Director of Operations (Immediate Start - SY 20-21)

  • Troy, NY, USA
  • Full-time
  • Hiring Start Time: Immediate Start (SY 20-21)

Company Description

Uncommon Schools (Uncommon) is a nonprofit organization that starts and manages outstanding urban charter public schools that close the achievement gap and prepare low-income students to graduate from college.  Uncommon builds uncommonly great schools by developing and managing regional networks that are philosophically aligned and highly accountable and by designing and implementing “best-in-class” teacher training.  The organization has achieved outstanding academic results based on internal assessments, statewide exams, and graduation milestones.  Its schools consistently outperform their district schools and are among the highest-performing urban schools in their cities and states. To learn more about Uncommon click here.


    Job Description

    General Summary
    Uncommon Schools is offering a one-year fellowship to prepare fellows to become Directors of Operations (co-school leaders). As a Director of Operations (DOO), you would either be sustaining an existing Uncommon school, or potentially opening a new Uncommon school. 

    The Operations Fellowship provides a robust development process to prepare leaders to oversee the ongoing operations at a school in conjunction with the Principal and Uncommon Home Office. The Fellow (i.e., the eventual Director of Operations) will work very closely with the regional Associate Chief Operating Officer and the host Director of Operations. The Operations Fellow is a full-time employee, hired, supported, and evaluated by the regional Chief Operating Officer. 

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities
    The Fellowship year is based on a foundation of four core elements that are aligned to the competencies of Uncommon leaders. Each element is designed to build Fellows’ capacity towards becoming effective Directors of Operations. These include the following:

    • Fellowship Deliverables and School Immersion
    • Evaluation and Feedback;
    • Operations Leadership Meetings; and
    • Professional Development.

    Fellowship Deliverables and School Immersion
    During the fellowship, Fellows will be placed at an existing Uncommon school to observe and learn in the environment of a successful school. While in this residency, the Fellow will serve as a full-time member of the school’s operations team and will engage in operations work at their host school, Uncommon-wide Operations projects, and observations and analysis of Operational systems. In addition, Fellows will be responsible for completing a variety of pre-determined deliverables designed to provide active learning that creates an input or experience to shape the development of their leadership and schools.

    Evaluation and Feedback
    Throughout the fellowship year, Fellows will receive coaching and feedback from their Associate Chief Operating Officer in addition to the school leaders they are working closely with during their fellowships. Each Fellow will have an Individual Development Plan that identifies the specific areas of development around which their fellowship will be customized.

    Operations Leadership Meetings
    Fellows will join the current Operations leaders for periodic meetings to share and tackle current Operational challenges across Uncommon schools and to build their support network of current leaders.

    Professional Development
    Starting in the summer, Fellows will engage in professional development focusing on two main domains: Cultural Leadership and Management, and Operational Leadership.  Each professional development session will be led by our experienced group of Associate Chief Operating Officers, current leaders, Home Office teams, and a select group of external partners. Below are examples of professional development sessions provided to our Fellows:

    Cultural Leadership & Management

    • Connecting with and Leading Teachers
    • Difficult Conversations
    • Managing Teams and Groups
    • Personal Effectiveness
    • Student Recruitment
    • Teacher Recruitment
    • Understanding Yourself as a Leader

    Operational Leadership

    • Data Analysis and Data-Driven Instruction
    • Financial Management
    • Organizational Systems
    • Personnel & Certification
    • School Transportation, Food Services, Health & Safety
    • Systems Thinking and Operations
    • Technology Management



    • Demonstrates a relentless drive to improve the minds, characters, and lives of students both in and out of school;
    • Strong critical thinking skills;
    • Demonstrates grit and personal responsibility;
    • Demonstrates ability to think strategically and innovatively, in order to continuously improve school operations;
    • High quality communications skills with multiple stakeholders including teachers, students, families, vendors, and colleagues;
    • Able to have difficult conversations in a respectful manner;
    • Committed to continual professional growth;
    • Strong organizational skills; extremely careful attention to detail and follow-through.
    • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment; flexible, able to work autonomously as well as take direction as needed.
    • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written;
    • Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Office, Word, Excel and Access;
    • Strong time management skills; ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and meet tight deadlines;
    • Ability to maintain a calm, professional demeanor in the face of competing demands and external pressures;

    Minimum Education Level

    • The Operations Fellow must have a Bachelor’s degree and ideally has an M.P.P., M.P.A., M.B.A., or J.D.

    Experience Required

    • 4 or more years of work experience highly preferred;
    • School-based or other educational experience preferred;
    • Project planning experience required, with demonstrated ability to see large projects through to completion;
    • Experience managing others preferred.


    Additional Information

    Uncommon Schools offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package.  Aside from extensive professional development, all our staff members are equipped with a laptop computer, email, and all necessary supplies.

    Uncommon believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for important dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students.  As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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