Collaborative for Educational Services
The Board of Directors of the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES), an educational service agency based in Northampton, Massachusetts, seeks a dynamic and experienced executive director.
CES is a public, nonprofit Massachusetts educational collaborative (educational service agency) organized pursuant to the authority of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) under M.G.L. Ch. 40, § 4E, and consistent with regulations described in 603 CMR §50.00. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, with over 480 full and part time employees located across the Commonwealth, and an annual budget of approximately $39 million.
Mission and Values Driven
The CES mission is to develop and foster educational excellence and opportunity for all learners through collaboration and leadership. Since 1974, CES has been working with schools, districts, and educators; communities; families; children, youth and adult learners.
At CES, we believe that everyone is a learner, and that with the right support every learner can find success. We are committed to reaching and educating all young people, and we are experienced in working with educators to help students learn and succeed. To that end, we are a community of innovative and effective professionals dedicated to improving education.
The principles and practices of social justice, equity and inclusion are foundational to our organization and have always been critical to our mission. We understand that all forms of oppression are damaging. CES sets its sights on understanding and taking collective action to challenge racism and support equity. Our work is done proactively and purposefully, with the intent of positive outcomes, and because we need to.
CES Programs, Services, and Activities
We provide special education programs and services; after school, early childhood and alternative programs; educator and administrator professional development; educator preparation programs for licensure; and technical assistance and consulting in a wide array of areas of expertise, as well as supporting districts with business services and cooperative purchasing programs. In addition, our Healthy Families and Communities department works with school and community groups and partners to provide prevention programs addressing health, nutrition and food insecurity, fitness, underage substance abuse prevention, school climate and bullying, and trauma-informed communities.
CES derives a significant portion of its revenue from approximately 60 state, federal, and foundation grants and contracts. CES has two contracts which provide education to all justice-involved youth who are under the custody of the Department of Youth Services (DYS) and by contract with the state, we provide Special Education in Institutional Settings. The Education Stability team in DESE’s Office of Student and Family Support recently awarded the Massachusetts Migrant Education Program (MMEP) contract to CES to provide educational support services to the migrant students and families across the state. We receive no allocation of unrestricted funds directly from the Commonwealth, and so we are an entrepreneurial, innovative, and highly responsive agency. We succeed through our excellent work and through a focus on mission, vision, and values, which include a commitment to infuse principles and practices of social justice, equity, inclusion and culturally-responsive practices into all of our work and in the agency culture.
CES provides our programs and service to 36 member school districts in Hampshire and Franklin Counties, and to other districts and schools throughout Massachusetts and New England. In FY19, our student-facing programs touched 3,557 students in and outside our member districts; and 5,992 educators participated in our professional development services, coaching, and support.
Leadership and Governance: CES is governed by a board of directors made up of one School Committee representative from each of the member districts. CES Board of Directors has a clear set of responsibilities in oversight, finance, policy development, decision making and other areas, all described in M.G.L. Ch. 40, § 4E, 603 CMR §50.00, and articulated in the DESE-mandated Agreement of the Collaborative for Educational Services, which is signed by all member districts. The CES Board has an active five-member Executive Committee and Finance, Policy, and Evaluation committees. CES also has two Superintendent Advisory Committees that are composed of superintendents from member districts. In addition, CES has a well-established Cabinet of nine agency leaders, along with the executive director, to assist with major agency transitions, initiatives, and strategic matters.
The Role of Executive Director
The Position: The Executive Director of CES is the chief executive and is charged by state statutes, the Collaborative Agreement, and the CES Board with carrying out specific responsibilities, mainly in managing daily operations and services; recommending policies to the board of directors; managing internal and external relations; representing CES to other agencies, officials, and the public; and other duties. The executive director reports to the CES Board of Directors and the board oversees and evaluates the executive director.
History of the position: The new executive director will succeed William (Bill) Diehl who has successfully led CES for ten years as deputy director and then executive director.
Under the leadership of Mr. Diehl, the agency has expanded programs, services, and grants. The CES community has worked with intention and commitment to develop a culture of compassion and care, establish and embrace principles of social justice and equity as foundational to our agency, and developed a set of values for both our internal and external work. Under his leadership and with the support of a dedicated staff and board of directors, we’ve added new districts to our membership, developed a formal Collaborative Agreement with members as required by new legislation, and deepened our collaborations with schools, districts, legislators, and community and state partners including DESE, DYS, DMH, EEC, and others. As a result, the agency has broadened and deepened its commitment to positive outcomes for some of the state’s most vulnerable children and youth.
CES strives to be innovative, and we’ve made tremendous progress, guided by our Five Year Strategic Plan; the reorganization of structures and workflows, and the adoption of more efficient and effective information
technologies. Through Mr. Diehl’s commitment to collaboration and servant leadership, CES has built a reputation across the state as a promoter of high quality education for all, and an advocate for social justice and equity (SJE).
- Taking an inclusive leadership approach
- Cultivating collaborations and partnerships
- Serving as a convener for area superintendents and other leaders to share best-practices and problem-solve common issues
- Keeping abreast of key developments in education and sharing with staff and districts
- Advocating for state and federal funding
- Ensuring an inclusive process to address challenges and identify effective models for expanding organizational capacity and expertise
- Prioritizing SJE work internally and externally to address educational equity and access
- Developing strategic relationships with governmental officials and community groups
- Leading organizational change to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness
The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications, attributes and experiences needed for success in the position:
▪ Vision, mission, values driven leadership
▪ Ability to effectively collaborate within an organization, with a board of directors consisting of over 30 members, and with multiple and diverse external partners
▪ Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive practices – personally and within an organization using an anti-racist analysis
▪ Empathy and commitment to building a community of care
▪ Strong communication skills, commitment to openness and transparency, and ability to adapt messages for different audiences
▪ Visionary with skills in setting long-term and competitive goals that inform short-term strategies
▪ Integrity, honesty, and inspires trust
▪ Creative problem solver and positive mindset
▪ Adaptability and ability to delegate and share leadership
▪ Skilled business and strategic planner with an entrepreneurial mind-set
Required Knowledge and Experience:
- A minimum of ten years of successful administrative experience in leadership positions in the public and/or private sector
- Master’s Degree in Education or related field; doctorate preferred
- Massachusetts Administrator License required upon hire, or within one year of hiring; Superintendent License preferred
- Demonstrated fiscal leadership and knowledge of financial sustainability including budget development, risk management, grants, contracts and audits
- Ability to think strategically, creatively and tactically
- Entrepreneurial vision for programs and direct services to children, youth, and families
- Ability to build collaborative relationships with a variety of stakeholders with a proven success developing business and community partnerships
- Successful experience with union relationships, including bargaining
- Accustomed to using data-driven decision-making to ensure the success of the organization’s staff, students and member districts
- Success in obtaining public and private funding
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse individuals and organizations
- Proven ability to manage conflict through collaboration and compromise
- Demonstrated leadership skills, supervision and working effectively with a board of directors
- Experience in developing innovative programs, services, and funding in response to emerging needs and evaluation
- Knowledge of Special Education and educator professional development
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Proficient with a variety of technologies, Microsoft Office, Google applications, project management software
- Highly developed personal and professional integrity
- Knowledge of and commitment to principles and practices of social justice, equity, and inclusion
- Passionate commitment to the mission and vision of an organization
Please visit our website at https://www.collaborative.org/employment/careers/executive-director-search to read more about the position, benefits, organizational opportunities and future direction of CES. Apply through our online applicant tracking platform. The application process includes uploading a cover letter, resume, licensure and list of professional references. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2021.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue through the submission date.
- Recruitment and applicant screening: December – January 2021
- Interviews begin: February – March 2021
- Second interviews and virtual visits: March and April 2021
- Final interview with the CES Board of Directors: May 2021
- Interviews will be conducted through phone conference and video technology with finalists meeting in-person and video conference with the CES Board of Directors: May 2021
- CES would like to welcome a new executive director on July 1, 2021.
This timeline may change depending on the circumstances and needs of the interview committees and applicants.
CES is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to creating and maintaining an organization dedicated to education, social justice, equity, and inclusion. We are particularly interested in candidates from a diverse range of cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds and candidates whose backgrounds are well-suited to understanding and addressing the needs of the diverse student populations, school districts, and state-wide programs we serve.