Chief, South Bend Empowerment Zone

South Bend Empowerment Zone

Posted: 5/14/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Administration/Operations

Primary domain: Education

City: South Bend

Postal code: 46601

State: Indiana

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:

This Spring, the South Bend Community School Corporation partnered with the South Bend community to collectively help address the growing educational needs at Navarre Middle School and its feeder schools - Wilson, Warren, Harrison, and Coquillard Elementary schools. Pending SBOE approval on May 1st, these five schools will become a “transformation zone” under Indiana law (20-31-9.5-9.5)- named the South Bend Empowerment Zone (SBEZ or Empowerment Zone). SBEZ is a way for Navarre and its feeder schools to dramatically improve the outcomes for their students, all within a structure that allows the district to learn from and with the Zone leadership and schools. Through this approach, schools will receive significant autonomy and support to create a customized educational experience for their students. The Empowerment Zone will be led by shared governing board made up of majority independent community members and representation from South Bend Community School Corporation. 

The main tenets of the South Bend Empowerment Zone are:

  • School-Level Autonomy and Empowered Educators

     The Zone believes that educators know what students need to succeed in school. By empowering teachers and school leaders to make decisions, the Transformation Zone will allow them to make choices that best meet the needs of their specific students.

  • Customized and Innovative School Experience

     The Zone establishes schools as the primary unit of change and enables schools to best meet student needs, accelerate academic performance, develop innovative programming, and ensure that students are academically prepared, civically engaged, and socially and emotionally supported.

  • Capacity-Building Support for Schools

     The Zone supports schools through partners such as Education Resource Strategies and Instruction Partners in designing and implementing ambitious school plans that are designed for their specific context. Schools will also receive significant capacity-building support to evaluate their instructional models, choose rigorous curricula, and receive aligned professional development with their school-wide goals.

Position Details:

Job Description:

Reporting directly to the South Bend Empowerment Zone (SBEZ) Board, the South Bend Empowerment Zone Chief will be the founding leader of the Zone. The Chief will support the execution of the overall vision and strategy for the Zone and build and maintain a strong partnership and learning culture between the Zone and the South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC). The Chief is responsible for all aspects of the Zone’s organizational health, including overseeing a sound budget process, supporting school leaders in advancing schools’ missions/visions and academic goals, and ensuring that schools within the Zone have the necessary operational and financial support to use their autonomy to accomplish dramatic improvements in achievement for all student groups. The Chief will have the opportunity to both hire a small team to support his or her work and utilize coaches and supports through Empower Schools and Education Resource Strategies, two key partners of the SBEZ.

Who We Are:

SBCSC is in a historic period of change and innovation. Recently, the Indiana State Board of Education approved a plan to create a transformation zone within South Bend. The goal of this zone is to accelerate improvement in several schools by empowering them with additional autonomy and providing these schools with support partners to guide them through the work of school redesign. SBEZ is uniquely poised to transform one middle and four elementary schools into environments where all children regardless of background have the opportunities and supports they need to succeed. SBEZ is committed to supporting and developing talented and committed Instructional Leaders and, at each SBEZ school, Teacher Leadership Teams will work alongside School Leaders to design and implement customized School Plans that serve as the guiding templates for school transformation. SBEZ schools have autonomy over their budget, staffing structure, calendar, schedule, curriculum, and professional development.


The core responsibilities of the Chief include but are not limited to:

Leadership and Partnership: Provide key guidance to and build strong relationships with SBCSC leadership, SBEZ school leaders and staff, and community stakeholders to facilitate true partnership in the interest of SBEZ students

  • In collaboration with the SBEZ Board and key SBCSC partners, develop the Zone’s founding strategy and associated “Zone team” organizational structure

  • Facilitate regular communication and collaboration across the Zone and SBCSC

  • Build strong relationships with Zone school leaders, understand their needs, and help them access supports aligned to those needs

  • Work to expand the pool of high-quality partners supporting Zone schools

  • Hire and manage SBEZ staff

Improvement Systems and School Planning and Operations: Design and implement systems and operational strategies to ensure a strong Zone launch and ongoing performance

  • Develop and implement systems for sharing good practices and lessons learned across Zone schools and with SBCSC

  • Lead the process of developing and evaluating School Operational Plans in coordination with support partner organizations and subject to the approval of the SBEZ Board

  • Coordinate with SBCSC on key centralized functions, operational services, and federal and state reporting requirements, resolving any issues that may arise

  • Develop deliberate talent pipelines for school leaders and teacher leaders

  • Make school leadership transition recommendations to the SBEZ Board and facilitate change management at schools as needed

  • Hire and manage a team member to work with SBCSC staff in the development and execution of operational guidelines for the Zone’s autonomous district schools

Accountability and Monitoring: Develop a school performance framework and support schools to collect, analyze, and respond to data to inform their school improvement efforts

  • Develop and refine, with direction and input from the SBEZ Board and Zone school leaders, a Zone school performance framework to measure school and subgroup performance against a set of measures

  • Liaise with state representatives to ensure that Zone school monitoring and compliance processes align with state requirements, especially for English Language Learners and students with disabilities

  • Hire and manage a team member to design and implement data collection and analysis processes

Finance: Serve as the Zone’s point person on all financial aspects of the Zone, including school-based budgeting and shared service contracts

  • Partner with SBCSC to facilitate school-based budgeting processes across all Zone schools and ensure smooth functioning of key Zone financial systems, including procurement and HR

  • Lead the Zone’s funding negotiations with the district

  • Negotiate and manage contracts for any shared services across the Zone schools

External Relations: Serve as a spokesperson for the Zone and communicate with internal and external stakeholders about the Zone’s strategy and progress

  • Serve as a spokesperson for the Zone, articulating a clear vision of the Zone’s strategic goals and objectives and engaging all stakeholders

  • Communicate with and make regular presentations to the SBEZ Board of Directors and when necessary, the SBCSC School Board

  • Develop and share communications materials about the Zone’s strategy and progress


If interested in this position, please send resume and cover letter to [email protected].

SBEZ is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.


Desired Attributes:

  • An unwavering commitment to equity and excellence for all students and demonstrated ability in promoting equity in every decision

  • A demonstrated belief in and alignment with the mission, vision, and values for a high-autonomy, high-accountability system built to empower educators to improve student outcomes

  • Ability to maintain effective relationships and build trust and credibility with a diverse group of key stakeholders

  • Ability to speak effectively on behalf of the Zone and instill confidence and buy-in from key stakeholders, including SBCSC leadership, state and federal agencies, local school board, educational associations, interest groups, and parents

  • Strong background in municipal and/or school operations, including finance and human capital

  • Ability to organize, prioritize, and oversee implementation of multiple initiatives

  • Outstanding problem solving, strategic thinking, and decision making skills, including the ability to balance data, wisdom, experience, and judgement to make sound decisions

  • Incredible work ethic and ability to do whatever it takes to get the job done

  • Bachelor’s degree required (advanced degree strongly preferred)

  • At least 7-10 years of work experience

  • School or organizational leadership experience preferred


Additional Information:

The base salary range for this position is $110,000 - $140,000.  Additional performance-based incentives and competitive benefits including access to medical, dental, and vision insurance; FSA and dependent care reimbursement accounts; and a retirement program will be included in the total compensation package.


$100k - 120k

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

If interested in this position, please send resume and cover letter to [email protected].


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