Family Star Montessori School has provided a transformative early childhood education for over 25 years. Just one of a handful of institutions across the country that are both certified Montessori centers and Early Head Start grantees, Family Star fosters holistic programming that is also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the highest possible accreditation for early childhood educators.
Family Star’s unique non-profit program operates from two locations in the heart of the beautiful city of Denver, ranked 2016’s Best Place to Live by U.S. News and World Report. Its Montessori program, aligned with the principles and practices of the AMI approach, is committed to supporting children and families of all backgrounds and abilities in a language-rich, family-focused, economically diverse environment. The program serves infants, toddlers, and preschoolers from infancy to age 6 in a year-round, full-day Montessori/Head Start and Early Head Start setting, while supporting pregnant mothers and children to age 6 in a home environment through the innovative Home Base initiative.
The Executive Director should be an experienced and mature leader who is able to listen and learn in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders and regulators. The Executive Director will have outstanding interpersonal skills, with an ability to understand others’ motivations and needs and the ability to imagine and build systems that respond to them. S/he will be an excellent relationship builder both internally and externally, able to engage Board members, teachers, and administrators within a dual-governance model while also serving as an effective fundraiser with prospective and current donors.
Areas of Responsibility
Provide thoughtful and sensitive leadership for a non-profit staff of about 70, reinforcing a culture of trust and teamwork that fosters dedicated innovation across Family Star Montessori School.
Lead the school to institute and execute transparent decision-making processes that encourage and incorporate input from both teachers and administrative staff.
Direct the executive team in the continued development and management of an inspiring and efficient non-profit organization, ensuring that general processes and policies effectively align staff motivations and day-to-day work with long-term goals of quality and national visibility.
Champion excellence across all programmatic and administrative dimensions by setting ambitious shared goals and working with staff to identify and secure resources critical to their achievement.
Hire, retain, motivate, and mentor a highly-qualified team of Montessori teachers and administrative professionals, creating opportunities for professional growth, recognition, and internal promotion.
Board and Policy Council Relations
Cultivate strong and open working relationships with both Board and Policy Council members with the aim of supporting Family Star’s dual-governance model as an institutional asset.
In partnership with volunteer leaders and staff, help build and maintain a diverse and inclusive non-profit Board that is representative of the community, highly engaged, and willing to contribute to and advocate for Family Star’s mission at the regional and national levels.
Serve as an ex-officio member of each Board committee, providing candid and expert guidance on major challenges and opportunities related to strategic planning, operational systems, financial interests, and national reputation.
Report quantified programmatic measures (enrollment, food service, Individualized Education Programs and Individualized Family Service Programs, revenue, cash on hand, staff retention) against stated goals and objectives and identify issues and corrective strategies.
Evaluate and enhance the long-term sustainability of a braided non-profit funding model that currently raises $5M annually from government grants, tuition, and private fundraising; ensure appropriate and ambitious funding targets are adopted relative to the marketplace and to Family Star’s financial and strategic goals.
Work with the Development Director to create and execute a comprehensive marketing, communications, and development plan designed to expand and diversify the donor base, meet and exceed revenue objectives, and maximize impact on programmatic opportunities.
Play a primary role in cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding key funders at the regional and national levels, including Head Start and Denver Great Kids Head Start as well as an array of foundation, corporate, and individual donors.
Monitor and contribute to grant compliance activities in order to reinforce Family Star’s reputation among donors.
Collaborate with staff to set standards for the integrated and balanced function of Family Star’s unique suite of non-profit programs—including the Montessori educational model, Head Start, and support services—with the goal of promoting the Family Star model on a national scale.
Develop a systematic, quantitative program evaluation process in collaboration with program staff and continually refine or change programs to ensure optimal results.
Consult regularly with program staff in order to identify and prioritize resources critical to the delivery of high-quality Montessori, nutrition, mental health, and Home Base programs.
Help ensure that the principles of a language-rich environment are practiced and effective.
Lead an organization-wide exploration of how technology may be leveraged to support a next generation of innovative program delivery.
Stay abreast of current trends in educational and supporting services models for children through age 6 and their families; anticipate potential changes in program design.
Serve as the primary spokesperson and public advocate for Family Star’s Montessori curriculum, Head Start philosophy, and highly-qualified team.
Forge excellent communication and collaborative relationships with Family Star community members who are the most active supporters of the organization’s work and ensure there are ample opportunities for stakeholders to deepen their involvement in its non-profit mission.
Identify and engage in outreach to potential community partners to build mutually beneficial relationships that advance Family Star’s mission, reputation, and funding.
Participate regularly in special events at Family Star locations and identify opportunities to showcase the breadth and depth of Family Star’s programmatic offerings to existing and potential stakeholders and partners.
At least 5 years in a non-profit leadership role which included the management of staff.
Prior role in human services, youth services, and/or early childhood education is preferred.
Knowledge and understanding of regulated entity and/or government funding is preferred; candidates must possess the interest and ability to learn where there is no prior experience.
Experience w/Montessori education and/or Early Head Start programs is desired; candidates without such experience will need to participate in Head Start & Montessori training and must commit to maintaining an active connection with Montessori techniques
Record of effectively using a consensus- and collaboration-based leadership style to meet and exceed organizational goals, especially in a program with a national profile.
Demonstrated ability to recognize and mobilize the potential of a diverse staff.
Evidence of analytical and long-term planning skills necessary to make thoughtful decisions in an evolving, multi-faceted environment with competing demands.
Flexible communication skills, including listening as well as speaking and writing; ability to match style to diverse audiences, from Board members to managers to teachers to parents.
Some experience participating in a non-profit fundraising program, including experience directly cultivating and soliciting donors.
Bilingual language skills (English and Spanish) desirable.
Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree or equivalent in Nonprofit Management, Business Administration, Education, Public Health, Human Services or related area is preferred.
Demonstrated commitment to diversity and to programs effecting community change.
Empathetic and self-aware in listening to others.
Impeccable confidentiality in dealing with records of students and their families.
Commitment to the Family Star mission, with a core passion for educating young minds, strengthening families, and building communities.
Must share belief that education is a critical component of increased self-sufficiency and opportunities for families.
Must pass a background check process, post-offer pre-employment physical, and TB test.
Family Star Montessori School offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience. Our benefits include: medical, dental, short- and long-term disability insurance, basic life insurance, an Employee Assistance Program, a matching retirement plan, professional development and tuition reimbursement opportunities.