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Chief Executive Officer

Mastery Charter Schools

Job Description

Chief Executive Officer

Full Job Description

About Mastery:
We believe educational inequity is the most pressing social problem facing our country and the civil rights issue of our day. Mastery exists to help solve this problem. Our ultimate goal is to create a model urban school district that serves all students with excellence. We are organized around one driving mission: All students learn the academic and personal skills they need to be truly prepared for postsecondary success and able to pursue their dreams. To fulfill this mission, we attend to the whole child – academically and emotionally – matching high expectations for students with high levels of support.
Mastery Charter Schools is a nonprofit network of more than 24 schools serving over 14,000 students in Philadelphia and Camden. We are the largest turnaround school operator in the nation and have been lauded by President Obama and the US Department of Education for our ability to dramatically boost academic achievement in historically low-performing schools.
We know neighborhood schools matter, all students deserve access to a great education, and the people in our buildings can grow and develop sustainably to make the biggest impact possible in this work.
Mastery's Equity Vision:

We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to achieving our mission.

We strive to be an anti-racist school district that eliminates the inequities in academic achievement that limit our students’ choices; that cultivates classrooms where every student is affirmed, supported, and held to high expectations; and that nurtures a diverse organization where students, staff, and families are valued, respected, and included.

The Opportunity:
Mastery Charter Schools seeks a seasoned, strategic leader with a demonstrated commitment to the organization’s mission and values-based approach to guide Mastery in its next chapter. The CEO will set the vision for the organization and is responsible for ensuring Mastery Schools deliver on that vision and the promise of Mastery’s mission to students and families.


  • Key Responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer include:
Set Organization Direction & Strategy
  • Articulate vision of a model urban school district serving students from marginalized communities
  • Anticipate, lift up, and respond to underlying shifts in the internal and external environment and strategic threats and opportunities
  • Lead 3-5 year strategic planning to define student outcomes, organizational goals, and key strategies to achieve those goals; engage parents, staff, school leaders, and boards in strategic planning
  • Support annual planning processes to ensure alignment with strategic goals and priorities. Ensure an aligned planning process at the central office and school levels
  • Set annual goals for schools and network support teams
Build & Manage High-Functioning Senior Leadership Team
  • Attract and retain senior leadership team members, ensuring that all central office functions are led by exceptional leaders who deliver results
  • Manage and coach a senior leadership team, including Chiefs of Schools, Academics, Talent, Finance, Information Technology, External Strategy, Operations & Equity
  • Manage Deputy/Chief of Staff responsible for ensuring senior management processes and strategic planning are effective, efficient, and connected to key stakeholders
  • Ensure disciplined processes to create and track progress on organization and team goals
  • Ensure the senior leadership team is responsive to significant changes in the environment
Ensure Central Support Functions Enable Schools To Meet Goals
  • Organize and staff central office teams to support schools in achieving their goals
  • Ensure excellent service, support delivery, and communication between Network Support and schools
  • Work with Schools Team and Chiefs to ensure two-way feedback between the central office and schools
  • Address alignment and cohesion issues across the network
  • Problem-solve support and communication challenges and rally the team to meet essential school needs
Manage External Environment
  • Ensure the external environment supports Mastery’s work
  • Support a robust parent organizing strategy, including active Mastery Parent Action Teams at all schools
  • Nurture relationships with key major donors and foundations
  • Manage the Mastery Schools Foundation board
  • Represent Mastery in public forums
Lead & Nurture Mastery Values & Culture of Excellence
  • Continually reinforce and model Mastery Values. Ensure all leaders and every level of the organization is rooted in Mastery’s mission and values
  • Partner with the Chiefs team to push Mastery to ensure all students thrive and all staff can do their best work at Mastery
  • Exercise strong judgment in making critical decisions about what Mastery prioritizes and how Mastery operates
Engage Key Stakeholders
  • Manage Mastery’s three boards (Philadelphia, Camden, Foundation). Ensure board members are engaged, provide meaningful strategic guidance and multiple perspectives
  • Ensure Mastery parents and staff are informed of, and engaged in, major network decisions
  • Communicate Mastery’s message and brand to parents and internal staff and ensure they are emotionally connected to their school and the Mastery organization


  • 10+ years of leadership experience in a high-performing K-12 school organization or nonprofit, preferably serving students from marginalized communities; track record of achieving significant measurable results within the context of experience;
  • Commitment to the Mastery Charter Schools mission and vision of establishing and supporting high-quality, values-based elementary and secondary charter schools for populations of students who have been historically underserved by the public school system;
  • Visionary and strategic thinker with a strong ability to recognize trends and patterns in the organization and the external environment and use that to develop an inclusive vision for the future;
  • Actively approaches the work with a strengths-based orientation to the communities Mastery serves
  • Inspiring people leader with a track record of being an exceptional talent recruiter, developer, and people manager, including experience managing other senior leaders;
  • Experience leading in a large, multi-site organization, knowledgeable about best practices around building cohesive systems, culture, and community across an organization;
  • Execution-focused operational leader who has demonstrated success in creating systems that support and monitor quality execution across multiple functions;
  • An emotionally intelligent and inclusive leader who can lead a high-performing and diverse team to be cohesive, engaged, challenged, and motivated;
  • A strong relationship builder with demonstrated experience building trusting relationships with a wide variety of constituents, including families, staff, political and community leaders, board members, funders, and authorizers;
  • A strategic navigator with success navigating through complex political environments;
  • A compelling communicator who can inspire, make the complex simple, and is effective at stewarding partnerships
Mastery Charter Schools is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from people of all backgrounds. Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience. We offer a full benefits program and opportunities for professional growth.

UPDATE AS OF MAY 2022 - Please review Mastery’s Health and Safety Plans here to learn about our approach to vaccination and testing as well as our response to COVID-19 for the 2021-22 school year. For ongoing positions, Mastery roles are designated as in-person, with regular on-site responsibilities, unless otherwise noted. As such, Employees must be able to support Mastery Schools’ academic plan and business strategies on-site – at a Mastery campus - as required.

Exceptions to this requirement will be considered on an individualized basis.

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