tuition reimbursement, and eight weeks of paid parental leave.
GSP is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against candidates on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and members of other minority or marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Come join us!
Submit your application on our website: https://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/about/employment/ Once in the application form, you will be asked to provide information regarding your application, upload your resume, and answer three questions (250 words or less for each response):
How has a commitment to educational equity driven your thinking, your commitment, and your actions over the last five years?
What insights, experiences, or commitments—professionally or in your personal life—will you bring to the GSP team that will either enhance or challenge our understanding of our work?
After reading our description of what you would be doing in this job, what experiences have you had that make you interested in submitting your application?
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Review date: Starting December 13, 2021
Start date: Preferred between February 1 and April 1, 2022. If the new associate director is not available to start full time until July 1, 2022, plans for part time engagement with GSP and our current associate director will need to be developed. Springtime engagement is essential in order to provide extensive overlap with the outgoing associate director and to ensure a smooth and effective transition into the organization.
The Great Schools Partnership is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit school-support organization working to redesign public education and improve learning for all students. We are a team of passionate, committed educators and school leaders who bring decades of collective service in public schools.
Working at all levels of the education system, from the classroom to the statehouse, the Great Schools Partnership provides school and district coaching, professional development, and technical assistance to educators, schools, districts, organizations, and government agencies. We also create tools and resources for educators and communities, administer public and private grant programs, and coordinate large-scale school-improvement initiatives for foundations and states.
The Great Schools Partnership is the lead coordinator of the New England Secondary School Consortium and League of Innovative Schools.
Our Core Beliefs
• Every student deserves to be held to high expectations.
• High-quality teaching and learning is every student’s right, every day.
• A collegiate education must be an accessible and attainable option for every student who has earned a high school diploma.
• Schools must ...model civic responsibility, social justice, and multicultural understanding.
Theory of Action
If we leverage proficiency-based learning, flexible learning pathways, and learner-centered accountability simultaneously with state and district policy, school and district practice, and public understanding and engagement, we will see more schools mirror the idea of Global Best Practices which will create pressure to fundamentally reshape our educational system to realize equitable and rigorous student achievement that will enable all students to be prepared for college, careers and citizenship.
One very clear understanding realized from our experience and research into the success of systemic change at scale is the need for both strategic clarity and tactical freedom. Success at scale has ultimately come when the efforts have remained nimble, able to tactically adapt to and take advantage of opportunities as they have arisen. Success has not resulted from a lock-step approach, but rather from a thoughtful approach that changes as needs and opportunities present themselves.
Our theory of action is based on the premise that systemic change requires simultaneous changes in school and district practice; state and district policy; and building public will and support. Historically, reform efforts have focused on either changing policy or practice. Few have focused on changing public perceptions. Very few—if any—efforts have actively worked on all three areas outlined in our theory of action.