Executive Director, Washington, DC

Executive Director, Washington, DC

Rocketship Schools

Washington, DC   |   June 26, 2020

Organization Overview

Rocketship Schools are top tier schools known for academic results and a holistic approach to personalized learning. Rocketship has successfully launched 19 elementary schools across the country since first opening in Silicon Valley over ten years ago. Across the more than 1,300 Rocketeers served at Rocketship’s two schools located in southeast DC, 74% of students are classified as at-risk, 28% are homeless, and 98% are African American. The performance of Rocketship’s DC Rocketeers is powerful proof that demographics do not define student potential. In August 2020, Rocketship will open a third elementary school in Ward 5 and further expand its high-performing network of public elementary schools serving a higher percentage of at-risk students in Washington, DC.

The Position

Reporting directly to the CEO, the DC Executive Director (ED) serves as the leader of the Washington, DC region and is responsible for setting the strategic vision, shaping the external environment, and leading the regional teams to achieve transformational results. The ED will manage a ~$40m budget and oversee three public schools serving over 1,500 students. There are over 150 regional employees working in and out of schools focused on: student achievement, development, external relationships management, family recruitment, student wellness, before and after care programming, and much more. The ED will directly manage at least two individuals–the Regional Director and Director of Schools and the regional team also includes a Development team member and Human Resources regional leader. The charge of the Executive Director is to: 1) ensure the success of our Rocketeers; 2) cultivate the external environment for Rocketship to thrive.

Key Selection Criteria
  • The successful candidate must be of impeccable character with alignment to Rocketship’s Core Characteristics: Innovation, Pursuit of Excellence, Authenticity, Community, and Tenacity. Demonstrated passion for catalyzing transformative change in low-income communities.
  • Has a track record of independently and effectively hiring, coaching, developing, managing, and retaining diverse teams while building a strong team.
  • Experience creating effective partnerships, developing new funding sources, and proactively identifying and prioritizing the needs of an organization in order to fulfill the mission.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish strategy, planning, and execution related to academic achievement, school culture and parent engagement.
  • Demonstrated ability in excellent regional relationship building and management skills working with a diverse set of external stakeholders, such as boards, parents, governing regional boards and school leadership, public officials, and leading community, business, philanthropic, nonprofit stakeholders, and other grasstop leaders.
Other Responsibilities
  • Strategic Leadership of the Region:
    • Drive strategic vision, strategy, planning and execution for the success and sustainability of the region on student achievement and existing/new charters, charter renewals, and other opportunities.
    • Drive strong collaboration with the network teams to ensure that schools are receiving necessary instructional support as well as other critical areas of support and that priorities are being fully executed across the region.
    • Lead regional strategic financial planning, budgeting, and development of achievable business plans and analyses, prudent expense control, and required financial reporting.
  • Academic Performance and School Culture Leadership:
    • Ensure that the Schools Team is in place to regularly realize Tier I status of all schools while engaging and inspiring teams through alignment, strong communication, and ongoing feedback/coaching.
    • Analyze and action plan around student achievement data, observation, and coaching data, and schools target data to continuously improve, drive results, and increase impact.
  • External and Community Relations/Partnerships:
    • Manage and leverage important community relationships with local elected officials at all levels (e.g., ANC to City Council), power-brokers, and other influencers, as well as with school board trustees or bodies (e.g., OSSE), members, and superintendents/leaders of authorizing bodies (DC Public Charter School Board).
    • Recruit, appoint, manage, and engage regional DC board members and execute quarterly board meetings.
    • Lead regional fundraising and philanthropic relationship management.
  • People Leadership:
    • Build, develop, and maintain a rigorous culture of excellence in every interaction with stakeholders, community members, partners, and team members.
    • Develop and maintain a positive and welcoming climate which attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse and high-performing staff. Establish sustainability in school leadership and improving school performance through effective coaching, mentoring, recruitment, retention strategies, and team engagement.
    • Work with principals to align teacher professional development to strategic priorities and school data and track performance improvement across the team.

Nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest (cover letter and resume) should be directed electronically to [email protected]. All inquiries and communications will be handled confidentially.