Chief Academic Officer

Chief Academic Officer BACK TO JOB BOARD




High School




Why Not You Academy


Des Moines, WA



Please submit an application (resume, cover letter, and professional references) by email.

  • Reports To: Board of Directors
  • Classification: Full-Time
  • Start Date: ASAP
  • Work Location: Des Moines, WA (in-person)
  • Schedule: Monday to Friday, Weekends as needed
  • Pay: $120,000.00 – $140,000.00 per year
  • Benefits
    • 401(k)
    • Dental insurance
    • Employee discount
    • Health insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Paid time off
    • Professional development assistance
    • Vision insurance


At Why Not You Academy, we are reimagining what free, high quality, public education can look like when built on a foundation of deeper learning, strong mentorship, and personalized pathways. With a culture of high expectations and high support, a student-driven and rigorous focus on preparation for college and career, and a diverse and inclusive community, we will grow to serve 416 students, grades 9-12.

By design, we are a small community where every student is known. Our school is intentionally heterogeneous and reflects the diversity of the communities in which we operate. We invite diverse, driven, and dynamic educators to join our team and support a new vision for high school in the 21st century!


An interdisciplinary, college and career preparatory approach to the academic core wherein students learn through projects to apply knowledge/skills to relevant issues and topics and demonstrate mastery of 21st century Deeper Learning competencies.

  • Personalized pathways with high expectations and high support, including individual learning plans, data-driven goal setting, embedded tutoring, and literacy and numeracy blocks.
  • “Leaving to Learn” through 1:1 mentorship and interest-based, career exploring internships that support students in developing 21st century competencies and social/professional networks that will pay dividends in college, career, and beyond.


Why Not You Academy has a rare opportunity for an innovative, passionate Chief Academic Officer to build a growing public charter high school in the Seattle, WA area. We are seeking a visionary, optimistic, mission-driven Chief Academic Officer with a strong background in:

  • diversity, equity and inclusion as those concepts apply in a school setting
  • gap-closing academic instruction and instructional coaching
  • parent/family engagement
  • student engagement and student-centered practices
  • special education and accessible instruction
  • team management
  • stakeholder relationship management
  • enrollment management and community engagement

The Chief Academic Officer, working hand-in-hand with the volunteer Board of Directors sets the tone, casts and holds a vision of excellence and has a firm belief that every student is capable of preparing for and going to college, if that is their desired path. The Chief Academic Officer focuses the work of the school as follows:


CAO responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Co-lead Why Not You Academy

  • In partnership with the CEO, co-lead the organization and execute the terms of the charter contract, focusing on achievement of Academic Performance Goals
  • Report to and provide information to the Why Not You Academy Board of Directors, including attendance at all board meetings, applicable committee meetings, and regular check-ins with Board Chair
  • Collaborate with CEO to execute board-approved budget and ensure that it is mission-aligned and enables school to deliver a high-quality instructional model via high-quality staff, instructional materials, and learning opportunities
  • Demonstrate the qualities of an influential communicator, equitable and efficient manager, strategist, and effective teacher
  • Set, measure, and achieve annual and long-term organizational goals, providing regular updates to core stakeholders about progress
  • Ensure compliance with all reporting related to instructional programs, special programs, discipline, and graduation, including Title 1, LAP, TBIP, and others, as needed
  • Co-create and publish annual school calendar, required school wide policies, staff and student handbooks, and other critical organizational documents
  • Evaluate staff satisfaction through annual surveys and exit interviews

Lead and Manage Instructional Staff

  • Oversee and execute hiring, onboarding, and management of all instructional and culture and climate staff, including formal evaluations, offer letters, and improvement plans
  • Plan and lead all professional learning for instructional and culture and climate staff, including, but not limited to summer professional development, curriculum and instruction training, classroom culture and behavior management training, planning meetings, data meetings, coaching and observation, and formal evaluations
  • Conduct daily walk-throughs, weekly teacher observation and coaching cycles, utilizing the Get Better Faster framework to ensure development on rigor and management skills

Lead Student Achievement and Student Support Programs

  • Define annual instructional priorities, invest staff and students in them, measure progress, and provide regular updates on progress, adjusting program when needed
  • Plan and oversee execution standards-aligned academic program for grades 9-12, ensuring availability and use of high-quality instructional materials and vertical and horizontal alignment across grade levels, and subject areas
  • Review curriculum for quality, bias, and relevance and review all unit and lesson plans, ensuring a clear system for codification, access, and storage of documents
  • Plan and oversee academic program and multi-tiered system of supports for special education and multilingual language learner programs, including all compliance reporting and caseload oversight
  • Develop and execute a system of assessment, monitoring student learning, proficiency, and growth through regular diagnostic, formative, interim, and summative assessments, and regular data analysis cycles
  • Plan and oversee all student interventions, ensuring that data is used to adapt and change strategies, approaches, and materials based on student needs
  • Assess strength of academic program through student achievement results stakeholder survey data
  • Create daily and weekly schedules, securing and overseeing coverages and making adjustments as needed

Plan and Monitor a Joyful, Inclusive School Culture

  • Plan and provide summer professional development on all school routines and procedures
  • Ensure that classroom have common components posted, including academic and behavior expectations, standards, daily schedules, learning objective, and accessible materials
  • Establish goals for student acculturation at beginning of school year and benchmarks for each term
  • Facilitate regular morning huddles for staff and plan systems for regular, clear communication to staff
  • Plan and lead student culture initiatives, including advisory, social-emotional learning, and enrichment, working with CEO to bring in community partners and service providers, as needed
  • Oversee schoolwide discipline systems, including schoolwide incentive programs, suspensions, and expulsions; ensure staff is trained on all systems and data is used to monitor for disproportionate outcomes and opportunities for improvement

Plan and Oversee a Rigorous College and Career Prep Culture

  • Create and lead an environment where students are preparing for college and career and ensure that organization meets all graduation and college and career-readiness requirements, including college-ready transcripts, ability to deliver college entrance exams, and Running Start partnerships
  • Plan and oversee Why Not You Academy’s signature program, Leaving to Learn, ensuring that students engage in meaningful job-based learning experiences to prepare for career and life.

Lead Parent Outreach and Communication Related to Schoolwide Programs

  • Co-author weekly family update newsletter and regular staff updates
  • Attend Family Advisory Council and Schoolwide Community Meetings
  • Plan and execute Curriculum Night, student conference, student showcases, and other updates and displays of student learning


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; Masters in Education, Business Administration or related area
  • Preferred Experience
    • 3 or more years in School Administration and Principal Administrative Credential
    • 5 or more years teaching a high school subject
    • 2 or more year experience in a charter network / school experience closing educational gaps for students
  • A demonstrated passion for improving K-12 public education and the educational experiences of underserved communities, families and/or students
  • Capacity direct the collection of relevant data and use data for decision making in instruction, operations and for development purposes
  • Positive attitude and strong work ethic with an entrepreneurial spirit; willingness to do whatever it takes to meet goals and get the job done
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; Spanish and/or Somali language skills are a plus
  • Comfortable in an ambiguous, fast-moving, start-up environment with a drive towards clarity and solutions
  • Strong management and ‘people’ skills
  • Demonstrated initiative, leadership and tenacity with a desire to grow as a professional
  • Pass reference and required background/criminal checks
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook; willing and adept at learning new software and project management tools

Why Not You Academy seeks individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization and recruiting a team to reflect the rich diversity of South King County. Why Not You Academy does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups as required by law. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:

  • Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator:
  • Title IX Coordinator:
  • Section 504 / ADA Coordinator:

Salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience and starts in the range of $120,000-$140,000 DOE. We also offer a comprehensive benefits plan as well as the opportunity to impact a growing, mission-driven organization that is committed to the success of students.


Please submit an application by email to

The application should include:

  • Cover Letter: Please address alignment between your experience and qualifications and the mission, vision, and values of Why Not You Academy.
  • Resume
  • Contact information for three (3) professional references.