Senior Director of District and School Development, Buck Institute for Education

Bellwether Education Partners - Novato, CA - Full time

Bellwether Education Partners - Novato, CA - Full time


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Organization Summary

The Buck Institute for Education (BIE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Northern California, is the industry leader in providing professional development and support services related to Project Based Learning (PBL). BIE creates, collects, and shares high-quality PBL tools and resources with K-12 teachers and leaders across the country. At BIE, we believe that all students—no matter where they live or what their background—should have access to quality PBL instruction to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life and we seek to build a multi-talented staff who deeply understand and embrace the diversity of the students of today, and have awareness of the challenges in the world those students will inherit. At the end of 2016, BIE launched an ambitious new strategic plan that provides a clear roadmap for ensuring equitable, consistent, and positive student outcomes while also creating the evidence base for further adoption of PBL.

Position Summary

The Senior Director of District and School Development (SDDSD) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for district and school partnership development. In addition to overseeing the development and delivery of district level services, the SDDSD will also oversee the implementation and refinement of a new PBL school coaching model, to be piloted in 2018. The position will be part of BIE’s Leadership Team, which drives the overall strategy for the organization. As such, this leader will be expected to represent BIE on a local, regional, and national basis.

Key Responsibilities

Program Leadership & Management:

  • •Supervise the District and School Leadership team, including 4 – 6 Directors, and ensure the annual delivery of high quality services to a portfolio of 20 – 30 school districts or school networks
  • •In collaboration with the Director of School Leadership, support the implementation of a PBL School coaching model, and provide ongoing monitoring to ensure it provides high quality, cost-effective services and staffing model
  • •Play an active role in the design, content development, and delivery of BIE’s leadership development workshops and resources for districts including curriculum, professional development, and resources pertaining to PBL as well as systems leadership and change management
  • •Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance

External Relationships:

  • •Expand revenue-generating district partnerships based on BIE’s district theory of action and logic model; cultivate existing relationships and develop new relationships
  • •Ensure annual revenue goals for district and school development work are attained

Knowledge Management:

  • •Work with staff to develop systems that ensure consistent, high-quality project management
  • •Develop the necessary systems, processes, and tools to better support the facilitation, collection, and sharing of knowledge that is generated by the district and school development work

Contribution to BIE’s mission & culture

Participate in BIE’s leadership team to implement our organizational vision (as established in the BIE Strategic Plan), promote high-energy creative dialogue, and demonstrate sharing of knowledge and information

  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth

Share and model our deep passion for equitable access for all students to high quality education

Qualifications and Abilities:

The Senior Director of District and School Development will be thoroughly committed to BIE’s strategy and mission. All candidates should have demonstrable leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience and success managing business relationships. Additionally:

The successful candidate will bring this experience to the role:

  • •Direct leadership of a variety of initiatives at the local, district/system, state, and/or national level and experience developing and operationalizing strategies that have taken a program or organization to the next stage of growth
  • •Successful recruitment, management, and development of a strong team of staff, program/project managers, and development professionals
  • •An advanced degree, with at least 10 years of management experience, particularly leading complex district or school network systems
  • •Strong demonstrable sales and/or fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders including advisory groups, coalitions, forums, trade associations, foundations, corporate sponsors, and practitioner groups

The successful candidate will possess these skills:

  • •Strong written and verbal communication skills. S/he will be a persuasive, credible, and polished communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • •Unwavering commitment to quality programs and excellence in organizational and project management with the ability to achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • •The ability to handle a variety of constituencies, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and thrive in a complex environment with multiple priorities
  • •Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • •Strong analytical skills; basic business intuition, and common sense

The successful candidate will reflect these attributes:

  • •Integrity, a positive attitude, and self-direction
  • •A team player who can interrelate and operate effectively with peers and other associates within a collegial, yet demanding, work environment
  • •Mission-driven, impeccable integrity
  • •Strong work ethic and demonstrated passion for BIE's mission and commitment to working collaboratively with a management team of senior professionals

Reporting Relationships

The Senior Director of District and School Development reports to the Chief Program Officer. S/he will manage a team of 4 – 6 Directors, each of whom manages a portfolio of 5 – 7 district partners.


Ideally the candidate will work out of BIE headquarters in Novato, CA, but remote candidates with exceptional experience and skills will be considered. Travel for this position may be extensive, sometimes up to 50%, based on the needs of partners.

Compensation / Benefits

The SDDSD role is a full-time position with full health benefits, (including medical, vision and dental), generous retirement contribution, life and disability insurance and cell phone stipend. BIE offers a competitive salary (commensurate with experience) and a generous benefits package. Further, BIE is a certified Marin County Green Business with a dog-friendly working environment.


The executive search team at Bellwether Education Partners is leading the search. Inquiries and applications, comprising a resume and letter of interest, should be sent to: Crystal Combs, Senior Consultant, at

Bellwether Education Partnersis a nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students. Our Talent Services practice identifies, places, and supports education leaders through comprehensive executive searches, customized search advisory services, and individual coaching. We also partner with clients to build talent-ready organizations where diverse teams can work, develop, and thrive.

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Customer Implementation / Customer Success

Experience Level

Senior Level

Bellwether Education Partners

The Buck Institute for Education (BIE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Northern California, is the industry leader in providing professional development and support services related to Project Based Learning (PBL).

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