Vice President, Technology

Achievement First - Multiple Locations - Full time

Start Date: Immediate

Team: Team IT/Systems & Data

Location: Brooklyn, Connecticut, or Rhode Island

Who are we? Achievement First (AF) exists to address the legacy of racism in education in America. Our mission is to deliver on the promise of equal educational opportunity for all of America’s children. That is what we work for, every day. We know that all children—regardless of race, zip code, or economic status—deserve access to great schools. At the core of our approach is the shared journey by our students and staff to fulfill our incredible potential.

Just the facts. Achievement First has consistently been rated one of the top charter school networks in the country, AND we are still learning and growing. AF is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that currently supports 37 public charter schools in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The mission of AF is to deliver on the promise of equal educational opportunity for all children. We currently employ more than 2,000 staff -- 47% of whom identify as Black, Latinx, or Multi-racial -- who collectively educate more than 14,300 students in Brooklyn, NY; Providence, RI; New Haven, Bridgeport, and Hartford CT. More than 85% of our students qualify for free or reduced priced lunch. Our students are proving what’s possible by achieving breakthrough results in terms of academic achievement and long-term college persistence.

Our focus and reach extend beyond the students and communities that we serve directly. Achievement First is an engaged and prominent partner in the broader education-reform movement, partnering with schools and networks from across the country and openly sharing all of our resources with all educators free of charge. We currently serve more than 100,000 additional students through two key partnership initiatives. Our Charter Network Accelerator is an intensive cohort-based training program for CMO leaders (with a focus on leaders of color) who are looking to increase the number of top-quality options available to parents across the country; and through our Navigator Program, we provide coaching and support for district and charter schools who want to adopt and adapt our curriculum and instructional practices to help students achieve breakthrough results.

Why work at Achievement First? First and foremost: you should work at AF if you believe in our values and want to surround yourself with people who share them. We are committed to leading for racial equity. We approach our work with humility, humanity, and the recognition that both what we do and how we do it must model the equity we seek. We strive for excellence by setting a high bar in all areas and pursuing it relentlessly. We care about the whole person and are known to be as warm as we are demanding. We choose joy and actively seek out moments of humor, gratitude, and deeper purpose for ourselves and with each other. We know that we will go further together and intentionally choose to join forces on both big and small things. We name brutal facts, embrace challenge, and see our mistakes as opportunities to get better.

Finally, come to Achievement First if you want to help support schools that are striving to not only close the achievement gap but also to redefine what’s possible in education. We are obsessed with getting better and are working to create some of the best schools in the country - schools that support not just student’s academic success but also their social-emotional learning, identity development, independence as learners, passion/enrichment/extracurriculars, and life-long fulfillment. AND, at AF, we believe getting better starts with looking in the mirror. We have done a lot of that lately, as we have more aggressively confronted our own biases and unacceptable gaps in our student experience. We are committed to addressing inequity within our systems, culture, and talent with resolve to walk the long road ahead to the true equity and opportunity that our kids and families deserve. So, come to Achievement First if reflection, challenge, and growth feed your soul.

THE OPPORTUNITY

The Vice President of Technology will lead and execute the strategy for IT infrastructure, help desk customer support, staff/student device management, and on-premise/cloud network infrastructure. The individual in this role provides direction, coaches, develops, and mentors leaders within the support team who are more critical than ever during this extended period of remote learning. We are passionate about our students and teachers, and the VP of Technology works to ensure that schools can depend on their technology, systems and infrastructure. When these technologies and systems don’t work as expected, the VP of Technology ensures schools receive consistent, timely, and quality support from the team.

Responsibilities of the Vice President, Technology will include but are not limited to:

Team & Organizational Leadership

○Attract, hire, develop, and motivate a team of skilled managers and support associates to execute at consistent levels of excellence

○Establish and maintain high standards of team performance by developing clear goals, rigorously tracking performance against goals, and developing strategies to address any performance gaps

○Develop trusting relationships with school and network operations teams to ensure strong school-based technology support and resolution

○Facilitate coordinated problem-solving across the technology teams

○Ensure that the support team operates in a way that is consistent with AF’s culture and mission and values and always puts our schools and their students first

○Directly supervise Associate Directors of IT Support, S&D Support, IT Purchasing, and Network Infrastructure.

○Cultivates an environment of professional learning & development

Technology Operations

○Oversee and determine timeframes for major IT projects including system updates, upgrades, and migrations

○Develop the vision for Achievement First’s help desk and knowledge management solutions to support 15,000+ student devices and 3,000+ staff devices

○Oversee help desk operations which include, but are not limited to standard day to day operating procedures, scheduling, identifying and acting upon data trends and maintaining an up to date knowledge base

○Work closely with school and network operations team [non-technical] to align on technical roles, policies, and procedures to create a seamless support experience for our user base

○Envisions ways to improve IT efficiency and proactive troubleshooting at a multi-geographic district scale

Network Infrastructure

○Oversee all aspects of IT infrastructure including: Planning, organizing, implementing and monitoring the Data Center Operations, maintenance and support services for all hardware and software and its supporting infrastructure, overseeing the technical infrastructure as it relates to data networks, storage, servers, telephone and affiliate infrastructure(s) that provide service capability to the business.

○Manage the lifecycle for systems hardware, network and communications infrastructure, desktop architecture, and internet resources.

○Manages IT Infrastructure projects and plans to ensure alignment with the organization's strategic direction and initiatives, to foster a high performing work environment, and to mitigate risks.

○Manages the growing cloud infrastructure landscape to ensure high quality service and reliability

○Manages IT security projects to ensure the safe and integrity of our systems and relevant data

Financial Management

○Oversee technology budget process by setting budget targets for Achievement First schools and then partnering with them to finalize their technology budgets.

○Oversee the procurement for all Achievement First technology purchases and ensure that we are negotiating for the most aggressive pricing

○Establish and maintain key vendor relationships

○Work with key outside agencies to ensure Achievement First is taking advantage of all relevant financial opportunities.

School Readiness

○Prepare technology for the opening of new schools and the expansion/moves of existing schools:

○Manage the build out and execution of data wiring plans for 20+ Achievement First Sites.

○Partner with the network operations team to deploy the technical infrastructure at Achievement First sites. This includes the network infrastructure, telephony and the installation and networking of printers and copiers.

○Coordinate the execution of network upgrades and special infrastructure projects.

○Coordinate, set up and distribute laptops for 300+ new teachers each summer.

○Coordinate and oversee the inventory and maintenance of 15,000+ student devices.

○Work with regional IT directors to ensure a high/consistent level of on the ground and virtual IT Support

Skills and Characteristics

●Self-starter with strong work ethic and a passion for problem-solving, operational excellence and bringing in fresh ideas that keep Achievement First in line of changing technology

●Motivated by challenges and a strong desire to learn about and implement new technologies

●Excellent personal organization, project management, and time management skills, including ability to manage time across multiple projects and priorities

●Excellent oral and written customer service skills and ability to prioritize and communicate effectively with non-technical users

●Belief in the Achievement First mission and educational model

●Maturity, humility, sense of humor and “roll-up-my-sleeves” attitude

●A proactive mindset that seeks to transform “break fixes” into long term solutions

Educational Background and Work Experience

●At least three years managing a mid-size technology team

●Experience with managing Windows 10, Office 365, Onedrive and Exchange Online

●Experience with managing a ticketing system (e.g., ZenDesk) and an asset management platform (e.g., Incident IQ)

●Experience with technology vendor management

●[preferred] Familiarity with IT automation technology

●[preferred] Experience with K-12 education

●[preferred] Experience with Kaseya, Concur, Adaptive Planner, Google Management platform, ZenDesk and Okta

Compensation

Salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Additionally, Achievement First offers a comprehensive benefits package.

To Apply

To submit an application, please attach your resume and cover letter through the web form below: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/45a5d2875023499686f23aee0610fe85.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Only qualified candidates will receive a reply. Achievement First is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. You can learn more about diversity at Achievement First here: http://www.achievementfirst.org/about-us/diversity/.

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Locations

Brooklyn, New York
New Haven, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut
Providence, Rhode Island

Role

Project Management

Experience Level

Mid Level

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