Head of School, Codman Academy Charter Public School

Codman Academy Public Charter School (Eos Transition Partners)

Job Description

Codman Academy Charter Public School Seeks Head of School 
About the School 
Founded in 2001, Codman Academy Charter Public School ("Codman") provides an outstanding, transformative education to prepare students for success in college, further education, and beyond. Codman’s vision is to educate the whole student: mind, body, and character. With the city and world as its classroom, Codman builds a school community rich in rigorous academics and daily experiences of discovery. Codman believes that adults should guide students along this journey with care, compassion, and respect for their diverse learning styles, backgrounds, and needs. Addressing individual differences profoundly increases the potential for learning and creativity of each student.  
Codman began as an urban charter public high school, the product of an innovative collaboration between EL Education founder Meg Campbell, Bill Walczak, founder of the Codman Square Health Center, and George Brackett, former Director of the Technology, Innovation and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to carry out a shared vision of creating a school to link health and education. In 2013, Codman expanded from grades 9-12 to now serve 345 students in grades K1-12. 
At Codman, all faculty and staff believe in the importance of: 
  • Rigor and High Quality: As a small, college preparatory school, team members have high expectations for their students and each other. Codman is an EL Education school, meaning the curriculum is built on the principles of expeditionary learning, with a focus on the application of academic learning to real-world experiences and examples. Humanities teacher Sydney Chaffee was named the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year (the first charter school teacher to receive the prestigious award) and then subsequently was named the National Teacher of the Year in 2017. 
  • Social Justice: Social justice permeates every element of Codman’s culture at all grade levels. Codman’s teaching team works hard to build curricula that matters, from kindergarteners tackling bee colony collapse to students advocating for rain gardens, Codman students acquire the skills of researchers, scientists, and mathematicians. They examine complex problems and create solutions, leading us toward the changes needed to improve our world.  
  • Integrated Health and Education: Codman was the first school in the country to co-locate with a community-based health center. Codman Squared is a powerful, innovative partnership that has inspired many similar models across the country and has had tangible, positive impacts on students, alumni, and the community.  
  • Leadership and Community: “We are Crew, not passengers” (from Kurt Hahn, Founder of Outward Bound) is a big part of the school community at Codman. Codman has partnered since 2002 with the American Youth Foundation (AYF) to offer a leadership program through which the entire Upper School travels to the Ossipee Mountains in New Hampshire for a three-day overnight leadership retreat at Camp Merrowvista. The American Youth Foundation’s mantra, “My own self, At my very best, All the time” stays with Codman students long after the retreat ends. 
  • Theatre and Public Speaking: Codman’s founding partnership with the Huntington Theatre Company continues to thrive as a core element of the Codman experience. Theatre education starts as early as 4th Grade and public speaking programming at Codman culminates with all 12th grade students delivering a speech in front of the entire Upper School student body modeled after Socrates’ "Apologia." The Codman-Huntington partnership has been acclaimed for its innovation, and even won the Commonwealth Award, the highest award the state gives each year in the arts.  
  • Environmental Justice: Greening Codman Square and the world around us is an important aspect of Codman’s approach as a community school. In addition to our LEED certified and award-winning buildings, our programming and curriculum brings greening to the forefront. STEM Instructional Coach Ed Yoo, was named a Green Difference Award Honoree by Project Green Schools for designing the Codman’s AP Environmental Science course, collaborating with partners to fund sustainability projects at the school, and integrating coral reef studies into his teaching. 
Located in Codman Square in Dorchester, MA, Codman currently educates 345 students in grades K1-12, actively supports alumni, and has an annual operating budget of approximately $11 million. The school is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of thirteen dedicated community leaders. The school is in very strong financial position and strives to maintain its fiscal health through sound financial management and a robust philanthropic program with the assistance of Codman Academy Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 with its own board of directors.  
About the Transition 
Noted educator and EL Education founder Diana Lam is serving as Interim Head of School for the 2023-2024 school year as the board undertakes a national search for a permanent Head of School. This will be the third permanent Head of School in the school’s twenty-two-year history. Former Head of Schools were Meg Campbell (2001-2016) and Thabiti Brown (2016-2023).  
The Opportunity  
The Head of School will have the opportunity to lead one of the most innovative, diverse, and celebrated charter schools in both Massachusetts and nationwide. Historically, Codman was a U.S. News and World Report bronze medal high school in 2015 and has been featured in The New York Times and The Boston Globe, as well as on countless TV programs. National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chafee works with other award-winning faculty. The Head of School will work closely with two Principals (Upper School and Grades K-8), and other senior administrators, the faculty, parents and families, partners, and the board to continue to strengthen its educational leadership role. In addition to effectively and efficiently overseeing all ongoing operations, high priorities for the Head of School are: 
  • Increasing academic achievement across all grades. 
  • Ensuring conditions are met and that the school’s charter is renewed in 2025. 
  • Sustaining and growing philanthropic support to further the school’s mission including a proposed capital campaign for a gymnasium. 
  • Leading a strategic planning process for the next five year plan for the school’s future.  
  • Collaborating with the entire school community to strike the appropriate balance of striving for measurable academic achievement and educating the whole child. 
  • Nurturing and sustaining an environment that supports achievement in academics, arts and athletics and which is collaborative and inclusive while seeking the input and perspective of the entire school community and honoring and valuing diversity and diverse opinions. 
Profile of the Ideal Candidate 
Desired Credentials: 
  • Passion for and commitment to Codman’s mission, vision, community, student body, and EL educational model. 
  • A minimum of five years of educational leadership, or equivalent experience. 
  • Minimum three years managerial experience.  
  • Advanced degree in education or a related field. 
  • Understanding of and experience in the charter public school sector is a plus. 
Skills and Attributes: 
Strategic, Decisive, Accountable, and Innovative Leader 
  • Transformational leader with experience building and sustaining a strong academic program. 
  • Critical thinking, examination, and analytical skills with the ability to define the optimum systems, structures, and staffing patterns required to achieve exceptional student achievement. 
  • Tough decision maker with strong conviction who can also earn the trust needed to implement change. 
  • Able to offer an innovative, flexible, and fresh perspective to ensure strong enrollment, staff retention, and student achievement. 
  • Unwavering commitment to high expectations with the ability to use data to inform decisions 
  • Able to develop and implement consistently high levels of accountability throughout the school community and address underperformance when necessary. 
Educational Leadership 
  • Successful track record leading a school or educational organization of similar scale and size in terms of students, staff, and budget. 
  • Ability to influence, advise, and coach the school’s principals and other academic and/or instructional leaders to maximize student achievement. 
  • Executive experience developing, managing, and supporting senior leadership with the ability to analyze and inform organizational structure, reporting relationships, and school culture to deliver the best experience for students. 
  • Prior teaching experience with an understanding of the role of a teacher and classroom management. 
  • Commitment to and experience with Codman’s school model, including EL Education. 
Collaborative Teambuilder and Communicator with Cultural Competence 
  • Approachable and present leader able to make deep and meaningful connections with students, parents, staff, alumni, partners, and donors.  
  • High emotional and cultural intelligence with the ability to build and sustain an inclusive and diverse community at Codman. 
  • Empathetic and humanistic leader who relates to and values the diverse experiences and opinions of all members of the Codman community. 
  • An active listener, collaborator, and convener who hears all sides of an issue to make better and more informed decisions.  
  • Strong desire to be an integral and present member of the Codman Square community to make connections that benefit the school and the community at large.   
Empowering and Accountable Manager of People 
  • Strong radar for talent with the ability to hire well and develop and retain excellent administrators and teachers. 
  • Prior personnel management experience with the ability to delegate authority to senior leadership, holding them accountable for results. 
  • Skilled at creating a workplace that contributes to staff satisfaction and retention. 
  • Prior experience maximizing the potential of a board in support of the school’s mission.  
External Representative and Fundraiser 
  • Able to serve effectively as Codman’s primary external representative, with the willingness to be a tireless advocate for the school, its students, and families. 
  • Skilled at presenting the school’s vision and model to prospective parents, funders, community partners, sponsors, the media, and the public.  
  • Experience raising significant philanthropic funds, ideally including a capital campaign, to support Codman’s unique model, particularly from individual donors and private foundations.  
Application Guidelines  
This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position with a starting salary range of $180,000 to $215,000. Codman also offers a comprehensive benefits package. Codman does not discriminate in its programs, activities, facilities, employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of race, color, age, disability, sex/gender, gender identity, religious beliefs, national origin, ancestry, retaliation, sexual orientation, genetics or military status and does not tolerate any form of discrimination, intimidation, threat, coercion, and/or harassment that insults the dignity of others by interfering with their freedom to learn and work. 
Candidates should include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of Codman. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled with applications received by November 15, 2023, receiving priority. Submit required documents at: https://eostransitions.applicantpool.com/jobs/
Eos Transition Partners consultant John Tarvin is conducting this executive search. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions must be submitted to John at: jtarvin@eostransitions.com