The position of Chief Program Officer offers a unique opportunity to join an organization that is deeply rooted in decades of history, while actively reflecting on transition, and moving thoughtfully toward transformation. Reporting to the President & CEO, the Chief Program Officer will have oversight responsibilities for all existing direct student and teacher services with a focus on cohesion and alignment amongst all programs. Additionally, the Chief Program Officer will be a key member of a program capacity-building team that will develop, incubate, guide and scale emerging programs while leveraging each member’s creativity and expertise to envision new ways to support students, teachers, and families in reaching the organization’s vision to unite its community to prepare each and every student for life. 

The Chief Program Officer will serve as a primary member of the Foundation’s senior leadership team consisting of high-level professionals and will work collaboratively with Sarasota County Schools district leadership, personnel, and other youth-serving organizations and partners to support a shared vision to see each and every student graduate with a college, career and life plan that leads to success. The Chief Program Officer will work closely with the President & CEO and other senior leaders with a strategic mindset to ensure strong design, integration, delivery and ongoing evaluation of the Foundation’s programs. 


The Challenges 

Students without strong family support can slip through the cracks. The results, especially to underrepresented and underserved students, can be devastating. Achievements gaps, exacerbated by the pandemic, persist, and too many students graduate with no clear pathway after high school, leading to lost earning power and increased instability. 

  • Today in Sarasota County, while we boast of a 92% high school graduation rate, 45% of high school students have no plan after graduation.
  • Today, only 42.5% of Sarasota County residents between the ages of 25 – 64 hold an associate degree or higher. Compared to 42.2% for Florida and 43.8% for the United States. An estimated 10.5% of Florida residents have a workforce-relevant credential.

Many students find daunting the process of applying to the right college or specialized training program—and figuring out how to pay for it. Yet today in Sarasota County high schools, the average counselor-to-student ratio is too high: 

The Opportunities 

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County has the unique opportunity to provide extra support and access to our students, teachers, and families, especially those underserved. We can convene partners, assemble a network of solutions, and test innovative approaches that can accelerate student outcomes. We can bring together private and public partnerships buoyed by philanthropy to serve as the catalyst for change. The Education Foundation is positioned to do what no other organization in Sarasota can do— make direct support and community resources accessible to the students that need it most in a student-centered and comprehensive way. 

More than ever, students need the self-knowledge, skills, resilience and sense of agency to adapt and thrive in our fast-changing world. Through its’ blended portfolio of direct and indirect support services, the Foundation is poised to lead in this effort. 

Over the next 5-10 years, the Foundation needs to invest to expand and deepen its comprehensive life readiness program. This will require: 

  • Increasing program spending ~3- 4 X by 2030 (actual estimate TBD) to expand access and deepen the impact. 
  • Adding staff in key functions—program development and delivery, technology and philanthropy. 
  • Investment funding for program innovation, prototyping and impact assessment. 
  • Capital investments to support media production, convening and collaboration space, and resource centers for students, families and teachers, as well as offices for Foundation staff. 
  • A significant increase in philanthropic support and stewardship to grow a large pool of sustaining donors. 


Current and Emerging Direct service programs 

Student Success -direct student support services fall under the umbrella of the College, Career, and Life Readiness (CCLR) Initiative that consists of: 

  1. Student Success Centers– Three Student Success Centers, operated and managed by the Foundation, are located in area high schools, and one center is located in a centralized community location. A fourth school-based site is slated to open in 2021-2022. Staff from these centers report to the Chief Program Officer. 
  2. Naviance– Five high schools utilize the web-based college, career, and life readiness platform of Naviance. The Chief Program Officer will be responsible for improving utilization and successful integration of Naviance in all schools working in partnership with the school district and school-based leadership. 
  3. Mentoring– the Foundation has operated a pilot mentoring program since 2019. It currently supports 35 students who have individual mentors, along with a list of volunteers who are waiting to be assigned a student. The mentoring program provides more personalized support to students who wish to participate. They can apply during their junior/senior year of high school and a mentor is paired with them through their postsecondary completion. A mentoring team supports the daily work of the program and the team will report the Chief Program Officer. 
  4. Well-being– The Foundation aims for each and every student to develop self-awareness, social skills and decision-making skills to achieve their full potential. We promote a continuum of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values — representing physical, mental, social-emotional, and cognitive domains of learning — as foundational for children’s ability to contribute to the prosperity of their communities in an increasingly global society. The Foundation has made its most significant investment in social-emotional learning following the CASEL framework. The Foundation also piloted a program with two other partner organizations to provide mental health counseling and support. This is an emerging area of interest where the Foundation is exploring wayfinding resources to support the development of the whole child with a specific focus on helping students gain a greater sense of agency. The Chief Program Officer would work with the capacity-building team for furtherance. 
  5. Life Readiness– the Foundation offers practical life workshops and piloted a financial readiness workshop in 2020-2021. This 7-module workshop is poised for expansion to high school students across the community. The Foundation is also exploring developing youth leadership through a peer-to-peer system of support. The aim would be to establish a college & career-going culture for each and every student through the power of peer influencers. 
  6. PLANit Sarasota– the Foundation serves as the backbone organization for a collective impact model that is focused on increasing the percentage of working-age Sarasotans who hold a high-quality credential, degree or certificate to 60% by 2030. The Chief Program Officer would be a contributing member of this collective which is led by another senior team member. 

Teacher Support – the Foundation believes passionate, inspired, caring educators profoundly change the lives of their students. We seek to amplify the value of teachers through direct support consisting of: 

  1. EducateSRQ classroom grants– the Foundation provides over $200,000 in direct grants to teachers each year. The grants program is managed by a Foundation team member who will report to the Chief Program Officer to ensure effective programmatic quality, integration, assessment and evaluation. 
  2. Schoolwide Immersive grants– the Foundation works in partnership with two USF science professors to deploy weeklong experiential learning opportunities that are aligned with learning standards. Schools are identified each year and the Chief Program Officer will liaise between the school-based leadership team, district leadership, USF and the Foundation to ensure strong programmatic outcomes. 
  3. Teacher Leadership Center– this is an emerging program at the Foundation and is part of the 3- year strategic plan. Two pilot workshops were held during 2020-2021 to provide professional learning with teachers. A teacher advisory council (TAC) is slated to be created during 2021-2022 and the Chief Program Officer will work with the TAC to further develop and refine this program. 

Chief Program Officer Responsibilities:

  • In collaboration with the CEO, provide strategic planning, design and implementation of all direct service programs in alignment with the Foundation’s 3-year strategic plan. 
  • Work in collaboration with the program capacity building team and staff to fulfill the 3-year strategic plan with active engagement and support of other senior team member responsibilities. 
  • Provide management and supervision to the student support staff, including but not limited to, high school college career advisors, college career coordinators, classroom grants manager and mentoring manager to create strong cohesive alignment and team unity. (~8 staff + volunteers) 
  • Oversee program content design and delivery ensuring consistent, timely and relevant programs, workshops, webinars, activities and supports are offered to students and families. 
  • Actively assess and evaluate programs using key performance indicators and measurements. 
  • In collaboration with the Teacher Advisory Council, create and support teacher-led, professional learning communities that strengthen teacher networks. 
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to promote social and emotional learning as a proactive approach to support student well-being. 
  • Refine, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of programs with data-informed decision making, making modifications where needed to ensure continuous improvement. 
  • Strengthen program quality through people, processes and outcomes. 
  • Collaborate with district leadership, school leadership teams and curriculum specialists to promote a shared vision to help students graduate with purpose with a college, career and life plan that leads to success. 
  • Communicate various means of measuring programmatic quality to share our story with internal and external partners through evidence-based decision making and for grant reporting purposes. 
  • Design and offer professional development workshops for appropriate stakeholders as needed. 
  • Oversee the fiscal management of direct program services. 
  • Conduct research as needed to stay up-to-date on current issues in education 
  • Serve as an advocate and spokesperson in behalf of the Foundation to district personnel, parents, family and the community at large. 

Education, Experience and Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited educational institution in Education, School Counseling or related discipline; doctorate preferred 
  • 10+ years of experience working in education with increasing responsibilities, Florida public schools experience preferred 
  • Experience developing programs for teachers, students, families and volunteers 
  • Experience piloting new programs, creating effective measurements, and scaling successful programs 
  • Strong computer and technology skills 
  • Ability to analyze data and form conclusions 
  • Knowledge of college and career counseling and use of community resources 
  • Knowledge of services and regulations of community agencies, including Child and Family Services, Juvenile Justice and the Health Department 
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing 
  • Bi-lingual a plus 

Read our mission, creed, and guiding values here

Any new team member who chooses to join the Foundation must demonstrate the following:

  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Demonstrated work ethic
  • Willingness to work independently and as part of a team
  • High level of trust
  • Technologically adept
  • Impeccable customer service
  • Good attitude and consummate professionalism
  • Believe and support in a donor-centered philanthropic culture
  • High emotional intelligence
  • A high degree of self-motivation, ingenuity, and creativity
  • Open-minded and collaborative
  • Enjoy working in a fast-paced, dynamic, and quickly changing environment
  • Highly organized with attention to detail
  • Excellent at follow-through
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Solid judgment and leadership skills, basic business intuition, and common sense
  • Persuasive, polished communicator with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint)
  • Willingness to be mentored and/or mentor others

This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position with benefits. Salary range is $95,000-$120,000. 

This position will remain open until filled. No phone calls, please.

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