Nov 22, 2023

Chief People Officer

  • Breakthrough Public Schools
  • Cleveland, OH, USA
Full-time Human Resources Education

Job Description

Breakthrough Public Schools is a nationally recognized Charter Management Organization (CMO) network in Ohio. Our mission is to provide Cleveland area scholars with an education that empowers them to lead lives full of impact and opportunity. Our network of schools centers joy, curiosity, and individual growth, uniquely positioning Breakthrough Public Schools to cultivate a learning community where all students thrive. At Breakthrough, we are committed to providing scholars with the academic, social, and emotional skills necessary to excel at learning and citizenship from kindergarten through eighth grade promotion. We are committed to the success of every child.


The CMO network manages core administrative responsibilities, including human resources, finance, information technology, facilities, student recruitment, and marketing for our schools. We serve 3,000 K-8 grade scholars across ten schools and employ over 450 staff members. 



Breakthrough Public Schools seeks an experienced, strategic people leader to serve as the Chief People Officer (CPO). Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the CPO is also a member of the Breakthrough Network Leadership team. The CPO oversees all human resources functions of the Breakthrough Public Schools Network. They will set the vision and strategy for attracting, developing, and retaining talent. The CPO leads all people functions: Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, HR Operations, and Employee Relations. 

The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker adept at balancing long-range planning and prioritizing with the ongoing workflow. The CPO will have stellar communication and organization skills, emotional intelligence, and a collaborative team spirit.

This is a full-time position at Breakthrough’s Home Office and reports to the Chief Executive Officer. 



Organizational Leadership

As a member of the Breakthrough Network Leadership Team:

  • Drive the development, implementation, and achievement of Breakthrough’s vision, mission, strategic plan, annual priorities, and goals.

  • Provide input and guidance on all major initiatives and problem-solve network-wide challenges.

  • Nurture the network’s culture to create a community where all stakeholders feel included, valued, and supported.

  • Assess organizational health and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices to shape and cultivate a strong workplace culture. 


Service Delivery & Functional Oversight

  • Develop the strategic vision and plan for the end-to-end talent life cycle — from recruiting to selecting, onboarding, developing, and retaining employees.

  • Oversee planning and implementation to build and improve systems, policies, and practices related to recruitment, leadership development, retention, total rewards, talent operations, employee relations, etc., over a multi-year horizon.

  • Ensure the department not only has clear priorities and metrics aligned to the organizational goals but also utilizes data to monitor and report progress. Key to these priorities is driving strategy toward staff hiring and retention. 

  • Lead and oversee the below functions to implement best-in-class, equitable systems, and services in human resources and talent management that foster partnership throughout the network. 

  • Talent Acquisition: Oversee all sourcing, recruitment, and hiring for Breakthrough’s Home Office & Schools; strategies must be rooted in our network’s core values, building relationships, deepening knowledge of schools and school culture, and telling our story proactively in the education community in Cleveland and beyond.

  • Talent Management: Guide staff development through a network-wide talent management strategy that fosters consistent performance management, goal setting, accountability, and supportive practices for managers.

  • HR Operations: Steer all HR operations functions to improve employee engagement and compliance; ensure all processes are simple and straightforward. HR operations includes oversight of the organization’s HRIS system, benefits administration, employee onboarding, and offboarding, as well as policy management.  

  • Employee Relations: Shape and implement effective and efficient people strategies and activities, with a focus on building strong relationships across the network between employees and employees and managers.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and work strategically across teams in the network. The requirements listed below represent the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.


Strategic Leadership

  • Bring strategic business skills to bear for the network and function simultaneously

  • Identify and assess organizational opportunities and challenges while keeping pace in an environment of rapid change

  • Use data to identify and understand challenges, make decisions, and drive toward solutions

  • Demonstrate knowledge of industry best practices grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Anticipate barriers to action and proactively work to remove them

  • Synthesize complex ideas into actionable plans and bring others along as needed

  • Provide excellent customer service experiences to school-level leadership 

  • Demonstrate excellent judgment, exceptional reasoning, problem-solving, and prioritization skills 


Organizational Effectiveness

  • Bring multiple stakeholders together to develop and achieve shared goals

  • Use effective communication and persuasion to drive and manage change 

  • Deftly navigate difficult conversations and deliver candid and direct feedback

  • Excellent people manager; able to effectively manage a range of people in a diverse set of roles while also bringing out the best performance in others

  • Commit to continually enhancing own capabilities and developing others

  • Establish and maintain effective, efficient systems and processes; hold a continuous improvement mindset and proactively avert problems

  • Excellent project management skills; demonstrated ability to lead multiple high-profile and complex projects simultaneously as well as a diverse set of stakeholders. 


Personal Effectiveness

  • Manage a wide range of details with meticulous precision

  • Manage multiple projects and deadlines with a high sense of urgency

  • Demonstrate commitment to ongoing learning and improvement

  • Willing and able to solve problems personally in an ever-changing landscape 

  • Manage competing priorities and remain level-headed in stressful situations

  • Demonstrate strong organization, time management, and follow-through skills


Commitment to Mission

  • Demonstrate commitment to the mission and values of Breakthrough Public Schools.



  • 7+ years of experience managing business or non-profit human resources

  • Previous experience in a collaborative, multi-stakeholder, and high-performing environment

  • Experience in managing and improving key human resources functions 

  • Experience in and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion work

  • Experience in K-12 education is a plus but not required



The base salary range for this position is $125,000-$175,000. Additionally, Breakthrough offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision, life, and disability coverage. Employees are also eligible to participate in the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) or the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS).


Breakthrough Public Schools is an equal-opportunity employer. We hire without consideration of race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or disability. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement is guilty of falsification under section 2921.13 of the Revised Code, which is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

This search is being managed by WorkMonger     

Apply Now