Executive Director

Posted on: February 10, 2020 | |

EPIC Academy opened its doors in the South Chicago community in the fall of 2009. A charter high school serving nearly 520 students in one of Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods, EPIC Academy has a shared commitment with its students to pursue excellence and high expectations for postsecondary success, working towards college and career readiness through a variety of pathways. Holding dearly a commitment and belief that every student can learn, grow, and lead, EPIC inspires students through belief altering experiences that broaden students’ views of what is possible. EPIC classrooms are rich with discussion, collaboration, leadership experiences, and critical thinking, preparing students for both college and career.

EPIC boasts a 100% college acceptance rate and performance in the top tiers of Chicago Public Schools academic rating systems. In 2018, the graduating senior class secured ~$8 million in college scholarship awards. EPIC leverages its one of a kind Intensives Program to provide students with insights into career possibilities with hands-on experience in Chicago area businesses and corporations. Additionally, in 2018, EPIC launched a summer internship program for juniors and seniors. These opportunities–coupled with high expectations and intentional college and career planning–set EPIC students on the path to success.

For more information about EPIC Academy, please visit:

The Opportunity

EPIC is a powerful, productive, innovative force in both its local community and the Chicago education space broadly. In the ten years since EPIC first opened its doors, it has created a successful and competitive academic and personal development environment for students. This is a unique time and opportunity in EPIC’s history as the organization strives to reinforce EPIC’s academic standing as one of the top performing high schools in the city, while also considering the option to provide improved opportunities for its students and community through a new facility.

EPIC Academy is seeking a new Executive Director to be the leader and public face of the school. The Executive Director will set and maintain an organizational vision and strategy and ensure that the school provides exceptional academic and career opportunities for its students. EPIC Academy’s new Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Directors to pursue a long-term growth plan, which includes both a strategy for increasing student enrollment as well as leading the transition of the school into a new facility (currently in planning phase).

This Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors and supervise and coach key leaders including the Principal, the Chief Financial Officer, and student recruitment and development professionals.

In the first year the Executive Director will be responsible for leading the school and regularly updating the board on progress towards the following (leveraging a scorecard or other tracking tool):

• Establish themselves as a leader within the EPIC community by building relationships with students, teachers, families, staff, board members and other stakeholders;
• Observe and assess EPIC’s academic model, systems, processes, and achievement data, identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement; in addition, work closely with principal to outline a near term pathway back to SQRP 1 by identifying strategies, setting goals and establishing interim metrics to measure performance;
• Work with the board to develop strategies for increasing school enrollment and establish the timeline and decision-points for transitioning into a new facility;
• Ensure the right team and people strategy are in place to carry out the short and long term priorities of EPIC Academy.
• Initiate an inclusive and collaborative strategic planning process with the board and school community that addresses academics, growth, and long-term financial sustainability.


The specific responsibilities of the Executive Director include:

Vision Setting and Strategic Planning
• Collaborate with the board to refine the strategic vision and implementation plan for EPIC Academy to achieve its mission;
• Engage and invest all stakeholders including staff members, community members, and financial supporters in supporting the execution of the plan and the realization of the vision; and
• Establish and implement accountability and performance measures by setting clear academic, growth, operational, financial, and facility goals and managing towards them; adapting as necessary given changes in internal and external environments.

Team Management and Culture Building
• Build, manage, and coach a high-performing leadership team that is able to deliver transformational educational outcomes for students and provide staff with opportunities for professional growth and development;
• Oversee operations, budgeting, finance, talent/human resources, data, and academics, taking responsibility for all major decisions; and
• Continue to build and support a strong, cohesive student and adult culture that leads to an aligned organizational identity across the school.

External Partnership, Engagement and Sustainability
• Serve as the public face of EPIC Academy and effectively communicate the school’s accomplishments;
• Continue to develop a strong, engaged, and active board in close partnership with the board chair;
• Ensure that EPIC Academy has a viable long-term financial plan and a diversified and sustainable funding base in collaboration with the board;
• Lead strategy, planning and execution of the development campaign for a new school building;
• Oversee community partnerships, parent/family engagement, and student recruitment to ensure EPIC Academy is highly regarded by the local community and area middle school students strongly consider EPIC Academy when making secondary school decisions; and
• Build coalitions, relationships, and partnerships with key stakeholders in support of EPIC Academy’s mission and goals.


The ideal candidate will bring the following experiences, skills, and mindset:

• At least 10 years of professional experience, with at least four years in a role leading a high performing school or schools, or at least four years in a role leading teams in an education focused organization;
• Experience setting strategy and vision for an organization;
• Experience managing a high performing team and creating structures/systems that help the team fulfill the organizational vision and mission;
• Experience managing to a budget; and
• Bachelor’s degree required, relevant graduate degree preferred.

• The ability to function at an executive level and build, manage, develop and retain high performing teams and manage through layers;
• Outstanding strategic planning and execution skills, with demonstrated successful experience leading a major initiative with measurable results;
• Knowledge and understanding of effective schools;
• Relationship management skills necessary to effectively act as the external face of the organization, build relationships, motivate and engage with a diverse group of stakeholders (students, family, community, staff, donors, corporate partners, board), and build partnerships; and
• Experience driving and refining systems, processes, and policies within an organization, ensuring alignment, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

• Results-focused, highly organized, self-starter;
• Passion for and commitment to the mission and vision of EPIC Academy and serving its community;
• Collaborative and inclusive leadership style;
• High standards of excellence for self and for others; and
• Evidence of well-developed emotional intelligence and empathy.

Compensation and Benefits

Competitive salary and benefits package based on years of experience, level of education, and expertise.

How to Apply:
If you are interested in this opportunity, please email your resume to with a subject line of “EPIC Executive Director.” Applications must be received by April 5, 2020.