Virtual High School Global Consortium (VHS) is a membership fee-based educational nonprofit which partners with schools to expand their course offerings. Founded in 1996, VHS is a collaborative of over 600 schools in 31 states and 42 countries. In 2011/2012, VHS had nearly 18,000 course registrations in over 250 middle and high school VHS courses, including Advanced Placement, core, elective, and credit-recovery courses.
VHS is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools and Northwest Accreditation Commission, and has won numerous awards for course quality and teacher professional development. Virtual High School is the education industry’s leader in providing high-quality online courses to high school students and in preparing classroom teachers to be effective online teachers. VHS is committed to offering schools the highest quality courses at the lowest possible price, and to its goals of high instructional standards, responsiveness to member schools, and affordability. Its greatest strength is its global, cooperative school membership, which offers students and teachers alike the opportunity to participate in a worldwide community of learners.
When educators and parents are looking for innovation and demonstrated achievement they turn to Virtual High School (VHS). VHS has proven in its fifteen-year history that its collaborative is committed to quality course design, online education standards and pedagogy, student assessment, teacher professional development, and teacher certification. VHS and its member schools work together to build valuable solutions, including: professional development training, challenging, student-centered courses and engaging enrichment programs that address critical educational needs.
As the majority of educators agree, good education continues to be about the relationship between teachers and students, and VHS constantly dedicates efforts to improve that relationship. VHS students, time after time, share that they feel more comfortable expressing themselves in online VHS class discussions where disability, social status, racial and even gender differences are not as evident as they would be in a traditional classroom.
VHS teachers often express that their VHS online professional development training helps improve communication and enhance learning opportunities for students in both their online and face-to-face teaching experiences. VHS schools embrace the opportunity to join VHS to augment professional development training options for their teachers and to instantly expand their array of core, elective and AP courses for students.
Reporting to a non-profit Board of Directors, and based in the Boston metro-area, the CEO will be responsible for driving growth of the organization through a combination of operational excellence, market vision, superior product development, sales execution, and customer service.
This is a true entrepreneurial challenge and not for someone who does best in a big company environment. It takes a CEO who knows how to gather market information, analyze it, evaluate existing core assets, manage an infrastructure capable of scaling, and bring to market a set of new online courses and other offerings that address the needs of school districts. In other words, it takes a superior product manager who also knows how to run an efficient company. Intelligence and a nimble, searching mind are critical.
• Achieve or exceed key financial and quality targets.
• Drive growth in VHS membership and professional development products and services.
• Develop and achieve VHS annual and strategic goals.
• Oversee development and implementation of VHS educational, technical, financial, school services, sales, marketing and financial plans and activities.
• Focus team, including curriculum and instruction, technology, sales and marketing resources on key funding opportunities and market needs including adjustments required by a dynamic and changing environment.
• Strive for continuous improvements across all functional areas including periodic evaluation of structure and staffing to improve performance and adjust to changing conditions.
• Build development plans for key staff, providing for professional growth.
• Provide staff with performance reviews on annual and as-needed basis.
• Oversee management of budget and financial systems for VHS based upon strategic and annual goals.
• Represent VHS at local, state, regional and national conferences.
Core leadership responsibilities
• Work collaboratively with the Board and members of the senior executive team to establish the strategic plan for the overall business.
• Develop and implement the annual operating plan for the business consistent with the strategic plan of the overall business.
• Review market conditions, establishing and prioritizing key market development activities, reviewing the effectiveness of sales efforts and channels to market, providing sales forecasts and pricing policies consistent with profitability performance, and establishing sales and marketing plans to achieve annual sales goals.
• Ensure product plans are executed to meet growth targets as well as ensure the ongoing competitive positioning of the business.
• Improve operational efficiency and effectiveness by assessing, upgrading or installing new operational systems, processes and methodologies.
• Review activity reports and financial data to determine progress and status in attaining objectives and revise tactics in accordance with current conditions.
• Execute and achieve annual growth targets while gaining increased leverage on costs and operating expenses.
• Demonstrate leadership skills in rapidly growing both product and service sales essential to high fidelity implementations and continuing support of existing customers.
• Champion succession planning and employee development, ensuring bench strength for future growth while maintaining a focus on furthering the existing organizational culture.
• Demonstrate skills in recruiting and holding top talent.
• Assert her/himself into the existing leadership group and earn the respect of the leadership team and Board.
• Demonstrate the capacity to serve customers while building a great place for VHS employees to work.
The Career Opportunity
For an experienced senior executive with the requisite background, this position offers the following career benefits–
• Opportunity to “do well by doing good.”
• Opportunity to drive growth in a financially solid but still vibrant organization—to take revenues from <$10MM to $50MM and more…and to be compensated accordingly
• Opportunity to develop best in class product offerings and with significant bonus incentives
• Opportunity to work with a strong, committed Board that is willing to invest in future growth
• Opportunity to live and work in the attractive Greater Boston area (NW suburbs, including Concord)
The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate currently is working as a CEO, President, or GM for a rapidly growing organization that creates and markets online courses to high schools. Alternatively, this individual is a senior executive for a K-12 virtual school or the online division of a school district, charter school, private school, or other EMO.
Specifically, the CEO will possess—
• Significant experience and success managing an educational product or service company, ideally one focused on the virtual school or online K-12 course market
• Strong record of performance taking a company or division from <$10M to $50M or more as operating manager with full P&L responsibility
• Knowledge and understanding of the virtual high school or related markets, with specific experience in the delivery of online courses and an understanding of curriculum development and online instruction, including learner support
• Strong grasp of education and educational technology as well as market and academic research principles
• Outstanding general management and leadership skills developed in a fast-paced, dynamic, multi-tasking environment; an entrepreneurial spirit–whether within a small or large company; not a “big company mentality”
• A self-starter mentality with sound judgment, discernment, and the ability to problem solve
• The ability to work in a highly interactive team environment; excellent interpersonal and communication skills; flexibility a must
• Computer proficiency with a working knowledge of one or more learning management systems (LMS)
• Experience developing and evaluating budgets
• Breadth if not depth in functional areas such as operations, finance, product development (IT), product management, and business development
• Experience developing and implementing a strategic commercial business plan
• Teacher professional development experience and/or high school teaching or administrative experience a plus
• MBA or equivalent experience
• Willingness to live in or commute weekly to suburban Boston.
Culturally and temperamentally, the ideal candidate is a team player who believes that individual success flows from the overall success of the organization. This involves a range of personal attributes– flexibility and adaptability; a strong work ethic; leadership with minimal Board supervision; an ability to analyze and evaluate one’s own (and other’s) performance and to develop plans to improve performance; excellent presentation skills; willingness to take responsibility for both success and failure—a thick skin; self-confidence and a positive attitude about self, company, and marketplace; effective listening and questioning; sincerity, trust, believability and warmth; strong closing skills; and a strong desire for success.