Job Opening: Director of Educational Programming

Position Overview

Highlander Institute is seeking a skilled manager with experience leading a team of instructional coaches to support our growing portfolio of schools and districts. If you are passionate about empowering students through a culturally responsive and sustaining approach, collaborating with families and community members, and supporting educators to understand their roles in disrupting systemic inequity, then we want you on our team!

Who We Are

A non-profit organization based in Providence, Rhode Island, Highlander Institute is committed to creating more equitable, relevant, and effective schools. We believe that school partners in this effort benefit from a clear theory of change around both the implementation of strategies centered in instructional equity and the action steps necessary to scale aligned work across a school or district.

Our instructional approach is encapsulated in our Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Pedagogy (CRSP) Framework. Grounded in research from asset pedagogies, learning science, and mindset development, we draw on the works of Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Django Paris, Sami Alim, and Zaretta Hammond, along with research from the Chicago Consortium and Project Zero. Our model highlights the importance of sociocultural awareness, community building, cultivating higher-order thinking skills, and critical consciousness. Our approach builds the capacity of teachers and students to disrupt inequitable systems and create more rigorous and relevant learning environments. On the change management side, Highlander Institute’s Pathway to Personalization Framework establishes a process for leaders to engage in school change efforts with a focus on local context and the elevation of family and student voices.

Director of Educational Programming Role Responsibilities

Reporting directly to our Chief Innovation Officer, Malika Ali, the Director of Educational Programming is responsible for the day to day management of a team of Instructional Equity Coaches including all aspects of professional development, coaching and management, and creative problem solving to address issues as they arise with implementation.

Team Management & Development

  • Recruit, hire, and oversee training and orientation for program staff members
  • In collaboration with the Chief Innovation Officer, develop internal training and ongoing coaching based on program priorities
  • Perform ongoing observations and provide feedback to the program team including working with staff to develop objective performance measurements across all sites, to ensure consistent, high-quality evaluation and goal setting
  • Develop and maintain weekly check-in structures for program staff, incorporating DEI reflections and feedback as well as supporting employee growth and next steps

Leadership & Program Management

  • In collaboration with the Chief Innovation Officer, integrate coaching feedback to inform overall program improvement
  • Develop and manage work plans to address key implementation and performance standards
  • Engage in collaborative and creative problem solving to incorporate localization of CRSP training for grade level or site specific contexts as well as to address dynamic implementation challenges
  • Support program staff to build relationships with schools and districts, manage challenges as they arise, and escalate problems as necessary
  • As a member of the organization’s leadership team, participate in weekly meetings and provide programmatic insight into the overall management of the organization to improve culture and impact


  • Carry a caseload of 1-2 schools and/or districts to implement Highlander Institute’s Culturally Responsive School Change Model
  • Develop and deliver high-quality professional development, classroom modeling, and individual coaching sessions for teachers, school administrators, and district personnel
  • Document all aspects of assigned projects, including service records and relevant communications
  • In partnership with our Impact Team, support the collection and communication of a data-driven decision-making process

Ideal Candidates

Highly-qualified candidates will demonstrate:

  • Awareness of the ways in which systemic inequity undermines students’ natural abilities and belief that, through culturally responsive teaching, we can restore students’ natural competence
  • Team leadership skills and the ability to manage a dynamic team with differing professional development needs
  • Belief that communities should drive school improvement and ability to engage different stakeholders (families, students, community members, educators, school/district leaders)
  • Strong pedagogical expertise and ability to model instructional practices
  • Effective coaching practices (planning, observing, modeling, and debriefing) with teachers and/or school leaders
  • Comfort with coaching through an equity lens and pushing in ways that challenge and inspire
  • Genuine relationship-building and communication skills with diverse stakeholders
  • Consistent and thorough documentation and data collection skills

Non-Technical Skills and Behavior

  • Perform duties professionally, thoroughly, in a timely manner, and with a respectful, friendly demeanor in both external and internal relationships
  • Adaptive and flexible nature, is a self-starter and comfortable leading projects while also thriving in a collaborative team approach
  • Embrace challenges with a growth mindset and remain composed in a fast-paced environment with shifting priorities
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills, can manage multiple projects while meeting deadlines and remaining accountable to internal and external needs

Required Experience & Qualifications

  • K-12 classroom teaching experience
  • Instructional coaching experience
  • 2-5 years of experience managing a team
  • Bachelor’s degree

Additional Information

  • For more information on our organization, watch this video
  • We are open to candidates nationally and have preference for candidates in the Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York City regions
  • The position is a full-time, salaried position with full benefits (medical, dental, and vision) and a 403(b) plan with 5% contribution after 6 months of employment
  • Compensation is commensurate with experience, with a starting salary range of $95,000 - $108,000
  • Currently Highlander Institute has been hybrid throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with occasional full-staff in person days. Some travel will be required of the position including in-person school support and travel to Rhode Island headquarters for occasional staff meetings.
  • Highlander Institute has a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all employees to ensure the safety of our schools, partners, and employees. It is expected that all employees are fully vaccinated within 30 days of their hire date, unless they meet requirements for a medical or religious exemption. Pursuant to Highlander Institute policy, fully vaccinated means that you have received one Johnson & Johnson shot or 2 Pfizer or Moderna shots AND the requisite amount of time recommended by your health care provider has elapsed after receiving the J&J shot or the second Pfizer or Moderna shot.
  • Start date: June 2022 (some flexibility for the right candidate)

Non-Discrimination Policy

Highlander Institute provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all its employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, gender identity, domestic abuse victim, genetic information, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

How to Apply

To apply for the Director of Educational Programming position, please send a resume and cover letter to Resumes without a cover letter will not be considered.