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Silicon Valley Urban Debate League Program Specialist Job Description

SVUDL Program Specialist position is key to the delivery, growth, and impact of the SVUDL program in our partner schools, helping build and implement a shared vision among all stakeholders, including youth, teachers, administrators, SVUDL staff, volunteers, and the school community. The Program Specialist is responsible for recruiting, supporting, and collaborating with Teacher Coaches at 3-4 schools by providing professional development and support to coaches, developing programming opportunities for students, and measuring and evaluating program effectiveness. In some instances, they will also be responsible for teaching and coaching students directly. The Program Specialist spends approximately 85% of their working hours in the field, and 15% of their working hours at the SVUDL office in Milpitas. The Program Specialist will be an active member of the Program team, working collaboratively with fellow Program Specialists, Teacher Coaches, administrative staff, and the Executive Director. The Program Specialist reports to the Director of Programming.

Primary Responsibilities

Develop Coaches

●  Support school administrators to recruit and retain motivated teacher(s) to lead the school’s Speech and Debate team.
●  Instruct Teacher Coaches how to coach Speech and Debate events through weekly meetings that support teacher planning, observe, and offer feedback at practices, empower peer to peer leadership opportunities, and model best practices in the instruction of advanced students.
●  Encourage teachers’ organizing efforts to recruit and retain students to participate in SVUDL programming.
●  Model advanced coaching to experienced students in Speech and Debate both in practice and at select national tournaments.
●  Contribute to development of a robust community of Teacher Coaches across partner schools, which will be instrumental in providing peer support and additional resources.

Enhance Programming Depth and Breadth

●  Develop opportunities to utilize Speech and Debate inside the classroom and across the curriculum. This includes the development and implementation of curriculum resources.

●  Facilitate professional development and community engagement that can enhance, deepen, and utilize the skills that students have learned through Speech and Debate.

●  Facilitate special events where students can use the portable skills they have developed in Speech and Debate in a variety of formats, both through intraschool cooperation (ex. Moot Court) and through partnership with outside organizations (ex. I-RESOLVE debates).

●  Develop and maintain strong school and community relationships with partner school principals, administrators, and teachers to ensure sound program implementation, including event follow up and program updates.

Create Quality Competitive Experiences

The Program Specialist works directly with the Program team to manage and execute several competitive debate tournaments, workshops, and events each year. These responsibilities include supervision of staff, volunteers, and contractors, and direct implementation of the following:

●  Support the development and compilation of core files, speech prompts, argument limits, and other procedures necessary to ensure a welcoming experience for new competitors.

●  Plan and coordinate SVUDL tournament administration and community building efforts at event sites. This includes assisting with event planning and preparation, scheduling, site logistics, judge recruitment, student registration, and awards.

●  Facilitate invitationals and public debate tournaments, including tournament structure, transportation, preparation of materials, and training of students, assistant coaches, and judges.

●  Complete tournament registration for all interested teams at assigned partner schools, including coordinating with the Program team to arrange transportation, meals, and judging obligations. Program Specialists are also responsible for ensuring that SVUDL tournaments are promoted at partner schools well in advance, and for ensuring that all partner schools participate at every tournament to the extent possible.

●  Plan and execute Summer Speech and Debate Programming, including community building events, skills workshops and topic related field trips.

In some cases, the Program Specialist will be called to teach and/or coach students on a regular basis. If the Program Specialist is tasked with coaching students directly, the corresponding workload will be adjusted accordingly.

Measure and Communicate Program Effectiveness

●  Develop and support systems of data collection and evaluation.

●  Engage alumni with opportunities for service and professional development.

●  Communicate with stakeholders on the participation and success of students in SVUDL programming to ensure sound program implementation, including event follow up, the collection of stakeholder feedback, and program updates.

●  Provide writeups and summaries of major events to Marketing team for subsequent sharing with the SVUDL community.

●  Provide support to fundraising team as needed to strengthen funding applications and requests.

Special Projects as Assigned

●  The Program team anticipates that the Program Specialist will also serve as project manager for approximately 2 additional projects per year, pending capacity and available resources.

●  Projects should be finite in nature and would strengthen or support the existing work of the Program team. Examples include (but are not limited to): overseeing summer enrichment in conjunction with the Director of Programming; working with third parties to develop an app that will ease the burden of attendance taking; developing alumni networks that facilitate communication and joint projects with former league participants.

Job Qualifications

The ideal candidate has extensive experience in high school policy debate, and experience with urban debate education systems and populations. They are proactive, detail-oriented and focused on student development. In addition to completing or coaching high school policy debate, other qualifications considered are:

●  Bachelor’s degree with strong academic record, or equivalent.

●  A minimum of 2-5 years of relevant professional work experience, including but not limited to at least 2 years of policy debate coaching at the high school or collegiate level.

●  Experience as a teacher or direct experience working with teachers, curriculum, and public school districts – urban public school experience and experience with curricular design a plus.

●  Experience in managing and prioritizing multiple assignments.

●  Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

●  Effective and motivational leadership experience.

●  Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively and independently in a diverse work environment.

●  Strong work ethic supported by commitment to mission and follow-through.

●  Fluency in computer skills, including Word, Excel, and internet-based programs.

●  Passion for educating and improving the lives of urban youth through debate.

The salary for this position is commensurate with experience, within the $60k-$64k range. Generous paid time off, health, and retirement, benefits package offered.

Applying for the position: Please send a resume, cover letter, and recent writing sample to: with “SVUDL Program Specialist” in the e-mail subject line. In your cover letter, please share why you are interested in the job, and why you believe your experiences and skills are a good fit for the position. If you have questions that would affect your interest in applying, please e-mail and we can set up a time to talk.

The Silicon Valley Urban Debate League is deeply committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, because we believe in the value of different experiences, skills, and voices in strengthening our work and achieving our mission. We also strive to have our team reflect the ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic diversity of the communities we work with and for. Because of this, we especially want to encourage people of color to apply for the position. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, pregnancy, childbirth, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic as established by applicable federal, state, or local law.

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