Executive Director
Abby Kelley Foster
Charter Public School

Abby Kelley Foster – Charter Public School – Founded 1998


Since 1998, Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School (AKF) has been a model of rigorous, whole child-centered, well-rounded K-12 public education in Worcester, MA. Our approximately 1400 students and 200 staff are committed to deep kindness, mutual understanding and continuous learning. We support one another in these pursuits, drawing, too, on the strengths and contributions of our families and seeking to support everyone’s well-being and ability to really thrive in our schools and in the community. The collegial, family-like feel among AKF community members is palpable and pervasive. It is key in creating the conditions for belonging, and schools where our students and staff can be who they are and lean into possibility.  Like our namesake, we believe in the value of the collective, and we center students and equity.


With our promising and ambitious students, dedicated and talented team, invested families, involved community partners, financial stability and ever-improving technology, systems and infrastructure, Abby Kelley Foster will enter our next chapter poised for even greater impact. The Executive Director will leverage our many assets, and hold the standard for quality and accountability across all aspects of the organization. As such, they will be inspiring, clear, direct and transparent in communicating expectations and roles, and provide thoughtful and consistent support and coaching to team members to help them achieve their potential. They must also foster a culture of trust, collaboration and cohesion, institutionalizing a set of values-driven characteristics across all schools, while retaining each school’s distinct positive qualities, and creating space for creativity and evolution. Specifically, the ED will:

Develop and champion a clear vision and strategy by:

    • working with the Board and leadership team to further develop a vision for academic programming and related strategic initiatives, and
    • leveraging visible presence and accessibility to champion and inspire people with the organizations’ vision, goals, plans, results and success stories.

Recruit, support, and retain a strong, diverse team by:

    • fostering a strong, cohesive culture of openness, transparency, fairness, and respect for all employees;
    • recruiting high-performing, mission-aligned talent for all levels of the organization;
    • thoughtfully assessing one’s own capacity and hiring for complementary expertise to improve team functionality and fill unmet needs;
    • implementing effective talent management strategies throughout the organization;
    • coaching and mentoring direct reports, ensuring the clarity and resources they need for success, and
    • ensuring the organization is able to appropriately sustain and retain its people, particularly in the post-COVID environment.

Drive effective execution and accountability for programmatic, operational, and financial results by:

    • working with the Board of Directors to set clear, values-aligned academic, growth, operational and financial goals;
    • implementing effective accountability systems to assess and drive progress toward goals, key strategic priorities, and implementation plans;
    • supporting the program, curricula and practices currently in use, while closely monitoring outcomes and testing, piloting, and scaling innovative solutions that drive improved outcomes for all learners, particularly emergent bilinguals and students who are neurodivergent or differently abled;
    • ensuring operations and facilities are safe and support the academic program, and
    • ensuring that AKF has a viable long-term financial plan and manages resources strategically.

Build a strong partnership with the Board of Directors by:

    • engaging the Board collaboratively and productively, and promoting rigorous board-management discussion to solve key challenges and realize AKF’s mission and vision;
    • communicating information transparently and in a timely manner, and
    • working with the Board Chair to recruit and train new Board members.

Develop strong external relationships and presence by:  

    • building community and supporting true partnership with key local leaders, government officials, school districts, authorizers, parents, and local organizations;
    • promoting AKF’s brand through presentations, publications, and social media presence consistent with our mission, and
    • nurturing, in partnership with the Board and our Director of Development, existing funder relationships and being accessible to support all fundraising efforts.


You are a strong candidate to lead AKF if your “special sauce” is at the nexus of team and culture building and management, internal organizational leadership and community engagement. You have a passion for working with youth and families in urban school settings and you are dedicated to replacing barriers with access and pathways to opportunity. You take a developmental approach to teaching and learning and have particular expertise in the middle years, literacy and numeracy.  You have navigated growth and change, know it’s messy work, and bring energy and appetite for the challenge. You will also bring experience or demonstrated capacity in:

    • serving as a trusted member of an organization’s senior leadership team, most likely in the field of urban PreK-12 education;
    • taking personal action and leading institutions to disrupt structural and racial inequities;
    • institutionalizing culturally relevant systems and processes that enable organizations to function well and equitably and empower historically marginalized groups;
    • recruiting, retaining and championing racially diverse staff, faculty and students and weaving appropriate resources into student and staff support and engagement;
    • collaborating with all families and communities, across difference, to achieve meaningful engagement in education;
    • communicating effectively internally and externally to promote the vision of an organization;
    • stewarding and strengthening relationships with existing partners, as well as identifying and securing new sources of funding through relationship building;
    • partnering productively with a board of directors;
    • acquiring an understanding of the laws and regulations governing the operations of an organization such as a charter school district;
    • understanding and supporting the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) and other programming possibilities that enhance the student experience and post-secondary options;
    • analyzing data to develop and assess programs and drive ongoing curricular and institutional development and innovation;
    • modeling self-awareness, humility, integrity and approachability, and
    • demonstrating the confidence to identify, acknowledge and share challenges and mistakes.


Worcester, MA


Abby Kelley Foster offers competitive compensation and an attractive benefits package, including a collaborative and committed team of colleagues, and comprehensive benefits including medical, dental, life, and retirement.


Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please send a cover letter and resume to leslie@promise54.org before December 20th.

We believe that diversity is strength, and we are committed to inclusivity. We are an equal-opportunity employer and welcome all qualified applicants. 

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​Thank you for your interest in the Executive Director role.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

For best consideration, please send a cover letter and resume to leslie@promise54.org by December 20, 2021



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Thank you for your interest in the Executive Director role.

If you would like to connect with someone on our Executive Search team to better understand the role before applying, please contact Leslie Nair (leslie@promise54.org).




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