SCEA - South Carolina Education Association

The South Carolina Education Association

Executive Director

Based in Columbia, SC


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.

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 comprising both full-time and part-time employees, including individuals in positions funded through grants.  The Executive Director is directly responsible 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.
  • The SCEA has an opportunity for increased relevance to an expanding base of educators new to the profession.
  • The SCEA has an opportunity to continue to strengthen its local associations and worksite leadership to engage and grow its membership.
  • The SCEA has an opportunity to leverage fresh perspectives of early career educators while capitalizing on veteran educators’ guidance and institutional knowledge.  
  • The SCEA recognizes that 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.

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.

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.

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.

Inspirational Leadership
A passionate public education advocate with a proven organizational leadership record and who understands the central role educators play in leading change in their profession— a visionary leader who has confidently engaged others to be proactive in creating the future they desire.

Must be an empathetic leader with a demonstrated, successful record of attracting and empowering a highly talented staff and is skilled at coaching and mentoring and possess a record of success in building and maintaining effective coalition partnerships. A courageous leader who has shown organizational savvy and flexibility in confronting and adapting to challenging and changing political/organizational realities, and willing to voice respectful and effective dissent when and where appropriate. An effective communicator and active listener with emotional intelligence who has built successful relationships with diverse groups of people with varying perspectives.


  • A minimum of 5 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 résumé reflecting your qualifications for this position.
  • A Letter of Application that specifically addresses how your career accomplishments have prepared you to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in this position.

All materials must be sent electronically to:

The SCEA Search Consultant:
Patricia Johnson, Managing Partner: patjohnson@unionsearch.org

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




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