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Chief Development Officer
Start Date: ASAP
Coed Day School PK-3 – Grade 3
140 Students
Bridgeport, CT

Adam J. Lewis Academy

Educators Collaborative is pleased to assist the Adam J. Lewis Academy (AJLA) in its search for a Chief Development Officer, to begin as soon as reasonably possible. AJLA currently houses 140 students in grades PK-3 through Grade 3, adding a grade each year until it reaches the goal of 400 students through Grade 8.

About the School

Adam J Lewis Academy is an entrepreneurial school initiative dedicated to providing a superior education and opportunities to the underserved children and families of Bridgeport Connecticut. AJLA was founded on the belief that all children deserve an excellent education regardless of their geographic or socioeconomic circumstances, that all children have the ability to excel in the classroom, and that to achieve this, it is vitally important to provide pathways to lift not just the student, but the entire family toward a successful outcome.
Originally located in a 2500 square foot house in Bridgeport CT, AJLA was founded in 2013 as a preschool with twelve 3- and 4-year-old children from the desperately underserved Bridgeport community. In 2018, the school began its growth initiative, building from the success and experience of the AJL Preschool to what has become Adam J Lewis Academy. Since the kickoff of that initiative, the following has been accomplished:
  • We completely renovated and moved to a 30,000 square foot building in the heart of Bridgeport CT.
  • We have recently purchased an adjacent building giving us total square footage of 60,000 on approximately 2 acres of property.
  • As of September 2022, we will have PreK 3 and 4, through 4th Grade with approximately 155 students. We are adding one grade per year until we reach PreK – 8th Grade serving 400 children and their families.
  • As we grow, we continue to focus on social-emotional and character development, rigorous academics, nutrition for all, music instruction, and numerous after school activities, as well as programs and opportunities to benefit the entire family.
Most other Private and Charter school systems serving inner-city communities focus only on rigorous academics and experience very high failure rates when the student graduates. This is devastating to the student, it crushes the “yield” on donor commitments and saps the energy of the school from which they came. We think the solution lies in helping the entire family. We have created a robust family support/scaffolding initiative that engages family either within our school or connects them with our partners in Bridgeport. These resources provide pathways for parents and guardians of our kids who are interested in, or in need of help or opportunities in furthering their own education, career development, crisis management, mental health care, resume writing etc. One such successful initiative has been the establishment of the Adam J Lewis Scholarship Fund at Housatonic Community College which provides funding for any parent or guardian of an AJLA student who enrolls at the College. This aggressive family support is truly unique to Adam J Lewis Academy.

About the School & Position

Adam J Lewis Academy seeks a highly motivated, entrepreneurial individual who will join us as the Chief Development Officer at our dynamic and growing school.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Manage and grow our existing portfolio of individual and institutional funders, many of whom are giving at the five and six-figure levels per year, over multiple years.
  • Cultivate new funding from individuals, foundations, and corporations through aggressive outreach via relationship building, grant writing etc.
  • Design tactics and long-term engagement strategy to deepen donor commitment, increase giving, broaden the donor base, and manage stewardship of AJLA’s philanthropy.
  • Prepare and implement a strategic fundraising plan and develop annual development budget and revenue projections.
  • Institute systems to create efficiencies, provide structure and integrate the growing importance of development throughout the school.

Qualification, Skill, and Knowledge Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Graduate degree preferred
  • 5 – 10 years’ experience in fundraising, some management experience preferred.
  • Proven history of raising funds from diverse sources, including major gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • Extensive knowledge of foundations, philanthropies, corporations that share the same philosophy as AJLA.
  • Experience in donor cultivation and solicitation, grant writing, contracts management, and database management
  • Demonstrated commitment to accountability, measuring outcomes and a results-oriented culture.
  • Superior analytical and communication skills (written and verbal).
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Raiser’s Edge, or similar database.
  • Familiarity with donor tracking systems.
  • Understanding of the challenges facing underserved communities.
  • Very strong entrepreneurial skills.


  • Salary range – Commensurate with independent school salaries for like positions
  • Incentive Bonus

How to Apply

Educators Collaborative (EC) is assisting in this search. To learn more about
this opportunity and receive a copy of the EC Candidate Summary and
Disclosure Form, which are needed to complete an application, please contact:

Sally Mixsell at

– Cover letter addressed to the AJLA Search Committee

– EC Candidate Summary Sheet (see above)

– Resume

– 3-5 refences, including phone and email contact and brief
explanation of connection to the candidate

– A completed EC Disclosure Form (see above)

Application materials and inquiries may be submitted to:

Sally Mixsell, Partner, Educators’ Collaborative, LLC

Email:  –  Phone: 203-824-3653

Listing Date: May 31, 2022