Managing Director of Network Operations

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Published 12 days ago


At Ascend, we're excited about professionals who are fired up about our liberal arts program, positive approach to discipline, and commitment to serve all students. Join us as we foster innate curiosities, encourage discussion and debate, and guide students to think their own way through to answers.

The managing director of network operations (MDNO) is responsible for leading the network operations team and the operational excellence of the entire network. This team consists of network directors of operations (who coach the assistant principals of operations in collaboration with Ascend schools' Principals), the manager of network operations, and the office manager. The managing director of network operations plays a crucial role in recognizing areas where operations could be more effective, compliant, and scalable. They then work with their team to design and execute initiatives to address these needs. In partnership with other network team members, they work to codify operational practices at the schools and support the development and enhancement of data, processes, and other operational systems. In addition, they develop the strategy for professional development programs for all operational staff, manage key external relationships, and support school-based ops staff to achieve operational outcomes.

Why extraordinary professionals choose Ascend

Ascend is a network of K-12 public charter schools serving 5,700 students across 15 schools in Central Brooklyn. Our mission is to lead our students on a great intellectual journey, providing them with an exceptional education and placing them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond.

We guide our students to think critically and independently and to enjoy education as an end in itself. We teach a rich and rigorous liberal arts curriculum that nurtures students' natural curiosity about the world. We foster a positive, non-punitive school culture where students feel connected, empowered, and safe to take academic risks. Even our school buildings are designed to reflect our high aspirations for teaching and learning and the notable accomplishments that occur within our walls.

To create this kind of vibrant learning community, we invest heavily in our team members by providing ongoing, best-of-class professional training and support. We encourage them to collaborate closely and push one another to achieve great outcomes.

You can learn more about our model and leading at Ascend, visit website.


Strategic Planning and Leadership
  • Set operational direction and identify existing gaps, as well as strategic, sustainable solutions to close gaps, leveraging the network and school operational teams
  • Serve as an outstanding role model, as a leader and manager, investing deeply in supporting and developing team members and growing their capacity to learn, contribute and engage in the work of the team and organization
  • Partner with other network partners and school leaders to foster the consistent implementation of school operations priorities
  • Oversee the execution and implementation of initiatives and systems (e.g., enrollment, child nutrition, government reporting, etc.)

Coaching and managing

  • Has a dotted line managerial relationship to the schools' assistant principals of operations (APOs)
  • Serve as the primary coach and thought-partner to the school NDOs serving as the primary resource to solve problems the NDO encounters and helping to identify other resources
  • Oversee the approach to NDO and APO performance evaluations and support principals in providing comprehensive, data-driven performance management
  • Design and lead recruitment process for operational roles, including developing selection criteria and serving as “agreer” for all operational hires

School start-up and readiness

  • Set the vision for and work closely with each Network Director of Operations (NDO) on their portfolio of schools as new school opens or a new school year approaches to ensure that every dimension of school operations is in place for launch, including full student enrollment, transportation, the facility, student and adult furniture, supplies, and food service
  • Provide onsite school support when necessary

Escalation and Vendor Management

  • Serve as an on-call resource to the NDOs in all functional areas, providing direct support and, when appropriate, referring them to a member of the network team or other operations staff member at Ascend
  • Oversee NDOs in managing key projects and initiatives across all operational areas, including but not limited to: health and safety measures, COVID testing and tracing implementation,
  • Work closely with the NDOs, the managing director of technology, and the Technology team to ensure that all schools have robust technology systems and appropriate support in this area
  • Work closely with the NDOs, the managing director of finance, and the Finance team to ensure that the schools' finance function works smoothly
  • Troubleshoot and support relationships with all DOE counterparties (Office of Pupil Transportation, Department of Health)
  • Work closely with the NDOs, the Director of Facilities, and the Facilities team to ensure that building maintenance and custodial needs are met

Professional development

  • Design and deliver training and onboarding for NDOs and network operations team members
  • Design and implement professional development sessions for school-based operational staff, including the comprehensive annual Operations Institute each summer
  • Track operational data from the schools to identify specific areas of growth by schools; tailor PD based on need and opportunities

Customer service

  • Create and maintain a culture of exceptional customer service in the schools' operational practices, and ensures that this culture is infused into all operational and business activities in the schools, including the telephone and website experiences, reception, food service, nursing, and building appearance

Operational metrics and performance

  • Set the approach and vision for operational metrics, oversee change management and report on operational data on a regular cadence

Reporting structure

The managing director of network operations reports to the chief operating officer and collaborates with other members of the network operations team and other members of the Ascend team. The MD of Network Operations supervises a team of netwrok directors of operations, operations manager and office manager at Ascend's Central Office.


  • Bachelor's with 10+ years of operational experience preferred
  • Experience as a top-performing manager or coach for school leaders, preferably in a charter school, prior success in a network-level operational leadership is preferred
  • Success in developing and supporting managers of people; proven track record in talent multiplication
  • Experience in leadership development with strong consulting and coaching skills
  • Effectiveness at motivating and influencing others to act, strong management skills
  • Capacity to develop strong relationships based upon trust, respect, effective communication, and shared goals
  • A mindset of excellence; attention to detail, and insistence on quality
  • Creativity and a solutions mindset—ability to recognize areas for improvement and develop initiatives to move the organization dramatically forward operationally
  • Systems-thinking; capacity to envision, plan and implement new systems and practices that better support school operations
  • Strong strategic thinking, planning, financial analysis, and project management skills
  • The ability to juggle multiple obligations and initiatives; exceptional organizational skills, and attention to detail
  • Maturity, humility, strong work ethic, sense of humor, and “roll-up-my-sleeves” attitude
  • Passion and commitment to urban education and our mission of closing the achievement gap
  • Alignment with the educational philosophy and core beliefs of Ascend Learning

Diversity at Ascend

Ascend is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community, both through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working and educating students. Ascend staff represent a wide diversity of racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities—opening a window to the entire Ascend community on the richness of humanity. We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to join us in our deeply consequential work.


Ascend offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. Please visit to learn more about the benefits of working at Ascend.

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At Ascend, we're excited about professionals who are fired up about our liberal arts program, positive approach to discipline, and commitment to serve all students. Join us as we foster innate curiosities, encourage discussion and…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional Level


Brooklyn, NY, United States

How to Apply

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