Educational Leader-Center Director

Apply now Job no: 507946
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 012102 - Human Sciences- Early Childhood
Location: Harrison County
Categories: Professional, Head Start Positions
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

This position will serve as the educational lead for one center in the Head Start program.

Salary Grade:  13

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

Throughout its history, Mississippi State University-Extension has demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to programs that directly impact young children and their families. In the past decade, MSU-Extension has distinguished itself as Mississippi’s premier infrastructural support of high-quality early childhood education.

Anticipated Appointment Date:

August 2024. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Responsibilities for this position will include the following:
• Ensure full implementation of all aspects of MSU-Extension early learning system,
policies/procedures and tools, with the goal of supporting all children to achieve School
Readiness Goals.
• Onboard, supervise, and support all teaching staff (lead teachers, assistant teachers, and
• Provide ongoing coaching to teaching staff to support teaching staff in successfully
fulfilling all aspects of their role, including but not limited to effective practices in CLASS,
Teaching Strategies Gold, curriculum, and child assessment.
• Working with families and support services
• Positive ambassador for the MSU-Extension Early/Head Start program
• Maintains program confidentiality at all times
• Serve as education lead for the center, overseeing implementation of all aspects of
education services and providing teachers with supervision, training, coaching and
• Support the effective implementation of the education content area, implementing all
relevant policies and procedures.
• Work with teachers to implement program curriculum that incorporates all elements and
meets all standards established by MSU-Extension (in compliance with Head Start
standards and best practices).
• Assist the Assistant Director of Education with the oversight and approval of weekly lesson
plans, including individualization and all other required elements.
• Ensure that teachers integrate goals from Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for children
with disabilities (in consultation with Assistant Director of Education, Local Education
Agency/School District, and other support services).
• Work in conjunction with the Center Operations Coordinator to ensure the completion of
all required child screenings and assessments, including 45 and 90-day requirements for
new children and quarterly progress assessments for all children.
• Participate in team meetings, home visits, and community events as needed.
• Provide teachers with coaching and support for quality improvement and professional
growth through regular observation and formal and informal feedback.
• Support Family Advocates to implement all aspects of family services program, including
support and monitoring of Shine On, Families curriculum.
• Ensure parents are integrally involved in developing the program’s curriculum and
approach to child development and education through regular meeting with Policy Council
members and others.
• Model strong, positive relationships with families.
• In collaboration with Center Operations Coordinator, assist with staff supervision, ensure
completion of all human resources activities, and ensure compliance with relevant policies
and procedure, including completion of annual performance evaluations of staff.
• Lead regular team meetings to ensure effective communication and service coordination.
• Ensure families receive monthly newsletter.
• Actively participate in Head Start/Early Head Start community, including staff meetings,
mandated trainings, committee meetings, and other program-wide functions as needed,
including some evening activities.
• In collaboration with the Center Operations Coordinator, ensure complete and accurate
implementation of all MSU-Extension required systems for recordkeeping and reporting,
including child and family files, employee timekeeping, and purchase of supplies.
• Review weekly MBI (managing by information) and monthly MBI + reports and ensure all
concerns are addressed in a timely fashion.
• Review quarterly MBO (managing by outcomes) report and ensure all concerns are
addressed in a timely fashion.
• Review quarterly and annual child outcomes data and oversee teacher planning to help all
children make developmental gains.
• Participate in annual program self-assessment.
• Implement all monitoring systems required by MSU-Extension, Head Start, childcare l
licensing, CACFP, or other agencies.
• Serve on the leadership team of the MSU-Extension program, attending regular meetings
and occasional retreats.
• Participate in annual and quarterly planning to set, plan for, and monitor program goals.
• Improve quality and effectiveness of education service area and overall organization by i
initiating, sponsoring and implementing organizational change and by helping others to
successfully manage organizational change.
• Attend parent committees, Policy Council and board of director meetings as needed or
• Recognize that your job description is service area specific but not limited to:
confidentiality, child abuse reporting, attendance and dependability, appropriate dress,
customer service and support to all families, prudent use of program resources, and
promoting and maintaining safe work environment.
• All other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

• Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or field related to children and families.
• Two years' of experience directly related to the following:
- Experience teaching in an early childhood setting
- Experience managing an infant/toddler or preschool program
- Experience with collaborations and community partnerships
• Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
• Physical exam and background checks are required for this position.
• An equivalent combination of related education and related experience may be considered for this position.

Preferred Qualifications:

• Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education or field related to children and families preferred.
• Experience with supervision, management, and/or coaching in an early childhood setting
• Experience with Creative Curriculum model and Teaching Strategies, Gold Assessment system. Reliable in CLASS, ITERS-R and/or ECERS-R.
• Background in special education/inclusion or prior early childhood experience in leadership role in center-based program.
• Bilingual in Spanish-English

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Ability to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
• Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.
• Demonstrated computer literacy skills, using MS Office applications and other basic data systems including internet navigation.
• Must be honest, dependable and able to meet deadlines.
• Self-motivated and able to work independently.
• Knowledgeable of MS Child Care Licensing Standards and Head Start Performance Standards
• Knowledgeable of CLASS
• Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.)

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

Physical Requirements:
• Ability to stand, walk, and bend.
• Ability to engage in repetitive movement of wrists, hands, and fingers – typing and/or writing.
• Ability to work frequently at close visual range (i.e. preparing and analyzing data and figures, accounting, transcription, computer terminal, extensive reading).
• Ability to receive and respond to oral communication.
• Ability to exert up to 40 pounds of force to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

All applicants MUST apply online at to be considered for this position.

The following documents and information are required for application:
• Cover Letter
• Resume
• Contact information for at least three professional references
• Current unofficial transcript (with social security numbers removed prior to submission)

An official transcript will be required if selected for employment.

Screening Date:

July 8, 2024, until filled. 

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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