School Network Staff Executive Director, Rocketship Milwaukee
Who we are
Rocketship is a national network of high-performing elementary schools, proudly offering parents the choice of an excellent public education in five regions of the US; the Bay Area, Milwaukee, Nashville, Texas, and Washington D.C. Rocketship Public Schools is a collective of parents, teachers, leaders, and students working together to transform the future for low-income communities across our country through a scalable and sustainable public school model that propels student achievement, develops exceptional educators, and partners with parents who enable high-quality public schools to thrive in their community.
Rocketship Milwaukee was the first regional expansion for Rocketship Education. We are proud to serve over 700 students on Milwaukee’s North and South Sides. 95% of our students identify as Black or Latinx and 83% are classified as economically disadvantaged. With two K4 to 5th grade schools, Rocketship Milwaukee schools have consistently performed in the top ten of all Wisconsin district and charter elementary schools serving similar students. And yet, our team is never complacent. As we look to the future, we are working to dramatically move outcomes forward for our students, ensuring academic rigor in every classroom, increasing our student proficiency rates, and boosting the financial sustainability for the region.
Who you are
Reporting to the CEO of Rocketship Public Schools, the Executive Director of Milwaukee is responsible for the leadership of the region. You will work in deep partnership with the Rocketship Milwaukee Governing Board and Network Executive Team to ensure that Rocketship continues to successfully realize our mission and goals across all aspects of our work. You are supported by the larger Rocketship organization and team. You will also have the partnership and support of our four other regional Executive Directors as you lead their region with nearly 80 team members and a regional budget close to $10m. The charge of the Executive Director is to 1) ensure the success of our Rocketeers 2) cultivate the external environment for Rocketship to thrive, and 3) manage a financially sustainable network of high-performing elementary schools serving disadvantaged communities with the excellent education they deserve.
What you own (Your key responsibilities)
Ensure the success of our schools and the achievement of our Rocketeers
- Ensure that school teams and staff are highly engaged in their pursuit of establishing and maintaining excellent, thriving schools.
- Provide the Director of Schools and Schools Team with the support needed to realize vibrant learning environments, a standing of Exceeds and/or Significantly Exceeds Expectations and the annual student achievement goals.
- Engage and inspire teams through alignment, strong communication, and ongoing feedback/coaching grounded in data and our personalized, culturally responsive school model.
- Continuously drive a culture rooted in inclusion of special education students and rigorous support of a Positive Behavior Interventions & Support structure and serving all students (e.g., low level of suspensions, no expulsions, and no ‘pushing out’ students).
Provide Strategic Leadership for the Region
- Partner with the Rocketship Milwaukee Board and Network Executive Team to set long term plans, targets and goals for the region, plan budgets, and develop the strategy for 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.
- Partner effectively with the Rocketship Milwaukee Board to lead the strategic direction of the region; this includes recruiting new members as needed to ensure a strong team of champions and allies.
- Direct regional communications strategy and serve as a credible spokesperson, while leveraging resources and support from the marketing and communications team to effectively manage regional media/press.
Serve as Regional Culture Keeper and Team Leader
- Build a strong, anti-racist organizational culture in the region and in each school that is aligned with the Rocketship organization and ensures school success and impact.
- Model and sustain expectations for high performance, partnership, and service orientation among team members consistent with the culture and mission of the organization.
- Attract, hire, develop, motivate and lead a diverse leadership team.
- Facilitate collaboration and partnership across functions and in deep partnership and collaboration between the Regional Leadership Team and the larger Rocketship network and team.
- Implement strong systems to lead and reinforce role clarity, goal-setting, communication, and other processes and norms for the regional team to deliver all goals successfully.
- Align teacher professional development to strategic priorities and school data in collaboration with the Director of Schools and Schools Team.
- Partner deeply with the network teams to ensure that the Milwaukee region is successful.
Achieve Sustainability for the Region
- Partner closely with the Board to align on the strategy necessary to further grow Rocketship’s regional impact and path towards sustainability.
- Lead efforts to generate private and public financial support for the school’s operations and reserve funding through foundation, government grants, and individual fundraising.
- Steward and grow a significant development campaign through foundations and individuals, while also growing individual champions and allies (i.e. tours, coffees, etc).
- Support the success of our family recruitment and parent leadership teams to ensure healthy student enrollment and retention and robust demand and waiting lists year over year.
Steward Parent and Community Engagement
- Work with the Director of School and Schools Team to ensure that schools continue to effectively and authentically represent and partner with our families and communities, implement rituals and practices that deepen parent engagement and investment while also creating/sustaining a welcoming school culture for families in ensuring that parent goals are realized (i.e. home visits, parent hours, conferences, etc.).
- Elevate Rocketship’s presence and partnership with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and other critical partners in our work.
- Initiate, grow, and nurture Rocketship’s relationships and influence in Milwaukee through deep partnerships with community organizations, allies, political influencers, and other key stakeholders.
- Work relentlessly to grow Rocketship’s relationships and influence in the city through partnership building (i.e. CBOs, foundations, influential groups, other CMOs, etc).
- Actively engage with city influencers and groups like the Common Council, local community groups, Aldermen, State Legislature, and build strong connections with our organizational priorities and mission.
- Build relationships with key stakeholders and decision-makers in the Milwaukee area.
How you’ll succeed (the key competencies for the role)
Extraordinary Communication, Influence & Connection
- Communicate effectively, tailoring messages for the audience, context, and mode of communication to amplify access and encourage engagement.
- Listen compassionately with an open mind – seek to fully understand what makes Rocketship Milwaukee unique to inform the direction forward.
- Navigate difficult conversations and necessary conflict with the genuine belief that it is in this essential crucible that change happens and progress is made.
- Respond to external pressure in a way that inherently aligns with Rocketship’s organizational ethics, understanding deeply that trust must be earned.
Commitment to Equity-Centered Leadership Focused on Rocketeer Success
- Hold self and others accountable to a fierce and relentless pursuit of success for all Rocketeers.
- Demonstrate cultural fluency, sensitivity, and a strong equity lens to establish a culture of growth mindset around issues of equity and to meet the needs of our diverse Rocketeers and staff.
- Solicit, elevate, understand, and value–either through personal experience or empathy–the perspective of a wide variety of stakeholders.
- Recognize race and power dynamics playing out within our organization at all levels and interrupt those inequities through honest and difficult conversations and actions.
- Inspire and foster a culture of inclusion by building relationships across lines of difference and including the voices of those closest to the challenge we seek to address.
Problem Solving, Decision Making, Planning, and Organization
- Leverage executive judgment to identify, assess, and communicate risks/threats and opportunities, prioritize quickly and effectively, make critical decisions, coordinate remedies/solutions.
- Exhibit exceptional critical-thinking skills and experience in leading data-driven practices at a systems-level, including the ability to analyze data, identify trends, pinpoint problems and root causes, ask probing questions, set goals, track resources, and develop innovative solutions.
- Demonstrate financial leadership to prioritize, make decisions, deliver on plan, flex where needed, driving long-term effectiveness and sustainability.
- Pursue and implement innovative ideas and methods.
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze conditions for change by considering education trends and geographical markets with a focus on unique stakeholder needs.
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and/or university; Master’s degree or higher in Education, Public Administration, or a related field preferred.
- Senior leadership experience in a fast-paced, and high-functioning organization; urban school operator or nonprofit management experience preferred.
- A minimum of five (5) years of experience successfully leading and managing complex cross-functional projects with effective team management.
- Highly proficient in business and financial management. Possesses the skills essential to managing an enterprise, such as strategic financial planning, intelligent budgeting, development of achievable business plans and analyses, prudent expense control, and required financial reporting.
- Track record of success fundraising with both private donors and government entities at the federal, state or local level.
There will be a competitive salary, commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health and welfare benefits, 403b retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), and generous paid time off.
Rocketship Public 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. Rocketship Public Schools complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Rocketship Public Schools expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Rocketship Public Schools’ employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated. Click here for our Sexual Harassment Policy and here for our Title IX Policy. For questions, concerns, or complaints, please contact Equity/Discrimination Title IX Compliance Officer, Address: 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 109, Redwood City, CA 94065. Phone: 877-806-0920 ext. 115.