Executive Director : South Carolina

Executive Director

Based in Columbia, SC

Announcement of opening for the position of Executive Director of the South Carolina Education Association


The South Carolina Education Association (The SCEA), headquartered in Columbia, is the most respected association of education employees in the state of South Carolina. With its mission to be the leading advocate for educational change in South Carolina, The South Carolina Education Association serves as the advocate for its members and every child by empowering its members. 

The organization that we know of today as The South Carolina Education Association is a product of a 1967 merger between the Palmetto Education Association and the South Carolina Education Association. The Palmetto Education Association, an organization of African American teachers, could trace its roots back to 1900. The organization of white educators, the South Carolina Education Association, dates back as far as 1851 and evolved from the combination of several South Carolina teacher organizations.  The SCEA proudly celebrated the 50th anniversary of this historic merger on April 1, 2017.

Members of The SCEA include public school K-12 teachers, education support professionals, school administrators, students enrolled in teacher education programs, higher education faculty, and retired educators.  The SCEA provides members with a powerful pro-public education voice in the South Carolina General Assembly and local school boards.  The SCEA also provides their members the opportunity for professional growth and development, workplace advocacy, legal assistance, and a host of member benefits.

The SCEA has members in all 46 counties in South Carolina and is an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest employee organization.

The Executive Director is The SCEA’s chief executive officer, who leads a staff of 15, 10 full-time and 5 part-time employees.  The Executive Director is directly responsible to the 22-member Board of Directors who set Association policy, and serves as a non-voting member of the Board.  The Executive Director is charged with advising the Board, managing the resources of The SCEA, and advancing the long-term vision and strategic direction of the Association guided by The SCEA Constitution and Bylaws, The SCEA Board of Directors, and local, state and federal laws and regulations.


  • Institutional Leadership – lead with vision, adaptability, creativity, and integrity to execute the policies of The SCEA’s board. 
  • Corporate Management – advise and facilitate the development of The SCEA budget, administer and monitor the budget, ensure the fiscal health of the association, oversee compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, evaluate and manage risk, and ensure the proper management of all property owned and leased by the Association as The SCEA pursues its mission and vision.
  • Public Education Advocacy – champion public education in South Carolina, including building collaborative relationship between The SCEA and external stakeholders  to shape the highest professional standards for education policy.
  • Organizing – foster an organizing culture that grows the association while advancing the interests of South Carolina students and educators.
  • Staff Relations – as chief of staff, provide leadership for staff commitment to the Association’s mission, vision, and strategic plan, ensure compliance with The SCEA’s policies; prioritize and assign staff resources to programs and projects as necessary; coordinate, direct, and evaluate the work of The SCEA’s employees while fostering a collegial relationship; build effective relationships with management and the staff union; and successfully support management and staff to ensure the highest quality work on behalf of The SCEA’s members.


  • The SCEA is recognized in the state of South Carolina as the leading voice of education professionals advocating for the highest quality public education.
  • There is opportunity to position The SCEA for increased relevance to an expanding base of educators new to the profession.
  • There is opportunity for The SCEA to continue to strengthen its local associations and worksite leadership to engage and grow its membership.
  • Support for public education is high in South Carolina and there is great opportunity to engage and support educators, parents, and community members who are opposed to privatizing and eliminating local control of their public schools.
  • The SCEA is a bipartisan organization and there is ongoing opportunity to work across political aisles to find common ground on issues of public education.
  • The SCEA is led by an elected president and elected board who are committed to developing a forward looking strategic plan designed to better public education and the professional lives of The SCEA’s members.
  • The SCEA is committed to a culture of organizing in which members are engaged and mobilized to grow and strengthen their local associations to improve student outcomes, secure the proper teaching and learning conditions, and achieve educational opportunity and equity for all students regardless of their zip code. 


Inspirational Leader
A forward thinker who has a record engaging, coaching and developing people. A visionary leader who respects others. A public school advocate who understands organizing and the role played by both staff and elected leaders. A leader who can influence others verbally and in writing and is able to adapt to political/organizational realities and make adjustments as needed. One who can build relationships, manage conflict, and manage change.

Member Focus
A leader who values public education and is focused on supporting members in their professional practice. Someone who develops plans that promote member engagement and loyalty. A person who has successfully demonstrated an ability to implement high quality effective programs and services that bring value to members. Demonstrated experience in using data to manage and improve processes while creating a strategic advantage for the Association and its members.

Business Knowledge
A leader who has a record of managing finances and resources. Someone who promotes resource stewardship to insure the sustainability of the Association. A leader who thinks strategically when using the Association’s resources.


  • A minimum of 6 years of leadership experience in positions of increasing responsibility, with at least three years of management at a senior level preferred
  • Background in public policy and/or labor advocacy preferred
  • Experience in public education advocacy preferred
  • Experience reporting to and advising an elected board of directors


  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Graduate Degree preferred
  • Evidence of continuing professional development

The SCEA is prepared to offer a competitive salary and benefits package consistent with experience, skills, and demonstrated abilities.

To be considered for this position, please provide the following:

  • A current resume reflecting qualifications for this position
  • A Letter of Application which specifically addresses how accomplishments in your career have prepared you to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in this position.

All materials must be sent electronically to the following:

Margolies and Potterton
The SCEA Executive Director Search

For all questions regarding this search, including confidential inquiries, please contact:

Ken Margolies (East Coast)                                Jim Potterton (West Coast)
       Kam47@cornell.edu                                      jpotterton@sbcglobal.net
(845) 499-6636  (Eastern time zone)                    (831) 332-9324 (Pacific time zone)


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