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Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Spano Pratt

Job Description

 

Overview:
Due to the scheduled retirement of the founding Executive Director in June 2024, the board of directors for Seeds of Health, Inc is seeking a successor for the newly titled role of CEO. Founded in 1983, Seeds of Health, Inc. is a K4-12 charter school system in Wisconsin serving 1,500 students in four high schools and a K4-8 elementary program. In addition, Seeds of Health, Inc. has the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC). Each has a distinct mission.

Mission and Vision

Mission: To meet the unique needs of urban children through small schools in a caring, personal environment.

Vision: To nurture and develop young people who become self-sustaining, contributing members of society.

Culture: At Seeds of Health, educators personally know each student by name and their family, and students call staff by their first names. The schools operate on a relationship-based model focused on exceptional education for the whole student. Seeds of Health serves students with unique needs, meeting them where they currently are and helping them achieve their highest potential whether that is high school graduation, technical certification, or post-secondary education. This is accomplished through warm, safe, inviting, state of the art classrooms with innovative educational practices.

Founded in 1983, Seeds of Health, Inc. is a K4-12 charter school system in Wisconsin serving 1,500 students in four high schools and a K4-8 elementary program. In addition, Seeds of Health, Inc. has the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC). Seeds of Health is Milwaukee’s innovative “homegrown” answer to imaginative, collaborative, and cutting-edge education options, with the vision to positively impact the growth and development of urban children. They have an operating budget of over $20M and 150 employees.

Seeds of Health, Inc. operates its five schools through charter authorizer agreements with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, partnerships with Milwaukee Public Schools, collaboration with MATC, and the WIC Program through the Department of Health and Family Services.

The mission of Seeds of Health K-12 schools is to meet the unique needs of urban children through small schools in a caring, personal environment. Students can succeed academically and socially through a network of distinct and rigorous elementary and high school programs which prepare a full range of students from at-risk to academically advanced to take advantage of meaningful career choices or higher education opportunities.

The Seeds of Health Elementary mission is to work in partnership with families and community to prepare students with foundational knowledge, skills, and character that will support success in secondary, post-secondary education and adult life. It provides well-rounded instruction in reading, math, language arts, science, social studies, physical education, and art. Seeds of Health Elementary students have the option to transition to one of Seeds of Health’s award-winning high schools. It has been recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a School of Recognition.

The Grandview High School mission is to help young adults become academically, emotionally, and socially prepared for productive participation in the 21st century. Grandview serves students "at-risk" of not completing high school or those who are experiencing difficulty in a traditional high school setting. Grandview is a safe, supportive, and respectful environment where learning is the focus and success is the result. The curriculum is taught by highly qualified teachers who deliver student-specific instruction. With an MPS diploma, Grandview's goal is to help our students either enter the workforce immediately or go on to pursue post-secondary education.

The Tenor High Schools mission is to prepare Milwaukee students for successful entry to post-secondary education and career opportunities through the dual completion of a high school diploma and a Milwaukee Area Technical College program certificate, technical diploma, and/or credits in a post-secondary degree program. Tenor is a high performing school, with over 90% of graduates enrolled in post-secondary institutions and training programs. Additionally, graduates receive a free year of college at MATC, earning a certificate or technical diploma in a specific area of concentration, credits for an associate degree, or credits which transfer to 2- or 4-year degree programs. Tenor participates in WIAA sports and Project Lead the Way (PLTW). Tenor High School is recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a School of Recognition.

The Veritas High School mission is to prepare Milwaukee students for post-secondary education success through completion of an academically challenging, values-based curriculum in a safe and supportive environment. It offers a variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, participates in WIAA sports, and partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters to offer Mentor2.0. Veritas graduates were offered over $6 million in scholarships in 2023. Veritas High School is recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a School of Recognition.

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) mission is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. Program highlights include Nutritious Foods, Nutritious Education, Breastfeeding Support, and Community Support.

Responsibilities:
Position Summary
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for the overall leadership of the organization, its strategy, services, programs, finances, talent, brand, resource development, and relationships with stakeholders. The CEO provides strategic leadership and vision in congruence with the organizations’ mission and goals with guidance from the Board of Directors in developing organizational goals, attaining/allocating resources, establishing polices and direction to staff management in carrying out the key roles assigned to them. The role serves as the primary ambassador and lead communicator of the organization and develops strong relationships at the highest levels generating support to advance the organization, its mission and brand.

Duties and Responsibilities:
Operations
  • Guides best practices for Agency utilizing educational knowledge of charter schools.
  • Manages staff, developing, retaining, and hiring the best.
  • Manages complex school facilities, and overall agency budgets.
  • Administers charter and renewal documents.
  • Fosters high-functioning Board relationships.
  • Ensures proper governance structures for the Board.
  • Involves senior level staff and principals in monthly Board meetings.
Leading Change/Strategy
  • Innovative thinker looking beyond the status quo to develop breakthrough strategies.
  • Converts organizational vision and strategy into action-oriented goals and initiatives.
  • Anticipates future opportunities.
  • Empowers team by collaborating, trusting, and delegating.
  • Aligns organizational resources to Agency’s needs.
  • Prioritizing change while managing the pace, and its impact on the organization.
Communication
  • Assumes the role of spokesperson for the Agency.
  • Builds and manages the Agency’s reputation.
  • Develops relationships within the schools and the school communities.
  • Forms relationships within Charter school community.
  • Forges awareness of Agency and schools within Milwaukee.
  • Champions diversity and inclusiveness with other leaders within the community.
Political Acumen:
  • Ability to interact with elected state and local officials.
Collaborative Partnerships
  • Partners with the Chief Development Officer to build a donor pipeline, network, and giving program.
  • Initiates alliances and leverages connections with Milwaukee corporations and unions to build school to work program, internships, and apprenticeships.
  • Strategically plans, executes, and leads capital campaign(s).
  • Fosters and further develops relationships with staff, students, and families.
  • Pursues excellence while putting students’ and families’ needs first.
  • Present internally and externally for the Agency.
Alignment
  • Education sector experience with understanding of the various trends in urban education, and models of education such as public, choice, charter, etc.
  • Promotes the Agency’s mission and vision internally and externally.
  • Builds upon the Agency’s culture of trust, transparency, and shared accountability.
  • Actively shapes the Agency to support the core values.
  • Shares institutional knowledge by connecting people, teams, families, students, and community.
  • Honors the culture and goals of all five unique schools and works to elevate them.
  • Effectively integrates into the existing environment; carefully evaluates, consults with colleagues, and thoughtfully considers the organizational impact of any change.
Qualifications:
The successful candidate will be a highly visible individual with exceptional interpersonal communication skills who will work collaboratively with the board, staff, and stakeholders to ensure a solid foundation in curriculum and instruction and foster a positive collaborative climate in which all students can succeed. The ideal candidate will also possess the following preferred skills and attributes:

  • 10+ years in a senior strategic leadership role overseeing programs and supervising staff, preferably in a nonprofit organization.
  • Subject matter expertise in urban education.
  • Knowledge of urban education and the public-school ecosystem.
  • Experience in nonprofit governance and board relations and development.
  • Leadership skills and team building skills, including negotiation, problem solving, disciplined rigorous decision-making skills, and delegation.
  • Effective as a spokesperson, excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Demonstrated success in the ability to oversee operations and align programs to the mission and deliver at the highest standards.
  • Must have a proven track record and ability to raise funds; working with donors and diverse funding sources.
  • Ability to measure against specific outcomes related to the mission.
  • Ability to develop strategic alliances and foster positive relationships with diverse stakeholders; families, community partners, charter authorizers, contractors, donors, grantors, etc. in the community.
Education
Doctorate degree is a plus. Minimum of a master’s degree in school administration or a relevant field.

Compensation
The range for the base salary is $210,000 - $275,000. In addition, this position also includes a competitive benefit package.

Seeds of Health has partnered with Spano Pratt Executive Search to identify the Chief Executive Officer. For a confidential conversation and to learn more about this opportunity please contact:

Mike Milsted
mmilsted@spanopratt.com
www.spanopratt.com
M: 414.422.1212
 

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