Chief Academic Officer (Immediate Opening)

Nashville, TN /
Network Team – Academics /
Full Time
Who We Are

Launching the first public charter school network to serve the incredibly vibrant and diverse South Nashville community, in 2010 our team set out to do what everyone told our Founder couldn’t be done: provide a rigorous, inquiry-based STEM education for Nashville’s structurally underrepresented subgroups, preparing each student, regardless of home language or immigration status, to graduate from college. Nearly a decade after our doors opened to our founding 5th grade class, we operate two fully built out high-performing schools serving the highest percentage of limited english proficiency students in our sector: STEM Prep Academy Middle School (grades 5-8) and STEM Prep High School (grades 9-12). In 2014, we expanded our impact to launch one of the largest newcomer programs in the country, the Nashville Newcomer Academy, serving new arrival immigrant and refugee students and their families from around the world.

Today, our team is comprised of over 100 of the most tenacious, persistent, and mission-aligned teachers, leaders, and support staff working to secure the college-graduation mission for each and every one of our students and their families. We have the ACT scores and national growth data, the accolades and awards, the parent testimonials, the college scholarship funds, and the founding alumni, the college-graduating class of 2023, to prove that what we set out to do is in fact possible. We show up for our students and for each other every single day, motivated by the incredibly hard work it takes to give our students what they deserve (what everyone said couldn’t be done).

Join us.

The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) is ultimately responsible for ensuring all STEM students achieve ambitious academic results.  The CAO designs and oversees development and implementation of curriculum and data-driven instruction across all schools. S/he leads a curriculum team, including the School Directors and the Network Academic Team. The CAO is responsible for designing and delivering high-quality, responsive teacher-facing and leader-facing professional development, as well as the design and facilitation of summer orientation. 

Who You Are:

    • Committed. You will run through the wall for the STEM Prep mission. You don't just want to work at a school - you want to work at this school. You are committed to our community for the long-haul.
    • Visionary. Not only do you have a clear vision for excellence, but you also are ready to invest coaches and faculty in executing that vision.
    • Pace-Setter. Things move with urgency around here (student success depends on it!). You're at the front of the pack, setting a high bar and leading by example to reach it.
    • Passionate. Your passion for our students and community is evident in every decision you make, every conversation you have.
    • Experienced getting results. You're no stranger to excellence. You have a long track record of leading students, instructors, and c to coaches in achieving remarkable results

Assessment and Data

    • Annually revise the Visions for High Quality Instruction (HQI) for each content area, including Exceptional Education and English Language Learners.
    • Annually revise the structure, vision, and data-driven measures of success for the Nashville Newcomer Academy.
    • Annually create a long-term and short-term academic vision for all schools.
    • Lead School Teams in the annual development of course offerings, including dual-enrollment courses at STEM Prep High School.
    • In collaboration with the Director of Curriculum and Assessment, annually assess and review all curricular materials used across both schools.
    • Annually set highly ambitious academic goals for each school, subject, and teacher.
    • In collaboration with the Director of Curriculum and Assessment, oversee the development and execution of highly-aligned benchmark assessments on a quarterly basis, including response to benchmark data.
    • Lead school teams in developing effective systems and structures to communicate student performance data to all stakeholders, including students and families.
    • Through collaboration with school teams, oversee development of strong summative and formative assessment creation and implementation by all teachers by the end of Q1.
    • Through collaboration with school leadership teams, facilitate and evaluate assessment-driven and student-specific methods for re-teaching, enrichment, and further individualization.
    • Design vision for preparation for the annual state test.
    • Lead school teams through development of school-level and classroom-level plans.
    • Collaborate with Director of Curriculum and Assessment and school teams to develop internally-created practice assessments that are in alignment with state assessments and can be used to measure students’ proficiency on the state assessment.
    • Design structure for item and trend analyses on all practice assessments to identify gains and performance gaps

Coaching and Support

    • Design and lead responsive full-day professional development for Academic Deans and School Directors once a week.
    • Annually revise the performance rubric, Framework for Effective Instruction and Practice (FEIP).
    • Oversee the development of Academic Deans’ coaching efficacy.
    • Provide weekly differentiated coaching feedback to Academic Deans.
    • Using observation tools and data, perform trend analyses and classroom-level performance targets to improve coaching effectiveness.

Professional Development

    • Create the arc and structure of Network and School-based Professional Development for each Semester.
    • Collaborate with the Director of Curriculum and Assessment and School Directors to design, implement, and evaluate school-wide teacher professional development consistent with the school’s mission and model, and students’ needs.
    • Design and conduct summer Teacher Orientation sessions.
    • Design and conduct ongoing and sustained professional development during the school year.
    • Conduct formal evaluations of School Directors twice a year. 
The Top 3 Reasons You Choose Us.

1. WE SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SEE IMPOSSIBILITY. STEM fields are the future. And our kids will be leading them.

Our students are achieving unprecedented success on a national scale.
-Since its first year of operation, our Middle and High School students have outperformed the district and state every year in both reading and math.
-On average, the number of our students performing on or above grade level in both English/Language Arts and Math is more than double that of zoned schools.
-Our newest arrivals have been ranked in the top 1% nationally for growth in reading and math on the NWEA MAP assessment.
-Nashville Newcomer Academy students made 11x the expected growth in math and 15x expected growth in reading.

College graduation.
-Last year, our founding class, the college graduating class of 2023, earned over 3 million dollars in scholarships.
-We secured funding and college access for every single one of our undocumented students.

Weekly professional development and personalized coaching.

Leadership development. Whether you want to lead as the best ELA teacher in the state or as the School Director, we have a pathway for that.

Competitive compensation & benefits.
-Annual Salary: On average, our teacher’s salaries are 10% higher than traditional district and choice sector teachers.
-Stipend eligibility (early decision, competitive roles, graduate school)
-Referral bonus ($1,000 for every teacher and leader candidate we hire)
-Licensure support
-Unlimited classroom supplies

Family & Wellbeing
-Paid Parental Leave
-Private nursing room for new moms.
-Child care supplement for PD days
-Retirement counseling
-Health center access
-Mental health counseling

We don’t believe in growth plans with goals around how many buildings we operate or how large our network is. We run through the wall to develop deep and lasting community partnerships that will transform the lives of our kids and families for generations to come. Our growth plan isn’t oriented towards meeting a financial goal or reaching a specific size. We are whole-heartedly committed to deepening our impact in this specific community. Here are some examples of our community-based efforts and impact so far:
-Health programs to make sure our moms get their mammograms.
-Home ownership classes no none of our families are in a predatory rent culture.
-English classes three times a day for all parents, including those who work third shift.
-When there is a family in crisis, we are the first people they call.
-When there is a quinceanera, every teacher is there.
-We have the largest mental health staff of any network (and a really great therapy dog).
-Our alumni are here almost every day of the week, drinking coffee in the breakroom, seeking feedback on their latest essay, and attending parent-teacher conference with their younger siblings.
We're different from the other guys. Our aim is to continue this level of deep impact and advance the outcomes, education and otherwise, for all students and families in the neighborhoods we serve.

STEM Preparatory Academy believes it is critical for leaders in urban education to reflect the urban communities they serve. We actively recruit people of color to join our team. We support equal opportunity for all people and we strongly encourage diverse candidates to apply for open positions. STEM Prep does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices.