Job Opening: Program Director at Edible Schoolyard NOLA

May 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

Founded in 2006, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESYNOLA) changes the way children eat, learn, and live at five FirstLine public charter schools in New Orleans. Our goal is to improve the long-term well being of our students, families, and school community, by integrating hands-on organic gardening and seasonal cooking into the school curriculum, culture, and cafeteria programs. We believe that:

  • Food education should be taught in conjunction with core academics
  • Children learn by doing
  • Health and wellness contribute to the success of the whole child
  • Beauty is the language of caring
  • Local farms and sustainable farming practices are vital
  • School food reform is an integral part of the education we offer our students
  • Families and communities are integral to our  success

The ESYNOLA program director is responsible for the oversight and management of all kitchen and gardening programs (daytime classes, afterschool, special events) and program staff, and directly supervises six lead teachers, as well as the lead network gardener. This position provides strategic development support to all ESYNOLA educators, and ensures high quality programming across all five FirstLine School sites.

Education and Background Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, horticulture, environmental science or related field required; Masters preferred
  • Demonstrated success managing and inspiring a diverse staff required
  • Experience working with a high poverty community of children and families especially in an urban public school or urban public charter school environment
  • Demonstrated knowledge and passion for issues of food access, local food systems, food education, and educational equity required
  • Experience gardening/farming, especially in an urban environment, strongly preferred
  • Experience teaching K-8th grade students strongly preferred
  • Curriculum and lesson planning experience strongly preferred

Qualities and Characteristics:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, applicable to a variety of stakeholders
  • Highly collaborative and flexible
  • Pro-active, problem solving approach to complex challenges
  • Commitment to FirstLine and ESYNOLA’s mission and vision
  • Achievement orientation with a focus on goals and results
  • Initiative and drive for continuous improvement
  • Proficient with information technology, specifically Google drive
  • Ability to represent the organization to a variety of audiences
  • Ability to work with frequent interruption and to manage several work streams simultaneously
  • Eye for detail
  • Willingness to work weekends/special events as needed
Applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least three professional references and be uploaded to our application website via


Click ‘more’ to see position’s specific responsibilities

Management and Development of Personnel

  • Supervise, manage and motivate ESY lead educators, supporting their effectiveness as teachers and leaders of their site-based teams
  • Manage relationship with contracted ESY teaching coach, continuing to develop/formalize ESY’s standards of teaching excellence, and ensuring methods of feedback are consistent and effective
  • Manage the lead network gardener, collaborating around and supporting the direction and maintenance of developing and existing garden spaces
  • Manage the scheduling, planning and facilitating (including guest facilitators) of ESY staff meetings, teacher professional development sessions, and program development meetings
  • Lead in the hiring of both programmatic and network garden staff as needed

Program and Site Development

  • Ensure all classes and experiences are relevant to our students and families, and balanced with both experiential and core content driven instruction
  • Ensure gardens and kitchens are maintained to the ESY standards outlined in internal site rubrics
  • Assist executive director in guiding the network garden team’s leadership in the design and development of the Ashe and Dibert gardens
  • Facilitate the definition, growth and expansion of ESY programming at emerging sites (Ashe, Clark, Dibert in particular)
  • Manage logistics of program evaluations; acting as liaison with evaluation partners such as Tulane Prevention Research Center and others

Program Vision/Direction

  • Act as a representative for ESY’s work throughout the FirstLine Network and externally as needed
  • Facilitate regular (monthly, quarterly) conversations with school leaders at each site to develop and manage sustainable, high quality and aligned ESY programming/events
  • Develop meaningful relationships and open communication with school leaders, school leadership teams and classroom teachers, which will enhance the opportunities for them to feel engaged in ESY classes; includes attending grade level and department meetings when appropriate.
  • Collaborate regularly with key members of the FirstLine network team, especially wellness director and teacher development leaders.
  • Help foster the growth of an aligned cafeteria culture and aesthetic across the network (with wellness director)
  • Participate regularly in ESY special events and family programming across the network, providing support and guidance when needed, especially with new events
  • Oversee and foster ESY growth, maintaining program integrity and rigor across the network
  • Ensure that ESY staff have access to shared resources across the network
  • Welcome visitors to the program. Lead tours when appropriate.
  • Attend FirstLine directors/managers meetings as relevant



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