Chief People Officer
Prospect Schools

Chief People Officer

THE ORGANIZATION

Prospect Schools is a high performing, intentionally diverse (“diverse by design”) K-12 college preparatory charter network serving more than 2,200 students in six schools in Brooklyn. Prospect Schools models its curriculum on the renowned International Baccalaureate Program, a rigorous program that raises the level of academic responsibility for students while also preparing them to be global citizens.

Our experienced team is dedicated to our mission to prepare a diverse student body to have a positive impact on society and develop a lifelong passion for learning, and guided by our Core Values:

  • Curiosity: Develop sound judgment and intellect by asking questions confidently and thinking critically
  • Care: Support others by grounding every action in empathy while championing equity and inclusion
  • Persistence: Grow and learn by solving problems with determination, creativity and tenacity
  • Passion: Succeed by approaching challenges with excitement, enthusiasm and self-assurance

We have a vision to become, by 2025, the leading network of intentionally diverse schools where all students and educators can learn, work and thrive. Find out more about who we are and what we believe by spending a few minutes reading our Prospector Principles, viewing this peek inside our schools, or reading some stories about our students and educators.

THE CONTEXT

Prospect Schools’ first CPO will play a pivotal role in setting and articulating Prospect’s “people” vision and enhancing the systems that define the way the entire organization thinks about and develops talent across our organization. Prospect Schools is aiming to evolve its Human Resources & Talent function into a department that has developed a holistic approach to our “people”. Specifically, the CPO will be directly responsible for the execution of Prospect’s talent strategy, including attracting, engaging, rewarding, developing, and retaining Prospect Schools’ 400+ person team, and advancing a strong, equitable, inclusive, people-focused culture, thereby leading a best-in-class talent function.

The CPO will join a highly-motivated, talented, and passionate leadership team led by CEO Tresha Ward, who succeeded Prospect Schools’ founder in 2021. In their first year, the CPO will navigate the natural tensions associated with adaptive change, and attend to these four goals and related challenges:

●      Building collective identity and affinity across the organization: the CPO will need to bring curiosity to the role, in order to “learn” Prospect Schools, its history, its culture, and how it has distinguished itself to date – both internally and externally – in a robust and competitive charter community in Brooklyn. The CPO will help shape a culture that captures and maintains the joy, collaboration, and levity for which Prospect Schools’ work environment has been known, while simultaneously infusing new ideas and approaches to strengthening the organization’s investment in its people.

●      Building effective and efficient internal systems related to people: the CPO will inherit talent-related systems that Prospect Schools has outgrown. These include systems related to how we hire, develop, evaluate, promote, and compensate employees, and how our values related to diversity, equity, and inclusion manifest in all of those areas. Evolving and optimizing these systems will include articulating best practices, gaining buy-in from the team, tying these various pieces together in a cohesive approach, identifying milestones, collecting data and course correcting, and documenting all of the above so that expectations are accessible and clear. This is an opportunity for the CPO to lead significant, inclusive, and essential change.

●      Championing and advancing, in the people function, the ongoing DEI work of the organization: In partnership with the CEO, other senior leaders at Prospect, as well as outside consultants whose support is underway, the CPO will be expected to be a vocal, high-profile leader and practitioner in our ongoing work to examine and advance DEI practices. In addition to bringing a sophisticated level of content expertise and experience leading this work, the CPO will need to be able to plan for and deliver differentiated content for team members across the organization who are at various stages of engagement with this topic.

●      Leading a division and team that has undergone a lot of recent change: the CPO will inherit a six-person team whose composition has shifted over the past nine months. In partnership with the CEO, the CPO will need to attend to this essential team’s development, coalesce and build rapport, and implement a vision for the organizational structure of this team going forward.

THE POSITION

In addition to the nuanced challenges and opportunities above, the CPO’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Organizational Leadership

    • Serving as a critical partner to the CEO on people-related functions of the organization;
    • Actively serving as a senior leader, accountable for achieving significant organization-wide results, modeling organizational values, and actively engaging in critical decision making;
    • Proactively communicating and collaborating with the full senior leadership team, functional directors, school leaders and operational staff to ensure that a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is woven into all people related systems and processes, and support cross-functional alignment with strategic pathways to excellence in our people systems; and
    • Representing senior leadership during board meetings by providing critical updates and engaging board members on committees in support of the organization.

Functional Leadership

    • Assessing talent-related systems for efficiency, responsiveness, inclusivity, equity, and efficacy and taking the steps necessary to identify, design and implement long-term solutions of increasingly standardized systems, processes, and services that support the employees of Prospect Schools;
    • Incorporating a strong customer service orientation into these systems in order to foster a healthy, unified culture among network staff and school sites, ensuring all team members feel valued, supported, and committed to our mission;
    • Continuing to move forward strategic work related to aligned performance management, compensation practices, and leader development across the organization; and
    • Directly developing, managing and holding accountable the direct reports who lead Human Resources, Employee Relations, and Talent (Recruiting) and their associated teams, aiming for excellence and efficiency across all talent and people-related functions while providing continuous support, coaching, and feedback with a strong orientation toward achieving results within and across functional teams.

QUALIFICATIONS

The CPO of Prospect Schools will possess the following professional experience, skills, and personal characteristics that validate their stated readiness to assume this role:

The successful candidate will bring to the role the following professional experience:

    • A seasoned, senior leader with a track record of managing a team to achieve ambitious goals;
    • A track record of developing and implementing innovative and progressive human capital systems, and deep experience in at least two or more of the following functional areas: recruiting and selection (ideally of teachers and/or school leaders), training and coaching / development, traditional human resources (including compensation, benefits, labor relations), or performance management in a matrixed and/or multi-site organization;
    • Demonstrated success in change management, ideally including building a culture of feedback; and
    • A reputation for having the interpersonal and leadership skills required to reach across functional teams, break down silos, and accomplish organization-wide goals, particularly across lines of difference. 

Further, the successful candidate will possess the following skills:

    • High cultural competency and great comfort working in a diverse community and in an organization striving to become racially equitable;
    • Ability and inclination to take a strategic approach to solving complex problems, and creating meaning in ambiguity;
    • Exceptional organizational, project management, meeting facilitation, communication (both verbal and written), and interpersonal skills; and
    • The ability to identify, cultivate, and coach leadership potential in individuals, and experience designing systems to support the development of employees at all levels of the organization.

The successful candidate must possess these personal characteristics:

    • Alignment with our mission, of serving an intentionally diverse student body and a deeply held belief that all children have the right to a high quality education, and dedication to the educational success of students from underserved communities;
    • A continuous learning mindset and ability to use feedback to improve one’s own work and that of others;
    • An inclination toward creative and highly collaborative work with colleagues; and
    • A commitment to providing outstanding customer service to our team, students, families, and community.

Finally, while not required, professional experience working in schools would be highly attractive.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

As part of the Prospect Schools’ Senior Leadership Team, the CPO will report directly to and collaborate with the CEO, and will work closely with the leaders on the C-team. This person will also work directly with the Prospect Schools’ and Brooklyn Prospect Charter Schools’ boards, functional directors, school leaders, and faculty and staff across our network.

In our current structure, the CPO will directly manage a team comprising six talent and human resources professionals, three of whom are Associate Directors (Human Resources, Employee Relations, and Recruitment or “Talent”) who will report directly to the CPO. 

LOCATION

Brooklyn, NY.  Employees may opt to spend three days per week in-person, and spend two remotely.

COMPENSATION

The first year salary for the CPO will range from $180,000-$225,000 depending on experience. Additionally, Prospect Schools offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package, which includes: medical, dental, and vision; 401K and Roth retirement options with a 4% match and 3-year vesting schedule; ~3 weeks of PTO (increasing after 3 years) as well as 10 holidays linked to the NYCDOE  calendar; an HDHP; Employer-paid Short and Long Term Disability, AD&D, and Life Insurance(employee only);  and other employee-paid benefits such as Transit/Commuter pre-tax benefits, Medical FSA, AFLAC, Nationwide Pet Insurance, Employee Assistance Program, Healthcare Patient Advocates,

To Apply

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled.

For best consideration, please follow these instructions to submit a cover letter and resume by September 30, 2022:

    • Visit the Opportunities sectionon Promise54’s website and click on the APPLY NOW tab within the Prospect Schools’ CPO job description
    • Answer a brief set of questions about you
    • Below the questions, you’ll be able to upload your resume as well as a cover letter

Finally, if you encounter any technical difficulties, contact: admin@promise54.org.

 

 

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