Seeking the Next President of HighScope


Background on the HighScope Educational Research Foundation

Our Mission
We at HighScope know that early access to high-quality education sets children on a trajectory to success. That’s why our research focuses on revealing the key factors of early education policy and practice that improve outcomes for children, families, and communities. We are committed to helping the field understand what makes children succeed today, and throughout their adult lives.

Our History

HighScope has a long history of working to ensure that every child has the best chance at lifelong success. The 1962 landmark Perry Preschool Project began in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and the trajectory of early education was changed forever. Under the visionary guidance of founding President David Weikart, the Perry Preschool Project studied the impact of high-quality early education on 123 black children. This beginning provided the groundwork for establishing the HighScope Educational Research Foundation in 1970 and has guided it into the 21st Century. The name “HighScope” reflects our organization’s high purposes and far-reaching mission.

Our Impact
Our research has proven that a high-quality early education makes a difference all the way into adult years. And for 50 years, we have worked side-by-side with programs around the world to ensure every teacher is supported and every child can thrive. This commitment to equity is at the center of our research, which continues to lead the national discourse on early childhood education.

Our Commitment

We value equity for all children, believing that every child, no matter their circumstances, should be given every opportunity to grow to their fullest potential. We know, based on decades of research, that nothing changes the trajectory of opportunity more than a high-quality early childhood education. We believe in the power and ability of the teacher to change that trajectory of a child’s life. We gather evidence on what works in supporting children, educators, and their families.


Our Campus
Our headquarters is located on a large historic block in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with administrative offices housed in the “Hutchinson House,” of S & H Green Stamps fame. Hutch House is surrounded by beautiful green space and multi-use houses across campus, including the recently purchased building and future home of an expanded demonstration preschool and training facility.

Our Stakeholders

Starting with the Perry Preschool, HighScope has a history of strengthening early learning in the Ypsilanti community, the surrounding Washtenaw County, the State of Michigan, and beyond. Building on connections made through its fifty years, the Foundation work broadened to programs, school districts, state early learning offices, and international institutes in nine countries extending the HighScope framework around the world.

The Opportunity
HighScope is seeking a visionary leader to propel the legacy of 50 years into the next decade of this new millennium. The next President will support and build a high-performing team to work collaboratively with the board, staff, and external partners to strengthen HighScope and champion child outcomes.

Our ideal candidate will have a roll-up-your sleeves attitude with an unwavering commitment to children’s success. We are seeking a forward thinking individual, grounded in successful experience implementing cutting edge initiatives. A successful candidate will be a team oriented, participatory leader, who will inspire staff to reach their highest potential.

We expect our new President to be:

  • An energetic change agent and adaptive innovator.
  • Evidence-based and data-driven.
  • A visionary systems thinker.
  • A powerful communicator with strong written and speaking skills.
  • An influential collaborator with a history creating productive partnerships across multiple sectors.
  • An accountable implementer with proven project management skills.
  • Motivated by diversity, committed to equity, and devoted to justice with a track record identifying and acting on disparities.

For consideration, the candidate must have:

  • A minimum of 10 years of broad executive experience in leadership and management.
  • Body of work demonstrating intellectual leadership as a champion in the early childhood field.
  • Working knowledge and experience with early childhood curricula, assessment, and program development and improvement.
  • Successful fundraising and development experience and practice with multi-level government and philanthropic grants and contracts.
  • Demonstrated competence in effective communication with multiple and varied stakeholders.
  • Significant and successful practice in supervision.
  • Experience with diverse cultures, languages, races, and ethnicities.
  • Success working with boards or advisory committees.
  • Doctorate degree in a relevant discipline is highly preferred.

Major responsibilities include being a thought partner with the board and staff in leading the overall strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the organization. The President will be accountable for the successful implementation of key initiatives, marketing HighScope products and services, and the financial and political health of the organization through the following actions and responsibilities:

  • Provide vision, inspiration, and leadership to achieve HighScope’s mission and strategic plan.
  • Provide visionary leadership in early childhood care and education.
  • Lead HighScope as a premier institution supporting highly effective early childhood programs.
  • Manage, grow, and sustain the organization.
  • Serve as spokesperson to constituencies and the world of education and human services, promoting its research, programs, and projects and broadening recognition of its work.
  • Oversee the development and promotion of high quality products and services.
  • Lead staff and the Board in expanding funding from market, government and philanthropic sources.
  • Lead a research agenda that contributes to knowledge and HighScope’s standing in education and child development fields.
  • Focus on professional development of a diverse and inclusive staff.
  • Cultivate leadership throughout the organization.
  • Forge alliances and establish collaborative efforts to strengthen HighScope’s research, programs, products, and visibility.
  • With the Board and staff, develop strategic and operational plans to carry out HighScope’s mission.
  • Contribute to public policy in early childhood.

Other Requirements and Information

HighScope is based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and residency in Washtenaw County or the nearby greater Detroit area is required without exception. A significant part of the President’s role involves travel within Michigan, throughout the U.S. and occasionally internationally. A valid and up-to-date U.S. passport is requisite.

We are an organization of more than 50 full-time employees with an annual operating budget of more than $8 million. HighScope will offer a competitive compensation and benefits package based on qualifications and experience.

HighScope is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

To Apply
Components of the application must include the following:

  • PDF Copy of the completed Online Applicant Form — this includes demographic and contact information for the applicant along with contact information for three relevant professional references.
  • Cover letter to the HighScope Board of Governors — the cover letter should be no longer than 2 pages and address how the candidate demonstrates the characteristics and competencies of the ideal candidate noted above.
  • Current resume or CV.
  • If not included in the CV, recent writing or presentation hyperlinks or samples should be provided electronically.

All application materials must be provided digitally to [email protected]. Applications are due no later than June 1, 2020. They will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as submitted.

All application materials must be provided digitally to [email protected].  Applications are due no later than June 1, 2020. They will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as submitted.