Executive Director

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Santa Cruz Mountains/Coast, CA
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:



Full Time/ Year Round/ Exempt; 

Expected Start Date: Late Spring 2019 (Flexible)

Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools (ENH) is looking for a creative Executive Director with demonstrated success in outdoor environmental education.  This individual will be responsible for overseeing programs operating at multiple sites, leading fund development, managing long-term capital plans, and cultivating positive staff culture.  

The Executive Director (ED) will report to an engaged Board of Directors.  The chosen candidate will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the staff, program, partnerships, fundraising, assets and fulfillment of the organization’s mission through each program area.

The ED is the chief executive and decision maker for ENH and is responsible for implementing the mission with our passionate, dedicated staff and board.


Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools provides exceptional outdoor residential education to K-8 students at three unique locations through a rich and relevant curriculum tied to state and national education standards. Serving over 8,000 students from 95 schools annually from the SF Bay Area and the Central Coast, Exploring New Horizons offers customized programs to both large and small groups at our three campuses: Pigeon Point, Loma Mar, and Sempervirens.

ENH is committed to educating and empowering children to make thoughtful, conscious, and sustainable choices for themselves and the environment. By providing children rich educational opportunities to safely explore the natural, un-plugged world, our naturalists foster a sense of adventure and love of learning while encouraging children to creatively envision and work together towards a positive future.  Weaving music, songs and story telling into our unique and relevant curriculum, our programs empower children through a safe and fun approach to learning and self-discovery. This life-changing opportunity instills a deep connection with nature and the joy of learning.

Learn more about the organization and three campuses at our website www.exploringnewhorizons.org.


Candidates must have experience managing a team and a demonstrated ability to facilitate staff development. This person will be able to instill confidence through their actions and communicate expectations clearly. They will also have experience developing, sustaining and maintaining annual and multi-year budgets. The successful candidate must have high levels of organizational skills, displaying advanced planning, resourcefulness, and creativity in addressing problems. This executive should be entrepreneurial and willing to seize opportunities and express curiosity and openness to new ideas. Decisive and accountable decision making is required.

Candidates must display strong communication and personal presentation skills, including an ability to speak and write effectively for a wide range of audiences including donors, professionals, employees and the Board of Directors. They must create a safe and trusting environment which allows the Board, staff, school communities and partnering organizations to collaborate in an open and meaningful way.

The ideal candidate will have a track record of successful fundraising, and experience working with a diverse range of supporters, including those in the local community.  They will be skilled at leading boards and committees, including being an effective listener, keeping groups focused on agenda, engaging all individuals, and bringing groups to consensus.

An advanced degree in a relevant discipline such as non-profit, business, or recreation management or related academic tracks is highly desirable.



  • Work with Finance Manager to create annual budgets for Board approval
  • Set and track revenue and expense goals for all of ENH
  • Assist with facility and employee contracts and negotiations

Leadership & Program Delivery:

  • Effectively manage the leadership team
  • Work closely with the Board and its committees to ensure effective Board governance
  • Develop and implement the annual strategic plan
  • Lead analysis and implementation of new growth initiatives
  • Oversee the implementation of any major program changes by providing guidance and support to the Program Directors
  • Work with the ENH Leadership team to:
    • ensure high-quality program delivery
    • ensure effective staff and volunteer performance
    • ensure feedback from programs is gathered, reviewed, shared with operations team, and used for continuous improvement
    • build out the school year schedule: maintaining current clients and filling vacancies as they occur
  • Be on call for emergencies during residential program weeks (9am Mon. through 3pm Fri.), including some weekends throughout the school year
  • Ensure organizational legal compliance with California state and federal laws, the American Camp Associations’ guidelines, health department codes and internal policies set by the Board

Fundraising and Engagement:

  • Provide leadership and direction for the organization's ongoing financial sustainability
  • Develop annual fundraising plan and goals and oversee implementation
  • Provide support and leadership for special projects, events or fundraisers
  • Establish and cultivate collaborative and strategic partnerships with other non-profit organizations, state and local government agencies, and community leaders
  • Cultivate relationships with potential donors, foundations, and other funders
  • Oversee grant-writing process and work with staff to manage reporting and deliverables
  • Frequently participate in and occasionally lead staff in-services
  • Foster creative, inclusive and driven staff culture aligning with the ENH mission


  • Manage leadership team rehire processes if vacancies occur. Assist Program Directors with other rehires as needed.
  • Actively seek out, recruit and welcome new board members
  • Performs other duties that may be necessary for the best interests of ENH


  • Minimum of 5 years non-profit management & 2 years outdoor education experience
  • Demonstrated success leading large teams (12+), and building strong culture
  • Passion for the impact of outdoor, science-based education
  • Ability to work outdoors in a wide variety of weather conditions & lift/carry up to 30 pounds
  • Maintain a valid driver’s license and have a reliable automobile
  • Ability to pass background screening: Individual will be required to pass criminal background check, personal financial score will be checked and drivers record.


  • Experience developing strategic partnerships to further growth
  • Demonstrated experience in successful financial management (budget of +$1 million)
  • Demonstrated experience building a fundraising program, including experience with donor engagement and grant writing
  • Experience with facility management
  • Knowledge of modern residential program protocols and best practice
  • Demonstrated success acquiring new program participants in a sales role
  • Familiarity with the landscape of environmental education in California: Blueprint for Environmental Literacy, AEOE, NAAEE, BEETLES, NGSS, Common Core, etc.
  • Familiarity and comfort working with Salesforce, Box, Google Suite and QuickBooks    
  • Knowledge of modern residential program protocols and best practices
  • Experience teaching in the classroom or outdoors    

Job Duration:


How to Apply:

Send cover letter and resume to enhjobs@gmail.com. Include “ED application” and “your last name” in the subject line.  Applications accepted and interviews scheduled on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

*All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

Job Compensation:



Compensation Information:

This is an great opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role at Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools.  ENH offers a comprehensive compensation package including a competitive base salary (up to $85k DOE) with wellness stipend ($8,149), two weeks vacation for the first year, increasing one week per year to a maximum of five weeks, and a 403b retirement plan.  Housing is not provided. This position requires the ability to work remotely.

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