By Jeremy Chiappetta, Executive Director
Blackstone Valley Prep opened in 2009. From the outside looking in, this is our eighth year, but for the nine of us who have been here from Day 1, this feels a lot more like our eighth “first year.” That sounds strange, I know, but really it’s not.
So far we have opened six schools. Each time we do that a new cohort of teachers and scholars embark on their own “first year” – an experience entirely new to them even if we’ve been there before. Really our eight “first years” have given us a unique opportunity. We use them to constantly re-evaluate, raise the bar, and avoid complacency. Indeed, tackling the challenge that is leading through change is truly what I have been left believing leadership is all about.
Soon, we’ll do it all again. In less than nine months we will start the 2017 – 2018 school year, otherwise known as our ninth “first-year.” This coming year we will serve more than 1,800 scholars, most of whom are living at or just above the poverty line, the majority of whom identify as people of color, and have proven to be some of the most resilient and amazing people on earth.
Candidates often ask ask what it is that we are really looking for. For anyone that’s ever wondered this about an organization that they have applied to, it may seem like the answer to this question is a closely guarded secret. Not here. We need someone who is willing to put in time and effort; someone with experience and passion for our mission and who is able to make decisions that ultimately lead to positive change. We need someone who can bring people – scholars, families, and colleagues – together.
That’s it. In so many ways, we are looking for that proverbial unicorn – that perfect person who only exists in fantasies. And so I ask the teachers, innovators, and leaders out there: Is this you? Will you join us for our ninth “first year”?
If you are excited about change, if you are excited about leading, and you are a great decision-maker, you should join us. Even better, if you are all of that and crazy about high school aged kids, you should apply to be our high school Head of School.