ESYNOLA Program Manager


About FirstLine Schools

In 1998, FirstLine Schools started the first charter school in New Orleans.  FirstLine now operates several (P)K-8th grade schools.  Our mission is to create and inspire great, open admissions public schools in New Orleans. We do this by:

  • Ensuring college and career readiness for all students, as demonstrated by achievement, aspiration, love of learning, and confidence
  • Providing a rich variety of education experiences to nurture our students’ character, health, and active citizenship
  • Developing the skillfulness of our team members
  • Building a sustainable organization that facilitates our long-term success

Our faculty is a diverse and talented group dedicated to our students’ success and to their own growth as teachers.  Our schools are led by leaders who hold themselves accountable for student achievement and teacher development.


Founded in 2006, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESYNOLA) envisions generations of New Orleans children who have healthy relationships with food, the natural world, themselves, and their community.  ESYNOLA's mission is to teach children to make healthy connections through food.  Our goal is to improve the long-term well being of our students, families, and school community, by integrating hands-on organic gardening and seasonal cooking into the school curriculum, culture, and cafeteria programs. 

We believe that:

  • Food education should be taught in conjunction with core academics
  • Children learn by doing
  • Health and wellness contribute to the success of the whole child
  • Beauty is the language of caring
  • Local farms and sustainable farming practices are vital
  • School food reform is an integral part of the education we offer our students
  • Families and communities are integral to our success

Position Summary:

The ESYNOLA Program Manager oversees a range of components of programming and administration. They manage the garden team, general program operations and systems, and the Americorps partnership. They project manage An Edible Evening fundraiser, volunteer processes, special events, program evaluation, support curriculum and teacher development, and additional operational and communication initiatives. This position works closely with the program director to build team culture and partners with garden and culinary educators to support programming needs. 

Position Responsibilities:

Operations & Program Management

  • Partners with the ESYNOLA Director to develop annual goals and strategic plan, co-leads staff meetings, and develop team culture strategy
  • Manages garden team: 
    • Garden Team includes: Garden, Volunteer, and Greenhouse Associate, Network Gardener, and Americorps Gardener
    • Hires and onboards garden staff, including: job description revision, recruitment, interviewing, facilitating applicant review of candidates by site-based staff, and onboarding of new staff
    • Supervises network garden team, including: setting up team meetings, individual check-ins, providing feedback, setting goals, and conducting annual performance maps
    • Leads ESY Garden Team meetings (including Garden Teachers) and facilitates decision making and changes
    • Oversees garden skills professional development 
  • Manages vendors and contracts; works closely with School Operation Managers and Garden Teachers on facilities changes and needs
  • Onboards and mentors all new staff on project management, evaluation protocol, volunteer management, and general staff policies and expectations
  • Project manages program evaluation; acting as liaison with evaluation partners, supporting the evaluation plan tools, data collection, and writing/dissemination of the findings
  • Leads on Americorps partnership, hiring, and administrative duties
  • Partners with Director of ESYNOLA and Department Heads on curriculum and teacher development as needed
  • Commits to personal anti-racist development and integrates this lens into structures and strategies across the work
  • Collaborates with ESYNOLA network team to manage third party organization relationships and collaboration direction
  • Creates systems for effective ESYNOLA operations and project management, including tools on ESYNOLA staff portal, event planning templates, volunteer recruitment and management
  • Develops strategy and creates vehicles for internal and external ESYNOLA communications, including website, social media, staff communications and collaborates with FirstLine Communication Team on execution
  • With ESYNOLA Executive Director and Director, develops garden staffing model and program budget 
  • Oversees garden and class budgets, manages purchasing for gardens and teams, and and facilitates delivery of garden supplies
  • Manages ESYNOLA vehicle and trailer usage, fuel, and maintenance
  • Represents ESYNOLA on a national level regarding programming and evaluation
  • Other duties as needed

Volunteer Management and Tracking

  • Creates the systems for intern and volunteer recruitment, training, management, and tracking 
  • Manages and supports the Network Garden, Greenhouse, and Volunteer Associate coordination of volunteers
  • Maintains partnerships with local university service learning departments and service groups
  • Oversees onboarding paperwork for individual volunteers and interns

Special Events Coordination 

  • Creates strategy and tools for effective special events planning, execution, evaluation, and tracking
  • As needed, provides oversight, planning, and communication support on ESYNOLA events

Edible Evening Coordination

  • Project Manager for ESYNOLA staff roles at Edible Evening, leads staff orientations, assigning roles and responsibilities, and ensures reflection year-to-year
  • Manages expenses, inventory, and all planning documents for Edible Evening
  • Collaborates with FirstLine Communication team to produce Edible Evening collateral and social media, and supports traditional media
  • Leads planning and execution of physical plant logistics and day-of set-up for event
  • Leads on purchasing for physical supplies, manages vendors, and secures payment for vendors
  • Recruits, trains, and places volunteers for Edible Evening set up and event


  • Develops strategic communications plan for ESYNOLA in partnership with FLS Development and Communication Team
  • Serves as representative and advocate for ESYNOLA within the framework of FLS development and communication operation
  • Creates newsletters, media releases, writes articles when appropriate, promoting ESYNOLA programming and volunteer opportunities
  • Captures images and key moments for ESYNOLA communication
  • Writes, edits, and curates staff submissions for weekly newsletter Shoots & Leaves
  • Special projects as needed



Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Experience working in a school environment and/or non-profit preferred
  • Experience managing and leading a team 
  • Experience with event and project management 
  • Systems driven; creating and managing multiple systems and program management tools
  • Knowledge of gardens and growing in the region
  • Experience leading and working as a volunteer
  • Computer proficiency (Google Drive programs and spreadsheet management)
  • Ability and desire to connect with all members of school community and partners
  • Highly organized and agile with multitasking 
  • Comfortable with a shifting priorities throughout the year
  • Friendly, outgoing, creative and hardworking
  • Willingness to work outdoors when needed
  • Willingness to work weekends and special events when needed

Desired Qualities & Characteristics:

  • Believe in every student’s ability to achieve in a rigorous college or career prep curriculum
  • Achieve results based on agreed-upon expectations
  • Take personal responsibility 
  • Highly detail-oriented 
  • Collaborate effectively with a range of stakeholders 
  • Share a commitment to creating great schools in New Orleans
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Model the FirstLine values of Service, Learning, Collaboration, Results and Fun

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to stand, reach, and bend
  • Mobility of arms to reach, dexterity of hands to grasp and manipulate large and small objects
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee may be required to sit, walk, stand, talk, and hear. 
  • Light lifting of equipment may be required (up to 20 lbs.)

ESYNOLA Program Manager reports to:  Director of ESYNOLA

How to Apply: Please apply online via: 

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. FirstLine Schools offers a comprehensive benefits package with a generous 403b plan.

FirstLine Schools provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.