ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY:
The inaugural Chief of Staff (CoS) to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be a system- and people-oriented professional who will serve as a culture leader, project manager and facilitator of organization-wide decision making at KIPP Colorado (KIPP CO). The CoS will be a thought partner to the CEO and the six-person Executive Leadership Team. They will also partner closely with KIPP CO’s Board and school principals.
As the first CoS and newest member of the executive team, this person will have the unique opportunity to both enhance and build new structures that will contribute to the overall impact of KIPP CO. This role is directly responsible for ensuring KIPP Colorado has a strong vision and priorities by planning and driving the development of a 5-year strategic plan. The CoS oversees structures for teaming, collaboration, culture, and accountability for the region. They will maintain effective internal cross-team coordination, especially between schools and regional support teams. Finally, the CoS will be the lead cross-functional coordinator on the KIPP Colorado Executive Leadership Team that sets the direction for the organization. The role reports directly to and serves as a critical support to the CEO.
More specifically, the CoS is charged with the following key responsibilities:
Drive strategy development, execution, and accountability:
- Strategic planning: Grounded in the KIPP network’s 2025 plan and commitment to racial justice, lead KIPP Colorado’s multi-year strategic planning process; lead organizational-wide progress monitoring of strategic plan implementation; and establish individual, team, and organizational accountability mechanisms.
- Annual planning: Beginning in Winter 2021, set the vision for and execute the annual planning processes for the KIPP Colorado regional team and six schools aligned to the organization’s multi-year plan.
- Progress monitoring: Develop organization-wide systems to collect input, analyze data (both qualitative and quantitative), and monitor/report on progress to key stakeholders and the broader organization.
- Implementation and integration: Advise the CEO on region-wide matters of strategic importance; identify and mitigate impending risks and barriers to successful strategic plan implementation; ensure that the strategic plan and growth plan are integrated throughout all regional functional areas of work; and engage internal and external stakeholders in the development and implementation of the strategic plan.
- Other: Lead strategic initiatives and special projects as determined by the CEO that are critical to KIPP Colorado’s long-term success, including organizational forecasting.
Support regional and CEO effectiveness:
- Collaboration: Collaborate with the Executive Leadership Team to set team purpose and define roles and responsibilities as a team comprised of other new senior leaders at KIPP CO.
- Thought partnership: Serve as a critical thought partner, collaborator, and organizer to the CEO, Executive Leadership Team, and Board of Directors.
- CEO proxy: Represent the CEO internally and externally, serving as a proxy as needed.
- Organizational health: Keep a pulse on the broader organization and organizational health on behalf of the CEO, including culture, systems/processes, crisis management.
- CEO time allocation: In partnership with her Executive Assistant, manage scheduling for the CEO to ensure her time is directed towards the region’s top priorities.
- Executive role clarity: Establish and manage clear divisions of responsibilities and decision rights within and across teams.
Lead teaming, collaboration, culture and special project management:
- Cross-functional team management and collaboration: Support the CEO to coordinate weekly team meetings; develop meeting agendas; ensure pre-work is completed and distributed; and manage follow-up to key actions and decisions.
- Staff culture: Support a strong, cohesive staff culture that reflects KIPP’s core values and commitment to equity while maintaining responsiveness to local identity; measure and track growth in staff culture / engagement.
- Executive Leadership Team management: Support the CEO in quarterly Executive Leadership Team step backs and monthly Leadership Team (includes Regional Team Directors, Managing Directors, C-Suite, Special Projects Manager, and Principals) meetings to assess and evaluate progress on the annual plan and priorities, as well as review and revise the strategy, as needed.
- Broader Leadership Team development: Lead the team development for organizational leaders, aligned to talent, culture and equity vision. Plan and facilitate executive team, regional team, and other senior leadership meetings by developing agendas, fostering an affirming and joyous culture, and managing follow up to actions and decisions.
- Executive Office team management: Manage 2-4 direct reports; providing leadership for the vision, goals and strategy for each function, establishing clear expectations, promoting rigorous use of data to drive decision-making and fostering a culture of accountability.
Serve as a critical steward of the KIPP Colorado Board of Directors:
- Board meeting and retreat prep: Under the guidance of the CEO, develop and maintain a strong, engaged, and active Board, including planning board meetings and producing Board materials and engaging in Board cultivation. Manage Board of Directors meetings and retreats, including working with committee chairs to set topics and create agendas. Partner with senior leaders and Executive Assistant in the creation and organization of content for all board meetings, retreats, committee meetings.
- Board administration and compliance: Support general Board administration and compliance, including following Open Meeting Law and compliance regulations.
- Board communication: Serve as a critical point of contact for all Board of Directors to communicate regional updates. Draft and edit critical memos. Prepare guests and presenters.
Provide local and network leadership:
- Participate in and contribute to KIPP national network and local charter network of talent, strategy, and leadership staff, accessing and sharing learning and support with peers in other organizations.
SUCCESS IN YEAR ONE LOOKS LIKE:
- Leveraging the strategic planning process as an opportunity to build relationships throughout KIPP Colorado and learn about each team’s priorities, goals, and objectives.
- Beginning to have touchpoints with the Board of Directors as a liaison between the Board and KIPP Colorado’s Executive Leadership Team.
- Establishing a strategic planning process that honors the perspectives and experiences of key stakeholders.
- Identifying, building and/or enhancing internal communication structures and planning systems that promote collaboration, deepening the connection between regional teams and schools, and holding all staff accountable to centering students and families.
- Modeling KIPP Colorado’s values and commitment to anti-racism that ultimately fosters a positive, inclusive, equitable and fun work environment.
- Continuously improve upon Executive Leadership Team and KIPP CO Leadership Team meeting structures, preparation, follow up and scope and sequence.
ABOUT THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE:
KIPP CO seeks a CoS with demonstrated experience leading strategy implementation and holding individuals and teams accountable to outcomes. An ideal candidate will be able to drive execution and create structures grounded in data, and facilitate effective coordination and communication amongst KIPP Colorado schools, regional departments, the Regional Leadership Team and the Board of Directors. The new CoS will build relationships throughout the organization to understand the ways in which KIPP CO’s infrastructure could help build robust strategies and plans that ultimately impact students, families, and communities.
Key Experiences include:
- Minimum of 10 years of progressive work experience with 3 or more years of project management experience, at an organizational level.
- Demonstrated leadership in organizational planning and execution with the ability to create a vision, develop a plan, marshal resources, and execute on objectives utilizing a proactive and entrepreneurial mindset.
- Excellent relationship builder with demonstrated experience managing diverse stakeholders, leading and managing change, and promoting strong collaboration across teams in service of the relentless pursuit of improvement and driving results through collective achievement.
- Prior experience exhibiting exceptional use of judgement, as well as strategic thinking and analytical skills to solve complex problems and implement solutions.
- Record of results managing both the big picture and the details.
- Experience navigating complex legal, political, and community issues, including building and nurturing an inspiring and affirming culture within and across teams.
- A hands-on approach to administrative functions and experience creating and implementing top-notch systems, operations, and processes.
- Ability to be flexible and adapt to changing priorities; ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced, demanding environment.
- Experience as a team and people manager who can motivate, mentor, and build a high-performing team.
Key Attributes Include:
- Strong commitment to the belief that all students can learn and to the mission of anti-racist, educational equity—required.
- Thrives in an entrepreneurial environment; willing to learn and take on new responsibilities; comfortable with ambiguity; ability to balance urgency and the pace of change management, as needed.
- High self-awareness, humility and integrity; personally driven to be self-reflective, learn and grow; values enabling others to succeed.
- Builds relationships marked by respect, trust, and integrity.
- Has a strong equity lens when making resource allocation decisions.
- Strong team player with excellent customer service orientation; ability to communicate, influence and build consensus across diverse stakeholder groups with self-confidence and initiative; ability to clearly communicate, teach and present to all levels of the organization and Board members.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree required & master’s degree strongly preferred (MBA or related field).
TRAVEL: Travel within Denver to KIPP Colorado’s network of schools.
ABOUT THE CEO:
Tomi Amos joined the KIPP CO team in July 2020. Prior to becoming KIPP Colorado’s Chief Executive Officer, Tomi spent nearly ten years in education leadership positions with a previous career in law and policy. In less than a year, Tomi has built a reputation on the KIPP Colorado team as a visionary, strategic-thinker and highly relational leader. She values collaboration and bringing members of the KIPP Team and Family into decision-making processes. As Tomi’s right-hand, the CoS will extend Tomi’s capacity to allow her to spend the necessary time setting the direction for KIPP Colorado and listening to the needs of students, staff, and families.
ABOUT THE TEAM:
Tomi is the leader of the Executive Leadership Team, which is comprised of the following individuals: Chief Executive Officer; Chief of Staff; Chief Operating Officer; Chief Academics Officer; Head of Schools; and the Managing Director, External Affairs. Except for the Head of Schools and CEO, each member will be a new leader on the Executive Team. This presents an opportunity for the Chief of Staff to be among a newly formed team that will spend the next few months establishing their team’s values, operating principles, and culture.
ABOUT KIPP COLORADO:
KIPP Colorado Schools (KIPP CO) is a network of six high-performing, college-preparatory public charter schools. The 300-person staff educate 2,500 students in grades 9-12 at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School and KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy, grades 5-8 at KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy and KIPP Northeast Denver Middle School, and grades Early Childhood Education (ECE)-4 through 4th grade at KIPP Northeast Elementary. In 2019, KIPP Sunshine Peak Elementary became the newest elementary school educating students from ECE-3 through 1st grade. The alumni community is supported by KIPP Through College and Career, which is KIPP CO’s comprehensive support program for the 808 high school alumni who are charting their own paths. KIPP CO’s students have seen the highest growth in English among all Colorado Schools, and we have the best-rated high school in Denver and second in Colorado. Learn more about KIPP CO’s student and family experience here.
Together with families and communities, KIPP creates joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose—college, career, and beyond—so they can lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world. KIPP is a national network of tuition-free, public charter schools open to all students. There are 255 college preparatory KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia, serving more than 100,000 students. Nationally, KIPP students are graduating four-year colleges at three times the national average for low-income students.
Compensation: This position is open for an immediate start date. Compensation is competitive and is negotiable based on experience. Employee benefits include medical, dental, participation in PERA, and a paid time-off package.
KIPP Colorado Schools is dedicated to equal employment opportunities and fair labor practices. KIPP Colorado Schools, KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, KIPP Northeast Denver Middle School, KIPP Northeast Elementary, KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy, KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy and KIPP Sunshine Peak Elementary provide equal employment opportunities to all individuals based on job-related qualifications, and the ability to perform a job without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religious creed, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, legally protected medical condition, veteran status, sexual orientation, or on any other basis made unlawful by federal, state or local laws. It is our policy to maintain a non-discriminatory environment free from intimidation, harassment or bias based upon these grounds.
Please email cover letter and resume or nominations in confidence to: KIPP_Colorado@sandlersearch.org