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The Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School - Founding​ ​Principal​ ​

  • Date Posted
    • 10.16.17
  • Organization
    • Partner Schools
  • Region
    • Midwest
  • Role
    • School Leadership
  • Commitment
    • Full-Time
  • Location
    • Elgin, Illinois

ELGIN MATH AND SCIENCE ACADEMY: Founding Principal Job Description

The Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School (EMSA, is a decade-long dream of community members to open a K-8 school that brings science and math to life for students in Elgin, Illinois and surrounding communities. Our mission is for students and teachers to reach their highest potential through active exploratory learning and social responsibility. Partnered with EL Education (, we are currently in our planning year, officially opening in August 2018, when EMSA will expand the idea of what deeper learning can look like.

We seek a dynamic, committed founding principal to breathe life into the school’s vision.

The successful candidate for this role will use EL Education’s Core Practices as the school’s foundation to ensure remarkable academic achievement, character development, and community involvement for all students.  At EMSA, students and teachers will reach their highest potential through active exploratory learning and social responsibility in which:

individuals of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome

children’s natural curiosity is nurtured

students become leaders of their own learning

teachers and students hold high standards

critical thinking is central to math and science

students develop skills to be responsible individuals

Hiring Timeline

Applications are due November 15, 2017, and will be considered on a rolling basis. We seek to hire a principal by mid-December for a January 2018 start. From January-August 2018, the principal will establish systems and structures to operationalize the school program articulated in the EMSA Charter Application, recruit and hire school staff, oversee student recruitment and enrollment, plan professional development, and collaborate with the Director of Finance and Operations and EMSA board to ensure successful school startup in August 2018.  

People Leader
Bring to life a shared vision for school success centered on challenging, engaging, and empowering all students where mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality work are central to the definition of student achievement
Work with the entire EMSA community to communicate, consult, coordinate, and collaborate on improving the school
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Operate with the understanding: Diversity is a fact, Inclusion is a behavior, Equity is the outcome
Move staff and students toward equity
Demonstrate cultural competencies in a diverse institution
Seek to understand the dynamics of change; listen deeply, consider the needs and voices of all members of the school community, analyze barriers to change, and lead strategic, measured, and aspirational action
Work collaboratively with all members of the learning community to build relational trust and foster a growth mindset for all; model a growth mindset and professional courage in school culture by taking risks in public to try new things, listen to different opinions, make mistakes, own their mistakes, and be explicit about their own growth and revision
Develop school traditions that cultivate esprit de corps
Champion a culture in which all staff members model EMSA’s Habits of Scholarship in word and action

Instructional Leader

Assume primary responsibility for increasing student achievement (i.e., mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality work)
Create a professional community that focuses on curriculum/instruction as the primary vehicle for improving student achievement and school culture
Adjudicate and adopt or support teachers to design STEM-focused curricula aligned with standards that challenge, engage, and empower all students
Design a schedule that allows for flexible, uninterrupted blocks of time that foster deeper learning, content-based literacy, project-based learning, fieldwork, and student presentations to authentic audiences
Professional Learning
Partner with EL Education School Designers to provide strategic, organized professional learning aligned with annual goals toward EMSA’s vision
Plan for the substantial professional learning required to implement a progressive, bold educational approach per EL Education’s Core Practices 
Develop systematic coaching support and allocate significant time for teachers to synthesize professional learning 
Model a commitment to ongoing professional development by participating in a variety of EL Education’s on-site work and off-site conferences, institutes, seminars and regional programming
Model effective instructional practices in staff meetings, professional development sessions, and team meetings
Progress Monitoring
Actively monitor progress toward achieving the vision and share progress with all stakeholders to interpret and leverage change 
Establish a clear, consistent strategy for using evidence and data across the school to make collaborative decisions

Operational Leader


Ground all policies, management structures, resources, decision-making processes, and other leadership actions in the vision

Collect, analyze and report data relevant to the goals for the school as enunciated by the Board of Directors

Human Resources

Recruit, interview, and hire exceptional teachers/staff

Establish systems and structures for supervision that support teachers to feel safe, values, and productive as professional educators

Recruit, interview, hire, and supervise a Business Manager; work with the Business Manager to select outside service providers not related to instruction


Align the use of time, money, and materials to the school’s instructional priorities, in partnership with the Director of Finance and Operations

Guide and support fundraising and grant writing efforts

Report and present financial information clearly to the Board of Education and other school stakeholders, in partnership with the Director of Finance and Operations

Local Leader


Cultivate strong partnerships with families; all words and actions demonstrate a commitment to inclusion, belief in all students’ capacity to succeed, and a consistent problem-solving orientation

Ensure parent leaders have input into important school decisions; seek diverse perspectives on issues before making decisions

Establish parent-led teams that support the school.


Build strong connections with community organizations through final product authentic audiences, field work, and experts tied to curricula

Actively engage families and the community by establishing structures and traditions (e.g., community circle, student-led conferences, passage portfolio presentations)


Master’s degree, three years teaching experience, and proven administrative/leadership experience
Background in EL Education and/or project-based/deeper learning with content-based literacy
Communication and interpersonal skills to provide clear leadership within a highly collaborative school environment
Experience developing schedules and managing a budget that reflect a school’s vision
Extensive knowledge of the CCSS and NGSS as well as curricular implications
Ability to develop relational trust with students, families, and staff


School start-up or restructuring experience
STEM degree and/or professional experience
Strong technology skills
Type 75 certificate
Fluent in Spanish
Expertise in working with English Language Learners
Expertise in working with low-income populations
Experience working with a Board

Compensation and Benefits
EMSA offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a competitive benefits package.

How to Apply
Interested candidates may find more information on EMSA and our charter application at Please apply by November 15, 2017, by sending a Cover Letter and Résumé/Curriculum Vitae to  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. All applications will be treated as confidential. 

Anti-Discrimination Policy and Commitment to Diversity
EMSA seeks individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization and want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. EMSA provides equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees and prohibits discrimination with respect to the hiring or promotion of individuals, conditions of employment, disciplinary and discharge practices, or any other aspect of employment on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, disability, or any other factor which cannot lawfully be used as a basis for an employment decision.