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13 Dec 2021

Operations / Administration Associate Director

Engaging Schools
 Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States

Job Description

Associate Director
Engaging Schools
Remote/Location Flexible

About Engaging Schools

At Engaging Schools, we envision school communities where all adults support each and every student to strengthen skills and mindsets needed to thrive and make positive contributions in school, work, and life. To achieve this, we collaborate with educators to create equitable and engaging classrooms and schools that support students’ social, emotional, and academic learning and development. We offer professional development and resources with practical strategies that are grounded in the values of equity, community, and democracy.

Our core services for middle and high schools include Engaged Classrooms  and District Codes of Character, Conduct, and Support. These research-based services strengthen teacher effectiveness and develop a systematic, positive approach to school discipline that is integrated with student support and rooted in restorative and equitable practices.

Our team of specialists, program associates, and consultants are former teachers and administrators with deep experience managing organizational change and supporting districts and schools in their efforts to build healthy school culture, improve school climate, and transform educational practice. Engaging Schools is a national nonprofit leveraging 40 years of experience. We work with a geographically distributed team and are dedicated to building an antiracist and inclusive culture with an increasingly diverse staff. With our district and school partners, we strategically work to dismantle systemic racism and achieve greater equity for marginalized students in schools.

For more information about our work, please visit

The Opportunity

We are seeking an Associate Director to provide organization-wide leadership for our programs, business development, and communications. Working with a deeply knowledgeable and committed team, the Associate Director will help grow our impact and reach more school communities with our comprehensive approach to transforming school and district climate and culture. They will bring strategic leadership and a deep commitment to our systemic, values-centered approach to supporting implementation of policies and practices that increase equity. The Associate Director will ensure that we continue to offer responsive, effective, high-quality programs to our school and district partners by leading program strategy and supporting our staff in effective implementation and evaluation. A key external-facing leader, the Associate Director will position us for continued growth by building relationships with new potential district and school partners and funders, and by increasing our visibility as a thought leader in the education sector.

The Associate Director will report to the Executive Director, acting as a close collaborator on organizational strategy, and will supervise a team of program specialists who manage the delivery of our services and our program staff.

Key Responsibilities:

Organizational Strategy and Management

  • Serve on our management team and consult with the Executive Director on organization-wide strategy, including playing a leading role in the development of our strategic plan
  • Work on cross-functional teams that coordinate activities across the organization related to business development and communications
  • Present to and engage with the Board of Directors on program and organization-wide strategy

Program Leadership

  • Develop annual program goals and priorities and support the program team to achieve them; oversee the program department annual budget to ensure appropriate resources
  • Oversee capacity building, project development, implementation, and continuous improvement of our services
  • Support the Climate and Culture and Engaged Classrooms Specialists in their roles as coaches of program staff and project directors; provide leadership related to ongoing professional learning and development for our staff
  • Advise Specialists on navigating challenges during the implementation of our programs, acting as a strategic thought partner on complex engagements
  • Oversee formative assessment, evaluation, and research on the impact of our work; support the Evaluation and Contracts Specialist to ensure the development and use of data collection and evaluation tools and protocols
  • Co-develop and facilitate an Equity Council of external constituents that will advise us on continuing to align our programming with our commitment to equity

Business Development and Communications

  • Cultivate relationships with decision-makers and influencers in the field, identifying opportunities for multi-year engagements with large and/or high-profile clients
  • Secure new state, district, and intermediary contracts through effective negotiations and coach others on the team to secure renewals and new contracts
  • Represent Engaging Schools at meetings and conferences, including delivering compelling presentations
  • Partner with the Executive Director and Development and Communications Director in identifying and cultivating foundation and major donor support, including developing plans for funding proposals
  • Support communications strategies to raise Engaging Schools’ visibility, including writing and/or contributing to implementation briefs, journal articles, webinars, blogs, and other materials

Candidate Profile

As the incoming Associate Director, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following experiences, competencies, and attributes:

  • You come to this role with deep understanding of the context we work within, demonstrated by a preferred 12 years’ experience in middle or high-school settings, including a preferred 6 years in district or school leadership roles, or in organizations providing support to schools and school districts. You are able to build rapport and work effectively with educators from diverse backgrounds.
  • You bring a deep understanding of the dynamics of working in racially diverse, multi-cultural settings, including urban school districts, and are experienced in supporting structural and systemic change in order to achieve greater equity.
  • You have substantial experience in designing and developing professional services and resources for educators, either in district-level roles or in organizations providing services and supports to middle and high schools.
  • You demonstrate significant expertise in topics such as educational and racial equity, secondary school redesign and reform, school climate and culture, social and emotional learning, multi-tiered systems of supports, engaging instruction, and classroom management. You are familiar with systems and structures that support restorative, accountable, and equitable discipline and student support.
  • You have experience collaborating with district leaders and can leverage strong networks and skills in relationship-building, presentation, influencing, and negotiation skills in support of business development goals.
  • You bring experience in program management, including strategic planning, budgeting, staff supervision, and facilitating collegial teams.
  • You demonstrate strong organizational skills and the ability to work well in a highly collaborative environment.
  • You demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills and are able to engage and inspire a wide range of audiences.
  • You hold a Master’s degree in education.


Compensation & Benefits

The salary range for this position is $107,000 – $160,000, commensurate with experience. Engaging Schools offers a robust benefits package, including comprehensive medical and dental plans, short- and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, 403(b) contribution, and a generous PTO policy.



Engaging Schools is seeking candidates who reside in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, or Midwest. We operate as a remote-friendly organization, with most of our team working fully remotely, though a candidate who would prefer to be based out of our Cambridge, MA headquarters would have the option to do so. There will be moderate travel outside of one’s immediate geographic area required for this role, once it is safe to do so.


Engaging Schools has engaged Cassie Scarano and Kirstin Griffiths of Koya Partners to help with this hire.  To express your interest in this role please submit a cover letter addressed to Executive Director Larry Dieringer and resume here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Engaging Schools is an equal opportunity employer. Given the diversity within and among the district and school partners we serve, we strongly encourage applicants with lived experience of racism and other forms of oppression or discrimination.


About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.


For more information about Koya Partners, visit

Bureaus: -Other-. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Operations / Administration.