The Centers for Exceptional Children |Executive Director

  • 2315 Coliseum Dr NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27106, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

For more than 65 years, The Centers for Exceptional Children (CFEC) has been providing a critical combination of support services, programs and facilities dedicated to one thing: helping children with special needs and their families thrive.  CFEC believes every child deserves the chance to realize their fullest potential in life striving to unlock potential for confidence, happiness, achievement and self-reliance. 

Their two school locations in Winston Salem, NC – The Children’s Center and The Special Children’s School – support not only the needs of children with physical and developmental disabilities from birth through 5th grade, but both locations also accept typically developing children through kindergarten.  Students with special needs receive customized, individual care in the form of physical, occupational and speech therapy. All students benefit from an adaptive physical education program, art instruction, gardening and nature-based activities, music and movement classes and many other unique growth opportunities. CFEC provides optional extended day & summer programs for our students to ensure a continuum of care. The five-star rated Infant & Toddler program provides care and developmental support for children with special needs from birth to 36 months, focusing on early intervention to promote a child's age-appropriate growth and development.  CFEC’s Family Support Network is dedicated to strengthening families and enhancing the lives of children with special needs by providing support, guidance and caring connections for each family member.

Job Description

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) of the Centers for Exceptional Children is the chief executive officer of the organization and is responsible for CFEC’s overall financial, programmatic and administrative performance.  The ED works with the Board of Directors to provide leadership for the development and implementation of the strategic vision and plan of CFEC.  Within the framework of the goals, objectives and policies established by the Board of Directors, the ED is responsible for the administration of all components of the Corporation.  The ED effectively communicates CFEC’s plans and policies to broad audiences and develops and nurtures productive relationships and resources deemed essential for the attainment of CFEC’s goals and objectives.

Essential duties and responsibilities


  • Works with the Board of Directors to develop short- and long-range organizational goals, objectives, policies, and operating procedures.
  • Develops plans to implement strategic goals and strategies as directed by the Board of Directors.
  • Provides leadership and takes responsibility for changes required for continuous improvement.
  • Supports all activities associated with the Board of Directors, including staffing for Board and Committee meetings, meeting schedules, development of agenda, meeting materials, etc.


  • Leads the development of financial resources to achieve the short- and long-term goals of CFEC.  Establishes resource development goals with the Board of Directors and develops a strong and diversified fundraising strategy.
  • Maintains a portfolio of major gift donors and prospects in support of the organization’s goals.
  • Cultivates relationships with key stakeholders including provider partners, contract providers, major donors, and other key partners.
  • Guides and supports the Director of Development and Marketing in developing, implementing and measuring effective resource development strategies.


  • Effectively attracts, motivates, and retains a strong team of employees to deliver CFEC objectives.
  • Develops annual budgets for the 501(c)(3) Corporation in conjunction with the Board of Directors and manages the budget within guidelines set by the Board.
  • Works with the CFEC staff and Principals of the member schools to facilitate effective operations of the CFEC programs.
  • Facilitates the achievement and maintenance of industry-standard accreditations and certifications for CFEC programs and facilities.
  • Ensures that the facilities and grounds of the schools provide a safe and healthy environment for staff and children.
  • Ensures that CFEC facilities and programs are appropriately insured and that facilities and programs comply with all insurance provisions.
  • Monitors and evaluates operational effectiveness and updates the Board of Directors regularly.
  • Ensures commitment to and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations across the organization.


  • Develops effective, state-of-art programming strategies that position CFEC as a regional leader for achieving community impact.
  • Acts as spokesperson for the organization on relevant issues.
  • Effectively manages the CFEC brand as a strategic asset.
  • Works with the Board of Directors to develop effective and unified messaging for use in all marketing and public relations materials.
  • Represents and articulates the long-term vision and strategic direction of CFEC to internal stakeholders including staff and faculty, parents, children and volunteers.
  • Represents the CFEC externally to media, government agencies, funding agencies, individual supporters and to the public and assures that the organization’s mission, programs, and services are positively and consistently presented to relevant stakeholders.


The successful candidate will have a proven track record in an executive leadership role demonstrating measurable success in leading development and implementation of programs and initiatives to achieve organizational goals and objectives.  As such, the successful candidate will possess the skills, knowledge, and passion to strengthen the organization internally, positioning it for success, while promoting it effectively within the community. The EDs leadership will extend to the community CFEC serves, enhancing the organization’s role as a valued community partner.

  • Nonprofit senior level leadership experience required. 
  • Seasoned leader who understands change management and working in a matrixed organization.
  • Experience in child development, early childhood education, public administration, public health administration, special education or social work involving knowledge of disability issues and their impacts on families is preferred.  
  •  Advanced degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated success in planning and implementing a comprehensive fund development program with sustainable revenue growth.
  • Mission driven, focused, and energetic.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and sustain an organization through providing leadership in creating a vision and mission, developing strategies and implementing action plans.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead change.
  • Demonstrated ability to be visionary, to inspire and motivate staff and community members and to build a high-performing team.
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, develop, and maintain productive relationships with both internal and external constituents. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a diverse group of external constituents and stakeholders including business, civic, and community leaders, and human service agencies.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of fiscal management principles and procedures.
  • Analytical; reliance on evidence based, thoughtful decision-making and accountability practices.
  • Effective problem solver and conflict manager; able to assess and modify strategies, policies and procedures to facilitate the efficient operation and strategic development of the CFEC.
  • Well-developed relationship-management and communications skills, both verbal and written, to position and promote the CFEC mission in a compelling, influencing manner.

Education:   Minimum of a bachelor’s degree; advanced degree preferred.

Additional Information

Centers for Exceptional Children has retained Capital Development Services to assist with professional recruitment.  Candidates should include a cover letter, a resume, and a list of three references.  All material will be kept confidential.  Additional inquiries may be directed to Jen Tozier at Capital Development Services, 336-747-0133 ext 208.