Pilot Light seeks a new member for its Board of Directors with expertise in K–12 education and a demonstrated track record of professional leadership and influence in the educational field. As a Board member we expect that your role will help provide Board leadership and oversight and provide expertise as needed to the organization.
As a member of Pilot Light’s Board of Directors, you will have the opportunity to develop a new network of contacts, gain additional leadership experience, and guide Pilot Light’s growth and impact in collaboration with a multi-sector group of individuals passionate about food education.
In addition to the responsibilities outlined in the Board Recruitment Prospectus, this role includes the following additional responsibilities:
Maintain knowledge of the organization’s priorities;
Provide leadership in the Board's oversight and actions related to organizational programming decisions;
Advise the Executive Director, staff, and Board regarding overall program strategy and development, long-range planning, and expansion of K–12 initiatives in alignment with Pilot Light’s mission and strategic goals;
Assist the organization with building relationships with key leaders in education and nonprofit; and
Assist the organization in developing and maintaining key strategic alliances in K–12 education.
Ideal candidates for this role will have the following qualifications:
Demonstrated experience and leadership in education;
A minimum of 5 years experience as an executive in key educational leadership roles and senior administrative positions;
A background that reflects those of the students reached by Pilot Light to amplify their voices;;
Experience with teacher professional development, curriculum development, educational standards and evaluation;
Located in Chicagoland or the ability to travel to Chicago as needed for Board meetings and key functions [Note: video conferencing capabilities are available for remote Board meeting attendance];
Passion for Pilot Light’s mission; and,
Committed to continuing support through donations and developing key donor activities
Pilot Light embraces a philosophy that recognizes, values, and actively seeks diversity among its team. We seek to attract, develop, retain and promote a talented diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship, pregnancy or maternity, national origin, status as an individual with disability, age, ancestry, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.
If interested, please apply by emailing email@example.com with Board Position in the subject line.
Telecommuting is allowed.
About Pilot LIght
Four Chicago chefs–Jason Hammel, Paul Kahan, Matthias Merges and Justin Large–founded Pilot Light in 2010 to make food education part of everyday learning. They collaborated with educators and other experts to develop a unique Common Core-aligned Food Education curriculum that teaches students where food comes from, how it grows, and how the choices they make affect their bodies and the environment. Our lessons were first delivered in a single Chicago Public School where our model was tested, honed, and developed.
In 2016, we launched the Pilot Light Institute for Food Education to provide professional development to teachers and foster our ability to scale to meet the demand for food education. At the Institute, we supported teachers with the delivery of our model and the creation of new lessons. We also fostered teacher connections with community-based organizations and food leaders to embed food advocacy issues into our curriculum and model.
In 2018, Pilot Light released the first ever Food Education Standards, the culmination of a four-year process that partnered teachers, community members, and interdisciplinary experts from across the nation. The Food Education Stan...dards provide a user-friendly way for teachers to create food education experiences for students, maximize the educational benefit within the classroom, and measure the outcomes against evidence-based benchmarks.
Today, through our Institute for Food Education, Food Education Fellowship, Food Education Center, and our newest initiative, Family Meal, we are elevating the field of food education and advancing health knowledge and behaviors. To date, over 7,000 students in dozens of Chicago schools have experienced a Pilot Light lesson. We have trained 150 teachers to deliver food education lessons, which has the potential to impact 20,000 students over the next five years.
Pilot Light achieves our mission through several different programs and initiatives:
Food Education Fellowship
In spring of 2019, Pilot Light expanded the Institute for Food Education by introducing the Food Education Fellowship. Through the Fellowship, a cohort of 13 teachers, passionately committed to food education, deliver Pilot Light lessons weekly allowing for consistent student engagement. Fellows also create at least 10 quality lessons throughout the year, lead school events and professional development sessions, support recruitment of new teachers to the Fellowship, and work with their students on culminating food advocacy projects which address food-related problems in their communities. The Fellowship brings the best of food education and hands-on cooking experiences to students on a frequent and regular basis, providing a means to better measure our impact. Fellows collect and report data on the program and receive monthly professional development and support from Pilot Light as well as stipends and recognition at events and conferences as Chicago Food Education leaders. Through the Fellowship,1,100 children have experienced a total of 10,000 hours of Pilot Light lessons this school year and we hope to match this in 2020-2021.
Food Education Center
In 2019, to foster the dissemination of our lessons and to activate schools and teachers around the power of food education, Pilot Light launched the Food Education Center (FEC), a digital platform from which educators can download lessons and videos that supplement lesson delivery, and access, share, and request resources. By providing free online access to Pilot Light’s instructional materials, an unlimited number of teachers can now integrate food education into existing classroom curriculum, thereby advancing student engagement and wellness.
Today, as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, and instruction has moved online, Pilot Light is leveraging the investment we made in the FEC to promote our digital resources to teachers everywhere. The FEC is searchable by grade level, topic and standard, making it easy for teachers to find lessons they can share with students during distance learning. Each Pilot Light lesson is aligned with at least one Common Core standard, so the lessons advance student achievement and engagement. Since its December 2019 launch, hundreds of teachers have visited the FEC and over 100 have signed up as members. Eighteen hundred students have been reached to date and we hope to reach 8,400 students by the end of the next fiscal year.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools nationwide have shut down, leaving young people, parents, and educators looking for resources to support this transition to distance learning. During this unprecedented time, Pilot Light has worked quickly to create a rich library of resources that uses food education to create opportunities for learning and deeper engagement at home.
In response, we launched a new Family Meal initiative in March. Family Meal is a series of educational cooking videos designed for youth and their caretakers to watch together to connect and learn together through food. The videos reside on the Food Education Center and provide a time of learning and foster deeper connections between us while simultaneously advancing academics and wellness. Family Meal features recipes that are easy-to-follow with ingredients that are affordable and readily available. All of our Family Meal Videos also have written Family Lesson Plans, in English and Spanish, that include the recipe in the video and educational activities including Common Core based activities in English Language Arts and Math and extension activities.
Pilot Light also wanted to find a way to support our partners in the hospitality industry whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19, so we have invited un- or underemployed professionals to create Family Meal videos from their homes and to share their love for and knowledge of food with families across the nation. In exchange, Pilot Light provides them with a generous stipend and support with editing and sharing the family-friendly video and accompanying recipe. This program has reached over 20,000 people since its launch in March 2020.
Pilot Light is a charitable organization incorporated in Illinois in 2012 and recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax-exempt organization. Our tax identification number is 45-5497499. Pilot Light’s Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers are committed to operating with the highest standards of accountability, transparency, and ethics. The organization has earned the 2018 GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency.
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