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Achievement First Achievement First

2022-23 RI Principal Fellow

Location: Rhode Island
Department: Principal Fellow

School Year: 2022-23

As a Principal Fellow at Achievement First, you will be at the center of this work— leading at one of our schools, achieving breakthrough results for the students we serve, and building your own vision  and skill to lead an extraordinary Achievement First school in the future. Here, you will be the driver of high-quality coaching instruction that enables teachers to develop strong classroom cultures, deliver strong content and to instill a lifelong love of learning in our scholars. You will work with  teachers to be your students’ champion because you believe all students are capable of greatness  and achievement far beyond what society has been conditioned to accept. You will come to  demand excellence for yourself, your teachers and your students, and accept nothing less than students’ best and most thoughtful work. 

At Achievement First, you will grow as a passionate and constant leader who thrives on feedback, enjoys regular one-on-one coaching with your principal and Regional Superintendent, and nurtures a  voracious appetite for professional development and consistent improvement. You will cultivate  school wide classroom cultures built on strong structures, communication and lasting relationships. Every day, you will contribute to the education of children who will go on to college and return to our communities as the next generation of game-changers, such that one day, you are  leading your own school that does the same. 

Overview of the Achievement First Principal Fellowship 

The Principal Fellowship is typically an 18-month program, beginning each July, that supports  future school leaders in their development as they prepare to become a principal. Principal Fellows  have leader positions at AF schools where they learn from talented mentor principals, and also  participate in a network-wide professional development program including skill-building, excellent  school visits, and best practice sharing throughout the year. 

The program is grounded in several core beliefs: 

  • School leaders learn best by doing the work of leading schools. All Fellows serve as full time leaders at an Achievement First school, as a dean of school culture or academic dean. The Principal Fellow has clear and significant responsibilities for both instructional  and school culture leadership in his/her host school. 
  • School leaders learn best through mentoring and feedback in the context of their everyday  work. The principal and regional superintendent of the host school mentors the Fellow.  These coaches provide regular support to the Fellow as they navigate the many  challenges of leading a school, through individualized coaching and real-time feedback.  
  • School leaders must be strong instructional leaders and people leaders. The skill building  we do over the course of the Fellowship focuses on instructional leadership, such as the  observation/feedback cycle and leading adult PD, as well as people leadership skills such  as engaging in difficult conversations or creating diverse and inclusive communities. 
  • Fellows attend the Instructional Leaders Professional Development series through the  Relay Graduate School of Education. The program is focused on building instructional  leadership skills and the cost of the program is covered entirely by Achievement First.

Achievement First typically interviews and selects principals in early Winter. Principal Fellows may apply for a principal position in their first or second year in the program. When a Principal Fellow is  selected for a particular principal position, they receive additional coaching and support from their  Regional Superintendent as well as through professional development with other new principals.  

This development is focused on the following: 

  • Extensive Talent Work: Hiring and matriculating new staff, retaining and developing  current staff, building a strong leadership team 
  • Readiness Planning: Creating the vision and plans for all elements of the school the  Fellow will lead, such as creating the school schedule, professional development plan or  family engagement plans. 
  • Additional differentiated skill development 

Skills and Characteristics 

  • An active and demonstrated commitment to Achievement First’s mission and values: Leading for Racial Equity, Embrace Challenge, and Go Further Together.
  • A Track record of exemplary instructional and classroom management skills, including  meeting extremely high standards for student achievement 
  • Proven ability to proactively and effectively coach and manage adults and drive excellent student achievement through others.
  • Superior personal organizational skills, ability to coach others to improve their organizational skills and efficiency, and ability to “zoom out” to create and manage systems and projects that require long range planning and organization.
  • People Leadership: Strong self awareness and awareness of others, and exceptional “warm/demanding” balance when leading adults.  
  • Growth mindset for self and others; willingness to seek out feedback and ability to implement constructive feedback quickly and effectively.  
  • Mastery of and enthusiasm for subject matter.

Necessary Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree; master’s degree preferred. 
  • Certified as a school leader per your state’s guidelines and requirements; If not currently certified, ability to obtain necessary state certification in specific subject and  grade level is required within the first two months of employment.  
  • At least 5 years of K-12 full-time lead teaching experience with a record of high student achievement. 
  • At least 2 year of experience coaching and leading adults to obtain high student achievement.

Salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Additionally, Achievement First offers a comprehensive benefits package. Teachers receive funds for supplies and materials as well as a laptop computer.

Achievement First is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Spanish language proficiency is a plus. You can learn more about diversity at Achievement First here: