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 Program Officer (CPO), this role will partner with Aqua Stovall, SELF’s founder and Executive Director, to create the strategic vision for all programming at SELF and will act as a member of SELF’s leadership team. The CPO will lead all program area directors, setting the standard for excellence and modeling best practices in all areas of programmatic delivery. Additionally, the CPO will represent SELF with key stakeholders and act as an integral partner in SELF’s national expansion efforts.
This is a new role for SELF and CPO responsibilities may adapt as the organization’s needs change but the core responsibilities of this role are as follows.
- Create a strategic vision to take SELF’s programming from start-up to a sustainable organization with a national presence
- Manage all programmatic strategy and implementation for the organization
- Deliver evidence based adult professional learning sessions and hold the standard for excellence for the organization
- Provide strategic guidance on content development to all program directors
- Establish program area and staff goals and objectives on an annual basis and monitor progress toward goals Participant in grant application processes, manage the budgets of various programs, and ensure compliance with all regulations and grant milestones.
Client Management, Program Delivery, and Partnership Development
- Ensure a seamless integration of client management and program delivery, helping to deepen and extend our partnership work to additional Districts and Charter Management Organizations to achieve our mission
- Develop and manage programmatic partnership and growth strategy
- Lead the team to create a robust pipeline of partners and secure new partnerships in and outside of Louisiana
Program Learning & Improvement
- Manage team members on the learning and improvement strategy for the organization, facilitating the collection and analysis of key data on enabling conditions, program implementation, and professional learning facilitator/coach quality
- Model and facilitate an iterative and adaptive approach to continuous improvement
- Develop key learning questions and collect and analyze aligned data that link improvements across professional learning content and professional learning service delivery
- Develop new program ideas and pilot projects, given data analysis with the SELF leadership team
Management and Mentoring of Program Team Members
- Lead program team to build their skill set, so that they can mentor, manage, and motivate all staff and external partners
- Create and support a high-performance culture in the program 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
SELF’s Chief Program Officer (CPO) role is a truly unique opportunity if the following describes you:
- I am deeply passionate about equity and success for all diverse learners and have spent much or all of my career working on their behalf
- I am excited about working for a young non-profit organization and want be a part of helping it to grow into a national organization
- I am an expert in special education and have led high-impact, systems-level, transformational initiatives for a school district, Charter Management Organization, or for a non-profit organization supporting schools/districts
- I geek out about adult learning best practices and love leading a team of high-performing, mission-aligned adults to help them grow and do their best work
Required Skills and Mindsets:
- A deep commitment to SELF’s mission and alignment with SELF values of Belief, Responsibility, and Teamwork: evidence of a career of serving all students and actions that exemplify the belief in every student’s ability to achieve their potential
- A demonstrated career-long history of constant learning through self-awareness of strengths and areas of improvement, a curiosity for new information grounded in research and best practice, and a track record of building skills and knowledge through personal initiative
- 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, and bringing others along
- Sophisticated relationship-building and communication skills: the ability to build trust and adapt communication styles to work effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders
- Structured thinking skills: the ability to organize, analyze, and synthesize disparate pieces of information
- 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
- An eagerness for continuous personal development and a history of executing on feedback to improve performance
- 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:
- Expertise in best-practice, research based Special Education services
- Leadership experience at a systems level (eg. school district leadership, charter management organization network leadership, etc.)
- 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)
- Ability to travel for trainings and potential expansion activities
Manager Relationship: The Chief Program Officer will report to the Executive Director, Aqua Stovall.
Location: SELF is in the process of growing our programming nationally which means the Chief Program Officer can live anywhere in the United States. We are currently working 100% remotely due to Covid-19. Once it is safe to do so, it will be required for the Chief Program Officer to travel to New Orleans and likely other regions once we expand.
Hiring Timeline: The priority deadline for this role is Friday, January 15th. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis following that deadline. SELF’s offices are closed for winter break which means we won’t begin interviews until mid-January. We are hoping for this role to start by summer 2021 but we can be flexible on the starting timeline.
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, an extremely generous 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.