Executive Director at College Park Academy in USA
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Executive Director
College Park Academy (USA)

Appointed - Sandy Abu-Arja
Apr 6, 2020
Apr 30, 2020








Starting July 2020 or July 2021 (earlier in 2021 also possible)



College Park Academy (CPA) is a rigorous College Preparatory Middle and High School preparing its students for top colleges and universities.  The plan is to add Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 in 2022.  College Park Academy was founded in 2013 by the University of Maryland (UMD) and the City of College Park.  It is a tuition-free Public Charter School authorized by the Prince George’s County Public Schools



The next Executive Director for College Park Academy will be:


  • A Champion – an individual who can articulate and champion the vision and the current and future value the College Park Academy model brings to CPA students and to local stakeholders including the City of College Park, the University of Maryland, and the Prince George’s County Public Schools (MD) as well as educators around the US and the world
  • A Relationship Builder – a natural collaborator who is able to unite the critical stakeholders of College Park Academy, in partnership, to ensure steady advancement of making the CPA vision a reality
  • A Communicator – a professional with superb skills, presence, and credibility - an individual who believes in the excitement and power of personalized 21st Century learning
  • A Strategist – and doer, who by word and by example is able to secure the support, engagement, energy, and resources necessary to achieve the short/mid/long term goals of the College Park Academy


Our Students

Our 650 students earn among the highest test scores in the state and can take University of Maryland courses tuition-free.  They can choose among a wide variety of Advanced Placement courses, 7 Foreign Languages, and robust extra-curricular options in Music, Art, STEM, and Civics.  To build its strong academic culture, most students enter CPA in the 6th Grade, with sibling preference and occasional lateral entry in later grades.  Because of College Park Academy’s reputation and the strong performance of its students, CPA averages ten applicants for every available seat.




Personalized Learning

Designed to personalize learning, expand access to advanced courses, and to help students move at their own pace, College Park Academy’s curriculum is fully on-line and a third of its courses are taught by on-line teachers.  Students come to the CPA campus every day, accessing most of their courses with CPA teachers on site while accessing their other courses with on-line teachers in independent learning centers, supported by degreed Success Coaches.



Our School Community

College Park Academy has the strong academic and social culture of a small school with the wide array of Foreign Language options and other course offerings of a big school.  CPA’s model and personalized design is particularly effective in meeting the needs of every student.  Two (2) students of College Park Academy’s first graduating class graduated a year early.  When CPA opened, it was the most advanced “bricks and clicks” middle school in America.  Its School Leaders and Faculty, together with partners from the University of Maryland’s School of Education, regularly share their skills and experience with educators around the country and CPA attracts visitors from around the world!



Our School Partners

University of Maryland, from the Board of Trustees led by UMD President Dr. Wallace Loh and Dean of the School of Education, Dr. Jennifer Rice to the UMD-educated teachers and interns working with students every day, serves as a significant academic partner of College Park Academy. The school itself is a UMD owned building, and when the new light rail line is completed in 2022, it will be 3 short stops from the center of campus.

Another unique relationship is that of College Park Academy’s partnership with the City of College Park, a vibrant, human-scale, college town only 2 transit stops from downtown Washington, DC and Capitol Hill.  The Board of CPA includes community leaders and members of the City Council, the city’s Education Committee, and UMD graduates who live in the City of College Park.  Community residents have priority access to admission to CPA.




Executive Director Job Responsibilities


The Executive Director will keep College Park Academy focused on, and advancing its ambitious educational mission while ensuring CPA’s alignment with policies and guidelines, as established by the Board of Directors.  Primary responsibilities of Executive Director include:

  •  Positioning College Park Academy as a model center for high quality public education – continuing its expansion and supporting replication of the CPA model
  • Working in partnership with the Board of Directors, to develop, implement, and monitor progress on a future-focused strategic action plan for CPA
  • Collaboratively working with the Development and Marketing Committee, assuming primary responsibility for achieving development, enrollment, and fund-raising goals for CPA
  • Cultivating and maintaining high quality relationships with (and among) key partners of College Park Academy - particularly the Board of Directors, the University of Maryland, the City of College Park, the Prince George’s County Public Schools, the MD Department of Education, and donors
  • Ensuring the success of school leaders who are responsible for academic excellence and safe and effective school operations - supporting positive, collaborative relationships among the school’s key stakeholders: students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and school leaders
  • Attending to CPA’s financial health by monitoring financial controls, development of the annual budget, and preparation of reports as may be required by the Board of Directors
  • Serving as primary spokesperson for College Park Academy as it relates to media communications, events, and inquiries



Required Qualifications, Experience, and Skills

The following are considered to be essential to the success of the Executive Director:

  •  Master’s degree (Education, Leadership, or Non-Profit)
  •  Senior level leadership experience
  • Collaborator (as a team member and as a leader)
  • Exceptionally skilled communicator and relationship/community-builder
  • Strategic thinker possessing business acumen
  • Ability to inspire confidence, motivation, and passion in others
  • Connection to 21st Century education models and personalized learning
  • Passionate believer in the power of teaching and learning
  • Strong work ethic, problem solving abilities, and excellent organizational, fiscal management, and administrative skills

Desired Experience, Skills, and Personal Attributes

Any one (or combination of) the following are desirable, but not required, in the Executive Director:

  •  Innovator, entrepreneur
  • Strong emotional intelligence (EI) skills
  • Experience in the Education Sector (School Governance, Higher Education, etc.)
  • Demonstrated success in development, grant-writing, and/or marketing
  • Conversational ability in Spanish 

Salary and Benefits

The compensation package will be competitive and commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

Instructions for Filing an Application

The Board of Directors of College Park Academy has appointed Search Associates as its exclusive partner in its search for an Executive Director with Dr. George Entwistle serving as the lead Senior Consultant.  Applications received by April 30, 2020 will be  best assured of receiving full consideration.  Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials (listed below) and encouraged to apply as early as possible as the Search Committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time should the right candidate be identified.

Candidates should submit the following information in the format requested:

  • A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in this particular position.  Please identify your availability date as either July 2020 or July 2021 (or if earlier in 2021, please specify)
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages
  • A list of references of immediate supervisors including current email addresses and phone numbers
  • A maximum of three (3), recent letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.

Please note that all materials must be scanned into a single pdf attachment of 4MB or less and sent to Search Associates at the email address listed below. Please send the complete application to: bpowers@searchassociates.com



The review of applications will begin as soon as applications are received.   Qualified candidates will be interviewed and potentially forwarded to the College Park Academy Search Committee for further review.  Finalist candidates will be invited to CPA to visit the campus and meet with members of the Board of Directors, Search Committee, and Leadership Team in May.  The new Executive Director will be selected at the end of the site visit, finalist interviews, and reference checks and will assume his/her professional responsibilities in either July of 2020 or July of 2021 (or earlier in 2021, if agreed)


Additional information about College Park Academy may be found on the school’s website:  https://collegeparkacademy.net/


Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Harry Deelman was at various times headmaster of schools in a fascinating foursome of global cities: Buenos Aires, Rome, Dubai, and Bangkok.