Jul 06, 2020

Chief of Schools

  • Promise54
  • Austin, TX, USA
Full-time Executive Leadership

Job Description







Founded in 2002, Breakthrough Central Texas is changing lives with our community and student-centric approach to postsecondary access and completion. We work with families and local stakeholders to foster investment in and bring highly sought resources to Central Texas schools. By developing authentic community partnerships, hiring experienced educators who increasingly reflect the communities we serve, and pairing them with well-trained AmeriCorps members, we are able to provide in-school and out-of-school time programs and services to thousands of deserving students each year, and support them to realize their postsecondary aspirations.


We are proud to have validated that our long-term commitment to students and their families is improving outcomes and increasing the number of first-generation college graduates in the region. Data show that Breakthrough participants are consistently outperforming their peers in on-time high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment, and postsecondary degree and certificate attainment. Breakthrough Central Texas is poised to leverage the state’s favorable policy environment, abundant current and developing partnerships and its latest strategic plan, in the direction of the organization’s new north star: promoting equity in college attainment rates across the entire Austin region.  Toward that end, by 2025, Breakthrough will expand its impact to serve approximately 3,000 students in Central Texas.


The Breakthrough Central Texas team firmly believes in the potential of all students, and their right to postsecondary success and self-determined lives of choice. Join us if you are a builder and a nurturer, equally committed to making college-going and degree attainment accessible for the youth in our region, while also fostering an inclusive team culture that supports us all to do our best work.



The Chief Schools Officer (CSO) is responsible for the design, launch, and execution of Breakthrough’s school-based model, a new organizational strategy to increase the postsecondary attainment rates of students in Central Texas. A critical component of Breakthrough’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, the school-based model will create impactful and sustainable results by blending direct service to students with capacity-building support for the high schools they attend. In other words, Breakthrough will fill unmet service needs in the short and medium terms with our core direct service model, while supporting schools to build capacity for the long term by equipping them to offer strong advising services and integrate best practices of college access into the curriculum and other school structures.  Specific responsibilities of the CSO include:


  • designing a tailored school-based model that drives academic success and supports every student at a partner school on the path to becoming a first-generation college graduate;
  • determining the feasibility and pace of expansion of the program to partner schools;
  • developing productive relationships with leaders at the pilot location, and building new relationships with prospective schools, districts, institutes of higher education, and other agencies;
  • supervising, supporting, developing and evaluating school-based advisors (staff and AmeriCorps members) so that they are positioned to deliver high quality programs and services;
  • fostering a healthy culture for the school-based team and the entire organization;
  • partnering with other program leaders to ensure alignment of the school-based model with other programs and services;
  • serving as an active member of the organizational leadership team, facilitating that team’s ability to deliver on organization-wide goals and initiatives;
  • creating an evaluation/reporting process to measure the effectiveness of the school-based model and identify opportunities for expansion;
  • reporting to the Board of Trustees on the impact, success, and challenges of the program, and
  • developing and maintaining relationships with students and their families.



You are a strong candidate for the Chief Schools Officer role if, above all, you are a champion for closing the opportunity gap and increasing social and economic equity and mobility through educational attainment. You are a servant leader, and feel at your best in deep relationship with the communities in which you serve.  You love to design and build, and thrive in the sometimes-relentless pace and often ambiguous space of program start-up, execution and growth. You bring content expertise in education, youth development, college readiness and persistence, and operate at the nexus of schools, districts and nonprofits. You will also bring experience or demonstrated capacity:


  • leading in a school, district or nonprofit, including knowledge of best practices in teaching, learning, leadership, and postsecondary access and success;
  • driving innovation and developing programs from idea, to impact, to scale, especially programs that include collaboration with schools;
  • developing and improving systems that support education-related program efficiency, effectiveness and performance management;
  • approaching conversations about identity, power and privilege with awareness, humility and a quest for greater understanding;
  • creating the conditions for high performance and talent retention by fostering a development-oriented environment of support and accountability;
  • developing innovative and effective means to actively communicate Breakthrough’s message to stakeholders who are diverse across an array of dimensions, and increase public awareness of our organization, the work of our partners, and strength of the communities we serve, and
  • prioritizing effectively to deliver on commitments in a timely manner.



The CSO will report to the Executive Director and will be a member of the Breakthrough leadership team. Campus-based direct reports will include a Director of Advising and, indirectly, the CSO will support the professional staff and AmeriCorps members working at the school.



  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.
  • Health, dental and vision insurance, Breakthrough pays 100% of employee premiums
  • Matching 401K retirement plan
  • Generous PTO and leave policy



Please submit your resume, tailored cover letter, and salary requirements to [email protected] Breakthrough Central Texas is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its relations with its applicants, staff members, and families, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, military, pregnancy or parental status. 


Breakthrough Central Texas is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity and inclusion. People of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply to be part of our collaborative team.

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