The State Director for Early Childhood Education provides leadership, oversight and guidance for the work of the early childhood education division to develop resources, models and supports to increase access to and enrollment in high-quality Early Childhood Education programs for Texas families with children aged birth through 2nd grade. This position reports to the Associate Commissioner for Standards and Support Services and performs advanced (senior-level) managerial work providing direction and guidance in strategic operations and planning for the division. Work involves establishing a strategic plan, goals and objectives; developing policies; reviewing guidelines, procedures, rules, and regulations; establishing priorities, standards, and measurement tools for determining progress in meeting goals; coordinating and evaluating program activities; and reviewing and approving budgets. This position will plan, assign, and supervise the work of others and work under minimal supervision, with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.
Please note that a resume is a required attachment for applying to this position. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Applicants who are strongly being considered for employment must submit to a national criminal history background check.
- Team and Division Management: Oversees and coordinates the work of the ECE division to meet division, department, and office goals; develop and implement strategic initiatives, early childhood education-related grants and contracts, and daily operations; and disseminate division communication
- Access to high quality early learning supports: Oversees, evaluates, and updates the Regional Early Childhood Support Specialist (RECESS) Grant and related public-private partnership work
- Strong instruction to build a foundation of reading: Oversees the expansion of work to develop and provide access to high-quality professional development through the Texas Reading Academies and to support implementation of high-quality practices including statutorily required reading practices and aligned instructional resources from prekindergarten through third grade including Texas Home Learning (THL), Texas Resource Review (TRR), and prekindergarten guidelines and TEKS Guides
- Increased Quality and Alignment in the Early Learning Ecosystem: Coordinates with leadership from other state agencies to support and advance early childhood programs and supports including funding and data collection to ensure positive outcomes for Texas families and monitors metrics, outcomes, and progress toward collective goals
- Data driven decision making: Ensures formal measures of prekindergarten and kindergarten success are valid, reliable, and aligned to help ensure better decision making and aligns systems to identify the most appropriate indicators to drive project development and success
Education: Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university
Experience: At least seven (7) years of experience in leadership related to early childhood education. Experience coordinating projects, resources, and programs, preferably in a senior leadership position in a school district, regional education service center, state agency, state or federal education organization, or early childhood organization. Master’s degree preferred.
Substitutions: Education and experience may substitute for one another on a year-for-year basis.
- Knowledge of early childhood programs, issues, and best practices
- Ability to establish and evaluate program goals, objectives and procedures and to direct and organize program activities
- Outstanding skill in leadership and effective personnel management and an ability to plan, assign, and supervise the work of others according to division, department, and agency protocol and procedures
- Ability to professionally and appropriately engage with policy makers at the state and local levels and provide unbiased guidance and information to the public regarding issues related to early childhood education
- Ability to identify problems, evaluate alternatives, and implement effective solutions
- Effective time management skills and ability to prioritize and complete multiple projects simultaneously to meet deadlines including project, vendor and performance management
- Understanding of and ability to communicate intent of state law and rule and predict possible impact of proposed policy changes
- Effective and professional verbal and written communication skills including ability to create appropriate guidance documents, concise reports, and effective presentations
- Ability to establish and evaluate policies, procedures, and guidelines and to direct, organize, and coordinate work with departments within and across state agencies
- Ability to foster effective working relationships with a variety of individuals and groups, internal and external to TEA
- Knowledge of Texas Education Code and Texas Administrative Code, Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS); and familiarity with the Texas Rising Star Quality Rating Improvement System
- Certified Texas Contract Manager (CTCM) certification must be obtained within first six (6) months of employment