2023 BES Fellowship for Founding School Leaders – Memphis, Tennessee

  • Leadership / Admin
  • Memphis
  • Applications have closed
  • BES profile
  • Please apply here - https://bes.avature.net/fellowship
  • Leadership / Admin
  • Memphis
  • Applications have closed
  • BES profile
  • Please apply here - https://bes.avature.net/fellowship

Website BES

BES identifies and prepares excellent leaders.

BES seeks a full-time Fellow to serve as a Founding School Leader in Memphis, Tennessee. Through the BES Fellowship, highly motivated leaders who are committed to transforming education will participate in rigorous, multi-year training that prepares them to design, found, and lead a high-achieving school that reflects and responds to the needs of their community.

Who We Are

Strong schools rest on the shoulders of strong leaders. That’s why BES identifies and prepares excellent leaders to transform education in their communities. From school founders and executive directors, to operations leaders, deans of students, and directors of curriculum and instruction, we train leaders to build schools, to ensure their schools excel, and to sustain their results over time.

Over more than two decades, 120+ BES Fellows have created 63,000+ quality school seats across the country. Schools founded by BES-trained leaders are outpacing student achievement in their districts and states and closing the opportunity gap. Click here to read what’s new about the BES Fellowship and selection process aimed at creating a more equitable, inclusive, and uplifting experience for Fellows as BES fulfills its commitments to being an actively anti-racist organization.

What We Believe

We invest in leaders so that they can invest in their teams and students, delivering on the promise of an excellent education for every child. What sets BES apart is our focus on entrepreneurial leadership. BES training equips school leaders with the skills they need to effectively manage instruction, operations, student and adult culture, and external relationships in a high-achieving, locally responsive school. BES-trained leaders hold themselves and their teams accountable for academic and non-academic results for all students. They demonstrate an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and they lead schools that reflect and respond to the needs of their communities. Read our beliefs about excellent schools and leaders.

What You’ll Do

The BES Fellowship for Founding School Leaders is a four to five year process that supports leaders in building a high-performing, locally responsive school. For a comprehensive description of our Fellowship, please visit our website. An overview is provided below.

Year One: Training Year

Memphis Fellows take part in one of three tracks, depending on their proposed model:

Build Track: The “traditional” four-year Fellowship track focused on founding fresh-start public charter schools.
Character and Equity Track: This is a version of our four-year Build Track where Fellows found a school with character and equity at the core of its model.
Community Co-Design Track: This is a version of our Build Track where Fellows co-design a school alongside a community design team. This is a five year track and Fellows following this track spend an additional training year at the beginning of the process working to refine their school model.

Fellows participate in 300+ hours of intensive training on adaptive/technical leadership, board governance, school design, organizational leadership, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. They also spend a minimum of four weeks studying schools with effective practices nationwide, complete a minimum of two residencies at high-performing schools, write and submit their charter application, and build a founding board.

Year Two: Planning Year (Follow On Support)

Upon completion of the training year and approved charter application, Fellows partner with a dedicated BES coach, who works closely with leaders in years 2-4. This coaching program, called Follow On Support, ensures that schools start strong and stay strong.

During this year, Fellows work on becoming strong project managers, develop leadership skills where they have gaps, gain content knowledge, hire their founding team, recruit their founding students, move from lead founder to school leader, and crystallize their vision for the school.


Year Three: Year 1 of Operation (Follow On Support)

Leaders actualize their vision when they welcome their inaugural class of students, become strong teacher-coaches, use data to intentionally move academic results, manage and cultivate talent, and implement personal organization systems that allow them to effectively deliver on their core responsibilities.

Year Four: Year 2 of Operation (Follow On Support)

Leaders champion and uphold their vision as the school size doubles, sharpen the academic focus, attract and manage talent in a competitive market, develop leaders for future school growth, and manage their role to empower others.

What You Bring

The ability to lead, manage and motivate: You have demonstrated the ability to lead and manage a team towards results, and you are committed to serving as a school leader in the community for at least 10 years.
Self awareness and humility: You possess a growth mindset and have a continuous desire to improve. You are eager to give, take, and implement feedback with humility and in real time.
Commitment to community: You have experience in the community you are proposing for your school and bring strong community and organizational partnerships. You can articulate how you will gain and factor in community input.
Diversity, equity and inclusion in action: Your school model will primarily serve students from under-sourced communities and bring an anti-racist lens to the work. You have had success with similar populations of students and been responsive to community needs.
Commitment to excellence for all students:You have a clear vision for your school and can discuss key elements of the school in a detailed, compelling, and direct manner. You hold yourself accountable for results and believe that all students can achieve at high levels.

Minimum Requirements

Education & Work History

Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s or Professional degree preferred
5-7 years full-time professional work experience required; 8-10+ strongly preferred

School Based Experience

Two years of experience in K-12 education is required; 5-7+ years of K-12 school based experience strongly preferred
Two years teaching/instructional experience preferred
Two years instructional leadership experience (e.g. Dean, Assistant Principal, Department/Grade-Level Chair) preferred
Public school (district or charter) experience serving primarily students from under-resourced communities is strongly preferred
High bar for excellence required; experience at high performing local charter preferred


Two years experience managing and supervising adults required
Leadership experience at a school, non-profit, or startup preferred
Preference for candidates with a strong history of managing and developing people, preferably in a school based setting

Community Connections

2-3 years living or working in the proposed school region is preferred, not required
Ability to establish and nurture local connections and activate the community to garner school support and enrollment

Additional minimum criteria may vary based on partner requirements in specific regions and Fellowship Track

Memphis Regional Preferences

Commitment to serving as a school leader in the proposed Memphis community for at least 10 years
Strong ties to the proposed Memphis community, including family, work, college, and/or K-12 experience
Clear and compelling rationale for proposed school location
Proposed school location must be in Memphis Shelby County Schools with a preference for Central City East, Southwest, North and East regions of the district
Preference for innovative K-8 school models
Ability to establish and nurture local connections and activate the community to garner school support and enrollment
High bar for excellence required; experience at high performing local charter preferred

Compensation and Benefits

$100,000+ stipend plus health benefits for each training year
Travel and accommodations for training and during school study travel
Technology support
Reimbursement for up to $5,000 in moving expenses
Up to $25,000 reimbursed for design team expenses for Fellows on the Community Co-Design Track
Up to $3,500 reimbursed for school design expenses for Fellows on the Build Track
Up to $10,000 reimbursed for character and equity-focused professional development for Fellows on the Character and Equity Build Track
The opportunity to apply for BES start-up fund awards and/or those provided exclusively to Fellows by our partners

To Apply

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Serious applicants are encouraged to apply today in order to secure limited spots in our Memphis region. Please visit our website for a list of our priority deadlines. We encourage you to attend an info session or connect with a recruiter to hear more about changes to the BES Fellowship and selection process before you apply. https://bes.avature.net/fellowship

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BES identifies and prepares excellent leaders.

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