Who We Are
As the second largest school district in the state of Ohio, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) serves approximately 35,000 scholars across 99 schools, including 65 schools serving PreK through 8th grade, 31 High Schools, and 3 remote or virtual school options. Our district is grounded in the progress achieved since the introduction of our community-driven reform framework – The Cleveland Plan – and we are poised to continue these essential efforts to ensure that all public school scholars have a high-quality, equitable education in schools that inspire joy in learning. Alongside the district are a whole host of community organizations, philanthropic foundations, and other agencies that form a broad-based coalition in support of this mission. Based on the pursuit of a more fair, just, and good system of education for scholars in the CMSD system, our families have the opportunity to choose which schools their scholars attend, with extensive options that include STEM, the arts, single-gender education, International Baccalaureate, Montessori, and early college. Our new Vision for Learning is personalized for each scholar and designed to engage scholars deeply with increased autonomy on their respective learning journeys. Rooted in the elements of Competency-Based Education, Anytime/Anywhere Learning, Whole Human Learning, and Personalized Learner Pathways, we aim to amplify the experience and opportunity for each scholar and family we are honored to serve. Strong community partnerships support our efforts to help scholars select, prepare for and access futures of their choice through Say Yes Cleveland’s wraparound support and tuition scholarships, advising through College Now, and Planning and Career Exploration (PACE).
What You Will Do
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports directly to the nine-member Board of Education, appointed by and working in collaboration with the Mayor of the City of Cleveland. Your charge will be to foster a culture that partners with scholars and their families, staff, and community members to reach shared goals. Our new CEO will bring the innovative vision, authentic engagement, and leadership experience necessary to build on our successes to date, while recognizing and embracing the challenges and opportunities we will encounter in the years to come.
Your Key Responsibilities
- Ensure a purposeful education experience with a focus on future success for each CMSD scholar
- Pursue racially equitable educational outcomes for scholars, eliminating achievement differences between scholars of different races while ensuring high academic achievement across all scholars.
- Make a positive impact on scholar learning with a balanced focus on academic rigor, standards-based proficiency and academic outcomes to ensure that scholars are prepared with the academic foundations to be successful in college and career.
- Adopt instructional models and structures based on practices that are research-based, culturally responsive, and consistently effective in terms of measurable student achievement outcomes.
- Cultivate learning environments that fully support the diverse learning needs of each of our scholars, including talented and gifted, English Language Learners, diverse learners and scholars with disabilities.
- Expand and strengthen multiple program opportunities such as advanced placement (AP) offerings, career and technical education (CTE) and trade options, and other external learning experiences in the CMSD community that are equitable across all CMSD schools.
- Implement a clear strategy for the future of the district that amplifies and supports The Cleveland Plan
- Spearhead the strategic planning processes for the district in concert with the Board, Mayor and community partners using the Cleveland Plan as the shared roadmap.
- Seek feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders in an effort to be responsive to community input with respect to short- and long-term planning.
- Build on the organization’s past successes and commit to continuous improvement through analysis, inquiry, and assessment of results and alignment to district strategic priorities.
- Maintain open and ongoing communication with stakeholders related to strategic plan outcomes.
- Create conditions for a thriving workforce for district staff through thoughtful professional development systems and retention practices
- Recruit, retain, develop and inspire highly effective staff at every level of the organization with an emphasis on diversity, fair and equitable compensation, and culturally-responsive education practices.
- Inspire and support all staff to become effective at every level of the organization with a particular emphasis on the implementation of culturally-responsive education practices.
- Strengthen professional development opportunities and professional competencies of staff through precise, differentiated learning aligned with achievement goals.
- Create the conditions for staff to collaborate, seek support, feel valued, and be empowered to demonstrate their best work on behalf of the scholars they serve.
- Foster strong relationships rooted in transparency, integrity, and clarity
- Speak authentically with stakeholders about what is happening in the district - communicate with integrity and openness.
- Expand trust, partnership and connection with our community by learning what matters to our scholars, families and communities to inform key decisions and enhance learning for each scholar.
- Communicate and collaborate with members of the Board, advising the Board on initiatives and issues in the district; provide leadership to enable the Board to function effectively.
- Sustain productive relationships with labor unions and employee associations in the district to amplify coherence, build shared understanding, and promote consistent communication.
- Lead effective financial management and efficient operations within the district
- Ensure the financial sustainability and equitable distribution of resources through the effective management of district finances.
- Manage the daily operations of the district within defined policy parameters, ensuring effective planning, supervision, execution and evaluation of the programs, services, and facilities of the district.
- Ensure the safety and security of scholars and staff through ongoing reviews of policies, equipment, personnel, and by collaborating with community partners.
- Assess and ensure a strategic organizational structure that is optimized to provide efficient service, strategic problem solving and service mindset in support of each school’s success.
- Enhance partnership with local transportation providers and other community partners to improve options and increase safety for scholars utilizing public transportation to get to and from school.
- Provide accurate and meaningful reports to the Board about district operations and progress at regular board meeting intervals and at other times as needed.
The Skills You Will Need to be Successful
- Student-Centered, Data-Driven Decision Making
- Demonstrate belief that each scholar can achieve at the highest levels; hold self and others accountable for promoting high expectations for the academic achievement of CMSD scholars.
- Lead courageously and intentionally to seek the voices of marginalized communities to invite diverse input regarding decisions that impact stakeholders directly.
- Engage in transparent decision-making and share with stakeholders how their input informs district decisions.
- Demonstrated Ability to Implement and Manage Equitable Practices
- Address matters of race, equity and bias in how decisions are made with clarity, confidence, humility, historical context, and empathy. Recognize power dynamics that exist within the organization at all levels and eliminate inequities through honest conversations and purposeful actions.
- Navigate systemic racism and other oppressive systems through intentional analysis and documented action; address systemic inequities to improve the experience and outcomes for scholars, teachers, staff and families of color across the district.
- Foster, promote, and drive a culture of inclusion in the organization and commit to improve DEI practices in the district’s planning, prioritization and implementation of key initiatives.
- Ensure equity and inclusion for scholars with disabilities, and for scholars and families for whom English is not their first or home language.
- Create authentic, meaningful relationships across lines of difference (race, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic background, LGBTQIA+ status, etc.) both internally and externally.
- Model social and cross-cultural empathy with authenticity and humility.
- Authentic Communication and Coalition Building
- Cultivate trust among board members, district staff, teachers, leaders, and core stakeholders to establish a clear and compelling vision for purposeful engagement, rigorous academic experiences, and organizational effectiveness that has a direct and measurable impact on student outcomes.
- Maintain consistent visibility and accessibility. Communicate effectively, tailoring messages for each audience, context, and mode of communication.
- Push back thoughtfully when needed to avoid distraction from core priorities and goals in the better interest of student success.
- Collaborate effectively across organizational boundaries to achieve meaningful outcomes for scholars.
- Purposeful Team Leadership and Experienced Organizational Management
- Attract, cultivate, manage and develop a high-performing leadership team to achieve ambitious goals aligned with the district’s strategic plan.
- Empower direct reports to provide frequent and open feedback regarding district practices and policies, and to elevate the impact the team’s work has on stakeholders.
- Hold self and others accountable for high standards of performance, communication, collaboration and transparency toward the achievement of key goals and priorities.
- Model and foster conditions for professional growth and organizational learning through continuous feedback, honesty, and coaching.
- Exhibit keen financial management skills with the capacity, experience, and skills to manage a $700M+ budget.
- Prioritize the most urgent decisions and willingly make difficult decisions – and say no – when necessary in the best interest of the district as a whole.
What You Will Bring
- Successful experience working in diverse economic, multicultural, and multilingual communities and environments. Proven cultural-competence skills with a history of inclusive and relevant equity practices.
- Demonstrated track record of success with improving student and/or organizational outcomes and data-driven decision making ideally in an urban public school district setting.
- Demonstrated previous success fostering functional and productive relationships with union leadership or employee associations.
- Advanced knowledge of public school policy and law, procedures and management. Thorough understanding of national, state and local educational goals and standards required to advance high quality, accessible, equitable public education.
- A demonstrable commitment to the importance of public education and advocacy for all scholars, especially scholars of color living in highly impacted environments.
- 7 years of senior leadership experience at progressive levels of responsibility with evidence of successful development and organizational outcomes.
- Experience working in conjunction with a board to identify priorities, establish goals, monitor progress, and produce outcomes in service to stakeholders.
- A growth mindset and belief that continuous improvement happens through purposeful, relevant, differentiated learning experiences that set all scholars up for success.
- Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity in times of tremendous change, and to prioritize work efforts to achieve overall strategy as defined in collaboration with the Board of Education and Mayor.
What We Offer
Salary range for this integral leadership position is $245,000 to $300,000 and commensurate with prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package will be included in the ultimate offer for the identified sole finalist. We look forward to discussing details with you as the interview process progresses.
We believe that equity and inclusion at CMSD is an essential call to action, a catalyst to ensure value and appreciation among all our employees, so we may be fair and welcoming now and in the future. CMSD provides equal opportunities for employment, retention and advancement of all personnel by administering all terms and conditions of employment regardless of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, sex, disability or genetic information, age, citizenship status, military status, sexual orientation or expression, socio-economic status, title, other dimensions of identity, or any other characteristic protected by law.
The District’s Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, and Sexual Harassment and the District’s Title IX grievance procedures, including information on how to report or file a complaint of discrimination, how to report or file a formal complaint of sexual harassment, and how the District will respond, may be accessed on the District’s Civil Rights Notices webpage, available at ClevelandMetroSchools.org/domain/105. The District’s Title IX Coordinator/Director of Equal Employment Opportunity may be reached at:
1111 Superior Avenue East, Suite 1800
Cleveland, Ohio 44114