Operations / Administration Senior Manager – Empower Schools
Position: Senior Manager
Location: Flexible, Indiana preferred
Preferred application deadline: June 30, 2022
Reporting directly to one of our Partners, and working closely with other members of the Empower team, you will work to identify and support opportunities to design and launch innovative solutions that can better meet the needs of students.
As a Senior Manager, you will lead the development and execution of Empower’s emerging work and strategy in Indiana. Building on existing momentum, you will play a key role in growing empowered schools and empowering school systems to better meet the needs of students across the state. More specifically, your work will include (1) leading school and district design and partnership development to advance our early college and career pathways innovation strategy and (2) supporting our growth in Indiana and potentially other select geographies.
If public health conditions make travel possible then applicants must be willing to travel up to 30% of the time (primarily within Indiana) to support the growth of our partnerships and on-the-ground support in communities across the state. As part of this role, you will receive coaching, mentorship, and guidance from experienced leaders inside and outside of our organization.
Who We Are
Empower Schools works with communities across the country to design, launch, and support innovative and sustainable solutions to local education needs. While the specific work varies in response to local context, all of our projects are grounded in our deep commitment to improving school and life outcomes for predominantly Black, Hispanic, and low-income students. Our approach centers around the following focus areas:
- Establishing Partnerships: We execute foundational and operational necessities for the launch of new and innovative approaches to education—from complex, multi-stream project management to crafting governance agreements/contracts, to navigating state and local policy pathways.
- Supporting Leaders: We bring deep expertise and strong support skills to help school, system, and community leaders design and launch new education initiatives. We help build capacity in system leaders to implement and sustain the work.
- Convening Practitioners: We host convenings and organize learning cohorts for school, nonprofit, and system leaders pursuing empowered school strategies.
- Spreading the Word: We identify and narrate bright spot successes and best practices in empowered public school models and innovative, sustaining governance structures.
Empower’s work is informed by our experience as the design and launch partner of several public school improvement and innovation efforts across the country including the South Bend Empowerment Zone (IN), Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership (MA), the Luminary Learning Network in Denver, and the Rural Schools Innovation Zone in South Texas. Recently, we have built responsive and high-performing teams supporting work in states including Indiana, Texas, Colorado, and California. To date, we have supported the design and launch of fourteen empowering partnerships across five states, serving more than 28,000 students attending 60 schools. We are supported by an ecosystem of partners and stakeholders in each community, often organized at a state-level in partnership with state agencies. Developing both site and state-specific strategies and relationships is key to our work.
Empower is working to deepen our impact in Indiana. We are currently supporting the South Bend Empowerment Zone and collaborating with additional communities to explore transformation zones in their districts. In addition, Empower has recently been selected to serve as the technical assistance provider to two districts help transform their high schools and develop durable partnerships between local districts, industry, and higher education partners to expand and strengthen college and career pathways that strategically integrate rigorous and sequenced coursework, meaningful career connected learning, and intentional mentorship and counseling.
Who You Are
- You are committed to centering racial and socioeconomic equity in your work. You understand the impact of systemic and implicit racism and challenge yourself and others to support transformational outcomes for students across race and class.
- You are a fast learner with a thirst for knowledge and are excited by developing creative solutions to challenges encountered at the school and system levels.
- You are familiar with the challenges facing K-12 urban education and have applied your analytical and creative problem-solving skills to address them in previous roles.
- You are able to take ideas and solutions from brainstorms to fruition, while engaging and incorporating the perspectives of others.
- You enjoy working individually and as part of a team and are able to quickly and effectively build strong relationships and influence others with your ideas.
- Your strong project management skills allow you to develop and implement complex
- projects involving multiple stakeholders and tight deadlines to high standards.
- You make time to reflect on your work in order to continually improve your effectiveness, you know how to self-advocate in order to get the support that you need, and you can keep it all in perspective with a sense of humor.
- In short, you are a rock star generalist with a broad skill-set, who can support a wide range of projects.
How You’ll Help
You will support an array of important initiatives and relationships, playing a key role in enabling schools in the state to make the best decisions for students in communities across Indiana. Your work will vary based on the needs over time and will include the following:
- Support partnership development and execution of state and district partnerships
- Develop and cultivate relationships with potential state and district partners in Indiana and across the country in collaboration with teammates,
- Build productive and professional working relationships quickly with various stakeholders
- Develop project proposals, project plans, and partnership documents
- Support cultivation of potential philanthropic supporters for local partnerships
- Research district context and community dynamics to support the development of new initiatives
- Support execution and project management of design and launch partnerships
- Create custom community-focused presentation and communication materials for various stakeholders (e.g., district partners, school-based staff, community members, state policy champions, etc.)
- Lead the creation of clear and compelling written deliverables to enable Zone and partnership approval and facilitate strategic planning (e.g., application documents for district or state authorization, concept papers, needs assessment data analysis, strategic plans)
- Serve as project manager for specific project workstreams; successfully manage and track workflows and activities of staff, consultants, and partners as required for successful execution
- Work with teammates to support the design and implementation of programmatic strategy in new Zones and partnerships, including supporting partnership leadership teams, supporting recruitment of partnership staff, cultivating school improvement partners, and communicating progress
- Additional support as needed
- Provide leverage and capacity on additional growth projects outside of Indiana as needed
- At least 4-8 years of work experience
- Educational expertise required
- Consulting and strategic planning work preferred
- Demonstrated interest in and strong alignment with the goals of Empower Schools
- Strong, demonstrated commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity & inclusion
- Track record of taking initiative to successfully manage complex projects and initiatives involving multiple components
- Dynamic and effective prioritization skills, enabling strong, ontime completion of multiple projects with shifting timelines
- Must be articulate, tactful, and able to successfully manage stakeholder relations with partners, external organizations, policy makers, and education leaders
- Possess an entrepreneurial mindset (i.e., flexible, resourceful, and creative) and deep motivation to drive toward high-quality outcomes with a consistently positive attitude
- Excellent written and oral communications skills, including the ability to translate ideas into clear, compelling documents (e.g., in PowerPoint and Word formats)
- BA/BS or advanced degree preferred
Salary and Benefits
The salary for a Senior Manager starts at $80,000 per year. Empower Schools offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health and dental insurance, retirement benefits, life and disability insurance, and flexible spending accounts.