Opportunity for a Leader to help Transform Education in Redmond, Kirkland and Sammamish

I have the opportunity to serve as Board of Trustee for an amazing organization the Lake Washington Schools Foundation.  Our goal is to ensure every student in Redmond, Kirkland and Sammamish communities are succesful in their future work and life.  To do this we work closely with the Lake Washington School District and ensure we are meeting the financial needs and gaps in the budget to esnure we are the best school district in the state.  That all the necessary programs have the necessary funding to be succesful.  We have an opening for an interim executive director to help us take the organization to the next level and ensure we fund the critical programs needed for the 2011-2012 school year!  If you are interested read the details below and forward to anyone you believe would be a great fit.  Thanks so much!

Lake Washington Schools Foundation-Interim Executive Director Job Description

Schools foundations are established to be a catalyst for raising funds and mobilize community support within their school districts.  Foundations can reach into the community — to the parents, businesses, leaders, and the change agents — and inspire them to support with their dollars, skills and expertise the most pressing needs for the students.  And in doing so, they not only give the students a greater chance of achieving their optimal personal success, but they make their communities stronger and more vibrant and help grow the local economy and job base.

The Lake Washington Schools Foundation (the Foundation) seeks an experienced, Interim Executive Director to develop and grow the Foundation into a driving force that can better financially support the Lake Washington School District (LWSD). The Interim Executive Director is responsible for partnering with the Board of Trustees, District Administration and the community to focus on fundraising, donor cultivation, communications, and raising community awareness of the foundation.  The Foundation is searching for an exceptional professional who is committed to the mission and capable of building the long-term growth and sustainability of the organization.  The Interim Executive Director is eligible to apply for the Executive Director position.

About the Lake Washington Schools Foundation
The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Established in 2005 by community members, along with the District Superintendent, the Foundation is dedicated to bringing together parents, businesses and leaders of the Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish communities to support academic excellence and success for all its students.

Mission: LWSF raises funds to support academic excellence and success for all students in the LWSD.
Vision: Each student in the LWSD will receive an education that ensures future success.  In doing so, we sustain economic vitality and enrich our community’s quality of life.
Funding Priorities:
Equal Access to Educational Opportunities: Provide resources to help all LWSD students receive equal access to critical academic experiences and enriching learning opportunities
Quality Teaching & Leadership: Fund professional development, training and mentoring opportunities that support LWSD teachers and leaders in offering an academically rigorous education to all students
Future Ready Skills: Provide financial support for developing skills and learning opportunities to prepare LWSD students for their future success in work and life.

About the Lake Washington School District
Lake Washington School District (LWSD) is located between Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains, to the east of Seattle. LWSD is the 5th largest public school district in the State. Its 24,000 students are served by 31 elementary schools, 12 junior highs and 8 high schools in the Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish communities.

Position Overview
The Interim Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer of the Foundation and is responsible for providing overall leadership to the organization. The Interim ED also acts as the Foundation’s primary spokesperson.  This position reports to the President(s) of the Executive Committee of the 9-20 member volunteer Board of Trustees and serves as an Ex-Officio member of the Board of Trustees and leads the Board committees.

The Interim Executive Director will focus on raising $200,000 in the next three to six months, grow the corporate and individual donor base, write grants and identify new grant opportunities, mobilize the Foundation Advisory Council, build and execute fundraising plans, raise community awareness, and execute the strategic development plan.  The Executive Director is expected to increase the Foundation’s fundraising to more than $1,000,000 annually and be a strategic partner in helping LWSD achieve its vision.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities of the Interim Executive Director
Resource Development (60%): administer internal organization plans to meet grant deliverables and fundraising goals, grant writing, grants management, donor cultivation, event strategy and planning.
Administration, Fiscal Management & Operations (15%): provide strategic leadership and drive the execution of LWSF mission and vision.
Community development and relationship building (25%): serve as the primary contact to funders, partners, LW school district and collaborating agencies. Raise awareness of the Foundation in Redmond, Kirkland and Sammamish communities.

Resource Development (60%):
• With the Resource Development Committee designs, implements and manages all fundraising activities including annual giving, endowment and capital campaigns, special projects, Trustee fundraising training and other solicitations.
• Manages all strategies and activities for donor cultivation, solicitation, and relations.
• Secures funding from individual donors, corporations and foundations.
• With the Grant Committee, works with current grantors and builds relationships and identifies new grant opportunities for 2011-2012 school year. Grant activities include managing current grants, relationships and reporting to current grantors, and developing, writing, and overseeing new grants in alignment with Funding Priorities.
• Works with Treasurer and Foundation staff on donor and gift record-keeping.
• Cultivates positive volunteer and donor relations through e-mail/phone correspondence, grant reports and program visits.

Administration, Fiscal Management & Operations (15%):
• Partners with the District Superintendent and administrators to support existing programs and identify new programs consistent with the mission of the Foundation.
• Works with the Board in the development of all strategic and operational planning, as well as goal-setting and monitoring activities.
• Partners with the Superintendent and District leadership, community groups and education supporters to implement, sustain and execute the Foundation mission.
• Provides written monthly ED report, attends monthly Trustee and Executive Committee meetings, and coordinates staff reports.

Marketing, Community Development and Relationship Building (25%):
• Maintains relationships with funders, key political and community partners, and primary collaborators — community based organizations, and partner schools — to build a base of potential supporters and donors.
• Serves as spokesperson, maintains and expands awareness/effective relationships with the District administration, teachers, parents, business community, media and other leaders.
• Expands marketing efforts and consistently represents the Foundation’s image and brand.
• Collaborates with Lake Washington PTSA, service organizations, municipalities, community groups and other organizations to support the efforts of the Foundation
• Works closely with the Marketing and Communications Committee to refine and execute communications and marketing plans and communicates vision and mission to stakeholders through the Foundation website, newsletters, and community based media channels.

Desired Experience & Qualifications:
• A minimum of three years professional, non-profit fundraising experience.
• Proven experience in designing, managing and executing fund development programs.
• Demonstrated leadership skills and experience with developing and maintaining productive working relationships with board members, donors, and groups such as parents, administrators and faculty.
• Excellent presentation skills; communicates effectively at senior levels of engagement and with external audiences (as well as press) including press and non-traditional media
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Local community connections are preferred; a willingness to immerse in the community is required.
• Strong technology skills including competence in Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 and Microsoft Office 2003-10; an operating knowledge of online QuickBooks and eTapestry is highly desirable.

The Lake Washington Schools Foundation offers a competitive compensation package in accordance with education and experience.  The salary range is $68,000 – $80,000 depending upon education and experience.

The application review process will begin during the week of May 23rd, 2011.  Candidates selected for an in-person interview will be notified on or before May 26th, 2011.  The position will remain open to new applications until it is filled.  The position will be in the duration of 3-9 months.  During this time the board will be evaluating the performance of the selected candidate and may extend an offer to the permanent Executive Director position or may decide to initiate a search for the permanent Executive Director.

To Apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to apply@lwsf.org

Lake Washington Schools Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, creed, age, national origin, marital status or disability, in accordance with applicable laws.

Lake Washington Schools Foundation: http://www.lwsf.org
Lake Washington School District: http://www.lwsd.org

Next generation creating solutions to solve the world’s greatest problems

This year, over 350,000 students from 183 countries registered for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup.  Today we are announcing the 124 teams that will represent their countries/regions at the Worldwide Finals in New York City, July 8-13. We have been inspired by the innovation, creativity, and passion demonstrated by so many talented students who have harnessed the power of technology to develop solutions that will help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. We’re also thrilled to see so many teams focusing on Windows Phone 7, Windows Azure, and Kinect.  To view all the finalist, please visit: http://www.imaginecup.com/worldwide-finals/2011-finalists-winners

There are so many amazing stories and solutions.  I would like to highlight one, since many of you know I was living in Munich the last three years and supporting the countries in Central Eastern Europe.  I would love to highlight the team from Zagreb, Croatia. Three out of 1,000 children suffer from cerebral palsy and there are not enough physical therapists trained to treat the patients. KiDnect allows a physical therapist to record a specific exercise for a patient, which the patient then repeats. Ideally the program will record and archive the exercises so the doctor can monitor whether the patient is performing them correctly and making progress. The exercises will be perceived as a game that should be completed daily. Connected through the internet, patients in rural areas will also have access to personalized physical therapy exercises. Check out their story:

I am so excited about this next generation of computer scientist, entrepreneurs and leaders who will help us solve some of the world’s greatest challenges!  To hear stories and learn more go to the Imagine Cup You tube channel.

Helping building skills to help students be successful in work and life

See this Blog Post at: http://www.microsoft.eu/skills-and-education/posts/atc21s-defining-21st-century-skills-cm3l.aspx

In January, Microsoft participated in the largest gathering of Ministers of Education in Europe and around the world at the Education World Forum.  At the forum, discussion of ensuring our students have the right skills to compete in this global economy was top of mind.  In partnership with Cisco and Intel, with the leadership of University of Melbourne we had the opportunity to participate in two ministerial exchange sessions.

During these sessions, the Executive Director, Patrick Griffin gave an update on the progress of the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills Research Project, Singapore and Australia highlighted how they are engaging in the project and hope for how the project will influence the work they are doing in their countries and lastly the ministers discussed what are the policy, curriculum and professional development implications of implementing these new types of assessments and teaching interventions in their countries. At the American Educational Research Association Conference in New Orleans the team presented tasks and learning progressions to help students 11, 13 and 15 years old progress in competence in collaborative problem solving and ICT literacy-learning in digital networks.

The Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S) project is focused on defining 21st century skills and developing ways to assess them. By achieving this, the project aims to promote the teaching and assessment of twenty first century skills at government, school system, school and teacher levels. By collaborating with other large employers, the companies aim to influence employer hiring strategies to emphasize these skills among new employees. By placing the assessment materials and technical components in the public domain and by making them available to large scale survey strategies, the project aims to influence a broad range of countries by publishing cross national studies of student attainment in twenty first century skills. These three approaches to the transformation of education, government involvement, company employment criteria and cross-national assessments of skill levels will act as a multi-pronged stimulus to curriculum change and enable schools to prepare students for living, working and thinking in the twenty first century.

There are many international and national assessment programs, assessment organizations, NGOs, businesses, research centers and individual researchers working on the specification of 21st century skills. This collaboration does not presume that one form of assessment should be imposed on every community. The goal is not to develop one assessment format. Rather, it is intended that there will be support for conceptual, methodological, and technological advances in assessment that can support the parallel efforts of many organizations and countries. It is expected that the assessment and teaching process developed within ATC21S will provide an exemplar framework that countries and organizations can use or draw upon with confidence. The project also aims to help inform the development of the next versions of cross national benchmarks such as PISA and IEA ICT assessment, as well as other international and national assessments in the next three to five years.  Already PISA has called for tenders to develop both the assessment and delivery platform for one of the ATC21S skills (Collaborative Problem Solving) under development.

The project has been planned to consist of 5 phases:

  • Conceptualizing the program and the development of a series of white papers
  • Hypothesis formation and development of the assessments and teaching and learning strategies
  • Coding and administration development
  • Trials of the assessments and teaching and learning strategies
  • Dissemination of the output to the greater education community: providing assessment tasks, teaching notes, developmental learning progressions, research papers, and technology to support the classroom as an open and shared source, with everything to be open to the public domain for use.

The project is currently at the coding and administration development phase and hope to enter the trials phase in the end of  the calendar year 2011.  In discussing with the ministers in London, the excitement around this project is three-fold:

  • No one has to date defined learning progressions for these 21st century skills. The learning progressions define levels such as the progression from novice to expert.  For example what is a novice, moderate, expert at collaborative problem solving?  Assessments to monitor developing competence and the relevant teaching interventions are needed to help a student grow in competence (and perhaps confidence) in order to demonstrate higher levels of performance and competence.
  • Today, most large scale cross national testing programs (e.g. PISA) results take a number of months’ or even years delay’ to provide feedback to systems, teachers and students. In addition they generally do not provide information to teachers on how to intervene or help students develop to higher levels of thinking or competence. Most formative assessments require teachers to observe, rate performance (often on very poor quality rubrics) and then decide on how to intervene. The rubric and the judgment error involved have led to a loss of credibility for this form of assessment, sometimes because of human error but also because of the poor quality of the scoring rubrics. The goal of this project is to create an automated system that as the student is doing the assessments the teacher is notified regarding learning intervention and students receive instant feedback. The project also intends to “background” quantitative data that educational jurisdictions can collect in order to make summative decisions at a system level. The systems will be able to identify the areas in which cohorts of sub groups of students are struggling and make appropriate curriculum change decisions or promulgate investments to increase effectiveness and efficiencies. These decisions will be able to be made in a much reduced time frame.
  • This is an international project with researchers and teaching practitioners working in 4 founder countries and possibly 3 associate countries. It will create an international standard and help encourage the learning environment needed to teach 21st century skills.

Principals and teachers at Finnish schools have realized the need for moving towards more innovative practices in order to support children’s growth as 21st century learners. However, at the school level the development efforts have – so far – mainly rested at the enthusiasm of single teachers. The ATC21S project aims at conceptualizing 21st century skills and even more – to design assessment and learning tasks for their promotion at schools. – together with the ITL research. The participation in the project finely complements our national attempts at systemic changes in our educational system in close international collaboration among schools, universities, companies and educational administration. (The project has also intensive links to Finland’s participation in ITL research aiming at understanding and enhancing innovative teaching practices.), Professor Marja Kankaanranta, NPM, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

To learn more about the ATC21S Project, please visit http://www.atc21s.org; participate in the linked-in community; contact the Executive Director Patrick Griffin or Microsoft Lead Rane Johnson-Stempson.  To learn more about our work with governments around the world visit: Education Leadership Website

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