Catalyst Academy Charter School, Founding Principal

Catalyst Academy Charter School - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Full time

Catalyst Academy Charter School

Catalyst Academy Charter School is a new, public charter school in Pittsburgh, PA, set to open in the Fall of 2019. Catalyst Academy Charter School’s mission is to prepare all students for college, career, and life. The school aims to serve children in underserved East End communities that today lack quality neighborhood schools. By leveraging innovative practices common to some of the nation’s top performing public schools, Catalyst Academy is ready to shatter the achievement gap for low-income students and students of color. In addition to rigorous college preparatory academics, including daily science and engineering and extensive arts and physical education, the school will have an explicit focus on social-emotional learning, 21st-century skill development, and project-based learning to connect students to real-world problems and to the organizations and professionals solving them.

Catalyst Academy Charter School’s motto is: Belong. Grow. Achieve. This reflects the school’s deep commitment to cultivating an inclusive supportive school community where everyone – children and adults – are focused on learning every day, for all students to define and achieve their dreams. Catalyst Academy Charter School plans to open in the Fall of 2019, serving students in kindergarten and first grade, and will grow to eventually serve students in kindergarten through 8th grade. For more information, visit

Principal Opportunity

Catalyst Academy Charter School is seeking a passionate and energetic founding school leader who is excited and prepared for the challenges of building a high-performing, independent charter school. The founding Principal of Catalyst Academy is responsible for building the foundations of student and staff culture and academic achievement. The pre-launch planning and first few years after launch will set the trajectory for the school’s long-term success. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, this individual will have a strong voice in the vision and strategy for the school's evolution, expansion, and growth.


The founding School Leader will be primarily responsible for:

Pre-Launch Planning and Programming

  • Research, design, and align assessments, curriculum, culture, data systems, and academic supports with Pennsylvania Learning Standards, Common Core State Standards, and social and emotional learning standards
  • Develop and lead systems and curricula for adult learning to ensure strong teacher and leader growth and mastery of core knowledge and skills
  • Engage in rigorous professional development opportunities, including residencies at high-performing schools locally and nationally to maximize learning from strong models for culture and instruction
  • Facilitate professional learning communities focused on addressing core priorities (e.g. how to best refine curricula to maximize student growth for Special Education students, social-emotional learning, etc.)
  • Lead student recruitment and enrollment, including a Catalyst Summer Academy and various workshops to engage families and students beginning in summer 2019

Student Achievement

  • Set ambitious goals for student achievement and performance; hold self and staff accountable for mastery of academic standards
  • Lead staff in providing robust social and emotional learning specific to the needs of low-income, black students to promote agency, self-advocacy, and leadership
  • Cultivate a data-oriented, results-focused academic culture and analyze data with teachers in order to maximize student performance
  • In partnership with the Chief Executive Officer, evaluate school performance data to make holistic and individualized recommendations for improving instructional practices

Teacher Development and Evaluation

  • Develop a strong leadership team that drives effective staff development and culture
  • Model exemplary instructional practices; supervise, observe, and provide specific, actionable feedback to leaders and teachers
  • Lead comprehensive professional development, including whole-school training; vertical, content-focused team development; horizontal, culture-focused team development; instructional rounds, and walk-throughs
  • Apply best practices and interventions to raise achievement for struggling students
  • Lead staff evaluation and performance management process

Leadership and Management

  • Model Catalyst’s core values, advocate for the mission, and set the standard for school culture
  • Articulate a clear, rigorous instructional vision with a school-wide focus on teaching and learning that is evidence-based, data-driven, standards-aligned, and rooted in a belief that all students can achieve at high-levels
  • Develop strong relationships with students, families, and community members to maximize involvement in and support for student performance and self-actualization
  • Lead staff recruitment, hiring, and onboarding
  • Supervise school-wide operational systems, with support from Chief Executive Officer and operational staff
  • Engage in development tailored to personal growth areas and in alignment with the core competencies of a Catalyst Academy founding Principal. Professional development will be a combination of coaching from the Chief Executive Officer, training from external partners, and residencies at high-performing schools


In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal founding Principal candidate will be:

  • An experienced school leader and teacher with a proven record of success who is well versed in the strategies of high-performing instructional practices and believes deeply in setting high expectations for all students
  • A proven collaborator, with high emotional intelligence and exceptional ability for speaking about the lived experiences of students and families in East Liberty
  • Inspiring in their leadership style, willing to devote time to coach and develop colleagues while holding them accountable to measurable results
  • 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
  • A strong written and oral communicator who is able to engage students, parents, and faculty in dialogue and speak in a clear and authentic manner about the school’s goals and priorities
  • Familiar with Pittsburgh's charter school landscape

Compensation and Benefits

Catalyst Academy Charter School offers a competitive compensation and benefits package. More details can be provided upon request.

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 online at For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Kevin Bryant at kbryant@edgilityconsulting.comor 704.488.8115.

Catalyst Academy Charter School is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.

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Superintendent / Assistant Supe.

Experience Level

Mid Level

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