Executive Director – Elgin Math & Science Academy Charter School

December 6, 2023
Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Elgin Math & Science Academy (EMSA) is seeking an Executive Director to begin on or before July 1, 2024, to provide effective leadership to its K-8 school community to accomplish its mission to support the whole child and develop socially responsible leaders who aspire to create a better world.

EMSA continues a 100-year education presence on its now 29-acre campus which is adjacent to a rare, forested fen that has been designated as an Illinois Nature Preserve maintained by the Forest Preserve. The award-winning campus contains a network of architecturally significant buildings which EMSA is committed to preserving. EMSA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), independent K-8 tuition-free charter school of choice, with stable finances, 468 students, a waitlist of over 200 students, a 15:1 student to teacher ratio, 60 teachers and support staff and an administrative team consisting of an Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Development, and School Principal.

EMSA is an independent school with responsibilities analogous to an Local Educational Agency (LEA), and as such, must oversee all financial and facility management, human resources, student services, including special education, food service, student busing, information technology (IT), fundraising, and all compliance as required by Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Department of Education (DOE) for the school. The Illinois State Charter School Commission voted to approve EMSA’s Proposal for a Charter School in 2017. In 2018, EMSA had the great privilege of opening its school doors and becoming the only public charter school within the 90-square-mile boundary of School District U-46, the second largest public school district in Illinois.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree
  • Five-years of successful educational leadership
  • Exceptional leadership and management skills
  • Academic background in Math and Science
  • Expeditionary Learning (EL) experience preferred
  • Comprehensive understanding of school choice and its advantages
  • An appreciation for the values of environmental and outdoor education


The Executive Director will support the promotion and growth of EL Education’s Core Practices, curriculum, and mindset to help ensure remarkable academic achievement, character development, and community involvement for all students. The new Executive Director will embrace, foster and continue to enrich:

  • the students who are creative thinkers, courageous leaders, responsible learners and respectful peers;
  • the teachers who provide the foundation of our school culture and academic rigor
  • the campus, which enriches the educational experience through the wonder of nature;
  • the classrooms that are active, engaging, and student-led spaces;
  • the curriculum which is STEM-centered and data-driven with “real-world” outcomes; and
  • the community, where everyone is welcomed, part of the Crew and has a purpose and a voice.

The Executive Director serves as chief executive of EMSA and, in partnership with the Board, is responsible for the success of the Charter School. Together, the Board and Executive Director assure EMSA’s relevance to the community, the accomplishment of its mission and vision, and the accountability to its diverse constituents. The Board delegates responsibility for management of day-to-day operations to the Executive Director, and they have the authority to carry out these responsibilities in accordance with the direction and policies established by the Board. The Executive Director provides support to the Board as it carries out its governance functions, as well as to the Principal, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Development as they carry out their delegated responsibilities. The Executive Director supports a healthy school climate where people trust one another and have good relationships: students feel safe, valued, and supported; teachers and staff feel empowered; parents and community stakeholders feel welcome; and equity among students is advanced. They are data and goal driven, action-oriented and innovative and will translate broad goals into achievable steps. The Executive Director will have the ability to deal effectively with demanding situations and can coach or directly implement interventions.

Compensation and Benefits

A regionally competitive salary range of $165,000 to $175,000, based on experience and education, with an excellent benefit package.

Application Requirements/Timeline

Please submit via electronic mail with a subject heading EMSA, a cover letter stating why you are seeking this position and why you will be an excellent candidate, resume, full-contact information of three professional references, who can be reached immediately and a maximum of two-pages (12-point, double-spaced) written response to, What would you do as Executive Director to foster, support, and grow EMSA’s unique educational approach and environment,by January 31, 2024 to both:

Dr. Ken Arndt Dr. Kerry Foderaro

Leadership Profile Report