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Reporting to the President, the Principal and Chief Academic Officer is a cabinet-level leadership role that will lead, inspire, and empower teachers to innovate, integrate teaching and learning experiences across the Academy in alignment with IMSA’s mission and 2022 vision, and nurture a student-centered culture. Model and empower collaboration, risk-taking, and experimentation to shape the future of STEM education in Illinois, nationally, and globally. This individual reports to the President and is a member of the President’s Cabinet.

The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10–12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program. It also serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. 

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) is committed to an equitable, diverse and inclusive teaching and learning environment. IMSA has committed to advancing equity in STEM education and representation and creating a diverse, inclusive community of global citizens who can realize their full potential, and execute our mission to advance the human condition. 

This Equity and Excellence work is the intentional integration of Cultural Competence, Diversity, Equity, Equity-Minded Frame, Excellence and Inclusion into every facet of the Academy, with the understanding that it is an active and ongoing process involving structures, processes and people and not an isolated initiative.

This position will support IMSA's Diversity work by ensuring the delivery of quality, equitable, and inclusive constituent-centered support while promoting and maintaining an inclusive work environment and culture that embraces the diversity of people and perspectives collaborating at IMSA to ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable Accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The Principal and Chief Academic Officer is responsible for, but not limited to:

  • Inspire and empower faculty to nurture a student-centered culture where every student is known, challenged, and supported.
  • Facilitate the creation and execution of a cohesive, ambitious, innovative academic agenda and related strategy that ensure coherence and integration between the academic, residential and outreach programs in collaboration with the Academy’s faculty and leadership.
  • Co-create and support staffing and process structures that increase and enhance scholarship, innovation, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning across the Academy.
  • Guide a process for selecting and developing a distinguished faculty and academic professionals.
  • Monitor data reflecting student data with an eye for closing equity gaps and ensuring students pursue enrichment.
  • Ensure continuous improvement and quality teaching and learning through modeling and embracing feedback and self-flection and fostering mutual respect.
  • Guide the development and execution of a vision for appropriate technology integration into teaching and learning.
  • Facilitate the implementation of IMSA’s equity and excellence policy, including co-creating innovative and culturally responsive programs that develop talent and leadership in STEM in collaboration with key stakeholders.

Hours/Shift/Work Schedule:  As an exempt employee, the incumbent is expected to work the necessary schedule to successfully complete the requirements of the position; typically, M - F 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M, with evening and weekend hours for reports, emails, activities and events.



  • Significant leadership and teaching experience in secondary or higher education
  • Demonstrable research or scholarly contributions to your field
  • Demonstrable significant leadership experience, including managing professional, exempt-level direct reports
  • Master’s required; Doctorate preferred


Personal Qualities

  • Honesty/Integrity. Earns trust and maintains confidences. Acts ethically and keeps commitments.
  • Thoughtful and Reflective. Is proactive, deliberate, solicits feedback from colleagues, faculty, students, and parents and creates and nurtures a culture of mutual respect and collaboration.
  • Emotional Intelligence. Demonstrates the ability to effectively recognize, understand and manage one’s own emotions, as well as effectively recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. Uses such knowledge to guide thinking, behavior and problem-solving.
  • Knowledge and Experience working with Advanced Learners. Demonstrates knowledge and experience meeting the unique needs and challenges of advanced learners who are culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse.
  • Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done.

Professional Skills

  • Organization and planning. Plans, organizes, prioritizes, schedules and budgets in an efficient, productive, collaborative, and timely manner. Focuses on key priorities.
  • Analytical thinking. Structures and processes qualitative or quantitative data and draws insightful conclusions from it.
  • Effective Leadership. Demonstrates empowering, purposeful, inclusive, relationship-building abilities that inspires trust, supports transparency, and fosters collegiality and collaboration across the Academy and in the community. Demonstrates ability to envision, lead and manage innovative initiatives. Excellent communicator. Adapts quickly to changing priorities and conditions. Distributes leadership and cultivates leadership in others. Demonstrates leadership tact-knows when to lead from the front and when to lead from behind.
  • Effective decision-making. Uses and communicates decision making methods, such as command, consult, vote, and consensus as appropriate. Is decisive.

Equity and Social Justice Competencies

  • Champions the growth and needs of the academic programs staff, including faculty, within a collaborative environment that takes into account the needs and goals of the entire organization.
  • Cultural competence. Effectively communicates and collaborates with diverse individuals and groups; applies positive strategies to confront social issues, including discrimination, bias and stereotype threat; and uses this competence to inform teaching and learning practices.
  • Equity-minded. The data-driven outlook and perspectives that call attention to patterns of inequity in access, outcomes and retention as institutional problems, in an effort to develop systemic strategies within the control of the Academy that address these inequities. This includes being willing to have robust discussions about identity-based inequities.


Work is performed in an office setting with minimal exposure to health or safety hazards. Substantial time is spent working on a computer. This role generally requires mobility, written and verbal communication, hearing and visual capabilities. However, reasonable accommodations, including assistive technology, may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform such requirements.



This position is a full-time twelve-month position.  Salary and benefits are commensurate with training and experience expected at this level of leadership in comparable institutions.  The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy offers an excellent comprehensive benefits package including health and retirement benefits. The State Universities Retirement System (SURS) is reciprocal with other Illinois public retirement systems such as the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois (TRS) and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a letter of interest, complete and current resume/CV, and a statement of equity in education. Primary consideration will be given to applicants submitting all required materials on or by May 5, 2023. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until this position is filled.

 We are seeking a diverse applicant pool. 

Link to District/Third Party Online Application Web Page


Job Posting Date


Start Date