Model School Project Director (West Dallas STEM School)
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas


Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Job Summary:

The Simmons School of Education & Human Development, seeks an experienced Project Director to lead a collaborative partnership between SMU, Dallas ISD, Toyota, and the community of West Dallas. This partnership is co-designing and implementing a PreK-8 STEM school, the West Dallas STEM School (WDSS). The Project Director for the WDSS will have primary responsibility for organizing and executing all aspects of the partnership.

In close collaboration with the Simmons Dean, the WDSS staff, and Simmons faculty and staff serving on the design and implementation teams for the WDSS, the Project Director will coordinate co-design work and enact the overall vision for the school ( The Project Director will also coordinate and collaborate with grant partners from Dallas ISD, Toyota Foundation and other industry partners, and community members and parents in West Dallas. Communication and problem-solving skills are paramount.

Essential Functions:

  • An essential function of the school district-university-industry-community partnership will be leading the partnership in collaboration with the Dean. This includes facilitating partnership meetings, coordinating and leading co-design and planning, and leading and executing a vision for equity.
  • The WDSS project is a research and evaluation endeavor. The Director will be responsible for coordinating and supporting the delivery of a replicable model to the funder and project partners. Will facilitate research, collaborate with research and evaluation staff within Simmons to document WDSS implementation and outcomes, and coordinate the execution of a school-wide research agenda.
  • Support the dissemination of emerging evidence about the model and lessons learned about the partnership. Communication about the school and the partnership will be essential; the Director will facilitate dissemination of information in formal (manuscripts & conferences) and informal modes (local presentations).
  • Serve as a project liaison among the partners and as liaison and ambassador to the broader Dallas community for current and additional partnerships. This includes attending local meetings and events, representing the WDSS, and pursuing additional opportunities for further partnerships and grants.
  • The Director will have administrative duties within Simmons related to pre-and in-service educator preparation in relation to the WDSS; collaboration with faculty, staff and administrators; and development and direction of WDSS teaching, learning and research opportunities within SMU.
  • The Director will work with the Dean and other staff to continue fundraising initiatives including pursuing foundation and research grants as well as gifts. This will include meetings, coordination with SMU development office(s) and writing grant proposals.
  • This position will oversee a multi-million dollar grant budget in coordination with the Dean and Simmons staff. Will assist the Dean in making budget decisions, and maintain compliance with SMU and agency regulations.
  • Manage all project-related activities. This requires a deep understanding of project aims and goals, coordination of more than 75 project participants to execute project deliverables ranging from curriculum development, project deliverables to teachers and non-profits, and delivery of evaluation reports.


Education and Experience:

A master's degree and a minimum of 5 years of work experience is required for this position. A terminal degree (e.g., Ed.D., PhD.) is preferred.

Project management in a K-12 or higher-education setting related to administration of grants or similar activities, is required.

Research and/or evaluation experience is required; must be conversant in methodology and data collection.

Experience leading coalitions of diverse partners in a complex planning and implementation process is required, including skills of collaboration, communication, problem solving, and cultural intelligence and equity.

Previous experience in the area of STEM education is essential.

Knowledge of or experience with one or more of the following: ELL, Integrated STEM, social sector/non-profit work, higher education, K-12 districts, research and evaluation, and grants.

Previous supervisory experience is required.

Microsoft Office skills (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) are required. Experience with Teams, Box, Wiki, and Zoom are highly preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must have excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.

Communication skills are of utmost importance, including the ability to communicate with multiple audiences. Effective consulting and leadership skills are highly preferred, with the ability to collaborate with faculty, staff and community partners.

Candidate must possess excellent organizational skills that include effective planning, time management and project management.

Candidate must demonstrate outstanding problem solving skills and analytical skills. Problems require new approaches and creative problem resolution.

Must be willing and able to attend occasional meetings at irregular times to accommodate community needs or other West Dallas STEM events.

Must be willing and able to travel occasionally to site visits or conferences. The job will require regular local travel to West Dallas STEM school site.

Deadline to Apply:

This position is open until filled.

NOTE: Applicants should submit a C.V. and Cover Letter for full consideration.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

This position must be able to:
  • Bend
  • Sit for long periods of time
COVID Vaccination

SMU must comply with President Biden's Executive Order (EO) 14042 requiring those that receive federal contracts and their employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they apply for and are granted an exemption for religious or medical reasons.

For more information regarding this requirement, please visit our website.

EEO Statement: SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

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