We're hiring!

Position description: Vice President, Community Outreach

10 / 4 / 22

About Great MN Schools

We work to ensure that every child is able to attend an excellent and equitable school that prepares them to thrive in their lives, careers, and communities.

Great schools that enroll kids from low-income backgrounds make a difference. These students grow academically at twice the rate, are twice as likely to graduate, and are six times as likely to earn a postsecondary degree. We focus on developing and sustaining great schools in Minneapolis for all students through:

  • Creating more high-performing schools for underserved communities. Our school-centered approach starts with identifying schools with strong leaders and culture, and helping them diagnose their strengths and gaps. We facilitate the development of a strategic roadmap, and surround schools with support to ensure the implementation of strategic interventions and evidence-based solutions.
  • Building community partnerships to support underserved families’ ability to navigate K-12 systems. We work with community organizations to provide families with helpful tools and resources, resulting in families choosing better options for their children, stronger family-school relationships, and stronger schools.
  • Advancing proven solutions toward more high-performing schools. We elevate what’s possible, and engage the community as partners in change.

By working alongside schools and supporting families, we’re committed to transforming education equity for students—of all backgrounds—and elevating what’s possible.

Position description 

Great MN Schools is hiring for a new position, Vice President, Community Outreach, to lead the organization’s growing grassroots and community outreach work, building on existing community and advocacy partnerships, and policy initiatives. The Vice President position will report to the CEO. Key activities include:

Community mobilization

  • Lead the organization’s strategy for effective, multi-pronged community engagement and mobilization to strengthen schools across our city:
    • Grasstops—develop and launch a Fellowship program to educate and engage key business and civic leaders in the challenges and solutions specific to K-12 education in the city of Minneapolis, so they are compelled to take action and prioritize education now and in the future; expand the universe of business and civic leader relationships for the organization and nurture these relationships.
    • Grassroots—Support the Director of Community Partnerships to identify and lead implementation of strategies to mobilize and activate families, students, and educators connected with Great MN Schools. Build community-wide capacity around family advocacy, through partnerships with new and existing community advocates.
  • Partner closely with the Sr. Director of External Affairs to elevate perspectives from diverse stakeholders (e.g., students or Black, Brown, or Indigenous families) on schools and K-12 solutions; explore and develop strategies to reach high-impact, critical audiences through effective channels.

Policy & advocacy

  • Lead efforts to enhance effectiveness and accountability of district and charter governance structures.
    • Grow and manage the Get on Board program, a school board candidate training program produced in partnership with the Northside Achievement Zone, Voices for Racial Justice, and Ayada Leads.
    • Oversee the production of the Minneapolis School Board Voter Guide, in partnership with Pollen and other community and advocacy organizations (see the 2020 guide here).
    • Lead the creation of new strategies and initiatives to strengthen voter awareness of school board candidates and down ballot voting.
    • Identify opportunities to collaborate with and hold the Minneapolis Board of Education accountable to school and community needs.
    • Lead relationship and priorities alignment with organizations representing public charter schools and independent schools, including, for example, the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools.
  • Lead development and execution of multi-year public policy campaigns that support our mission and strategic priorities. Campaigns include, but are not limited to, advancing evidence-based literacy practices, and devising well-rounded school quality frameworks for systems and decision-makers.
    • Oversee annual policy and advocacy grantmaking, including development of grantmaking objectives, managing the approval and reporting process, and ongoing engagement with grantees to track progress on grant milestones.
    • Develop strategies to activate voters and Minneapolis residents to take action in support of campaigns and solutions to strengthen schools and K-12 systems in our community.

Tools & resources

  • Extend the reach of Great MN Schools tools and resources that help families identify a best-fit school and deepen their work as academic partners in their child’s learning and achievement. Tools include Minnesota Standards Family Guides and the Minneapolis School Finder:
    • Cultivate a pipeline of potential distribution partners that serve the organization’s target communities; Extend reach of Great MN Schools tools through outreach to community-facing organizations, including after-school programs, daycares, churches, mosques, housing organizations, etc.
    • Work closely with the Director of Tools & Resources to refine the value proposition of partnership with community organizations and identify opportunities to augment the existing suite of resources, based on feedback from community organizations and families.

People management

  • Manage the Director of Community Partnerships. Ensure the Director of Community Partnerships is supported to achieve goals and receives meaningful opportunities for growth and development.
  • Work closely with a Great MN Schools board committee established to provide ongoing feedback and advice around above priorities.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate has at least 10 years of professional experience leading community engagement efforts toward meaningful change. S/he is strategic, detail oriented, able to juggle multiple projects at once, enjoys working in a team setting, and is able to bring a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to their work. S/he is passionate about education and closing education opportunity gaps in Minneapolis. S/he brings the following skills and personal characteristics:

Skills

  • Experience in and expertise working across lines of difference, particularly in racially and ethnically diverse settings
  • Experience leading a high-performing team
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and ability to identify impactful opportunities for shared work toward common goals
  • Experience designing and executing a community outreach strategy, including (but not limited to) leading electoral or issue-based campaigns or leading community mobilization, engagement, and/or organizing efforts
  • Understanding of the local K-12 education policy landscape and relevant education organizations, decision-makers, and institutions preferred; relationships and credibility in twin cities landscape required
  • Experience managing multiple priorities simultaneously with strong attention to detail, ability to operate independently and in collaboration with others
  • Demonstrated ability to manage timelines and meet deadlines, and proactively identify problems and potential solutions, resulting in an ability to move forward work in a fluid environment with significant flexibility
  • Ability to learn quickly and adapt to changing circumstances
  • A high bar for quality and accuracy
  • Experience collaborating with external consultants and contractors
  • Knowledge and experience with Microsoft Office, and project management and CRM software (e.g., Wrike, Salesforce)
  • Fluency in Spanish, Somali, or Hmong desired, but not required

Personal characteristics

  • Strong commitment to Great MN Schools’ mission and vision to transform K-12 education so that children of all races, means, and origins access excellent and equitable schools:
    • Mission—Ensure every child attends a great school that prepares them to thrive in their lives, careers, and community
    • Values—Honesty, Inclusivity, Intentionality, Courage, and Collaboration
  • Growth mindset; a good attitude and willingness to get the job done and done well
  • Ability to apply an equity lens in their work and actively participate in the organization’s DEI work
  • Enthusiasm, team-orientation, strong work ethic, and positive energy
  • Results orientation; ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment with a strong commitment to collaboration

Location

Great MN Schools offices in the Uptown Minneapolis WeWork office located at 1330 Lagoon Ave. Team members are expected to work from the office two days a week (currently Tuesday and Wednesday).

Compensation

$140,000-$175,000, plus a competitive benefits package, including 401K match, health, vision, and dental insurance, disability coverage, and access to HSA and FSA plans. Employees are also eligible for the team bonus program, designed to support collaboration and collective ownership, and to recognize shared impact on organizational goals.

Apply by Oct. 31, 2022

Please submit your resume and a cover letter to info@greatmnschools.org with “Application:  Vice President, Community Outreach” in the subject line.

Great MN Schools is an equal opportunity employer. We value diversity within our team. We encourage applicants who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and people from households with low incomes to apply.