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Director of Talent Development

Posted: 11/22/2020

SchoolSmartKC (SSKC) is a charitable, non-profit organization that works toward significant improvement in the performance of schools in the Kansas City Public School system. With substantial funding from key investors including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation, SSKC aims to close the performance gap between students in our local District and Charter schools and their higher-performing peers across the state of Missouri and the nation. Our efforts are designed to build a common purpose within our local community, including parents and families, district and charter schools, resource providers, and others to ensure young people reach their incredible potential. Working together, we seek a school system that in ten years will have more than double the current percentage of schools showing performance on par with the state on key educational measures.
SchoolSmartKC’s Director, Talent Development, will work closely with funding providers and school partners to put into action a systematized talent development strategy and business plan. This individual will have both external and internal facing responsibilities ranging from stakeholder and project management (framing of key approaches, high-quality support, written products, thought partnership around emerging practice areas) to administration (grant management, reporting, budget). The Director will report to and partner closely with the Director of School Quality to chart SSKC’s impact in Talent Development, strategic response to schools, and use of resources. This role collaborates closely with all team members to cultivate and support new relationships across a broad constituency of talent development groups including, local and regional organizations, involving all public schools in the Kansas City Public School System, with the purpose of building and mobilizing support for improvement of education in KCPS boundaries, both district and charter. This includes engaging key constituent groups around major initiatives to increase quality seats, support the significant talent recruitment, retention, and development efforts in the educational ecosystem.
The Director will support and implement the talent development strategy through management of related grant programs, all intended to build and fortify talent recruitment, retention, and development for improvement in our educational landscape at the building and system level. Leveraging the power of collective action, the Director will be attuned to equity and disparate educational outcomes within the school system and will effectively oversee grant relationships and related talent development projects. A key metric of success for the Director will be to effectively coalesce strong partnerships between various talent providers and school-level stakeholders that work collectively to improve the education, life, and career opportunities available to local youth.
Specific Responsibilities include: 

  • Develop and maintain long-term relationships, with a broad base of talent provider groups to inform, educate, and build support for a collaborative talent development strategy
  • Build a coalition of stakeholders that strengthens talent development strategies at the building and district level
  • Map and update current efforts across the P-16 continuum of talent providers and sustaining vital partnerships for SchoolSmartKC that have the greatest potential to improve student outcomes in support of our mission
  • Assist in identifying internal and external resources required for completing projects successfully
  • Provide creative thinking to build and/Participate in managing long-term partnerships that advance community and key stakeholder ownership of the SSKC mission.
  • Build consensus while supporting grant programs with core partners to ensure a data-informed, common understanding of critical areas of need for local students and the rallying of stakeholders toward collective action in talent development
  • Work closely with the SchoolSmartKC Director of School Quality and programmatic teams supporting potential talent development cross over areas as well as core partners in critical areas that support overall student success goals for the organization
  • Play a key role in defining/collecting metrics for success, including both short term and long-term indicators, for collaborative and sustained partnerships in close coordination with the organization’s overall talent development efforts 
Education:  Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred. Other degrees combined with relevant experience will be considered.
Work Experience: At least 5-7 years’ experience in education or education-related field. Candidates should possess core foundational beliefs in the value of partnerships in support of youth, as well as strong interpersonal, organization, management, research, writing, and communication skills.
Travel:  Requires significant local travel around Kansas City and occasional business travel regionally and nationally.
Qualified candidates for this position must be highly motivated, capable of self-direction, detail-oriented, and able to work well in a highly collaborative, team-oriented, startup environment. He/she must exhibit a keen sense of responsibility and enjoy working with multiple demands, shifting priorities, and constant change. A successful candidate will also possess:
  • Strong knowledge base of schools in the Kansas City area and the interworking of schools (scheduling, hiring practices, collective bargaining, calendar cycles, and typical HR practices).
  • Program development and management skills to effectively support broader talent development strategy and business plan
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to work closely and build relationships of trust both internally with team members and external with partners from all sectors across Kansas City.
  • Leadership skills, with the ability to establish and develop credibility quickly and create collaborative relationships at all levels within stakeholder groups.
  • Excellent writing skills and public speaking ability as demonstrated in high-profile forums.
  • Keen analytical and organizational skills, with the ability to identify and summarize trends emerging from both quantitative and qualitative information to inform high-impact recommendations and strategies.
  • Outstanding organizational skills and strong experience leading complex project management efforts. 
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, with an ability to thrive in an environment that is characterized by growth and change.
  • A high level of ethics with a strong sense of integrity and committed to the values of the organization and maintenance of confidentiality.
  • Cultural competence, humility, and an understanding of issues related to education and leveling the playing field for young people in economically challenged communities.
  • An ability to maintain a calm and competent demeanor in uncomfortable or difficult situations.
  • Financial acumen and experience working within budgets.
  • Ability to cultivate resources in support of organizational strategic aims. 
All the statements in this position description are intended to describe the general nature of the work being performed and are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required.  This document describes the position currently available.  The organization reserves the right to modify job duties or job descriptions at any time.
A competitive compensation package, including base salary and an outstanding benefits package, will correspond to the experience level, credentials, and personal characteristics of the candidate.
SchoolSmartKC firmly supports the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state, or local law.
To apply, applicants should send a cover letter and resume to

Job Type: Full Time