Director of Communications
Summit Learning seeks a Director of Communications who will play a leading role in telling the Summit Learning story. The Director of Communications will report to the Senior Director of Communications for Summit Learning and lead the development of the organization-wide communications strategy, messaging, executive communications, crisis communications efforts, and proactive media outreach.
This is an ideal position for an experienced communications professional who is passionate about the future of education. The Director of Communications will have a strong grounding in earned media, an understanding of the role that media and storytelling play in education, experience with proactive announcements as well as crisis communications, and a belief in the importance of communications planning.
This would be an ideal position for an individual aiming to apply their communication, project management, teamwork, and analytical skills to their passion for serving youth and education. We are looking for a self-starter who isn't afraid to take initiative and dive deeply into a new role. This position requires a team-oriented energetic professional who is comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, and with a strong willingness and desire to learn.
Who We Are:
What if all students graduated high school with not only content knowledge, but the habits and skills to successfully navigate college and career, with a sense of purpose to anchor them? This is the question at the core of Summit Public Schools. Summit is a public school system serving heterogeneous communities in the Bay Area and Washington State and operate 11 schools serving over 3,600 students.
We share our personalized approach to teaching and learning for free through Summit Learning, with more than 380 partner schools across the country. Summit Learning forms the foundation on which Summit’s successful schools were built, with our schools consistently ranking among the best in the nation.
Are you looking for the opportunity to lead change? Do you want to help reimagine what schools should be? We put students in the driver’s seat and empower them with the skills and habits they need to be successful in college and life. We need diverse, driven, and dynamic talent to join our growing team to help realize our educational vision.
The Director of Communications’ primary responsibilities will include:
- Supporting the implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy designed to elevate the amazing work of the Summit Learning students, educators, parents, communities, and champions.
- Developing and managing media strategy at the national and local level. This will include op-ed writing and placement, responding to media inquiries, and developing and pitching stories about Summit Learning
- Overseeing all media relations work with a special focus on proactive outreach and relationship-building with education and general market reporters.
- Developing a strategy to provide tiered communications support for the 300+ schools in the Summit Learning Program community
- Managing communications in crisis situations, including coordination with internal teams, consultants, and schools—with support from the Senior Director of Communications
- Develop and activate adoption of messaging for Summit Learning
- Develop and execute thought leadership plans for the Summit Learning executive team, including developing speeches, providing talking points, and preparing for events
- Serving as primary liaison with Summit Public Schools’ Chief Program Officer to support media efforts around the Summit Learning Program
- Directly managing a team of Media Managers
Required Skills & Experience:
- A true passion for our organization's mission to equip all students with the skills necessary to succeed in college, career, in life.
- At least 5 years’ experience at a public relations agency, education technology organization, or other related education nonprofit. On-the-record experience preferred.
- Bachelor's Degree required.
- Existing strong relationships and connections with education and general market media required; experience as a journalist a plus
- Excellent interpersonal, writing, communication and presentation skills.
- Proficiency in Google Platforms, including Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Docs, and Google Slides.
- Experience managing media relations teams and working with communications consultants
- An ability to travel to schools participating in the Summit Learning Program across the country
About the External Engagement Team:
Summit Public Schools’ External Engagement team leads communications, marketing and external relations for Summit Learning. This team is responsible for raising awareness of and owning and driving the story of Summit Learning, as well as shaping the national landscape to create the conditions that allow for more students to have a Summit Learning experience.
This team will play an integral role in our organization’s efforts to meet the demand for personalized learning, helping to nurture a favorable public image and ensuring communities across the country know about the opportunity.
Our team will highlight the most cutting-edge practices of personalized learning and showcase how and where it is working best across the country. We will also help interested teachers and public schools across the country, regardless of community or circumstance, to realize the personalized learning approach as accessible and attainable. And where we can, we intend to help network these schools with top colleges and universities, education policymakers and top employers to increase understanding as personalized learning spreads.