Managing Director of High Schools

Ascend Public Charter Schools
Brooklyn, New York
May 18, 2018
Job Type

The managing director of high schools is responsible for the design and realization of Ascend's path-breaking urban high schools, and oversees and develops the high schools' directors.


The Ascend high school is the culmination of Ascend K-12 liberal arts program. Building on the academic foundation of the lower and middle school schools, the high school engages students on a great intellectual journey, preparing them for admission to four-year colleges and universities, and supporting their career launch. In addition to pursuing a rigorous academic course of study, a central focus of high school is the development of agency–students' belief that they are in control of their own lives and can act of their own free choices. This capacity will prove essential for college life, where freedom and responsibility will be exercised in a nearly complete absence of supervision. Partnerships with colleges, universities, and college financing organizations, together with an Ascend alumni program, will ensure that students have the supports to overcome obstacles and persist in college.


Ascend managing directors are the academic and cultural leaders of a portfolio of schools. They support and manage the schools' directors to achieve each school's academic and organizational goals, to build and maintain a strong presence for the school in the community, and to develop and cultivate enduring relationships with students, teachers, parents, community members and stakeholders. Managing directors report directly to the chief schools officer.


We're excited about professionals who are fired up about our liberal arts program, positive approach to discipline, and commitment to serve all students. Join us as we foster innate curiosities, encourage discussion and debate, and guide students to think their own way through to answers.

Why extraordinary professionals choose Ascend

Ascend is a network of K-12 public charter schools serving 4,000 students across 10 schools in Central Brooklyn. Our mission is to lead our students on a great intellectual journey, providing them with an exceptional education and placing them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond.

We guide our students to think critically and independently and to enjoy education as an end in itself. We teach a rich and rigorous liberal arts curriculum that nurtures students' natural curiosity about the world. We foster a positive, non-punitive school culture where students feel connected, empowered, and safe to take academic risks. Even our school buildings are designed to reflect our high aspirations for teaching and learning and the notable accomplishments that occur within our walls.

To create this kind of vibrant learning community, we invest heavily in our faculty by providing ongoing professional training and support, and encourage our educators to collaborate closely and push each other to achieve great outcomes.

Visit our website to learn more about the Ascend approach.


The managing director of high schools leads the strategic planning process to refine the Ascend high school model and launch all future high schools. Additionally, the managing director of high schools will:

  • Refine the Ascend high school design consistent with Ascend's commitment to a liberal arts education, restorative approach to discipline, college and alumni program, and family and community partnerships; define a distinctive and compelling vision for Ascend high schools.
  • Lead the high school design team, by commissioning and overseeing outside consultants, coordinating the work of staff financial analysts and curriculum developers, and engaging the Ascend officer team.
  • Recommend key design decisions for the Ascend high schools, including their size, curricular and extra-curricular offerings, staffing structures, facility needs, and financial model.
  • Collaborate with the chief curriculum and instruction officer to structure and guide high school curriculum and assessment development to ensure alignment with NYS Regents and NYS credit requirements, while also including numerous opportunities for advanced work.
  • Work with middle and high school directors to lead the student enrollment campaign from 8th to 9th grade, ensuring high matriculation rates, smooth enrollment processes, and a student body representative of the rising 8th grade.
  • Structure and guide the network data team to refine and develop data systems that support our high schools' academic, operational, and cultural success.
  • Structure and guide the development of the college and alumni program to ensure college readiness, high completion rates, and access to first jobs.
  • Lead the hiring of leadership and teaching staff for future high schools.
  • Collaborate with the president and real estate team on facility needs and design for future high schools.
  • Collaborate with Operations and Finance to ensure operational and fiscal stability in current and future schools.

The managing director of high schools will a coach, manage, and develop the directors of Ascend's high schools, supporting them to cultivate strong talent practices and to execute their responsibilities effectively. Additionally, the managing director of high schools will:

  • Play a central role with the school directors in the hiring, development, coaching, and evaluation of leaders and teaching staff.
  • Regularly employ both formal and informal means to gauge the performance of each of the schools and the school directors.
  • Support school leaders to build and ensure strong implementations of the schools' educational design, including curriculum implementation, assessments, student and adult culture, and parent and community relationships.
  • Work alongside school directors to identify and develop internal candidates for school leadership roles and provide future leaders with guidance and feedback.
  • Assist school leaders in monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of programs; identify and acquire appropriate program resources to ensure that curricula meet students' needs and are aligned with the school's mission, academic standards, and strategic goals.
  • Provide professional development and instructional coaching to instructional leaders and teachers in diverse roles.

Staff and reporting relationships


The managing director of high schools reports directly to the chief schools officer and works closely with the chief curriculum and instruction officer and other members of the officer team.


  • Bachelor's degree, with advanced degree preferred
  • At least four years of experience as a principal, assistant principal, leadership coach, or similar support position at a highly successful urban high school that posted high levels of academic achievement
  • Expertise in teaching and working with scholars at the high school level
  • Record of success in leading adults; prior experience with direct management and supervision

Skills and Traits

  • Ability to create, hold and execute a bold vision for the Ascend high schools
  • Ability to lead and inspire through the mission
  • Relentlessly high standards, commitment to excellence, ambitious for our school and students
  • Strong coaching, strategic planning, and project management skills
  • Collaborative decision-making style, with a proven track record of working effectively with individuals at all levels to drive decision-making and results

Diversity at Ascend

Ascend is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community, both through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working and educating students. Ascend staff represent a wide diversity of racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities—opening a window to the entire Ascend community on the richness of humanity. We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to join us in our deeply consequential work.



Ascend offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package.

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