Chief Technology Officer, NHA

By January 19, 2021April 13th, 2021Featured, Searches

Chief Technology Officer

The Company

National Heritage Academies (NHA), is one of the nation’s leading charter school management organizations, currently operating 96 schools across nine states serving over 60,000 students in Kindergarten through high school.

Founded in 1995 and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, NHA is a for-profit organization with more than 5,000 employees. NHA’s system of schools is designed to eliminate the achievement gap and provide a public school choice to families so that their children are prepared for success in high school, college, and beyond. NHA has the highest renewal rate among charter schools, a key indicator of value and prominence in the market. A passion and dedication to the mission of serving children and partnering with communities to provide an excellent educational experience permeates the culture of the organization.

The Opportunity

Reporting directly to the President and CEO, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) will provide executive leadership to the entire network of schools to improve student achievement by implementing engaged learning that is supported by fully integrated technology. In addition, this individual shall provide support for the operational systems of the computer network and insure alignment for the organization’s state of the art instructional technology programs. The CTO is a key member of NHA’s executive team and manages a comprehensive, talented high-performance team of professionals by hiring, training, motivating, and retaining top employees.

The CTO will manage, enhance and revolutionize the existing approach to security, privacy and regulatory compliance for NHA’s growing global network and monitor changes or advancements in technology to discover pathways towards competitive advantage. With the leadership team, this individual will jointly develop transformative technology strategies that help accelerate growth and achieve expansion outcomes including platform modernization, enterprise systems, migrations, governance, software development, and enterprise architecture. The scope of this position spans the organization’s solutions and is not limited to technology but includes software applications, infrastructure, data management, data integration and external vendor solutions.

Primary responsibilities: 

  • Thoroughly analyze the current Student Information System from the approach of “buy vs. build/develop”, thoughtfully consider NHA’s unique market position, ultimately developing a framework highlighting pros and cons and quickly implementing the agreed upon decision
  • Plan, organize, upgrade, consolidate and control educational technologies, information systems/technologies, and their use throughout the entire NHA network
  • Provide leadership and operational/tactical planning for new and upgraded system technologies while maintaining IT capital requests, budgets, and reliable financial forecasting
  • Advocate for the integration of technology through understanding the needs and concerns of students, teachers, administrators, the school board and the community with the ability to socialize to the Service Center the status of on-going and up-coming projects
  • Create comprehensive organizational plans with regards to new school development and acquisitions resulting in a playbook to integrate data quickly and with minimal operational disruption
  • Translate business and IT strategic plans into organized and actionable engineering design plans ensuring that critical systems are meeting business requirements

Ideal Candidate

You are a creative and innovative thinker, unconstrained by existing systems or paradigms, with exceptional business judgment and analytical skills. Your executive presence personifies grace under pressure with the confident ability to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders. It will be necessary, at times, to achieve consensus amongst differing opinions through persuasive negotiation; best done with keen analysis, organization, and problem-solving skills enabling sound, data-based decision making. Key to success in this role is the ability to drive continuous, high-quality improvement while being financially savvy and politically astute, setting clear priorities, delegating as necessary to guide investment in people and systems.

You value the free market and are passionate about the purpose and vision of NHA and its core values:

  1. Take ownership for the success of NHA students
  2. Do the right thing always
  3. Behave with care
  4. Make NHA schools the best choice for parents and students
  5. Act with discipline to sustain NHA’s academic success and financial viability

You should have the following experiences and skill sets:

  • Proven senior level, top technology executive experience with the ability and patience to teach and bring other executives along
  • Strategic IT leadership experience directing a large, integrated growth-oriented organization
  • Eight to ten years prior experience in a complex, highly-regulated environment leading a team with responsibility for highly integrated computer systems and technology, preferably for an educational organization (school district, charter network, school authorizer, post-secondary college or university)
  • Ability to actively drive the strategic partnerships with key vendors and partners to maximize service and optimize cost
  • Proven track record developing and implementing a long-term strategy for all computing platforms and storage technology, supporting business objectives and goals
  • Team leadership and mentorship – ability to build trust within the team, provide autonomy for their actions through accountability and respect
  • Background in running a project management office responsible for the implementation of major technological and capital initiatives
  • Strong EdTech background
  • Mission over self mindset
  • Bachelor’s degree in IT Technology, computer science or cybersecurity, Master’s degree is preferred

Learn More 

The Knowledge Leaders search process is thorough and may include: a written assessment, multiple interviews, background and social media checks, employment and education verifications, a drug screen, and professional reference checking. After all, our mission is to transform education by recruiting the best world leaders.

Submit your resume to April Sarraille ( at Knowledge Leaders.

Knowledge Leaders, LLC provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants and candidates for employment. Knowledge Leaders, LLC prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type based on race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

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