Director of Charter School Authorizing

Audubon Center of the North Woods
Jobs - Full Time
Sandstone, MN

Audubon Center of the North Woods Charter School Division

Job Posting


Job title: Director of Charter School Authorizing Reports to: Executive Director

Classification: Regular full-time exempt

Direct reports: Authorizing Specialist – Academics; Authorizing Specialist – Environmental Education; Authorizing Specialist – Governance and Operations; Financial Manager; Contract Evaluators, CSD Interns, others as appropriate.

Start Date: June 2019


ACNW Description

The Audubon Center of the North Woods (ACNW) ( is a nonprofit residential environmental learning center located on the shores of Grindstone Lake in east-central Minnesota. ACNW’s mission is to instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through experiential learning. Through its Charter School Division (, located in Minneapolis, ACNW authorizes a diverse portfolio of 36 charter schools throughout Minnesota serving approximately 9,000 students as a means to advance the organization’s mission. The authorizing mission of ACNW is to ensure quality academic and environmental literacy outcomes for Minnesota students through effective charter school authorizing.


ACNW is looking for an individual with a demonstrated commitment to advancing educational equity, environmental sustainability, and quality educational outcomes for all students to lead our Charter School Division (CSD).


General Statement of Position

The Director of Charter School Authorizing manages and oversees the CSD team to conduct oversight and evaluation of authorized schools. The Director of Charter School Authorizing is responsible to ensure that the CSD implements ACNW’s charter school authorizing responsibilities with fidelity, advancing the mission and vision of the CSD.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversees all activities of the CSD.
  • Provides strategic leadership for CSD, advancing the quality of authorizing done by ACNW.
  • Ensures effective policies and procedures are in place that support effective authorizing, updating our Approved Authorizing Plan (AAP) as needed. Key areas include:
    • Evaluation of new school applications and change of authorizer applications.
    • Evaluation of grade level or site expansion applications from current schools.
    • Evaluation of authorized charter schools’ performance in the areas of academics, environmental education, finance, and operations.
    • Implementation of school interventions.
  • Leads external engagement activities for the CSD and ACNW as it relates to charter school authorizing:  MDE, NACSA, MACS, MACSA, Media, Legislature, etc.
  • Provide leadership, guidance, and information, including making recommendations, to the ACNW Charter School Committee and Board of Directors to ensure effective decision-making related to new school proposals, transfer requests, expansion requests and contract renewals.
  • Develop and manage the CSD budget.
  • Ensures delivery of quality and appropriate strategic support to schools, e.g. Leaders Retreat; Environmental Education Teacher Workshop; Sounding Board, etc.
  • Evaluates and supports all CSD staff and consultants, including providing appropriate professional development activities.
  • Acts as official signatory for the authorizer for school related documents and communications:
  • Ensure requirements of external stakeholders are met: MDE, Legislature, other.
  • Serve as primary contact for a number of schools in the portfolio.



  • Bachelor’s degree in related field. An advanced degree is preferred.
  • Experience in education, administration, or related field.
  • Experience working in or with charter schools in Minnesota or elsewhere.
  • Strong financial background and ability to analyze audits, monthly financial statements, P & L
  • Commitment to advancing environmental sustainability and literacy.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in charter school governance, operations and law.
  • Understanding of academic and financial performance measures.
  • Experience with program evaluation.
  • Experience using multiple data points to evaluate student learning and academic performance.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including presentation skills.
  • Excellent computer skills.
  • Leadership and problem solving skills.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities on an ongoing basis.
  • Experience leading a team and supervising staff.
  • Experience setting and managing organizational budgets.
  • Experience developing and advancing organizational strategic plans.


Working conditions

The work environment is both office based with 3-4 co-workers and in the field for school visits. Much of the work is computer-based. School visits happen on average 2-4 times per month and include both visits during the school day and evening board meetings. Site visits require travel and include overnight stays on occasion. Access to a vehicle and ability to drive are required.

Some weekend time may be required on occasion. Work is cyclical requiring more hours during certain times throughout the year.



  • $75,000 - $90,000 annually
  • Benefits package including health insurance and retirement contributions.


To Apply:

Send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to:

Bryan Wood, Executive Director, Audubon Center of the North Woods,


Applications will be accepted until April 8, 2019


ACNW is an equal opportunity and at-will employer. We are committed to building a diverse staff with expertise and interest in working with our unique portfolio of schools. ACNW strongly encourages applications from candidates of all backgrounds, particularly those that are representative of the populations served by our portfolio of schools.