MAB Community Services (MAB) seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader to serve as its next Executive Director for the Ivy Street School, one of its three divisions serving the disability community. Ivy Street is one of Massachusetts’ premier schools offering day and residential programming for students with brain injuries, autism spectrum disorder, and/or behavioral health challenges. Supported by an enthusiastic professional team and building on a culture dedicated to transforming the lives of its students, the Executive Director will be responsible for setting the strategic direction of the school in accordance with its vision, mission, and values.
Ivy Street is a leader in innovative therapeutic education and since its founding has transformed the lives of students and families living with neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders. Today, the school engages 48 students in a rigorous curriculum providing a tangible and measurable impact on their social-skill development and overall well-being. With a maximum class size of 7, allowing for a student to faculty ratio of 2:1, Ivy Street is able to offer significant involvement in every aspect of a student’s growth. Students and families are supported by a range of professionals, from cognitive-behavioral therapists, on-site nurses, English language learner specialists, to speech and occupational therapists.
Centrally located in Brookline, Massachusetts, Ivy Street provides unparalleled opportunities for collaboration across the greater Boston community. Students benefit from skilled professionals through long-standing partnerships with neighboring universities like Boston University, Simmons University, and Boston College. Proximity to local shops and restaurants, public transportation, and recreational activities offer a rich experience for students to improve their health and social outcomes.
With an operating budget of $8.8 million and a total of 124 staff members, the role of Executive Director calls for an inspiring, visionary leader with exceptional staff management, operational, and financial skills. The school has established a solid foundation on which to build and is excited to welcome a new leader who will work with MAB’s committed CEO, division peers, and Board of Directors to build on the momentum of the last decade, during which it doubled in size. At a time when there is both significant and growing attention to special education, Ivy Street is poised to play an ever vital and transformational leadership role.
Bringing a successful track record of effective leadership, the Ivy Street Executive Director will build upon an existing strong platform, making certain to continue the tradition of supporting and developing a strong team of professionals as well as partnering with MAB’s other divisional teams. They will also steward and grow financial resources and strengthen operational efficiencies. In particular, the next leader will work with the MAB CEO and the Board to meet the following key opportunities and challenges:
Pedagogical and Therapeutic Innovation
The Executive Director will outline a clear vision for Ivy Street’s future as a preeminent school for youth with neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders. They will be a decisive leader that empowers the staff to work collaboratively beyond Ivy Street and to be at the forefront of innovative therapies and educational programming. While protecting the distinctive aspects that set the organization apart and upholding a commitment to transition all students to independent living, they will be ever identifying new opportunities for growth. Integral to this effort will be building trusting relationships with the dedicated professionals at all levels of the school, leveraging their strengths, and providing robust opportunities for professional development. The success and continued growth of Ivy Street will also be dependent on the full integration and successful collaboration with its peer divisions: Adult Disability Services and Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI).
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
MAB Community Services is a leading voice in the movement to address the systemic issues of inequity that affect the disability community. The next Executive Director will deepen and codify the important work of building an inclusive community for students whose intersectional identities are at the center of their daily interactions in the world. In partnership with human resources and leveraging the expertise of the peer divisions, the Executive Director will prioritize the recruitment and retention of professionals who are representative of the racial, socio-economic, and ability diversity of the student body. The next leader must demonstrate a shared commitment to centering disability-positive programming, as well as venturing to innovate upon this success for the neurodivergent community.
External Relations As a chief ambassador for Ivy Street, the Executive Director will increase the visibility and community-wide understanding of the organization’s mission, goals, and activities, including what differentiates it from other special needs schools. Building upon the successful partnerships with local universities, school districts, families, and business leaders, they will strengthen and broaden partnerships in the region to enrich programming and increase effectiveness. As a forward-thinking and strategic leader, they will engage neurodivergent thought leaders and will transform Ivy Street to be a ground-zero for intellectual innovation and creativity.
The ideal candidate will bring the following personal and professional qualifications and attributes:
• Ability to develop a compelling vision and successfully bring that vision to fruition;
• Experience leading a comparably sized, complex organization or unit with multiple constituencies, including a talented group of professionals;
• Commitment to building diverse teams and to fostering a culture that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion organization-wide;
• Deep appreciation for the unique strengths of individuals living with multiple disabilities;
• Working knowledge of state and federal regulations governing the clinical and educational needs of youth who are neurodivergent;
• Successful stewardship of resources and proven ability to identify new streams of revenue. Experience with facilities management and capital planning;
• Proven track record of establishing clear decision-making processes and channels, including displaying confidence when making hard choices;
• Ability to communicate persuasively and enthusiasm for cultivating strong relationships, both internally and externally;
• Unimpeachable integrity, ethics, high standards of excellence, and an appetite for continuous learning;
• Adept at conflict management; even-keeled and calm even when leading through challenges;
• A sense of humor.
COVID-19 MAB Community Services is not immune to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleagues have been personally impacted and adjustments to the deployment of care MAB-wide have pivoted quickly to protect clients, students, and staff. Since March 16, all but 11 Ivy Street students were sent home and are actively participating in distance learning and virtual programming. During this time, Ivy Street has enrolled 4-day students and a veteran student transitioned to the residential program. These students are also receiving distance learning and virtual programming.
MAB Community Services has retained Isaacson Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Phillip Petree and Berlinda Mojica are leading this search. For more information, to make a nomination, or to apply for this role please visit: www.imsearch.com/7565 All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and application materials (including resume and cover letter), should be directed, in confidence, to:
Phillip Petree and Berlinda Mojica
263 Summer Street Boston, MA 02210
Electronic submissions are strongly encouraged.