Founding Principal

Founding Principal

Thrive with Autism / Thrive Center for Success
Position location:  Greater Houston region (Magnolia / The Woodlands, Texas)
The Organization:
Thrive with Autism plans an innovative, groundbreaking public school to dramatically improve education for children on the autism spectrum.  Founded in 2019, Thrive recently earned the support of SBOE and TEA to open the first charter school in the state of Texas dedicated to serving a special-needs population.  Thrive’s mission and vision have brought hope to families who desperately want better educational options for their children on the autism spectrum.  Thrive plans to open its founding campus near Magnolia, Texas in Fall 2022 serving 108 students Kindergarten through 5th grade, adding a grade level each year to eventually serve up to 12th grade. Thrive plans to open a second campus in central Houston in Fall 2025.  
The Opportunity
Thrive seeks a visionary, entrepreneurial leader with a track record of delivering successful outcomes for children with special needs and/or learning differences to serve as Founding Principal. The Founding Principal will implement Thrive’s vision, model, and program.  Thrive is drawing inspiration from a model called CABAS (Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling). The Principal will work with a leadership team to recruit and hire teachers and support staff.   Most importantly, the position will provide day-to-day leadership of this trailblazing school through the start-up phase. The position will report to the Executive Director.

Key Responsibilities

Instructional leadership

● Lead and evaluate instructional staff to ensure excellent teaching in each classroom, through observations, coaching, data conversations, and effective evaluations.
● Develop and implement an effective school curriculum and assessment tools that responds to the needs of all students.  
● Develop a goal-based system to track services to meet the needs of each student, as outlined in individualized education plans.
● Design, select, and implement strategies that promote positive social-emotional development of all students.

Team leadership

● With Executive Director, hire a diverse team of exceptional teachers, therapists, and support staff.
● Create thoughtful systems to develop, coach, and retain highly effective staff.
● Help build and sustain a positive school culture that values the identity, talents, and voices of all individuals within the school community.

Community leadership

● Establish and maintain positive relationships with families, based on trust, open communication, and respect for all cultural identities.
● Oversee recruitment and enrollment of students.
● With the Executive Director, participate in select meetings with prospective donors and other community supporters.

Operational and financial leadership

● Oversee all aspects of school operations, including school safety, health, transportation as required, food service, facilities, and technology.

Other duties as assigned
● Complete other strategic or implementation projects as assigned by the Executive Director and/or Board of Directors.
● Thrive Center for Success will be a start-up school with a small team in the early years.  The Principal will be responsible and accountable for the overall implementation and may be asked to step into projects not specifically outlined above.

Required Qualifications

Competencies and Commitments:

● Passion for the mission of Thrive; demonstrated commitment to equitable educational opportunities for children with special needs and/or learning differences.
● Holds high expectations for self and others to achieve and surpass intended goals.
● Ability to set direction for a team and motivate others to action; demonstrated ability to lead people and get results through work with others.
● Ability to thrive in a dynamic, entrepreneurial environment that requires creativity, adaptability, and an orientation to problem-solving.
● Analytical skills; ability to synthesize data to set priorities.
● Exceptional communication and relationship skills; proven experience building relationships with diverse stakeholders and communities.
● Strong work ethic; willingness to work beyond a 40-hour week to serve students.
● Authentic, humble, servant-leader orientation.
● Growth mindset; strong receptiveness to give and receive frequent feedback.
● Willingness to work on some weekends, evenings, or other non-standard business hours, as required by the needs of the school and in accordance with the duties outlined above. Willingness to do “whatever it takes” to serve students and their families at the highest level.

Education and Work Experience

● Masters’ degree or greater, preferably in field related to special education and/or autism.
● Minimum of 5 years of experience working with special education students in an educational or therapeutic setting.
● At least two years in a role where majority of time is focused on instructional leadership and/or management of adults (e.g., assistant principal; dean; principal; or equivalent).
● A track record of achieving excellent outcomes for students; experience using data analysis to support decision-making.
● Valid teaching certification, preferably in special education.  Principal certification preferred but not required. Once hired, prefer a candidate willing to work to obtain a Principal certification in the State of Texas.
● Board Certified Behavioral Analyst preferred
● Prior experience working in a charter school a plus.
● Proficiency in Spanish a plus.
● Pass a background check as required by the state of Texas.

Application and start date

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to including a list of five professional references (to be contacted at a later time). Please include in your letter information detailing your interest in the position and how your experience will advance the mission of Thrive With Autism.  
Target start date is  January 1, 2022.
Compensation shall be commensurate with experience and education.
We will contact those candidates who most closely match the requirements. We thank you in advance for your interest.
Thrive with Autism is committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. All employment decisions are based on job requirements and individual qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Thrive Center for Success’ School Culture & Values

● Every Child Feels Valued
● Celebrate Uniqueness
● Inclusive, Safe Environment
● Welcoming/Nurturing/Positive Environment
● Happy
● Educating one of us takes all of us
● A “We” Community - Team Oriented
● A “Yes” Community – Look for ways to make it possible. “Why Not”
● Do Whatever It Takes
● Open to Feedback/Constructive Criticism
● Transparency
● Live By Our Values - Servant Leadership