Indiana State Teachers Association

Indiana State Teachers Association

Executive Director

Based in Indianapolis, IN


The Executive Director is ISTA’s general manager, who leads a staff of 65 employees and is responsible for managing a nearly 20-million-dollar budget. The Executive Director is directly responsible to the 37-member Board of Directors who set Association policy. The Executive Director is charged with adeptly advising the Board, managing and skillfully representing the long-term vision and strategic direction of the Association guided by the ISTA Bylaws, ISTA governing bodies, and local, state and federal laws and regulations. The Executive Director also serves on the Boards of the Indiana Political Action Committee for Education (I-PACE) and the ISTA Foundation, and serves as CEO and Trustee on the I.S.T.A. Insurance Trust (Trust).

The ISTA is at an exciting point in its history as it moves through its vision for the 21st century and toward an expanding recognition as the preeminent advocate for and champion of public education in Indiana. Within a broad mandate to lead in this transformation, the Executive Director must face and embrace several interrelated opportunities and challenges:

  • Encourage political action and strengthen external relationships to influence legislation that results in pro-public education policies and proper implementation that align with ISTA’s mission, vision and core values. The Executive Director must directly and indirectly maintain effective relationships and partnerships with other educational, labor and business organizations, and with the governor, state legislature, and other government officials and their staffs.
  • Work in partnership with elected officers and Board to provide visionary leadership that is committed to engaging members as empowered activists. ISTA will require continued focus on internal capacity building in the interest of growing and strengthening the membership by addressing member needs that demonstrate the relevance, power and value of union membership.
  • Model a leadership style that supports diversity and professional growth and that creates an environment where governance, management, and staff are empowered to achieve ISTA's mission. The Executive Director must establish strong, trusting, mutually supportive relationships with each stakeholder group in a complex environment with multiple priorities.
  • Exhibit a clear understanding of how local, state and national politics affect public education. It is important for the Executive Director to maintain awareness of current issues and challenges in public education and the increasing global implications of education reform and privatization efforts. The Executive Director is responsible for working with the Board to ensure that the necessary resources are provided to enable ISTA members to claim their place at the table and that they are supported in defining true partnership with schools, districts, and state leaders.
  • Respect and respond to the demands of a member-directed democratic and empowered environment, and ensure that decisions are made and action is taken. While working under the direction of the officers and Board, the Executive Director recognizes and embraces the responsibility to act decisively and engage staff in moving the organization forward.
  • Work to align the staff and membership to serve local affiliates and strengthen relationships between the field and headquarters. ISTA's organizational focus strives to unify and empower members to develop strong and effective local affiliates, to provide resources and leadership for professional growth, and to advocate for public education and public education employees.

Member Focus
A leader who values public education, focused on member needs, believes in member engagement, trust, and loyalty, and is committed to fostering strong relationships among ISTA and its members. An influential leader, who understands membership, can increase membership density, and has effectively led innovative strategies, programs, initiatives, and policies designed to attract and increase new membership.

Interpersonal Effectiveness.
An effective communicator who has excelled in building successful relationships. Has an established record of fostering teamwork and consensus, effectively managing conflict, provoking creative problem solving and risk taking, and is inclusive of diverse individual and cultural perspectives.

Strategic Planning and Execution.
Documented experience in leading organizational wide efforts in planning, implementation, process improvements, innovation, financial management and building high performance work teams. A record of executive leadership in strategic planning that required significant organizational change, including experience utilizing reliable methods to ensure accountability and timeliness in the execution of strategic goals and objectives. Strong ability to delegate but resists the urge to micro-manage. Specific evidence that reveals past approaches to work that demonstrate personal prowess in assessing benefits and risks toward a goal of creating strategic advantage. An ability to juggle multiple projects with clear priorities and articulate the connections between the big picture and specific action plans and timetables.

A public education advocate who understands the central role educators play in leading change in their profession. Proven record of senior organizational leadership marked by a passion for education. A visionary leader who has confidently engaged others to identify and work toward common goals. Capable and willing to voice respectful and effective dissent when and where appropriate.

Evidence of success in achieving desired outcomes when leading organizational innovation and change. A nimble leader, who is capable of learning while leading, exercised political savvy and flexibility in adapting to changing political/organizational realities. Past success in leading significant campaigns and projects.

A demonstrated ability to manage effectively in a unionized environment. An organizer with a solid grasp of the appropriate role that staff play in building member power. Has a demonstrated, successful record of attracting and motivating highly talented staff and is highly skilled at coaching and mentoring others. Has success in building and/or maintaining coalition partners.


  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university. Master’s Degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of middle or senior management experience in positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Background in labor advocacy and collective bargaining experience desired.

Salary Range for this position is $165,000 – $175,000 with room for negotiation, consistent with experience, skills and demonstrated abilities. ISTA also offers a generous and competitive benefits package.

To be considered for this position please provide the following

  • A current résumé 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 ISTA Search Consultant:

Margolies Potterton & Associates
Patricia Johnson, Business Manager: patjohnson@unionsearch.org

For confidential inquiries, questions, salary information, or to schedule a call, please email Patricia Johnson.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 4, 2024 at 5:00 PM (EST)


WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.