Organization: National Heritage Academies

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Express Interest


National Heritage Academies (NHA), one of the nation’s leading charter school management organizations, currently operates 84 schools across nine states serving over 58,000 students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Founded in 1995 and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, NHA is a for-profit organization with nearly 5,000 employees.

NHA’s system of schools is designed to eliminate the achievement gap and provide a public school choice to families so that their children are prepared for success. NHA has the highest renewal rate among charter schools, a key indicator of value and prominence in the market. NHA offers a rigorous and challenging curriculum designed to prepare students for high academic achievement in successive schooling environments. The NHA goal is to graduate students who have not only had the opportunity to achieve academic excellence, but who have also acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in high school, college, and beyond. A passion and dedication to the mission of serving children and partnering with communities to provide an excellent educational experience permeates the culture of the organization.

For more information about National Heritage Academies, please visit

Candidate Profile:

National Heritage Academies is seeking an experienced and knowledgeable Director of Special Education to lead a department in meeting the needs of NHA’s student population nationwide. NHA’s vision is to transform the lives of students and enrich communities by delivering high-quality educational choice to families. This vision relies on both differentiation and Special Education to meet the needs of each student by ensuring all achieve to their fullest academic, personal, and social emotional capabilities. The Director of Special Education will lead a dedicated team of regional supervisors who collaborate with schools to create customized programs and standardized reporting and data collection. Building on a strong foundation of Special Education curriculum and effective placement practices, the team will continue to raise the caliber of services provided.

Reporting directly to the Vice President of Operations and collaborating with other NHA leaders, the Director of Special Education will have the opportunity to work within a vibrant, results-oriented, professional culture filled with other thought leaders. The Director of Special Education will be part of a team that is focused on sharpening best practices and sharing best ideas with the goal of better educating more students. The Director will manage several regional experts and act as the resident expert in practice, procedures, federal and state law, and regulations related to Special Education. This is a full-time role based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The key focus areas of the Director of Special Education include:

  • Strategic Vision – Planning for further effectiveness and efficiency in Special Education consistent with the vision, mission, and goals of NHA
  • Team management – Developing and retaining a diverse, highly qualified team of professionals who are distributed across multiple states
  • Fiscal oversight – Strategically allocating all Special Education funds to serve the needs of children and advance the mission of NHA
  • Legal compliance – Ensuring that every child who qualifies for Special Education services is given opportunity consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations
  • Professional development – Employing a continuous improvement model for school-based personnel that is both effective and efficient
  • Team player – Aligning Special Education services and delivery with other departments across the Service Center
  • District relationships – Building and maintaining effective relationships with relevant district and other Special Education providers
  • Curricular connections – Collaboratively developing Special Education materials and practices in connection with the Curriculum & Instruction team and other relevant teams


  • Deep knowledge of Special Education law and practice; experience leading Special Education at a district-level
  • Prior experience leading a department serving student needs at multiple locations dispersed geographically; management experience, with the ability to build trust within the team and provide autonomy for actions through accountability and respect
  • Strategic, systems-orientation with the ability to formulate and promote the future structure of NHA’s Special Education department; experience building processes to increase effectiveness
  • Comfort with funding sources, including grants and title monies, and the associated reporting requirements
  • Solutions-orientation with the ability to learn quickly, stay on top of trends and developments, and incorporate new and nuanced information into strategy and practice
  • Demonstrated relationship building skills with the ability to collaborate with various internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Previous experience as a 504/ADA Coordinator for a large school district or EMO a plus
  • Passion for education and dedication to the vision of NHA coupled with belief in and exemplification of NHA’s core values
  • Master’s degree or higher in the field of education or a related field

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


National Heritage Academies has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Alena Guerra here.

National Heritage Academies is an equal opportunity employer.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, educational institutions, and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit