Chief of Staff, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
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 – – 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. 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 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).
In the spring of 2023, the Board appointed a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Warren Morgan to lead the district into its next chapter. In the coming year, Dr. Morgan is looking to thoughtfully assess the current state of the district and build a clear vision moving forward. He is establishing a leadership team that is laser-focused on building the conditions for student success, and ensuring that all schools have the resources, services and supports needed to ensure high-quality instruction in every classroom and every school.
What You’ll Do
Reporting to the CEO, the Chief of Staff is a critical member of the district leadership team, speaking for the CEO when he is not present, prioritizing and facilitating the resolution of critical issues on behalf of the CEO and ensuring that the CEO is informed and engaged appropriately in key organizational decisions. This role supports the overall management of the executive leadership team, serving as a liaison to the Board of Education, city leaders, and external agencies and partners to drive the implementation of the district’s top priorities.
Your Key Responsibilities
Executive Office Leadership
- Support the CEO in the overall management of the cabinet, managing the flow of information from the CEO’s Office to senior leaders and facilitating collaboration and synergy across district departments.
- Manage the performance and effectiveness of the Executive Leadership Team, performance management and strategic planning functions.
- Advise the CEO’s cabinet on the execution of district initiatives and priorities.
- Prepare the leadership team for effective decision-making conversations, anticipating and organizing key questions and data that support productive discussions.
- Ensure that the cabinet follows through on key decisions in accordance with team agreement and the CEO’s direction and expectations.
- Help CEO and senior executives navigate through uncertainty and risk.
- Facilitate and lead teams through crisis management.
Strategic Project Oversight
- Provide strategic project management oversight for priority short and long-term district programs and initiatives from strategy formulation and development through execution.
- Develop and maintain tools to track the district’s progress toward academic, financial, and operational goals including dashboards to monitor key performance indicators. Proactively address off-track programs, teams, and metrics to achieve the objectives outlined.
- Identify and lead the implementation of data-driven, evidence-based practices districtwide that maximize outcomes and provide equitable opportunities for all CMSD scholars.
- Conduct research and synthesize information on complex topics resulting in clear and concise recommendations to the CEO, the Board, and senior leaders as appropriate.
- Perform additional ad hoc duties as needed.
Collaborative Partnerships and Relationship Building
- Identify the key roles needed to anticipate, troubleshoot and solve critical issues.
- Ensure cross-functional collaboration and align teams to realize efficiencies.
- Represent CMSD before varied external partners such as city council, business community and civic groups, legislators, etc. regarding district programs, projects, and policies.
- Stand-in for the CEO in internal meetings, serving as a key liaison between internal teams and the CEO
- Partner with internal and external stakeholders to identify opportunities to improve and streamline processes and policies.
The Skills You’ll Need to be Successful
Emotional Intelligence and Professional Maturity
- Maintain composure when conversations are challenging and decisions are unpopular.
- Fearless in the face of conflict; maintains a keen awareness of the interests and motivations of others, and acts with integrity in a politically-charged environment.
- Comfortable naming issues and addressing them openly as they occur. Not afraid to share difficult news.
- Able to lead complex and difficult tasks transparently and effectively.
- Appropriately judges the right timing to engage executive leadership around key issues.
- Reflective and self-aware; accepts responsibility for decisions, mistakes and lessons learned.
Influence, Leadership, and Interpersonal Effectiveness
- Prepares the CEO and other leaders for effective decision-making conversations, anticipating and organizing key questions and data that support productive discussions to direct key priorities.
- Proven ability to build consensus among diverse stakeholders to lead and drive change, including influencing and motivating others toward a common goal.
- Navigates political structures, relationships, and dynamics to improve results and amplify access for all scholars.
- Initiates, builds, and manages coalitions and cohesive partnerships with internal and external stakeholders including government agencies and community partners.
Problem-Solving, Decision Making, Planning, and Organization
- Models integrity through actions and communications; upholds principles and values in the face of challenges.
- Exhibits exceptional critical-thinking skills and experience in leading data-driven practices at a systems-level, including the ability to analyze data, identify trends, pinpoint problems and root causes, ask probing questions, set goals, track resources, and develop innovative solutions.
- Possesses a deep understanding of systems-level operations, management, and organizational design and uses this knowledge to deliver upon desired outcomes districtwide.
- Pursues and implements innovative ideas and methods. Committed to seeking out and sharing current research and evidence-based best practices.
- Connects purposefully and intentionally with others. Express ideas with clarity, respect, and awareness in conversations and interactions with others.
- Demonstrates transparency and authenticity in communication with stakeholders at every level. Invites, includes, and engages others in the spirit of equity and empowerment.
- Engages with diverse staff, leadership, and constituents to promote trust, collaboration, and partnerships, both internal and external to the organization. Courageous and successful at challenging and influencing peers to approach all work through the lens of equity.
Student-Centered, Data-Driven Decision Making
- Demonstrates 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.
- Leads courageously and intentionally to seek the voices of marginalized communities to invite diverse input regarding decisions that impact stakeholders directly.
- Engages in transparent decision-making and share with stakeholders how their input informs district decisions.
What You’ll 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.
- Seven (7) years of senior leadership experience in a fast-paced and high-functioning organization.
- A minimum of five (5) years of experience successfully leading and managing complex cross-functional projects with effective team management
- A demonstrable commitment to the importance of public education and advocacy for all scholars, especially scholars of color living in highly impacted environments.
- 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.
Salary range for this integral leadership position is $175,000 to $210,000 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 . The District’s Title IX Coordinator/Director of Equal Employment Opportunity may be reached at:
- 1111 Superior Avenue East, Suite 1800
- Cleveland, Ohio 44114