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Model Education Leader

  • Date Posted
    • 2.14.18
  • Organization
    • Partner Schools
  • Region
    • Midwest
  • Role
    • School Leadership
  • Commitment
    • Full-Time
  • Location
    • Cleveland, OH

Breakthrough Schools
Model Education Leader, Citizens Academies

Citizens Academy Schools

The Citizens Academy (CA) Schools are a cluster of three high-performing college preparatory elementary schools (Citizens Academy, Citizens Academy East, Citizens Academy Southeast) within the Breakthrough Schools network.  The CA schools serve nearly 1200 Cleveland students in grades K-5, 95% of whom are students of color with over 80% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. CA students have successfully outperformed their Cleveland Metro School District (CMSD) counterparts within their respective neighborhoods in terms of student achievement test scores. Breakthrough Schools is a nationally recognized network that was rated the best CMO network in Ohio by a recent CREDO study at Stanford University. For more information, please visit

The CA mission is to develop “learners who exemplify academic excellence and responsible citizenship,” and the K-5 CA schools feed Citizens Leadership Academy (CLA) middle schools serving grades 6-8. CLA is an EL Education school with a strong emphasis on social justice and experience based learning. CLA will share space in two of the three CA school buildings, and Breakthrough would like to see more intentional continuity between the CA and CLA programming, especially at the 4th–6th grade levels.

While the CA schools have been successful on a variety of measures, the CA Board believes that there are opportunities for further improvement in areas of academic performance, parent engagement, and annual student attrition. They are looking for a Model Education Leader to serve as Superintendent for CA schools.

Model Education Leader Role

Breakthrough Schools is seeking an experienced and visionary academic leader to serve as CA Schools’ Model Education Leader. The Model Education Leader will be responsible for the academic success of the CA Schools charged with building off of the past successes, traditions and strengths of these schools with new ideas and cutting-edge practices that address the ever-changing needs of the urban education landscape.  S/he will advance the development of a rigorous, effective curriculum while affirming a culture of high expectations and ensuring that the schools’ vision and mission are living through their work with students every day. In addition, s/he will be a passionate advocate for CA’s work on behalf of its students and families and will maintain a thriving K-5th grade program that promotes a high level of academic rigor for all students, marrying that intent with a focus on responsible citizenship.

The ideal Model Education Leader candidate will be a strong communicator with expertise building rapport with multiple stakeholder groups including parents, principals, teachers, Board Members, community partners, and network staff. S/he will be skilled at engaging these stakeholders to build alignment and buy-in around a vision for student success and then managing the process to ensure that vision comes to life. In addition, s/he will have some experience with, and/or exposure to, EL Education and a capacity for leading collaboration across schools to ensure an aligned and integrated K-8 program between CA and CLA’s middle schools to support CA students’ transition to middle school.

Reporting directly to Breakthrough Schools’ Chief Executive Officer and the CA Schools Board of Directors, the Model Education Leader will also serve on the Breakthrough Leadership Team as a C-Level senior executive along with the other Model Leaders and Chief Officers of the network to help set the vision and direction for the Breakthrough network of schools.  


The Model Education Leader’s Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Facilitating the development of a consistent vision for the CA Schools’ success and then ensuring quality and consistency in implementation of this vision across all schools within the Citizens Model;
  • Serving as the chief designer of the academic program and continuously refining the CA Way including designing the vision for curriculum, integration of technology, school culture, classroom management, and discipline policie
  • Managing the instructional team to fully develop, assess on an ongoing basis, and continuously improve upon the model and these programs and practices; 
  • Managing instructional leaders as a supervisor, coach, and consensus builder by remaining deeply committed to developing and bringing out the strengths of all of CA’s people while holding them accountable for their goals and desired student outcomes;
  • Identifying, hiring, and onboarding top talent for CA school leadership positions in the model as well as building a robust pipeline of school-based talent for CA schools positions;
  • Creating a philosophy and framework for assessing, developing, promoting, and retaining talent within the model, in collaboration with leaders and teacher leaders, that is aligned to the Growth, Recognition and Opportunities (GRO) initiative;
  • Leveraging network supports and programs around talent initiatives related to leadership development, differentiated pay, performance management and talent acquisition;
  • Coordinating the CA and CLA schools to guarantee CA students graduate fully prepared for Middle School success in the CLA schools by ensuring alignment in K-8 programming
  • Codifying a culture that supports the embodiment of the CA schools’ seven virtues (responsibility, respect, perseverance, honesty, generosity, courage, and loyalty) in both its students and its staff, emphasizes a no-excuses mindset and maintains high behavioral and academic expectations in a nurturing school environment where all students can succeed;
  • Regularly reviewing data to ensure that all schools are on track to meet performance goals, identifying potential challenges and working with Principals to develop clear action plans for addressing these areas, as well as providing on-the-ground coaching and support to principals in implementing these plans; 
  • Building the capacity of the CA Schools staff to understand the effects of race, class, ethnicity, income, and gender identity to ensure equitable outcomes for students; 
  • Partnering with the Model Operations Leader to assure that all schools have the operational support they need for success, while strategizing the timing, planning, staffing and implementation of new CA school replications;
  • Supporting the replication of new schools by selecting new school leaders and completing all necessary start-up steps in collaboration with the Breakthrough Support Team, Model Operations Leader, and new school leader, sustaining academic success of the existing schools;
  • Serving as a “C-Level Leader” on the network wide Breakthrough Leadership Team to inform the future vision and success of the Breakthrough Schools Network and support network-wide initiatives, including but not limited to: strategic planning, the principal residency program, professional development, and teacher and school leadership talent management initiatives;
  • Collaborating closely with peer Model Education Leaders as an engaged thought partner to share cutting-edge developments and best practices in urban education and form an effective professional learning community that is focused on network wide improvements;
  • Participating in talent acquisition for the CA schools and network as needed, including building awareness and rapport with potential candidates, university/college faculty, and staff to support Breakthrough Schools and the Model as an “employer of choice”;
  • Serving on the Steering Committee that is designing innovative leadership pathways and teacher leadership pipelines, as well as developing strategies for improved retention of the best teachers and staff as part of the GRO initiative.  


In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Model Education Leader will be:
  • An accomplished leader with a minimum of 15 years of professional experience including strong teaching and school leadership experience in an urban school setting as a principal, academic administrator, leadership coach, or similar position in a setting that produces outstanding outcomes for the children they serve;
  • A person who fundamentally believes in the model and philosophy of CA Schools and the mission of Breakthrough Schools, that all children can achieve at the highest levels regardless of their personal circumstances and background; 
  • Strongly committed to the Breakthrough Values that undergird Citizens and Breakthrough: We do what’s best for kids.  We help each other grow.  We embrace our diversity.  We tell the truth.  We stand together;
  • Strategic in their mindset, with the ability to craft and align a team around a compelling vision for excellence;
  • Inspiring in their management style with experience leading leaders, willing to devote time to coach and develop colleagues while holding them accountable to measurable results;
  • Experienced in overseeing a complex organization, knowledgeable about best practices around school growth and programmatic expansion, and able to manage organizational change effectively;
  • A self-reflective leader who understands the effects of race, class, ethnicity, income, gender identity, and other issues of difference in our society and has personally worked in similar communities to ensure all students have an opportunity to achieve their personal dreams of college and career success;
  • Knowledgeable about the academic and social-emotional needs of elementary school students and experience working directly with urban students in communities of poverty;
  • Dynamic and versatile, able to engage a variety of individuals in dialogue and speak in a clear, compelling, and authentic manner about the organization’s goals and priorities;
  • Exceptionally organized with proven systems for managing all aspects of professional life and ability to customize and craft relevant organizational strategies in multiple contexts.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary and benefits will be commensurate with experience and will include a 14% employer’s contribution to the state retirement plan.

To Apply
Please apply by submitting your resume and detailed cover letter which highlights your interest in the position, relevant experience, and how you meet the qualifications and qualities sought for the position here. For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Allison Wyatt at or at 510.575.9635.