Idaho Education Association

Idaho Education Association

Executive Director

Based in Boise, ID

The Idaho Education Association (IEA), headquartered in Boise, is the state’s largest professional employee organization. There is an IEA member in virtually every school building across the state working together for the good of students in Idaho public schools and for the education profession.

The IEA was chartered as the Idaho State Teachers’ Association in March, of 1892 when it adopted a constitution and began to use its influence to secure needed legislation necessary for the best interests of public education in Idaho. 35 years later, with the adoption of a new constitution, the Idaho State Teachers’ Association became the Idaho Education Association and continues to this day to pursue its mission: to advocate for Idaho’s education professional and to unite its members and the state to realize the promise of a public education that prepares every student to succeed. Over its long history, IEA has successfully lobbied in support of public education students and its members over professional/instructional issues and adequate funding for Idaho public schools. In 1971, after years of lobbying, a collective bargaining law was enacted and set the stage for IEA to continue to improve the wages, hours and other conditions of employment of public school employees.

IEA’s membership is comprised of elementary and secondary teachers, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students, making the IEA the most inclusive and powerful voice of educators in the state. The IEA provides member workplace advocacy, legal assistance, professional development opportunities, member benefits, and a strong voice for education in the Idaho Legislature.

IEA is organized into local affiliates in urban and rural locations. The IEA is an affiliate of the 3- million member National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest employee organization. IEA is a democratic organization that is governed by the IEA Board of Directors and chaired by the IEA President. The officers (President and Vice President) and members of the 25-member Board of Directors are elected to 3-year terms.

The IEA includes 3- Organizing Centers with 5- regional offices located in Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, Twin Falls and Idaho Falls, and 4 additional regional offices in the Boise headquarters. IEA employs 11 professional and 9 associate bargaining unit staff. The Executive Director coordinates and directs the work of the management team that includes an Associate Executive Director, Attorney, and a Director of Business and Finance.

The Executive Director is appointed by the Board of Directors. The executive director is the chief executive officer of the Association and of the Board of Directors, and the secretary of the Delegate Assembly and the Board of Directors. Under the supervision of the Board of Directors, the executive director administers the affairs of the Association and supervises and directs all of the work of this Association and its committees.

Organizational Management

  • Make all major administrative decisions for the Association
  • Ensure necessary services to local associations, delegating this responsibility as necessary
  • Work in partnership with the IEA President, and in respectful observance of the roles and responsibilities of each
  • Assist the IEA President in planning and organizing governance meetings of the Association
  • Serve as advisor to the Board of Directors and its committees
  • Assist the Board of Directors in understanding its policy development responsibilities
  • Execute organizational policy
  • Serve with the IEA President as the designated official spokesperson of the Association
  • Facilitate internal and external communications
  • Serve as managing editor of any IEA publications
  • Keep abreast of professional and educational trends
  • Serve as the Association’s liaison with all relevant agencies and organizations

Staff Management

  • Serve as chief of staff
  • Provide leadership for staff commitment to Association policy
  • Coordinate and supervise the UniServ program
  • Assign staff resources to programs and projects as deemed necessary
  • Coordinate, direct, and evaluate the work of IEA employees, delegating supervision to other management employees as appropriate

Corporate Management

  • Serve as fiduciary agent to the Board of Directors
  • Facilitate the development of the Association budget with governance
  • Advise the Board of Directors on financial and budgetary conditions
  • Administer and monitor the Association budget
  • Oversee compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
  • Ensure the proper management of all property owned and leased by the Association
  • Direct the collective bargaining with IEA staff and administer the Master Agreement

Program Management

  • Oversee the research, development, and evaluation of programs and their implementation at the local and state levels
  • Advise elected and appointed leadership on program development and implementation
  • Assess effectiveness of program activity
  • Retain ultimate responsibility for the program of legal services, making final decisions on legal actions involving services to members and actions on behalf of the Association
  • Ensure the development and implementation of effective membership recruitment and retention programs for all categories of Association membership

Subsidiaries and Related Organizations

  • Serve as chief executive officer of the IEA Member Benefits Corporation, assigning staff responsibilities, overseeing the financial affairs, and supervising the daily operations
  • Serve as Secretary/Treasurer of the IEA Children’s Fund, advising the officers and Board in all matters and overseeing administration of the Fund
  • Serve as Secretary/Treasurer of the Political Action Committee for Education


  • IEA is recognized in every corner of the state as the voice of education professionals advocating for high quality public education.
  • IEA is led by an elected president and elected board who recognize the need to make strategic changes that are designed to better public education and the professional lives of IEA members.
  • IEA is committed to a culture of organizing in which members are engaged and mobilized to grow and strengthen their local associations in order to improve student outcomes, secure the proper teaching and learning conditions, and achieve educational opportunity and equity for all students.
  • IEA has a long history as a respected champion for social justice, human and civil rights.
  • Idaho is a right- to- work predominantly “red” state with political leanings that span from extreme conservatism to liberal points of view. There is ongoing opportunity to work across these political aisles and across party lines to find common ground.
  • Geographically, politically and socially, IEA extends its relevance across three culturally diverse regions (northern, western and eastern). There is opportunity to continue to build on the strengths of each region across the Association to empower members at the site level to engage and act locally. 
  • There is great opportunity to continue existing and new outreach with partners and community coalitions in support of quality public education and equitable/ adequate funding for all students.
  • The State of Idaho lacks uniformity of approaches and practices that can impact IEA’s ability to uniformly advocate for and engage its members:
    • Teacher and Educational Support Professional salaries differ greatly across the state.
    • 93, of 114 school districts must pass levies in order to support local school district budgets.
    • Most school districts have differing school year calendars, alternative weekly calendars, even different daily start and stop times.
  • Limits to school district release time for IEA members limits association participation. Newer educators are “drowning” in their jobs and struggle under the absence of robust mentoring programs.
  • There is a long-standing teacher shortage statewide; failure to encourage students to enter the profession is a threat to maintaining the quality of public education in Idaho. Idaho therefore continues to lose talent to neighboring states. With low starting salaries, and limited salary raises in the last 4-5 years, attracting new teachers and retaining experienced teachers is difficult. Idaho has adopted alternative routes to certification and has supported the creation of 47 charter school districts that are not held to the same accountability standards as public schools.
  • IEA has a veteran staff with wide ranging experience, knowledge and skills. There is opportunity to position the IEA for relevance to an expanding base of newer members. IEA is poised to identify talent pools and grow the skills and capacity of future-oriented leaders and staff, as baby boomers retire.
  • IEA has an opportunity to re-examine its structures and how it utilizes resources toward the goal of efficiency and efficacy in operations including improved use of staffing and technology.
  • IEA is positioning itself to be the place where members turn for quality professional development by expanding its professional development course offerings, training members to create successful trainings, and offering a quality professional development conference each summer.

The successful candidate must exhibit verifiable past successful management experience in the following:

  • Member Focus
    A leader who values public education and is focused on member needs. Someone who believes in member engagement, trust, and loyalty, and who is committed to fostering strong relationships among the IEA and its members. An experienced leader who has successfully demonstrated an ability to implement high quality programs and services that brings value to members. Demonstrated experience in using data to identify ways and means for offering value to members’ as related to their professional practice and careers. Ensures that the IEA stays vibrant and relevant as the education landscape and the demographics of the workforce continue to evolve.
  • Strategic Planning and Execution
    Has verifiable success in leading organization-wide efforts in planning and driving effective implementation to achieve results. Has demonstrated experience in managing and improving processes. Promotes a global, “big picture” perspective, and champions meaningful innovation. Shows evidence of the use of sound judgment in analyzing issues, recognition of global implications of planned actions, and ability to create strategic advantage.
  • Inspiring Leadership
    A visionary who inspires confidence, with a record of success in organizational innovation and change. An influential public policy advocate who understands the central role educators play in leading change in their professions. An organizer with a solid grasp of the role that leaders and staff play in building member power. An open-minded, nimble leader who can learn while leading and has the flexibility to adapt to political/organizational realities. Has a record of attracting and motivating highly talented staff, along with the ability to coach and mentor. Has a proven record of effective collaboration and relationship-building.

An effective communicator who has excelled in building successful internal and external 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. An ability to juggle multiple projects with clear priorities and to easily articulate the connections between the big picture and specific action plans and timetables.

  • Business Knowledge
    Has a record of long term financial planning, managing finances and resources, and providing accurate information and guidance to governing boards. Has a record of creating fiscal soundness, sustainability, and resource stewardship. Has ability to manage and promote new technology, tools, and business practices to enhance the Association’s interests.


  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four year college or university required; advanced degree preferred.
  • A record of life-long learning, including recent professional development work.
  • A record of successful leadership experience in positions of increasing responsibility including management at a senior level for at least three years.
  • Background in public policy and/or labor advocacy.
  • Experience in public education advocacy preferred.
  • Experience reporting to and advising an elected board of directors.

The IEA is prepared to offer a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience, skills and demonstrated abilities.


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 the following:

Margolies and Potterton
IEA Search Consultants

To protect the integrity of this search and selection process we require that all prospective Executive Director Applicants and their advocates refrain from contacting members of the IEA leadership and/or staff about this position. Any questions, concerns or confidential inquiries about the process should be directed to the Search Consultants listed below:

Jim Potterton
(831) 332-9324 (Pacific time zone)


IEA is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices. We are an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply. Please see the many sites that are available from your web browser for information on the delights and challenges of living and working in Boise, ID.

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