The Executive Director of The BEE Project
The BEE Project inspires, trains, and advocates for Black and Hispanic teachers to equitably design and
lead gifted and talented education programs through an asset-based framework that supports the unique needs of brilliant students of color and their families. The BEE Project, a non-profit arm of thinkLaw, seeks a founding Executive Director (ED) to build, expand, and transform its vision into reality.
About The BEE Project
The BEE Project’s work lies at the intersection of equity and gifted education and proposes to grow and nurture the expertise of teachers of color as our most valuable, yet least tapped asset in unleashing the brilliance of Black and Hispanic students.
Scientists used to wonder how bees could fly because their chubby bodies and tiny wings should not allow them to. Eventually, they realized that comparing bees to animals who move their wings up and down did not make sense. Upon closer examination, they learned that bees move their wings forward and backwards. The bee’s ability to fly makes perfect sense once you can see that bees are capable of flying.
The BEE Project exists because our education system similarly struggles to fairly identify students of color who can fly. Black and Hispanic children represent 15% and 27% of students overall, but only 8.5% and 18% of students identified as gifted. The shocking report “System Failure: Gifted Education in the United States” explained that inequitable practices and a lack of available gifted programs at schools serving Black and Hispanic students has led to over 1 million “missing” Black and Hispanic gifted children. This statistic is unacceptable.
Fortunately, Black and Hispanic educators are uniquely qualified at “finding” these children. Black students taught by Black teachers are three times more likely to be identified as gifted. Similarly, a 10% increase in Hispanic teachers is associated with a 3.1% increase in their identification rates. In other words, teachers of color are uniquely qualified to see why these bees can fly.
Looking at the demographics of teachers overall, 80% are white but only 7% and 8% are Black and Hispanic. While little data exists on demographics of educators of gifted children, anecdotally, we know the gifted teacher population is even more disproportionately white.
Diversifying the teacher workforce would not be enough to address the shortage of gifted educators of color because this gap also stems from a lack of gifted programs altogether. This is why The BEE Project takes the multi-faceted approach of investing in Black and Hispanic educators to design, launch, and lead equitable gifted programs.
The Executive Director of The Bee Project
The Executive Director’s aim is to build The BEE Project through fundraising and promoting its work, expanding its partnerships across the country, and creating a lasting impact by making its vision come to life. Success will require an Executive Director (ED) to bring a passion for The BEE Project’s mission, an ability to grow our impact, and experience in (or readiness to learn) non-profit management. The ED will be supported by Colin Seale, Founder and CEO of thinkLaw, which is the fiscal sponsor of The BEE Project, and will have the ability to leverage thinkLaw’s advisory board and thinkLaw’s team. Currently, the first BEEs are applying to be part of the very first cohort.
The program’s success will allow for expansion to other states that naturally align with the mission. As a result, there will be a tremendous increase in Black and Hispanic children being identified as gifted and thriving in gifted programming. School systems will look to partner with this organization as a concrete way to improve instruction for all students and retain teachers of color. Through your work, you will have built a more intentional pathway to excellence for Black and Hispanic students as Executive Director.
The work of the Executive Director will be to strategize, build, and expand our work so that the vision of The BEE Project becomes reality.
Translate the Vision into Reality
- Using the template and vision of The BEE Project, work closely with the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of thinkLaw to ensure the vision is brought to reality.
- Leverage and engage the advisory board and staff of thinkLaw.
- Strategize on the operations model for programmatic and financial management.
Promote and Partner
- Present at conferences about The BEE project.
- Work w/researchers, social media, current participants, and their administrators to tell the story of the BEE Project.
- Leverage partnerships and community.
Fundraising, Friend-raising, and Expansion
- Strategize on expansion into other states that naturally align with our mission.
- In the first 90 days, respond to at least 10 major grant proposals and build donor relationships.
- Support the creation of an alumni network where the cohort can build bonds that last a lifetime.
- Manage program improvements based on surveys, incorporating those and communicating developments with the community of alumni, supporters, and school and university partners.
Programs, Operations, and Finance
- Once developed, oversee the programmatic, financial and operations management plan.
- Manage funds, update the budget monthly, develop financial projections, and leverage resources for impact.
- Oversee accountant, payroll processes, and legal support.
The BEE Project seeks an inclusive leader who will possess many audacious qualities to open doors and create new pathways as its first Executive Director. While no candidate will epitomize every quality, an ideal candidate will possess many of the attributes listed below:
Courageously Takes Action
- Confidently makes clear asks and takes tangible actions.
- Self-starter, doesn’t let perfectionism stand in the way of doing what needs to be done to move the work forward.
- With a CEO mindset, they are often “punching above their weight.”
Inspires Others to Act
- Uses storytelling to motivate and excite others to action.
- Helps others to envision partnerships and innovative next steps to realize the mission and vision.
- Even when not everyone agrees, can win others over.
About the “Why”
- Their work is about their why, and why this work matters to them and to all.
- Passionate and focused on work specifically designed toward increasing the number of Black and Hispanic educators.
Wears a Management Hat, Too
- Nimble and can execute on the smaller tasks to get the work done when needed.
- Operations-oriented, and can swiftly adjust to strategizing, planning, and organizing.
Experience and Expertise
- Former teaching and administrator experience.
- Close connection with gifted and advanced academics.
- Experience influencing key stakeholders and decision-makers in K-12 education, preferred.
- Demonstrated track record of raising funds in the social service sector with experience writing grants, pitching and winning competitions, and working closely with donors.
- Experience creating and communicating about an ambitious fundraising strategy and goals.
- Social justice organizing and coalition building is highly desired.
- Experience building equity practices and culture within an organization.
- Special legal and financial management of non-profit organizations.
- Former board engagement practices.
We encourage candidates to apply who may not have every single quality of this profile, yet have significant, relevant capabilities and experience that would allow them to succeed in this role.
The Bee Project is a national organization and the Executive Director can be positioned anywhere.
It is expected that the Executive Director will likely present at gifted conferences, and therefore some travel is expected.
The salary for the Executive Director has a base of $75,000 with six-figure earning potential depending on fundraising outcomes.
A competitive benefits package will be offered that includes employer-funded retirement and generous health insurance benefits, along with generous sick leave, vacation time and holidays.
thinkLaw and the Bee Project are equal opportunity, affirmative action employers and are committed to addressing issues of racism and inequity. We are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace where every staff member feels heard, supported, valued, and can share their authentic brilliance to move the mission forward. Applicants who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, parents, women, people with disabilities, queer, trans, non-binary, immigrants, and anyone who has experienced systemic oppression and/or gender-based violence are encouraged to apply.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to those who apply by March 28, 2022. Please review the job description details and apply using the Application Guidance below as soon as possible to have your candidacy considered for this amazing role!
OneTeacher is conducting the executive search for The Bee Project’s Executive Director. At OneTeacher we care deeply about education equity and connect individuals and organizations that will advance this cause. We partner with like-minded organizations like thinkLaw and The Bee Project to support them in making a match with professionals who will make their vision and mission a reality.
Please submit all application components in a single email to. Applications should include the components listed below:
1) A resume.
2) A thoughtful and compelling cover letter that addresses:
- Why are you interested in becoming the founding Executive Director of The BEE Project? Please share what inspires you about The BEE Project.
- What relevant qualifications and experience do you bring to this role?
- Specifically, what development or fundraising awards/achievements have you earned?
3) A list of three references* that includes names, affiliation, relationship to you while you worked together, email addresses and phone numbers.
*References will not be contacted until the final stage of the search and candidates will be given an opportunity to notify their references in advance.
**Priority Application Deadline is March 28**
A world where critical thinking is taught by all teachers and to all students, leveling the playing field for 21st century success.
We help educators teach critical thinking to ALL students.
Our Core Values
We listen to understand, speak to be understood, and demonstrate the courage to tackle the tough but necessary conversations across lines of difference.
We dream big, create boldly, and dare to improve our world dramatically, approaching our work with creativity and an endless set of possibilities.
Making a Difference
Our bottom line is impact, so we prioritize our actions and our inactions through the lens of maximizing this bottom line.
Our Approach – The thinkLaw Method
- We make it easy. We are always willing to do the hard work on our end if it’s going to make someone’s work easier on the other side.
- We make it engaging. We work hard to make sure our work is received with tears, hell yeahs, this is unacceptables, gasps, are you freaking kidding me, and laughter because we understand that the emotional connection that comes from engaging our partners and community members.
- We ground our work in critical thinking. We consider multiple perspectives, we use evidence to back up our decision-making, and we are committed to continuous improvement of our thinking around every aspect of what we do.
- We err on the side of fairness and justice, always. We consider equity, not equality in deciding what is needed for our team, our partners, and our work. We understand that what is legal is not always just and what is acceptable is not always fair, and actively seek to be the hammer that helps to bend the arc of history towards justice.