Program Director of Breakthrough Manchester

The Derryfield School
Job Description

Breakthrough Manchester is a six-year, summer-intensive, tuition-free academic program with year-round support for promising middle and high school students with limited opportunities.  These motivated students are in turn taught by talented high school and college students who are trained and mentored by Breakthrough staff and professional educators. Through this unique “students-teaching-students'' model, the program provides a path to college for its younger students while inspiring older students to consider careers in teaching and educational leadership.  Breakthrough Manchester is an affiliate of the Breakthrough Collaborative, a national network of programs that touch the lives of thousands of youth through this model. For more information, visit

The Derryfield School founded Breakthrough Manchester, and has been its host and partner since the program's inception in 1991. The independent program falls under Derryfield’s 501c3 umbrella. In 2016, Breakthrough Manchester College-Bound was established at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to provide ongoing programming for Breakthrough students through high school and college matriculation. In addition to Derryfield and SNHU, Breakthrough partners with the Manchester School District to support students and families.

The Program Director's position is multi-faceted.  

The Program Director is responsible for the planning and operational management of the middle school academic program, including school-year Saturdays and the 9-week intensive summer session. Responsibilities include hiring and supervising seasonal staff, managing interns and/or work-study students, recruiting and retaining students, developing master schedules and transportation routes, tracking metrics of student success, maintaining collaborative relationships with Manchester middle and high schools, coordinating with the College-Bound Breakthrough program hosted at SNHU, providing logistical support to the Executive Director and assisting with advancement projects and other initiatives that support the overall institutional success of Breakthrough. 

  • Model Breakthrough spirit and culture while managing the program through a lens of social justice with the values of diversity, belonging, equity and inclusion at the forefront

  • Manage the recruitment and admission process for a cohort of new sixth graders from Manchester public schools each year while also managing the retention of current seventh and eighth graders in the program

  • Manage the selection of area high school students as school-year teachers and advisors to Breakthrough students

  • In partnership with the Executive Director manage the recruitment, selection and hiring of college undergraduates for the 9-week, paid summer Teaching Fellowship 

  • Work closely with students and families to communicate programmatic events and information

  • Foster a climate that attracts, retains and motivates a diverse year-round and seasonal staff of high-quality people

  • With the Executive Director, manage a dynamic and high-performing team of 30+ seasonal staff during the summer

  • Develop policies and procedures to support an effective, engaging, high-functioning and efficient organization that holds all participants to high standards 

  • Ensure effective program assessment and evaluation 

  • Design and lead or co-lead teacher training sessions

  • Work with Instructional Coaches to support and develop the program's young faculty

  • Provide leadership and oversight of the program's nine-week summer session and school-year Saturday programming at The Derryfield School 

  • Plan and oversee program calendars, schedules, space, and all logistics 

  • Supervise temporary and seasonal assistants (work-study students, operations assistants, etc.)

  • Recruit and supervise volunteers for Breakthrough recruitment and other occasional events

  • Support a successful and productive learning community that values high-expectations, perseverance, leadership, and collaboration for both students and Teaching Fellows

  • Coordinate efforts with each of the Manchester School District’s middle schools to follow students’ academic progress, recommending or providing additional support as needed

  • Contribute ideas, concepts and artifacts for the development of program materials including brochures, annual reports, and newsletters, working closely with the Director of Philanthropy and Communications

  • Collaborate with the Breakthrough Collaborative and other affiliates on conference calls and attend national conferences (1-2 per year)

  • Work closely with the Breakthrough College-Bound Administrator at SNHU to develop annual objectives and align student transition to the high school program 

  • Be a positive ambassador throughout the Manchester Community for Breakthrough Manchester, promoting the program’s mission and advocating for student success


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred

  • 3+ years of teaching and/or education administration experience at the middle or high school level, or equivalent work experience

  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of diversity, belonging, equity and inclusion practices

  • Prior experience with Breakthrough or similar intensive academic/youth organization with a focus on equitable access 

  • Proven management, organizational, and leadership skills, including the ability to initiate and follow through on ideas and complex projects 

  • Ability to work effectively in many different environments with people from diverse backgrounds (ethnic, socioeconomic, educational, professional, generational)

  • Excellent writing and communication skills

  • A strong sense of purpose and vision for expanding educational opportunities for youth

  • Creativity, enthusiasm and resilience

  • Willingness and ability to work flexible hours, including multiple evenings and occasional Saturdays

  • The ideal candidate must possess a rock-solid work ethic and a love for learning, teaching, and the development of adolescents/young adults ages 12-22 

Skills and Knowledge

  • Strong understanding of issues affecting educational equity and access to higher education, especially by students under-represented on college campuses

  • An appreciation of stages of adolescence from middle school through college age  

  • Positive, high-energy, can-do spirit; resilience and perseverance

  • Familiarity with college-preparatory curriculum 

  • Poised communicator and motivator; ability to write and speak persuasively and to build and empower an effective team

  • Proven leadership skills

  • Experience in selecting and supervising people with strong, but still developing, teaching and relationship-building skills

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team with exceptional initiative and judgment 

  • Exceptional organizational skills, including the ability to initiate and follow through on ideas and projects, both independently and collaboratively

  • Demonstrated ability to manage and sequence complex projects and to anticipate required logistics  

  • Strategic and respectful "bridge builder" able to foster partnerships with people of diverse socio-economic, cultural, and political backgrounds; cultural humility

  • Proficiency with various computer and web-based systems including Google applications and databases

Physical and Psychological Demands

  • Must be physically and mentally capable of performing multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment

  • Must be physically fit enough to hike with middle school students

  • Must be capable of using a visual display terminal with keyboard

  • Must have a strong commitment to and ability to execute superior customer service

  • Must be able to provide and accept critical feedback and direction in a professional manner

  • Must be a team player and consistently exhibit the following qualities:

    • Strong evidence of commitment and loyalty to the program’s vision and mission

    • Trustworthiness and the ability to fully trust other team members and superiors

    • Communication skills to address conflicts in a timely and professional manner

    • Ownership and accountability for work and mistakes

    • Consistent and superior attention to details and results

The position is full-time (12 months) and qualifies for generous health insurance and benefits. 


  • Salary is commensurate with experience and degree of behavioral fit with described characteristics.  Includes a generous benefits package. 

Application Instructions:

Please email your resume, complete contact information (including phone and email) for three relevant references, and a thoughtful cover letter outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position. Your cover letter should indicate your salary expectations for this year-round position.  Materials should be emailed to Deborah Bremberg for initial review at  Anticipated start date is August 29, 2022. No phone calls please. EOE.

Contact Information