Who We Are
With a sharp focus on creating conditions for every Mississippi student to thrive, the Mississippi Charter Schools Association (MCSA) exists to drive the purposeful development and growth of high-quality public charter schools through differentiated school support, equitable advocacy, and intentional outreach. MCSA is a nonprofit organization that began in 2013 and has operated within the context of the state’s charter school landscape in a lean fashion since 2015. A rejuvenated partnership with Mississippi First is powering a renaissance for MCSA to access the necessary resources to expand its impact and create sustainability. With these exciting efforts in mind, the organization seeks a new leader to serve as MCSA’s Executive Director.
What You’ll Do
The new MCSA Executive Director (ED) will be joining the Mississippi education community at a critical time. The ED will embrace responsibility for all aspects of organizational effectiveness with an emphasis on ultimately establishing structures for technical assistance for schools at every stage of launch and development. An essential first step is to plan and execute the relaunch of the Mississippi Charter Schools Association early in 2024. Upon relaunch, the ED will report to the refreshed MSCA Board of Directors. In this crucial leadership role, the ED will be responsible for executing the organization’s mission and vision, with input from a broad range of stakeholders. The ED will spearhead all strategic, financial, and personnel decisions for MCSA pursuant to grant guidelines and organization policy.
Key Responsibilities (The “What”)
The new Executive Director at MCSA will honor the vision and mission of the organization by building systems and structures from the ground up in an effort to enhance access, choice, and opportunity for students across the state of Mississippi. The leader in this key role must possess the experience, perspective, vision, and leadership skills that will be required to amplify our successes and embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Key leadership responsibilities include the following:
- Demonstrate comprehensive organizational leadership of key functions
- Champion, communicate, and implement MCSA’s mission and vision.
- Develop and implement a strategic plan for the relaunched MCSA.
- Build, lead, inspire, and empower a highly effective team of professionals who are relentlessly dedicated to breathing life into the relaunched MCSA.
- Keep students at the center of all decision-making to ensure that the stakeholders’ needs are met.
- Utilize strategic planning and demonstrate skilled implementation of key initiatives to relaunch MCSA
- Expand relationships with community partners to increase opportunities for students.
- Recruit new board members to serve the rejuvenated organization.
- Lead efforts to generate private and public financial support for the organization through foundations, grants, and individual fundraising.
- Collaborate with Mississippi First to transition legal and business tasks associated with launch, such as filing necessary paperwork, developing fiscal and employee policies, securing office space and equipment, contracting for services and insurance, and fulfilling other technical requirements.
- Design a communication and rebranding plan.
- Engage consistent, informed, and purposeful charter school support, advocacy, and outreach
- Implement programs to support existing charter school operators, including operational and financial support programs funded by philanthropy.
- Foster and cultivate positive and trusting relationships with current charter school operators with a focus on members of the MSCA.
- Activate advocacy strategies to grow and support the charter school sector in Mississippi.
- Navigate complex legal and political issues; effectively manage relationships with the legislature, the governor, the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board, the Mississippi Department of Education, and other organizations and individuals relevant to the success of charter schools.
- Serve as the voice of member charter schools and as a representative of the charter sector as a whole when advocating for policies in the best interests of charter schools and the students, families, and communities they serve.
- Collaborate with partners in the field to leverage resources to maximize successful charter school applicants.
- Work collaboratively, transparently, and consistently with the MCSA Board while developing external partnerships
- Create and maintain positive partnership and a working relationship with the MCSA Board by keeping them informed of all financial, legal, and other public interest matters.
- Work closely with partners supporting charter schools in Mississippi, including Mississippi First, Embark, and other charter sector partners.
- Raise funds and manage the organization’s finance, including hiring high-performing individuals into purposely defined and intentionally aligned roles.
- Embrace accountability for the effective and efficient day-to-day operations of the organization within the policy parameters adopted by the board; assume ultimate responsibility for the planning, operation, supervision, assignment, and evaluation of the programs, services, staff, students and facilities.
- Manage internal operations efficiently and effectively
- Maintain responsibility and accountability for key non-profit rules, regulations, and policies.
- Understand the local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations related to charter schools.
- Foster safe and supportive working conditions for staff to create and collaborate; to feel included, valued, seen, and supported; and to do their best work with and for MCSA students, families, staff, and communities.
- Establish strong talent acquisition processes that emphasize diversifying the leadership and staff to be reflective of students and families served in the Mississippi charter schools.
Competencies and Skills You’ll Need to be Successful (The “How”)
- Inspiring Leadership & Entrepreneurial Spirit
- Maintain a steadfast commitment to MCSA’s mission and vision. Believe in the charter model’s capacity to empower educators to support students to produce unparalleled academic results.
- Lead with empathy, courage, and compassion; seek, welcome, and elevate the voices of marginalized communities to ensure diverse input on key decisions; be genuinely with and about the people you serve.
- Extraordinary Influencer, Connector & Communicator
- Build effective and trusting relationships with stakeholders through clear systems and structures for communication; communicate efficiently, effectively, transparently, and authentically.
- Navigate politically complex structures, relationships, and dynamics to challenge ideas, invite dialogue, and drive thoughtful decisions that lead to positive outcomes for students.
- Systems Design, Deployment & Management
- Activate systems and structures that incorporate processes of continuous inquiry and improvement, communicating results transparently and honestly while establishing the path forward in MCSA’s contemporary and future context.
- Ensure that the organization’s goals and priorities are aligned with and connected to MCSA’s vision, mission, strategic plan.
- Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Demonstrate cultural fluency and awareness while approaching the work with a strong equity lens to establish a culture of growth and a learning around issues of equity and inclusion; seek to identify and dismantle inequitable processes, systems, and practices.
- Build authentic relationships across lines of difference (political views, race, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic background, LGBTQIA+ status, etc.) both internally and externally–and create conditions for all stakeholders to do the same in safe and intentional environments.
What You’ll Bring
- A minimum of 5 years’ experience in the charter school context, with at least 3 years’ experience working in charter school leadership, advocacy, or policy.
- A minimum of 3 years of leadership/supervisory experience with an emphasis on driving organizational outcomes and effective operational and fiscal management.
- Bachelor's degree or higher.
- Demonstration of strong support for public charter schools as a public school option and a strong belief in the mission and vision of MCSA; understanding of public education in Mississippi preferred.
- Experience in nonprofit leadership, fundraising and governance is preferred.
- Ability to work without intense oversight, and capacity to work successfully in a remote setting.
- Executive leadership experience in a complex environment preferred; ability to navigate effectively and lead creatively in contexts of occasional ambiguity.
- Precise communication and contemporary technology skills–Google-savviness, and advanced MS Office Suite skills.
The salary range for this integral position is between $125-150,000 and is commensurate with prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package will be included in the offer to the finalist candidate.
MCSA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, ancestry or national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.