Director of K-12

Director of K-12

Reports to: Chief Program Officer

About Oakland Promise: The mission of Oakland Promise is to engage the Oakland community to advance equity and economic mobility through cradle-to-college and career educational opportunities. Founded in 2016, Oakland Promise is a citywide movement with over 50 implementation partners working towards our common vision. Oakland Promise supports children and families from birth through college and career to ensure that postsecondary success is a reality for all Oaklanders. Oakland Promise includes four programs: Brilliant Baby, Kindergarten to College (K2C), College Access, and College Scholarships and Completion, that provide a cradle-to-care continuum of college and career-focused support for students. Our goal is to dramatically increase the number of college graduates from Oakland and ensure that all students hold a college-bound identity. We seek a hard-working, highly detail-oriented individual to join our community in undertaking this important work.

Job Purpose: The Director of K-12 is a new position at Oakland Promise and reports to the Chief Program Officer. The Director of K-12 will be responsible for leading our K-12 programs – Kindergarten to College (elementary) & College Access (middle & high school), that were previously managed as separate departments. The Director of K-12 will lead the vision and the strategy across our K-12 programming with the goal of creating a more unified program experience in K-12 that is also aligned to our Brilliant Baby and College Completion programs. Additionally, this role will own the strategy for how we best partner with our contracted community partners who are working closely with us to accomplish our shared goals. 

This role is currently an in-person/hybrid, and we require you to reside in Oakland/ Bay Area.

Who Will Succeed in This Role? The ideal candidate for this role will be visionary and strategic, possessing the ability to forge and nurture strong relationships with both internal and external stakeholders. This role requires a proactive individual who champions continuous improvement and thrives in navigating ambiguity. Mastery in change management and the capacity to adjust long-term plans to address evolving circumstances are vital.

The candidate must excel in community building, uniting diverse groups to achieve common objectives, and transforming challenges into opportunities. Collaboration is key; they should seamlessly work with all levels of school leadership, from school-based staff to district leaders. Furthermore, the ideal candidate will be a natural collaborator and team player, committed to reinforcing the organization’s culture. They should adeptly manage multiple priorities, exhibiting exceptional attention to detail and follow-through. Additionally, they should be innovative, with a knack for developing creative solutions and strategies. An ability to communicate effectively and inspire others is essential, ensuring alignment and shared vision across all teams.

Key Responsibilities:

Lead the strategic direction of the Kindergarten to College and College Access programs:

  1. Set program goals and strategies while ensuring cross-program alignment 
  2. Lead and manage a team of eleven staff, ensuring they have the tools and support needed to perform well in their roles, while also ensuring their growth and development 
  3. Ensure high-quality implementation of programming through a cycle of continuous improvement
  4. Ensure all administrative functions are completed, including program reporting, payment approval/tracking, 
  5. Prepare and manage a ~$2.5-3M program budget
  6. Along with the Impact & Evaluation team, ensure program data and evaluation information are being collected and analyzed as needed.
  7. For our K2C program – lead our key program strategies to build a college bound identity with our students: signing up students for our K-8th scholarship, college visits, pilot programs inclusive of our teacher stipend and parent leadership, etc.
  8. For our College Access program – coordinate with OUSD College access leaders to support school-wide support and incentives for FAFSA completion, support high school events such as Cash for College to support schools, Black College Expo, 12 grade scholarship program, etc.

Maintain relationships with current community partners and develop other relevant community partnerships/external relationships:

    1. Work closely with Oakland school partners to develop program and partnership strategy
    2. Manage all program contracts, MOUs, and scopes of work with external service providers
    3. Conduct site visits at schools to continue to deliver programming and cultivate relationships.
    4. Ensure strategic partnership management with OUSD, charters, subcontractors and all community partners

Act as a cross-organizational leader:

    1. Lead with OP’s strategic vision in mind, making decisions that benefit both the K-12th programs, as well as the collective organization
    2. Support in creating cross-organizational shifts and policies as part of the Management Team
    3. Facilitate programmatic collaboration between K-12 and other OP programs, as well as across all departments
    4. Represent K2C and College Access and Oakland Promise more broadly to external stakeholders and the media; present at conferences, panels, and other forums
    5. Support with cross-organizational events and initiatives such as Awards Ceremony, Community Briefing, annual report, etc.


    1. Collaborate and learn alongside the national, state and local college savings, college access, financial literacy, etc. community, both informally and formally as part of the NCAN and more.
    2. Generate written communications about K2C and College Access.
    3. Other events/projects as needed

Required Qualifications:

  • At minimum, a Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Any combination of training/education and experience equivalent to a masters/graduate degree from an accredited college/university with an emphasis in K-12 and Postsecondary Education, nonprofit management, or a related field
  • 10+ years of successful experience in nonprofit management, program management, or a related field
  • Deep commitment to supporting Oakland students, especially those who are traditionally least represented, in completion their postsecondary education
  • Experience with stakeholder management and bringing diverse groups of people together
  • Knowledge of best practices for K-12 and postsecondary education
  • Exemplary communication, writing and presentation skills.
  • Experience supervising diverse staff, building team and organizational buy-in
  • Experience with strategic planning and launching new initiatives, which includes setting up program operations systems, piloting/assessing program impact, etc.
  • Knowledge of and experience related to childhood development, public education, data management, evaluation, college/career programming, college completion/degree attainment and more.
  • Strong interpersonal skills as demonstrated by the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with people both inside and outside of the organization
  • Commitment to supporting a diverse, inclusive, transparent, and equity-centered organization

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of and connections to Oakland communities
  • Experience managing a budget of at least $2 million
  • Knowledge of Salesforce, Asana and other platforms
  • Strong connection and knowledge of Oakland’s educational landscape, including familiarity with Oakland Unified School District and Oakland Public Charter schools

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Full time exempt position
  • Hiring range for this role is $145,000 to $165,000 based on skill sets and experience.
  • Oakland Promise offers a competitive benefits package, which includes dental / health/ vision, paid vacations and sick days and a 401k match up to 3%.
  • Oakland Promise currently has a hybrid work policy.
  • The ability to learn and grow within a supportive team environment.
  • An opportunity to network and interact with leaders in the community. 
  • Some evening and weekend hours may be required

Application Process: 

We are looking for candidates with availability to start immediately, and encourage you to apply if you are interested in and qualified for the position. 

To apply:

Send a single PDF (NOT a Microsoft Word document) of a resume and thoughtful cover letter to [email protected] with “Director of K-12 – [Your Name]” in the subject line. Please use your last name and first initial (ex: Doe_J) as the filename of your PDF containing your resume and cover letter.

Failure to follow these instructions may delay the review of your application. Applications will be reviewed immediately and candidates with the best fit will be contacted for interviews. Unfortunately, the volume of applications will prevent us from responding to all applications received.

Oakland Promise is a place-based organization located in Oakland, California. Oakland Promise requires that employees work in person at various engagements. Currently, Oakland Promise staff are working in a hybrid model, with some work being done remotely and some work being done in the office or at specific locations in or around Oakland. It is a requirement that all staff reside within commuting distance to the main office, located at 484 9th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. Please note that at any time, a full in-person work plan may be required, and it is of utmost importance that all staff are able to meet this requirement.

Oakland Promise is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Oakland Promise is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and disrespectful or other unprofessional conduct based on sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sex stereotype, race, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), color, gender (including gender identity, gender expression, and transgender), national origin (including language use restrictions and possession of a driver’s license issued under Vehicle Code section 12801.9), ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, sexual orientation, military, and veteran status or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance or regulation. It also prohibits discrimination, harassment, disrespectful or unprofessional conduct based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.

Application Process:

Make a huge difference in the Oakland community! Join our team! Send applications to [email protected].