Academic Dean of Special Education (Instructional Coach)

Nashville, TN /
School Leadership – High School Leadership Team /
Full Time
/ On-site
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. By 2025, we aim for the diversity of our staff to mirror the population we serve. We have the 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.

As the Academic Dean of Exceptional Education, you will be coaching the Exceptional Education teachers at the high school to ensure student success. You will also be working alongside all other leadership team members in creating a positive learning culture across the school.

Required Qualifications:

    • NOTE: Historically marginalized groups are statistically less likely to apply to jobs that they don’t perfectly match on paper. Think you’re the right fit but don’t totally meet this description? We still want to hear from you.
    • Track record of personal DEI development and growth as well as equity-based coaching philosophy. 
    • At least three years of impactful instructional coaching experience with the data to prove it. Demonstrated results in coaching adult learners and practitioners to meet individual and collective performance targets that exceed district and state performance. 
    • A professional development rockstar. Experience designing, facilitating, and evaluation adult learning and professional development that drives school improvement and cultivates a culture of learning, growth, and joy. 
    • All in attitude. The line “other duties as assigned” is there for a reason in our JDs. The pandemic has thrown innumerable curve balls at us, demanding that we step up and in differently for our students. We will continue to do so, and have the same expectations of our new teammates.
    • Desire to grow roots in our school. Our team deserves leaders who are in this work for the long haul. Our students and their families do too. 
    • That special something. We are a unique school that serves a diverse and varied student population. And the fact that you are reading this job description makes us think you may just have that special something we are looking for on our team. So why not apply?

You'll Be Responsible For:

    • In partnership with the School Director and Network Director of STEM Education, develop and facilitate the school’s model and strategy for special education pathway development.
    • All student and teacher outcomes for your caseload.
    • Directly manage and coach all special education teachers on high-quality instruction to ensure all students are achieving mastery and growth goals, exceeding the performance of peers nationally and locally.
    • Submit weekly performance reports and other analyses to the School Director and team. 
    • Support curricula adaptation and augmentation to ensure students have equitable access to rigorous grade level content and master both discipline and language knowledge and skill objectives.
    • In alignment with our DEI priorities and aim of becoming an anti-racist institution, lead critical assessment of curricula and standards at all levels. 
    • Design, facilitate, and evaluate the outcomes of staff professional development. 
    • Proactively contribute analyses and strategic, continuous improvement plans to the School Director. 
    • Observe and model exemplary science and electives instruction. 
    • In alignment with the school’s philosophy of education, facilitate and support family and parent communications to include quarterly academic parent academy workshops. 
    • Perform quarterly evaluations of direct reports and other staff members as assigned.
    • Other duties as assigned. 

Other Things You Bring:

    • You were the outlier instructional leader, the one who coached teachers to achieve unprecedented academic results. 
    • No matter what role you have held, you have always built the strongest student relationships in the building. You treat every student like they are your student.
    • You are a data geek. You examine teacher and student data every day, motivated in equal parts by the gaps yet to be closed and the mastery already attained. Your relationship with the teachers and leaders you coach is rooted in student-success. Every coaching conversation you have is rooted in the data. 
    • Your expectations are high (for yourself and others). You know that in order for students to be held to high expectations, teachers and leaders must be as well. 
    • You have quantified experience working with English Learners (ELs) (over 90% of our network comes from a Non-English Language Background). Maybe you come from a Non-English Language Background yourself.  
    • You are a teammate through and through. Maybe you weren’t picked first in gym class for kickball, but you’re picked first these days because you consistently assume the best of others, follow through on obligations and promises, and are the first one to offer to cover your sick teammate’s lunch duty. 
    • You are seeking a feedback culture - a place where you can grow fast. 
    • When faced with a challenge, your default is to be solutions-oriented. 
    • You know every classroom should be warm, highly structured, and safe: each student deserves to know exactly what is expected of them at all times, and they model with peers the care their teacher enacts.
    • No matter the role you occupy, you seek to partner with the parents of every student because you know that collaboration is vital to the success of this work.
Not all applicants will have skills that match a job description exactly. STEM Prep values diverse experiences in other industries, and we encourage everyone who meets the required qualifications to apply. While having “desired” qualifications make for a strong candidate, we encourage applicants with alternative experiences to also apply. If your career is just starting or hasn't followed a traditional path, don't let that stop you from considering STEM Prep.


Competitive compensation & benefits.
-Annual Salary: On average, our teacher’s salaries out pay 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 (and unlimited coffee!)
-Snack drawers
-Weekly professional development and personalized coaching.

Family & Wellbeing
-Paid Parental Leave (12 weeks paid leave for mothers AND fathers!)
-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:
-We don't teach History, we teach Historical Perspectives.
-Translation services at every event so parents are informed.
-English classes three times a week 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 invited.
-We have the largest mental health staff of any network.
-Our alumni frequently visit and love to be back on campus. Our previous Certified Medical Assistant students even come back to volunteer their time!

We're different from the other schools. 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 Prep Academy believes it is critical for our staff - teachers and leaders to reflect the communities that they serve. We actively support equal opportunity for all people. As such, we strongly encourage People of Color, Women, LGBTQIA2S+ Individuals, Individuals with Disabilities, First Generation College Graduates, and all other groups that have been historically marginalized to apply to become a member of the STEM Team. STEM Prep does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. 

In compliance with Metro Nashville Public Schools' policy, all STEM Prep employees must pass a background check.
I acknowledge that professional reference checks are a part of the hiring process at STEM Prep Academy, and I agree to provide references if being considered for a position.