Under the direct supervision of the San Antonio Botanical Garden Executive Director, the Director of Education and Volunteer Programs provides leadership for the Garden’s educational and volunteer activities, cultivating partnerships with schools and other community based organizations and serves as a key member of the Garden’s senior management team. Leads and implements the visioning and strategic planning process for the Education Department, embracing the challenge to make the Garden one of the best in the nation, and collaborates with other senior managers to integrate all departments’ strategic plans into one cohesive plan for the institution. Accepts primary responsibility for knowing benchmarks of excellence in the garden profession and keeps the Garden’s education programs at the forefront of all such benchmarks; accepts primary responsibility for assessing the completeness and scientific accuracy of all materials and programs created by the Education Department, tracking progress and evaluating the effectiveness of all major initiatives undertaken by the Department and for maintaining effective working relationships with all volunteers. The Director of Programs participates fully in the design and interpretation of Garden exhibits, planning and implementing educational events and other projects as assigned by the Executive Director.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
1. Development of Educational and Interpretive Programming
a. Oversees the creation and implementation of classes, camps, programs, and events.
b. Manages and assesses programs to meet budget goals and their ability to meet strategic and organizational initiatives.
c. Develops, coordinates, and administers a school and community edible gardening program in partnership with other organization for planned expanded facilities at the Garden.
2. Supervises all education and volunteer staff – full-time, part-time, contract, and non-paid garden volunteers.
a. Manages, coordinates and supervises employees to accomplish growth in education division at the Garden.
b. Supervises directly, or indirectly, all staff responsible for formal education department programs, and collaborates in designing and assessing education programs offered by other Garden departments.
c. Supervises the Volunteer Services including database management, recruitment, training and placement of all volunteers for the Garden’s operation.
3. Education and Volunteer Budget
a. Develops the educational and volunteer program budget for the Garden.
b. Responsible for monitoring and meeting annual budget goals.
c. Coordinates, monitors, and ensures compliance with SAWS grants.
d. Maintains records of program attendance.
e. Research and write funding and related proposals in cooperation with Director of Development.
4. Constituent Groups
a. Closely works with community groups to grow the Education Programming and Volunteer Services at the Botanical Garden. This includes, among others, SAWS, Texas Agri-Life Extension, Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, and Beautify SA.
b. Fosters relationship with all appropriate constituent groups as the Garden expands its facilities.
c. Works with other staff to ensure an excellent visitor experience as it relates to education.
5. Physical Improvements, interpretive signage
a. Works closely with designers, committees, Board, and staff as the Garden develops new facilities and amenities as part of the Master Plan.
b. Serves as primary staff resource for all education related areas in new plans.
c. Works to improve and add to interpretive signage and other educational messaging at the Garden.
6. School and Group tour programs
a. Ensures all information is correctly entered into the Garden’s Altru database for all groups scheduling tours.
b. Oversees all aspects of school field trips and school outreach.
c. Oversees and develops all curricula for the Garden and website.
7. Other duties:
a) Assists with the planning and execution of Family Day events, including conducting a ROI study for each event. Includes all educational components of any special event or exhibit opening.
b) Assists in training and scheduling volunteers for programs and events.
c) Ensures database for all volunteers is kept current.
d) Prepares reports, maintains records, and assists with guest services.
e) Provides content to promote programs through press releases, marketing emails, social media, and media interviews.
f) Assists with website maintenance.
Job descriptions are guidelines that attempt to characterize major duties and responsibilities of employees, and are subject to change as needs and programs change. At the San Antonio Botanical Garden Society, Inc., they are considered neither inclusive nor exclusive.
Status and Scope
Manages the day to day details, coordination and supervision of all education activities at the Garden. Performs additional duties as assigned. Assists other staff as needed and required. Will interact with Board of Directors, Controller, as well as volunteers and visitors.
Education: Bachelor's Degree essential (Master’s preferred) from an accredited college or university in one of the following areas: Agriculture, Horticulture, Botany, Forestry, Biology, Education, Recreation & Parks, Wildlife/Fisheries Science, Natural and/or Cultural Resource Conservation, Public Administration, or closely related field.
Experience: Minimum five years of experience in managing a public garden or museum education program with supervision of staff and volunteers. .
License/Certifications: Must possess or be able to obtain, within thirty days of employment, a valid class "C" Texas driver's license. NOTE: Retention of position contingent upon obtaining and maintaining required license.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: The successful candidate will be skillful in strategic planning, organizing and implementing public presentations and guided tours for all age groups, and financial grant oversight, organizational development, and systems thinking within the organization. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential for success in this position. Knowledge of natural and cultural resources preferred. Ability to plan and implement special events for families with demonstrated ability to design engaging educational experiences, preferably in a visitor attraction or related informal educational experience. Previous experience working with volunteers and the ability to train and serve as a team leader for volunteers is preferred. Initiative and follow through as well as the ability to multi-task, set priorities, and maintain a positive attitude at times of increased workload are crucial. Experience with school and community food gardens is preferred. Experience with interpretive planning is important. Experience using established assessment metrics for educational effectiveness and financial strength is critical. Good organizational skills are required, with strict attention to details in all tasks. Successful candidates will also have the ability to work productively and positively in a team oriented environment and to provide quality customer service in a professional manner. Flexibility to work occasional long hours including weekend and evenings is needed.
Knowledge of Plant Science is essential along with excellent verbal and written communication skills, including effective presentation, negotiation and problem solving skills. Must be a self-starter, creative, persuasive and goal oriented. Must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships within the department and across departments. Strong organizational and detail oriented skills essential. Must be able to work with and supervise a diverse staff and volunteer groups: ability to collaborate across departments and provide leadership and support as required on special events is important.
The Director of Programs must ensure that information is dealt with in the strictest of confidence and discretion.
Must be able to lift up to 50 lbs. Position requires stamina for leading groups on walks through the grounds on uneven surfaces and occasional extended days for special events.
Position requires the ability to work under pressure and maintain a positive and professional manner while providing excellent customer service and managing volunteers.
1. Expected to perform under minimum supervision and act independently within the scope of normal duties and responsibilities. Difficult or unique situations are referred to the supervisor.
2. Work may be performed in an office setting, classroom, or grounds of the Botanical Garden. Duties may be performed outdoors in all types of weather.
3. On occasion, required to work extended hours.
4. Work must often meet deadlines, which can be stressful.
5. Minimal travel may be required.
Computer/printer and related software (PowerPoint, Word, Excel), fax, office telephone.
Please send your resume and reference to Bob Brackman at John.Brackman@SanAntonio.gov or to the address below:
San Antonio Botanical Garden, attn.: Bob Brackman
555 Funston Place
San Antonio, TX78209