Our mission at SELF is to empower schools to create welcoming and effective communities that enable ALL students to achieve their fullest potential. We aim to improve the quality of special education student outcomes by developing current and aspiring special education teacher-fellows, leader-fellows, and leadership teams through a variety of specialized programs.
SELF’s unique and specialized programming includes:
- The Leader Fellowship: a two-year program that provides formal training sessions, leadership coaching, professional learning communities, peer program reviews and visits to exemplary programs across the country.
- The Teacher Fellowship: a year-long program that provides formal training sessions, professional learning communities, personalized coaching, and partners with national research-based instructional programs.
- School Support: training for leadership teams through their partnership with New Schools for New Orleans and customized consulting services to school, charter management organization network teams, and school districts.
Our Core Values guide what and how we do our work and interact with each other and all of our partners:
Belief: We believe that every student, regardless of their identity and learning style, can achieve at their highest potential.
Responsibility: It is our responsibility to use our own talents and capacities in order to ensure that the mindsets and systems are in place for our students to have equitable, inclusive, and anti-bias classroom spaces.
Team Work: We prioritize collaboration to ensure a stronger sense of belonging. We lead ourselves and others in a way that places all students at the center of our work.
Position Overview: As SELF’s first Chief Operating Officer (COO), this role will join SELF’s leadership team, partnering with Aqua Stovall, SELF’s founder and CEO, and the new Chief Program Officer (CPO) to operationalize the strategic vision and priorities for the organization. This role will oversee all operational and financial work streams to ensure daily operations are happening at high level and the organization is set up to be sustainable and successful for the future. This is a new role for SELF and COO responsibilities may adapt as the organization’s needs change but the core responsibilities of this role are as follows.
- Act as a senior leader for the organization, weighing in on high level decisions, issue spotting and problem solving, and modeling SELF’s culture and commitment to equity and inclusion Manage strategic and operational planning for the organization, working in partnership with senior leadership to set and define goals, track progress against goals, and report against these goals
- Act as the financial leader for the organization and partner with the Executive Director, with input from the Chief Program Officer, to ensure the organization's resources align with its strategy
- Establish and maintain structures for ensuring that priorities are advanced and tasks are completed in a high-quality manner and aligned with SELF’s culture and strategy
- Partner with the Chief Program Officer on operational aspects of SELF’s programs to ensure all programs are running effectively and participants are having a great experience
- Manage the Board meeting cycle and communication, with Executive Admin logistical and scheduling support, and work with/report to the board on finance and operational aspects of the organization
Finance and Operations Team Leadership
- Set and align the team around a vision for high quality operations, finance, accounting, HR, and talent, supporting and developing the team, and holding team members accountable to agreed upon goals
- Create and support a high-performance culture in the finance and operations areas, aligned with the core values of the organization
- Develop a team-based environment to motivate and inspire staff to work collaboratively toward a goal by clearly communicating organizational vision and implementing yearly staff development plans
Finance and Accounting
- Own SELF’s finance and accounting processes, working with senior leadership and department heads to ensure strong financial management practices
- Update and lead financial forecasting and budgeting
- In the short term, execute all aspects of payroll and accounting and eventually hiring for an accountant
- Oversee processes for financial controls and reporting to the board
- Oversee and/or manage team members on strong vendor management and relationship practices
- Provide support to fundraising through budgeting and modeling for grants and grant reports
- Oversee all talent life cycle processes, building a highly inclusive culture that sets team members up to thrive and ensures organizational outcomes are met
- Oversee recruitment, hiring, onboarding, performance development and evaluation, retention, HR compliance, employee benefits, and off-boarding processes (with support from a HR and Talent Consultant)
- Manage the Director of Operations who manages the external communication firm and project manages internal communications practices
- Lead high-level strategies for communication across the organization and provide input on external communications and marketing
SELF’s COO role is a great opportunity if the following describes you:
- I am an operations generalist, exceptionally detail oriented, and a systems thinker that likes to build and oversee processing for ensuring work in happening effectively and efficiently across the organization
- I have high-level finance and accounting skill and experience - I am down do both the high-level financial planning and management and the nitty gritty accounting
- I am people focused and love to work to build a strong organizational culture that uses an equity and inclusion lens at all times and leading team members to grow and do their best work
- I am excited by being a part of a growing start-up and having my hands in lots of aspects of the organization to pursue a mission I believe in deeply, balancing big picture projects with small detailed work
Skills and Mindsets:
- A deep commitment to SELF’s mission and alignment with SELF values of Belief, Responsibility, and Teamwork
- A demonstrated career-long history of constant learning and continuous personal development learning through self-awareness of strengths and areas of improvement; a track record of building skills and knowledge through personal initiative; and a history of executing on feedback to improve performance
- Model transformational leadership skills: demonstrated leadership that inspires, uplifts and challenges, always in service to others and with a goal of creating a learning community that is more equitable and welcoming.
- Demonstrated skill in managing a high-performing, equity focused team: evidence of leading a team to improve results, building a strong culture with high expectations, coaching and developing direct reports, and developing authentic and trusting relationships across the team.
- Possess the unique balance of being able to set a vision and also execute work: building systems and managing complex projects with a keen attention to detail, a strong aptitude to prioritize time efficiently, the ability to move work forward
- Structured thinking and quantitative analysis skills: the ability to organize, analyze, and synthesize disparate pieces of information and strong technical skills with excel, particularly for budgeting and forecasting
- A high degree of personal leadership: evidence of taking initiative and owning outcomes for yourself and others
- A solutions orientation: the ability to identify and implement solutions independently in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, and a track record of taking responsibility when faced with challenges
- Modeling of SELF’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) demonstrated by a demonstrated willingness to examine personal identity and biases, clarity around how they lead a others with an equity and inclusion lens, and comfort engaging in and model conversations around race, class, and privilege
Required Experience and Expectations:
- At least 5-7 years of professional working experience and 2 year of team leadership experience
- Expertise in finance, budgeting, and accounting (non-profit budgeting experience highly preferred)
- Willingness to exceed the “typical” job expectations on specific occasions (i.e. working late hours and/or weekends when project deadlines, events, or travel require it)
Preferred Experience and Qualifications:
- Experience leading and/or heavily supporting research based, equity driven, strategic planning and talent practices, ideally for a high-performing organization
Manager Relationship: The COO will report to the CEO, Aqua Stovall
Location: The COO must live in the Greater New Orleans area and be able to work in New Orleans once the SELF team returns to in-person work. We are currently working 100% remotely due to Covid-19. Once it is safe to do so, it will be required for the COO to be in New Orleans.
Priority Deadline: Friday, June 4th
Final Deadline: Monday, June 14th
Compensation and Benefits: SELF is committed to equitable talent practices and sets starting salaries using internal and external comparison data and a candidate’s specific experience. We also believe in taking care of our team members holistically. We aim to offer competitive salaries, but we also have a comprehensive benefits package, with health, dental, vision largely subsidized by SELF, a 401k employer contribution, short-term and long-term disability paid for by SELF, and a flexible spending and dependent care plan.
SELF 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.