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High School Speech Founding Coach (Newark)

High School Speech Founding Coach
Newark, NJ

Uncommon Schools is looking for a talented and passionate founding coach of a speech program at North Star Academy Washington Park High School (NSAWPHS), a high-achieving charter high school in Newark, NJ.  In just 2 years, NSAWPHS has already established a nationally competitive debate team. Now, NSAWPHS is building on debate students’ success by launching a nationally competitive speech program. As a founding coach, you will train and coach students to compete in interpretative and speech events, ultimately empowering scholars and citizens capable of “changing history”.  Once successful, this program has the potential to grow to include all Uncommon middle and high schools across all regions (currently, 7 high schools and 24 middle schools). You will ultimately have the opportunity to develop the vision for a speech program that will impact thousands of scholars.

The high school speech founding coach is responsible for coaching and teaching speech skills to students so that they are nationally competitive and are able to create and perform their own unique speeches to inspire others. In addition to leading the HS Speech program in its founding year, there will be some teaching responsibilities throughout the year. Uncommon seeks coaches and teachers who are committed to continuously improving curriculum and instruction to close the achievement gap.

  • Plan and teach HS Speech foundational curriculum
  • Build the integrity and reputation of NSAWPHS in the speech and debate community by teaching and modeling integrity, commitment, and diligence
  • Work with students to develop and deliver original speeches that are competitive on the national level
  • Facilitate acquisition of literary material and research information for speeches
  • Work closely with students to select excerpts of the literary material to create a compelling and unique story or twist
  • Teach students theories and skills of cutting the pieces, blocking and technical body work
  • Coach students in both individual and group practices
  • Provide detailed written feedback to students’ speeches and literary pieces to ensure they develop into convincing and coherent stories
  • Conduct practices and drills to reinforce and assess skill development
  • Meet with the speech team during the day and after school
  • Lead regular team practice sessions after school most weekdays
  • Plan and lead sessions that will be a part of the school day
  • Make travel arrangements and accompany students to competitions outside of school
  • Select, organize, and publish a schedule of competitions. This involves responding to or soliciting invitations to tournaments, designing a competition calendar, and completing appropriate documentation
  • Arrange transportation, lodging, and meals for tournaments
  • Submit budget needs annually to the Head of School in accordance with established timelines and guidelines
  • Stay informed of rules, procedures, and judging standards for speech and debate events
  • Accompany the team to local, regional, and national tournaments (which will occur on weekends, either for an entire day or the full weekend) when the team qualifies
  • Continuously assess strengths and weaknesses of the program to improve it from year to year
  • Teach part-time at NSAWPHS (teaching certification is not required)
  • Capture best practices and develop an in-house manual or guiding materials on how to run a successful HS speech program so that it can be launched at 7 other high schools and potentially 24 middle schools
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience as a competitor/coach/judge in Speech/Individual Events.
  • Commitment to the highest intellectual, artistic, and ethical standards
  • Ability to reflectively and continuously work to improve the program in its founding stages
  • Proven history of strong time and task management skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to create and manage a budget
  • Strong communication and leadership skills
  • Ability to prioritize the success of others over their own
  • Drive to improve the minds and lives of students in and out of the classroom
  • Mastery of and enthusiasm for speech and debate
  • Belief in and alignment with Uncommon’s core beliefs and educational philosophy
We offer a competitive compensation package, including a salary significantly above the district scale and comprehensive health benefits.  In addition to extensive professional development, all our teachers are equipped with a laptop computer, email, high-speed internet access, a library budget, and all necessary instructional supplies.

As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

Please note that your application will not be saved until you click “submit” at the end of the application question set. Unfortunately, you will not be able to save your resume or answers as you go along. Please take this into consideration. You are welcome to open the application, copy and paste the questions into a Word Document, and then copy and paste your answers into our application once they are complete. Additionally, if you leave your application before beginning the question set, you will need to upload your resume again in order to move forward with the process upon returning. Thanks in advance for the time you are taking to apply to Uncommon Schools.

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