Communications and Graphic Design Associate

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Organization Ascend Public Charter Schools
Location Brooklyn
Classification Development/Fundraising
Job Type Full-Time
Date of posting 06/13/2017


Ascend is a network of K-12 public charter schools serving 4,000 students across 10 schools in Central Brooklyn. Our mission is to lead our students on a great intellectual journey, providing them with an exceptional education and placing them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond.

We guide our students to think critically and independently and to enjoy education as an end in itself. We teach a rich and rigorous liberal arts curriculum that nurtures students' natural curiosity about the world. We foster a positive, non-punitive school culture where students feel connected, empowered, and safe to take academic risks. Even our school buildings are designed to reflect our high aspirations for teaching and learning and the notable accomplishments that occur within our walls. By offering a rich liberal arts education in a supportive environment, we animate children's natural sense of curiosity and prepare students to think on their own, thrive on their own, and engage the world as informed, responsible citizens.

In school year 2017-2018 we will educate more than 4,000 students at five lower schools, four middle schools, and one high school. Ascend's college-preparatory liberal arts curriculum and warm and supportive school culture equip teachers with the tools to achieve exceptional academic outcomes and close the achievement gap in Central Brooklyn.

About the position

Ascend is at a pivotal point in its development. Having grown from a network office of seven staff to almost 60, and from four schools to 10, in five years, and having developed a unique educational and cultural model that is driving ever-increasing academic success, Ascend has now adopted a five-year growth plan to double the number of schools operated and students served.

Ascend's ability to compellingly and consistently convey its unique value proposition to talent recruits, funders, and families is critical to the successful achievement of our ambitious goals. We seek a highly creative and energetic individual to work with the organization's senior management to implement an effective branding and communications strategy. Reporting to the president, the communications manager will develop and execute a strategy to effectively communicate Ascend's mission and value proposition to its key audiences through web, social media, print, and advertising.

This is an ideal opportunity for an entrepreneurial individual with proven expertise in communications and marketing, and great skill in crafting powerful messages, to play an instrumental role in driving the successful growth of one of the largest charter management organizations in Brooklyn. Your talents and agility will be constantly tapped and rewarded as you improve Ascend's ability to offer growing numbers of students an extraordinary education.

The communications and graphic design associate will

  • with the communications manager, collaborate with the student recruitment team to create collateral, email campaigns, and develop other marketing and family engagement activities to ensure the organization meets its annual goals for student recruitment and enrollment
  • with the communications manager, collaborate with the talent recruitment team to support Ascend's ambitious hiring goals by producing high-quality talent-focused marketing and event collateral, managing vendors to drive on-time execution of deliverables, and spearheading updates to Ascend's website and social media channels
  • manage and monitor the Ascend website and blog, regularly reviewing metrics, scanning the site, and making updates to ensure accuracy of information and messaging, as well as recommending enhancements to content, design, and user experience based on data; explore and implement strategy for supporting school websites
  • create a social media calendar for Facebook and Twitter (and, with talent team, LinkedIn); regularly report on data and suggest changes based on these metrics; and, as relevant, recommend new platforms that would benefit the network's goals
  • collaborate with the technology team on our video platforms and the development of a robust and well-organized YouTube channel
  • in collaboration with the communications manager, draft and manage execution of the network's email marketing to both external and internal audiences, creating a calendar for monthly emails to external audiences (featuring blog posts) and regular emails to internal audiences (Inside Ascend)
  • assist in the creation of compelling collateral, including one-sheets and potentially an annual report, for development efforts
  • develop and maintain a communications calendar (in collaboration with student and talent recruitment) to provide a quick view of cross-network communications and events, including social media, events, blog posts, emails, Inside Ascend newsletters, and more
  • support materials preparation and event execution for development, communications, board meetings, and other events
  • submit vendor invoices for approval and ensure on-time payment by Ascend's finance team

Staff and reporting relationships

The communications and design associate will report to the communications manager of Ascend Learning.

  • bachelor's degree, with a superior academic background
  • a record of success in a communications position requiring complex planning, management of large documents, and exacting attention to detail
  • maturity and professional judgment; ease in working with senior staff
  • exceptional attention to detail; insistence on accuracy and absence of errors in written communications
  • excellent design skills and aesthetic sensitivity
  • excellent writing, verbal, graphic, and presentation skills, including clarity and attention to tone
  • excellent editing and proofreading skills
  • ability to juggle multiple tasks
  • professional demeanor, reliability, and outstanding work ethic
  • expert use of Microsoft Office applications including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
  • expert use of Adobe Creative Cloud (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Bridge)
  • proficiency with MailChimp or other email marketing platforms, web editing tools, and social media platforms
  • expert use of social media applications, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • a hunger for feedback and an openness to engage in a process of self-improvement
  • a can-do attitude, initiative, and an orientation to solutions over problems
  • excellent people skills, and personal attributes of flexibility, good cheer, and a sense of humor

Diversity at Ascend

Ascend is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community, both through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working and educating students. Ascend staff represent a wide diversity of racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities—opening a window to the entire Ascend community on the richness of humanity. We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to join us in our deeply consequential work.


Ascend Learning offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package.


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