Executive Director – Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association

25 August 2023

Appears in: Career - External

We have an exciting opportunity for an Executive Director that is passionate about Catholic education to join a non-profit organization based in Edmonton.

The Executive Director (ED) is accountable to the Board of Directors, works collaboratively with the Bishops and boards across Alberta, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, and plays a critical role in stewarding the organization in the achievement of its mission, vision and values. The ED will facilitate cooperative decision-making and stimulate collaborative action amongst its members, partners, and stakeholders in order to support the strategic direction of the organization and the advancement of its goals and objectives. The ED will play an instrumental role in facilitating and supporting school boards and the trustees to lead and improve their role as Catholic governors as they work to establish the conditions for student success. The ED needs to work collaboratively with all boards to understand their needs, challenges, and opportunities.

This is an exciting time to be a part of the organization, as the world of Catholic education plays a critical role in the development of our youth and communities.


The Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) is a provincial non-profit organization, representing Catholic Trustees in Alberta, Northwest Territories and the Yukon through 24-member school boards that oversee educating over 183,500 students within 450 Catholic Schools.

ACSTA was formed in 1966 and advocates for the Catholic School system, at the provincial & territorial level, and provide faith-formation and fellowship opportunities for Catholic trustees. he ACSTA represents Catholic trustees in Alberta, Northwest Territories and Yukon. The ACSTA represents 24 member boards, educating over 183,500 students in 450 Catholic schools. Catholic Schools have been operating since the 1840’s – well before Alberta became a province. ACSTA was formed in 1966 to support Catholic School Trustees and to provide opportunities for trustees to discuss issues important to Catholic Education.

Catholic schools are distinct formational communities that are able to nurture the spiritual, academic, and physical needs of students. They do this by fully permeating the Alberta Education curriculum with their faith – including the teachings of Sacred Scripture, Catholic Tradition and Apostolic authority. Catholic education is a unique partnership between school, home, and parish that seeks to develop a student’s whole person by integrating academic excellence and faith.

The central focus of Catholic education at all levels is Jesus Christ. Every Catholic school is ordered towards Him. Their schools strive to manifest His presence and teachings in the education of children entrusted to their care.


Celebrate, preserve, promote, and enhance Catholic education.


That all have access to a publicly funded Catholic education.

Core Purpose

They are committed to a unified voice providing spiritual and political leadership for publicly funded Catholic education.
For more information, please visit their website: https://www.acsta.ab.ca/about-us/about-acsta.


Strategic Leadership

• Believes in the value of democratically elected Catholic School Boards.
• Commits to a collaborative, transparent approach to the decision-making process, balanced with the strength to make necessary difficult decisions.
• Commits to innovative, aspirational visionary leadership; builds on current Association strengths.
• Fosters a climate of openness, accountability, and collaboration.
• Facilitates planning of conferences and meetings focused on faith formation. This includes working effectively with internationally recognized speakers and committee coordination.

Organizational Leadership

• Creates a shared vision and action where all members have a sense of ownership and mission aligned to overall organizational goals.
• Plans, delegates, manages time, assigns responsibilities, and ensures successful completion of tasks.
• Understands and commits to staying current on advancements in technologies that would enhance learning and organizational effectiveness.
• Structures the organization for maximum effectiveness.
• Balances the needs of the organization with the resources available.

Advocacy and Communications

• Communicates effectively with the Board of Directors, the membership, staff and external stakeholders. Uses efficient, effective internal communication to build collaboration within the Association.
• Proactive and effective with external communications resulting in community understanding and support of Board direction.
• Solicits, listens, interprets, utilizes, and provides feedback effectively.
• Provides clear direction.
• Acts as a positive ambassador within and for the Association.

Stakeholder and Government Relations

• Develops, maintains, and enhances credible, positive working relationships with stakeholder organizations and partnerships including, but not limited to the Bishops of Alberta and NWT, CCSSA, GrACE, and Alberta Education.
• Represents ACSTA as the senior corporate manager in meetings, open houses, forums, and events.
• Facilitates strategic planning processes with appropriate stakeholder input.
• Possesses the ability to deal effectively with the media and has good facilitation skills – can work with both individuals and large groups.


• Works effectively with the Board of Directors; has a servant leadership style.
• Manages the activities of the various Board Committees and working groups, ensuring that their mandates are clear, and their targets achieved.
• Facilitates the Board’s work regarding governance and policy matters.
• Achieves the Association’s Strategic Plan objectives through the skilled understanding of the role of governance within the structure and function of a provincial association.
• Receives and acts upon direction from the Board of Directors as communicated through its President or delegated authority and reports back in a timely, complete and comprehensive manner.
• Advises the Board of Directors through its President of any risks, challenges or threats in a timely manner that may impact ACSTA in accomplishing its goals, objectives and assets.

Fiscal Management

• Optimizes financial operations for maximum Association advantage.
• Produces high quality results with resources available.
• Leads and supervises the budgetary process and all financial operations.


• A passion for publicly funded Catholic K-12 education sector and a clear desire for ensuring systematic opportunities and support that will enable our youth to be successful in their future endeavors as well as influential contributors to society.
• Commitment to the mission and vision of the Association, along with a demonstrated understanding of Catholic traditions, philosophies, and principles and a strong supporter of Catholic education and locally elected school boards.
• Knowledgeable of current provincial, national, and global issues and trends in Catholic education.
• A positive record of working effectively with boards and committees, along with proven experience in strategic planning, business, administration, public relations and/or government relations, with an undergraduate degree required (graduate credentials are preferred). A combination of other education and experience will be considered.
• Knowledge of the Alberta Education sector and government processes is considered a strong asset.


Interpersonal & Communication Skills:

• Solid, dynamic communicator with the ability to establish relationships.
• Communicates appropriately with diverse audiences and stakeholders’ groups.
• Communicates effectively in multiple mediums; understands and evaluates others’ motivations and feelings.
• Attentive listener.
• Empathic.
• Receives information openly and fully, taking account of informal and unspoken or unwritten elements of communication.
• Has the ability to balance diverse perspectives and needs.

Relationship Building

• Developing and maintaining positive and productive relationships and partnerships with organizations and individuals both internal and external to ACSTA.
• Proven ability to manage sensitive issues effectively in a political environment, including the ability to work effectively with school trustees, administrators, the Catholic Church, Government of Alberta representatives, elected members, and the public.

Leadership Skills

• Strategic, collaborative, progressive, aspirational, and visionary.
• Develop and mentor others to be leaders.
• Creates, supports, and leads by example to build a high-performance team and a positive work environment.
• Is appreciative, engaging, understanding and knowledgeable of issues and concerns.
• Identifies opportunities, inspires action, and achieves results.
• Ensures that resources and energies are focused on the achievement of the Association’s strategic objectives.
Integrity & Trust
• Honest, sincere, dependable, authentic, trustworthy.
• High ethical standards and an honest, open-minded, and consistent approach to working with staff and stakeholders.
• Demonstrates integrity in all aspects of work

Politically Astute:

• Conversant with an understanding of legislative and regulatory processes and has an intuitive ability to read and anticipate the political implications of recommendations and actions.
• Demonstrates a deep understanding of how to influence and build relationships in complex environments.
• Models positive attitude and behavior
• Encourages and motivates others.
• Exudes real engagement and passion for the role/tasks.
• Demonstrates commitment and enthusiasm in achieving tasks and goals.
• Engages positively with others with a sense of humor, being open to others’ views and feelings.


• Maintains perspective, a positive outlook and effectiveness when under pressure.
• Uses specific strategies to assist self and others to cope, including humor, prioritizing, adjusting resources of key tasks.
• Deals effectively with failure and obstacles; does not see failure as a personal rejection.

Stakeholder Development:

• Understands and utilizes the power of developing and maintaining a network of relationships to achieve goals.
• Contributes and shares information and insight for mutual (longer term) gains.
• Uses networks effectively; builds strong partnerships internally and externally.


SANDY JACOBSON | T: 780.944.1327 | E: sandy.jacobson@richardsonsearch.ca | www.richardsonsearch.ca

Position Specification – Executive Director ACSTA – August 16, 2023 (PDF)