Russell Byers Charter School Seeking CEO
September 23, 2013
The Russell Byers Charter (RBSC) is a public elementary school located in Center City, Philadelphia, with over 485 students from 43 neighborhoods. The school offers 4K (Kindergarten for 4-year-olds) through 6th Grade. It has a student/teacher ratio of 13:1 and utilizes Expeditionary Learning, an innovative hands-on academic program. Using the ELS model, students are supported in developing new skills and achieving mastery of them. As their confidence grows, so does their natural curiosity and their desire to try more complex assignments. This active engagement holds students’ interest in the classroom and over time, enables an even more important development: it changes their way of being in the world. It turns them into lifelong learners, ever-capable of taking on a challenge.
RBCS was created to honor of Russell Byers. Russell died on December 4, 1999, when he was murdered during an attempted robbery. As a tribute to his life, Russell’s family, Laurada Byers, his widow; his daughter, Alison Byers; and his son Russell Byers, Jr. founded this charter school that honors Russell’s lifelong commitment to civic responsibility, community service and academic excellence. Russell was a Philadelphia Daily News columnist and he believed that the greatest gift you can give a child is roots and wings. In his columns for the paper, Russell wrote frequently and passionately about how to improve the city of Philadelphia and was most passionate when writing about public education. He thrived on the excitement of city life and believed that a solid education has the power to change the life of a child, thereby changing the world. With tremendous community support, the Russell Byers Charter School opened its doors on September 11, 2001 to 160 students in grades 4K (kindergarten for 4-year-olds) through second grade. The school is now in its 13th school year with 485 students in 4K through sixth grade and 18 classroom teachers, 7 cultural arts teachers, 3 reading teachers and 5 special education teachers.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will serve as leader of the Russell Byers Charter School with strategic oversight for all dimensions of the school including the academic, cultural arts, support services and after school programs. He or she will also have full management responsibility for the organization’s finances and operations and will create as well as nurture strong relationships with key stakeholders including the founder, board members, teachers, students, parents, donors and other service providers. The CEO will be a champion of Expeditionary Learning and will continue to shape as well as strengthen its practices across the school to benefit the lives of the students. The Chief Executive Officer will report directly to the Chair of the Board. The CEO will have three direct reports: Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Dean of Students and Families and a Senior Administrator.
Ideal candidates will possess:
- Senior management experience in effectively leading a school or related services for young children in an urban setting. Demonstrated experience as an early childhood educator or demonstrated experience and involvement in education. Committed to the education of young children.
- Proven track record for growing an organization and building a sustainable model with strong outcomes.
- Demonstrated leadership skills with an ability to motivate and inspire a diverse group of stakeholders who are invested in the organization and its leader.
- Established record of utilizing sound business and financial management practices, managing a P&L and resource development.
- High-energy individual with vision, integrity and a passion for children and early childhood education.
- Able to mobilize staff and board towards a common goal.
- Strategic thinker with progressive business acumen and the ability to oversee daily operations in a multi-faceted organization; sensitivity to the existing culture and value base of the school.
- Experience in the day-to-day development and management of a strong leadership team with a proven track record of effectively dealing with complex, challenging organizational/ team dynamics. Ability to delegate, hold others accountable and manage a diverse workforce.
- Skilled in working in a collaborative manner to build relationships and teams with multiple internal and external stakeholders.
- Effective communicator and listener to multiple internal and external audiences concerning complex issues.
- Articulate, passionate, assertive, high energy executive with a professional demeanor.
- Self-directed and well-organized with the ability to handle multiple tasks, select priorities and focus on the issues that will most contribute to the growth and success of the school.
- Able to influence and serve as a champion for the school and its children.
- Previous experience in working effectively with a board to positively impact organizational decisions.
- Possesses a sense of urgency in wanting to positively influence and change the lives of young children.
- BS/BA degree required; advanced degree in Education, Business Administration or related field is preferred or commensurate educational leadership experience