Director, Community Partnerships
SchoolSmartKC (SSKC) is a charitable, non-profit organization that works toward significant improvement in the performance of schools in the Kansas City Public School system. With substantial funding from key investors including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, SSKC aims to close the performance gap between students in our local District and Charter schools and their higher performing peers across the state of Missouri and the nation. Our efforts are designed to build common purpose within our local community, including parents and families, district and charter schools, resource providers and others to ensure young people reach their incredible potential. Working together, we seek a school system that in ten years will have more than double the current percentage schools showing performance on par with the state on key educational measures.
SchoolSmartKC’s Director of Community Partnerships will work closely with the organization’s CEO and all team members to cultivate and support new partnerships across a broad constituency of groups including, parents, business and civic organizations, clergy and faith based personnel, elected officials, commissioners, and neighborhood organizations, with the purpose of building and mobilizing support for SSKC quality goals. This includes engaging these key constituent groups around major initiatives to increase quality seats, support the significant improvement and turnaround of schools, and increase rigor and accountability within our school system.
The Director will solidify the design and manage stakeholder mobilization campaigns and related grant programs, all intended to educate and mobilize key constituents around areas for improvement in our educational landscape. Leveraging the power of collective action, the Director will be attuned to equity and disparate educational outcomes within the school system and will cultivate grant relationships and advocacy efforts to support local initiatives in areas such as universal pre-k, parent empowerment, special education reform, school funding, and/or career readiness. The key metric of success for the Director will be to build a strong base of supporters across various stakeholders that advocate and work collectively to improve the education, life and career opportunities available to local youth through SSKC educational reform agenda.
Specific Responsibilities include:
- Providing creative thinking to build, lead and grow long-term partnerships that advance community and key stakeholder ownership of the SSKC mission.
- Develop and maintain long-term relationships, with a broad base of constituency groups to inform, educate, strategize, and build support for quality education
- Mapping current efforts across the P-16 continuum and assessing vital partnerships and strategic focus areas for SchoolSmartKC that have the greatest potential to improve student outcomes in support of our mission
- Building consensus and developing grant programs with core partners to ensure a data-informed, common understanding of critical areas of need for local students and the rallying of relevant actors toward collective action in these areas
- Working closely with the SchoolSmartKC CEO and teams supporting other component areas as well as core partners, and leading the design and development of strategic initiatives in critical areas that support overall student success goals for the organization
- Playing a key role in defining metrics for success, including both short term and long-term indicators, for advocacy and educational efforts in close coordination with the organization’s overall efforts and other directors
Education: Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred. Other degrees combined with relevant experience will be considered.
Work Experience: At least 8 years’ experience in education and other efforts mobilizing diverse stakeholders in support of improved life prospects and better social service provision for youth and communities. Candidates should possess core foundational beliefs in the value of partnerships in support of youth, as well as strong interpersonal, organization, management, research, writing, and communication skills.
Travel: Requires significant local travel around Kansas City and occasional business travel regionally and nationally.
Qualified candidates for this position must be highly motivated, capable of self-direction, detail-oriented and able to work well in a highly collaborative, team-oriented, startup environment. He/she must exhibit a keen sense of responsibility and enjoy working with multiple demands, shifting priorities and constant change. A successful candidate will also possess:
- Strong knowledge base of schools in the Kansas City area and the social service and community networks that support the needs of schools and local youth.
- Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to work closely and build relationships of trust both internally with team members and external with partners from all sectors across Kansas City.
- Leadership skills, with the ability to establish and develop credibility quickly and create collaborative relationships at all levels within stakeholder groups.
- Excellent writing skills and public speaking ability as demonstrated in high-profile forums.
- Keen analytical and organizational skills, with the ability to identify and summarize trends emerging from both quantitative and qualitative information to inform high-impact recommendations and strategies.
- Outstanding organizational skills and strong experience leading complex project management efforts.
- An entrepreneurial spirit, with an ability to thrive in an environment that is characterized by growth and change.
- A high level of ethics with a strong sense of integrity and committed to the values of the organization and maintenance of confidentiality.
- Cultural competence, humility, and an understanding of issues related to education and leveling the playing field for young people in economically challenged communities.
- An ability to maintain a calm and competent demeanor in uncomfortable or difficult situations.
- Financial acumen and experience managing budgets.
- Ability to cultivate resources in support of organizational strategic aims.
All the statements in this position description are intended to describe the general nature of the work being performed, and are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. This document describes the position currently available. The organization reserves the right to modify job duties or job descriptions at any time.
A competitive compensation package, including base salary and an outstanding benefits package will correspond to the experience level, credentials, and personal characteristics of the candidate.
SchoolSmartKC firmly supports the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law.
To apply, applicants should send a cover letter and resume to HR@schoolsmartkc.org.