Voyager Academy (Voyager), a K-12 school, was established in 2005 as a tuition-free North Carolina public charter school serving middle school students. In 2007, the North Carolina State Board of Education entered into the first of two 10-year charter contracts with Voyager, the most recent of which has a term ending in June 2027. Voyager Academy has expanded to serve K-12 students, and celebrated its first graduating class in 2014.
Today, Voyager Academy’s approximately 23-acre campus in Durham, NC has three state of the art school buildings, a media center housed in a 7,000 square foot facility, and a new on-campus multipurpose athletic stadium. The school serves approximately 1,350 students in grades K-12 in the three schools: Elementary School (grades K-3 with approximately 400 students); Middle School (grades 4-8 with approximately 500 students); and High School (grades 9-12 with approximately 400 students). The student body is diverse with approximately 42% diverse students/students of color and students come from eight to ten North Carolina counties. Admission is through a lottery system and the school has a lengthy waiting list (which is reset to zero annually). The total number of employees is approximately 140 including 90+ faculty members. Voyager Academy is a fully accredited by AdvancED. Academically, Voyager is a high performing school that has exceeded its expected growth for the past 3 years. Designated as an Ashoka Changemaker School, Voyager prioritizes empathy, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and change making as student outcomes. The high school offers both a challenging college preparatory curriculum and a career pathway. Extracurricular activities include a strong performing arts program that includes K-12 offerings in music, drama, and art. Athletically, Voyager offers 31 athletic teams in 12 different sports for men and women, and competes in the 1A classification of the NC High School Athletic Association.
Voyager is governed by a Board of Directors which consists of a maximum of nine members. The members of the self-appointing board include a mix of parents and community representatives. The school also has the Voyager Academy Foundation, a separate but related 501c3 organization, and is in a strong financial position.
With the vision of “Inspiring life-long learning in every Viking,” the mission of Voyager Academy is to “provide students in kindergarten through grade twelve an academically challenging and supportive learning environment. Staff utilizes experiential and traditional learning strategies so that students become responsible, engaged, and innovative members of society. The school’s expectation is that all students, working with dedicated faculty and family, will excel academically and socially.”
To assist in accomplishing this mission, Voyager Academy utilizes a project-based learning model (PBL) that includes emphasis on the values of confidence, curiosity, empathy, reflection, and integrity. Projects at Voyager take many forms. Some encompass many subject areas, connecting multiple fields of thought, and span several weeks. Others are contained within a single discipline and may be shorter. However, all projects offer rich educational experiences in which students are engaged, through tasks and inquiries designed to meet educational standards, in meaningful work that matters to them.
Meaningful projects are designed to have several key components:
- Board of Directors relations;
- A need to know that provides an authentic reason for learning;
- A driving question to focus investigations and provide purpose and challenge;
- Student choice among options for learning and presentation;
- 21st century skills including collaboration, critical thinking, and technology;
- Opportunities for inquiry and innovation;
- Opportunities for achieving best work through feedback, revision, and reflection; and
- Public exhibition of work.
These experiences are designed for students to practice and develop the habits and characteristics of life-long learners, including persistence, thinking flexibility, striving for accuracy and precision, questioning and posing problems, creating, imagining and innovating, and thinking interdependently.
For more information about Voyager Academy, please visit the Voyager website at: www.voyageracademy.net.
The Managing Director is hired by, and reports to, the Voyager Academy Board of Directors. Direct reports to the Managing Director include: Elementary School Principal; Middle School Principal; High School Principal; Before/After School Program Director; Exceptional Children’s Director; Curriculum Director; Social Worker; Testing Coordinator; Athletic Director; Technology Director; Facility Director; and the Finance/Business Office (finance functions are currently outsourced to a third party that includes on-site representation). The Managing Director is also the main liaison with outside legal counsel. The Managing Director is ultimately responsible for providing leadership to all of Voyager’s approximately 140 employees and 1,350 students.
In addition to the internal stakeholders, the Managing Director will also be expected to develop, maintain, and nurture appropriate relationships, and have significant interaction with, a broad range of other constituents including, but not necessarily limited to: alumni, parents, friends of Voyager Academy, other charter and public schools or school districts, the NC Department of Public Instruction, the State Office of Charter Schools, and the Durham and surrounding communities at large.
The Managing Director serves as the Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for leading the administrative, instructional, and support personnel in a manner necessary to accomplish the strategic and operational objectives of Voyager Academy. In general terms, the Managing Director will provide leadership to, and be accountable for:
- Strategic and organizational planning, implementation, and execution;
- Maintaining and enhancing a school “culture of excellence” defined by confidence, curiosity, empathy, reflection, and integrity for all students and staff and with a continued emphasis on a project-based learning model and student achievement;
- Human resource management;
- School operations including continued development of operational policies, procedures, and systems designed to ensure efficient and effective operations; and continued focus on financial strength, fiscal responsibility, and legal compliance;
- Maintaining school accreditation;
- Fundraising & marketing;
- Maintaining existing, and developing new, partnerships/relationships in the community and at the state level; and
- Board of Directors relations.
Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:
- Develop and maintain a good working relationship with the Board of Directors in order to design/refine/implement/operationalize an effective strategy (current strategic plan is for 2019 – 2024) for the successful operation of Voyager. Ensure that strategic goals regarding academics, faculty and staff, financial responsibility, PBL, safety, and community engagement are pursued rigorously.
- Ensure progress toward the strategic goals; lead implementation/operationalization, measurement, accountability, and refinement of the strategic plan; effectively communicate progress and results with the Board, staff, community, the state of NC, and any other appropriate stakeholders so that the best interests of the school are served.
- Plan, revise, and / or implement as necessary an organization structure to accomplish Voyager’s goals. Recruit, lead, supervise, develop, evaluate, and retain principals, faculty and staff necessary to accomplish Voyager’s objectives; provide leadership in a manner that promotes a diverse workforce and a climate of professional collegiality and respect that engages and empowers others to take action and responsibility to achieve results.
- Maintain a strong project-based instructional program throughout grades K-12 with the goal of each child making continual academic progress. Develop and implement new research, programs, tactics, and methodologies to drive educational success.
- Manage Voyager in a fiscally responsible manner; oversee the development and implementation of Voyager’s budget.
- Manage Voyager’s physical plant and grounds including facility operations, maintenance, lease agreements, and new projects.
- Lead re-accreditation process and successfully maintain accreditation.
- Develop, implement, and revise policies and procedures consistent with Voyager objectives, assessed needs, applicable laws, rules, and regulations to ensure efficient and effective school operations.
- Act as the Voyager’s representative, in the capacity of CEO, interacting with other school systems, professional organizations, the media, business firms, agencies of government, and the general public. Promote Voyager locally, state-wide, and nationally; participate in educational organizations.
- Develop, nurture, and maintain effective strategic partnerships with the business community and the community at large. Develop and manage the marketing and public relations strategies of Voyager.
- Demonstrate utmost integrity and professionalism in and outside Voyager; provide a role model for students; be an active participant in the community.
- Participate in fundraising activities for Voyager; investigate and pursue grants and external funding sources to ensure continued financial stability of the school.
- Create an environment promoting leadership, high academic standards, and opportunities for extracurricular activities; work with Athletic Director, the performing arts leaders, other extracurricular leaders, and principals to ensure resources are in place to support athletic teams, performing arts, and other extra-curricular activities.
- Strengthen ties to colleges/universities creating an awareness of the quality of Voyager graduates and to promote students’ admission to these institutions.
- Maintain personal professional development activities as appropriate.
- Leadership experience in public or private school administration and management, or any equivalent combination of training and experience.
- Knowledge of federal, state, and/or local educational programs, laws, and regulations; knowledge of charter school regulations preferred.
- Knowledge of best practices of project-based learning strongly preferred.
- Honesty and integrity above reproach; ability to promote these same qualities in faculty, staff, and administration.
- Excellent communication skills (written and verbal); ability to communicate effectively with all stakeholders; adept at public speaking.
- Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills; ability to lead, value, appreciate, and work with, a diverse group of individuals and stakeholders.
- Good strategic and analytical thinking ability; good problem-solving ability.
- Financial and business acumen; sound fiscal management skills.
- Desire to promote an inclusive “culture of excellence” celebrating diverse strengths, creativity, talents, and achievement.
- Degree in education administration, public or business administration, or related field; advanced degree/doctorate preferred.
Compensation will be commensurate with experience, including a competitive base salary, benefits, and relocation assistance.
Voyager Academy is an equal opportunity employer.