High Tech High’s Chief Executive Officer Search
As High Tech High (HTH) prepares for the exit of Dr. Kaleb Rashad as interim CEO on December 31, 2023, we reflect on how incredibly grateful we are for the service that Kaleb has offered to the staff, students, and families of HTH. We are indebted to the progress he has brought to our organization.
In efforts to continue the work Dr. Rashad has started, we are excited to announce the launch of the search for the next Chief Executive Officer of High Tech High. We are seeking a dynamic, visionary leader who is deeply committed and connected to the unique work High Tech High brings into the community and education space.
High Tech High is committed to ensuring a fair and equitable hiring process. The job posting is expected to be open for one month, followed by a review of applications by the Project Manager and search committee, subsequent invitations to a series of interviews with stakeholders, and several community presentations focused on particular audiences.
Any questions, comments, or concerns can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO Profile and Job Description
High Tech High (HTH), an educational management organization operating K-12 schools in the San Diego area, seeks a visionary, collaborative, and inspirational educational leader to serve as its next chief executive officer (CEO). Developed by a coalition of San Diego civic leaders and educators, High Tech High opened in September 2000 as a small public charter school with plans to serve approximately 450 students. HTH has evolved into an integrated network of sixteen charter schools serving approximately 6,500 students in grades K-12 across four campuses. The HTH organization also includes a comprehensive adult learning environment consisting of a Teacher Credentialing/Intern Program. HTH fosters a strong partnership with the High Tech High Graduate School of Education (HTH GSE), where professional development opportunities serving national and international educators are offered, along with degree and credentialing programs. Although working closely with HTH GSE, it is a separately managed organization.
With an operating budget of approximately $80 million and a total staff of over 1,000, High Tech High serves as a beacon worldwide for equitable, community-connected teaching and learning. Roughly 65% of the HTH student body comes from underrepresented backgrounds, and more than 91% of HTH graduates enroll in postsecondary education. The schools receive approximately 4,000 visitors each year who come to observe this actively engaged educational community in a uniquely creative setting.
Role Summary and Profile
The CEO provides leadership in developing priorities and programs; works with the school directors to enhance the quality and delivery of teaching and student services; supports and encourages diversity throughout the HTH community; and leads the HTH community in establishing a clear, singular vision for the organization.
An officer of the corporation, the CEO is responsible for carrying out the policies and programs established by the Board of Trustees and for keeping the board fully informed in meeting its fiduciary responsibilities. As such, the CEO engages the board in the formulation and implementation of strategic and budget plans to advance HTH’s mission and goals, consults with the board in the development of major policies, and keeps the board apprised of significant issues and conditions that have implications for HTH.
The CEO is responsible for fiscal management and compliance with applicable policies, laws, rules, and regulations, along with contracts, grants, and donor restrictions. The CEO recruits, builds, and retains a professional executive team to achieve prudent and effective management of HTH’s intellectual, human, and financial resources.
HTH and the High Tech Education Collective (HTEC), the union representing some of the HTH certificated staff, recently ratified its first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CEO and the executive team will need to understand how to operate under this CBA. In addition, HTH will begin negotiating its first CBA with the HTEC with respect to some of the classified (non-certificated) staff that has also recently unionized.
The CEO shall establish and maintain relationships with community leaders, local, state and national elected public officials and their staff. In addition the CEO will create partnerships and work with international partners. The CEO will also work to create relationships that lead to additional grants and revenues for HTH, in particular, and the Charter School movement in general.
The CEO is also the leading outside face of the HTH organization. It is anticipated that the CEO will spend time traveling, attending conferences and engaging in speaking opportunities to enhance progressive education and HTH’s position as a leader in this space.
The position calls for a broad-gauged student-centered educational leader with a demonstrated commitment to progressive education. This person should be a transparent communicator who brings not only strong technical skills but also personal qualities of collaboration, accessibility, and optimism. The ideal candidate has a successful track record as a teacher, leader, and public servant in a variety of settings and must be capable of fostering collegiality, collaboration, and collective responsibility among diverse constituencies. Moreover, the CEO must have a deep and nuanced understanding of national and international trends, issues, and demographics in education – as well as the political context in which California charter schools exist.
In accordance with organizational bylaws, the CEO is the general manager of the corporation, and, subject to the authority of the board and their contract of employment, shall generally supervise, direct, and oversee the activities, affairs, and employees of the corporation, and shall see that all resolutions of the board are carried into effect, and shall perform any and all other duties assigned by the board, and by contract of an employee. Members of the leadership team report directly to the CEO, including the Chief Learning Officer, the Chief Operations Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, and the 16 Directors of the High Tech High K-12 schools.
Key Opportunities and Challenges for the Chief Executive Officer
In carrying out these broad duties, the CEO will address key opportunities and challenges, as detailed below.
As the custodian of the vision for High Tech High, the new CEO will protect the distinctive aspects that set the organization apart, upholding a commitment to project-based learning across all grade levels, the creation of new knowledge, and an embrace of flexibility. The CEO will promote the creation of “beautiful work” in the HTH schools, fostering and facilitating the effective application of technology throughout HTH to advance teaching and learning. Maintaining an aspirational aspect to every classroom, the CEO will work across the organization to help foster a shared inquiry, shared responsibility, and collective accomplishment among school leaders, faculty, staff, and students. The CEO will maintain a commitment to college access and persistence, continuing successful traditions while keeping HTH innovative and transformative. The new CEO will ensure that HTH is poised to meet the unique demands of a diverse population of students, including English language learners and students with learning differences.
The next CEO of High Tech High will inherit a renowned national model with a robust visitor program, and they will maintain and fortify external partnerships. With a deep pride for the organization’s history, mission, and future, the CEO will manage complex and important relationships with other educational institutions, K-12 schools, business, agencies, and the surrounding community to strengthen education. The CEO will lead HTH through the changing political context of the role that schools play in 2023 and beyond, providing progressive leadership through complex political and social issues, including food and housing insecurity, family substance abuse, mental health, and an increasing special education population. The CEO will be skilled in community relations, ultimately ensuring that HTH continues to have a robust, diverse applicant pool of eager and passionate families. Finally, the CEO will collaborate closely with the president of High Tech High Graduate School of Education to develop rich programs for building organizational capacity at High Tech High and, more broadly, for the dissemination of HTH practices and principles.
The CEO will provide leadership regarding the HTH vision, mission, and goals, championing an unwavering and selfless commitment to students. In concert with the Board of Trustees, the CEO will provide effective leadership and management of fiscal responsibilities in fundraising, institutional development, and strategic planning. The CEO will leverage senior staff members to create an efficient and nimble management team. Further, the CEO will work closely with the HTH School Directors to provide guidance and support in the creation of learning environments consistent with the guiding principles of HTH. The next CEO will ensure that HTH continues to recruit and retain excellent teachers and staff that reflect the broad socio-economic diversity of its student body. In addressing the needs of highly competent and dedicated educators and staff, the CEO will ensure infrastructure is in place to support all elements of the organization.
Qualifications & Experience
The ideal candidate will be a strategically oriented, transformative leader with a well-diversified track record within complex educational institutions, preferably ones with multiple sites and distributed staff. The CEO must be an open, effective communicator, with excellent interpersonal skills in the areas of problem-solving, conflict resolution, group planning, and decision-making processes.
Additional preferred professional qualifications and personal characteristics include:
- Demonstrable passion for HTH’s mission
- Experience with change management, especially as it relates to an evolving education organization.
- Demonstrated capability in institutional advancement.
- Meaningful commitment to and demonstrated accomplishment in issues around inclusivity, equity, and diversity, incorporating them into the daily operations of the organization.
- Unimpeachable integrity and ethics and high standards of excellence.
- Excellent judgment and decision-making skills tempered with flexibility and adaptability.
- Interpersonal effectiveness and service orientation.
- Mastery of detail and the capacity to keep the big picture in sight and to help frame it.
- Excellent internal and external communication skills.
- Personal understanding of and fluency about equity in education
- The capacity to develop and maintain collaborative leadership teams that foster innovation, professional development, and engage the organization to improve student success
Compensation and Benefits
Commensurate with experience, the compensation range for the Chief Executive Officer role is $275,000 to $325,000.
HTH offers a comprehensive benefits package including: Medical, dental and vision insurance (elective), AFLAC supplemental insurance (elective), Section 125 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) (elective), California State Retirement Plan (CalSTRS or CalPERS) (mandatory), 403(b) Plan and group life insurance (elective).
How to Apply
To apply, please submit an application by clicking on the link below:
Submissions will request a resume, along with a 1-3 page letter of intent/cover letter and a request to address particular questions. See application for additional details.
HTH is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of HTH to afford equal employment and advancement opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to race, ethnicity, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, age, disability, parental, family, marital status, medical condition, or any other classification that is protected under applicable local, state or federal law. HTH does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, gender identity, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, immigration status or citizenship, race, ancestry, national origin, color, religion, religious affiliation, creed, mental or physical disability, age, parental, family, marital status, or any other basis protected by applicable law in employment, admission, or educational program or activities.
High Tech High’s Profile
In 1996, 40 members of the then Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce Business Roundtable for Education assembled to discuss how to engage and prepare more young people for the high-tech industry. Called upon by the San Diego Economic Development Corporation and the Business Roundtable for Education, these members met regularly for the next two years to discuss how to engage and prepare local students for high-tech careers. One of these members included Gary E. Jacobs, former senior education specialist at Qualcomm. With an initial $3 million dollar donation, the first High Tech High opened in September of 2000 with 150 students, and is now known as the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High.
High Tech High now has four campuses—Point Loma, Mesa, Chula Vista, and North County—that include the following schools:
- High Tech Elementary, opened 2015, serving 432 students in grades K-5
- High Tech Elementary Explorer, opened 2000, serving 384 students in grades K-5
- High Tech Middle, opened 2003, serving 336 students in grades 6-8
- High Tech Middle Media Arts, opened 2005, serving 336 students in grades 6-8
- Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High, opened 2000, serving 525 students in grades 9-12
- High Tech High International, opened 2004, serving 412 students in grades 9-12
- High Tech High Media Arts, opened 2005, serving 412 students in grades 9-12
- High Tech Elementary Mesa, opened 2019, serving 432 students in grades K-5
- High Tech Middle Mesa, opened 2019, serving 336 students in grades 6-8
- High Tech High Mesa, opened 2018, serving 412 students in grades 9-12
- High Tech Elementary Chula Vista, opened 2011, serving 432 students in grades K-5
- High Tech Middle Chula Vista, opened 2011, serving 336 students in grades 6-8
- High Tech High Chula Vista, opened 2007, serving 630 students in grades 9-12
- High Tech Elementary North County, opened 2013, serving 432 students in grades K-5
- High Tech Middle North County, opened 2009, serving 336 students in grades 6-8
- High Tech High North County, opened 2007, serving 412 students in grades 9-12
High Tech High is guided by four connected design principles—equity, personalization, authentic work, and collaborative design—that set aspirational goals and create a foundation for understanding the organization’s distinctive approach.
High Tech High is an equity project. Teachers work to address inequities and help students reach their full potential. The HTH schools are intentionally diverse and integrated, enrolling students through a zip code based lottery aimed at creating schools that are reflective of the communities the schools serve. Teachers recognize the value of having students from different backgrounds working together and employ a variety of approaches to accommodate diverse learners without academic tracking. High Tech High has an acute focus on college entrance and college completion for all students.
High Tech High teachers practice a learner-centered, inclusive approach that supports and challenges each student. Students pursue their passions through projects and reflect on their learning. Recognizing that identity development and personal growth occur in the context of community, the HTH schools foster relationships of trust, caring, and mutual respect among students and adults through program design elements such as small school size, small classes, home visits, advisories, and student collaborative work.
High Tech High school projects integrate hands and minds and incorporate inquiry across multiple disciplines, leading to the creation of inspired and meaningful work. Students engage in work that matters to them, to their teachers, and to the world outside of school. Students connect their studies to the world through fieldwork, community service, internships, and consultation with outside experts. The HTH facilities are collaborative workplaces with small-group learning and project areas, relevant technology, and common spaces where artwork, prototypes, and other artifacts of student thinking are created and displayed.
High Tech High teachers collaborate to design curricula and projects, lead professional development, and participate in hiring, while seeking student experience and voice in each of these areas. With students as design partners, staff function as reflective practitioners, conducting inquiry into equitable teaching and learning, school culture, project design, and authentic assessment.