Chief Operating Officer
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Reports to: CEO
Connecting innovation and education to dramatically transform the way students learn, LEAP Innovations® leads the nation in developing and scaling personalized learning practices, technology and innovations in classrooms throughout the US. Located at 1871, Chicago’s premier incubator for technology and entrepreneurship, LEAP is quickly positioning Chicago as the national hub for education innovation. LEAP has also launched the country's first personalized learning framework and survey tools to measure practice in and beyond the classroom.
Sponsored by major foundations and donors, LEAP currently works with over 90 schools across the Chicagoland area, improving the lives of thousands of students. LEAP also leads the Learning Assembly, a national network of organizations dedicated to scaling education innovation across the country. Winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation, LEAP Innovations is poised to increase our reach and impact by deploying our thought leadership, services and tools across the country.
- The LEAP Collaboratory is a place where educators throughout the Chicago region are exposed to innovative practices, learn from their peers, and participate in professional development. It is also a place where educators, tech companies, and entrepreneurs come together to collaborate and drive innovation through programming, networking opportunities, and other educational experiences.
- The LEAP Pilot Network pilots and evaluates the best learning technologies and helps scale what works. We look globally to identify the best solutions for key learning gaps and then pilot them in real‐life learning situations. We see what works with research based on national standards, and then scale the best solutions broadly from early childhood to early college.
- The LEAP Breakthrough Schools initiative cultivates the next generation of school models, ones that innovate to personalize the learning experience, through support programs and funding mechanisms.
- Every person deserves the chance to reach his or her potential.
- Quality education should be available to everyone: anytime, anywhere.
- Innovation can transform teaching and learning.
- The private and public sectors must collaborate to advance education and keep our country competitive.
- The time is now.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
The next phase of our development will cement Chicago’s role as the national hub for education innovation by:
- Expanding both the total number of schools served as well as broadening across the entire preK‐ college continuum
- Supporting whole‐school exemplar models
- Conducting and publishing research and evaluation on the efficacy of PL practices and edtech tools
- Providing actionable feedback to edtech entrepreneurs to improve the overall efficacy of their tools
- Partnering with communities and parents to extend the impact of personalized learning beyond the school boundary
AREAS OF RESPONSIBLITY
The COO will partner with the CEO to ensure that LEAP continues its rapid growth without sacrificing its focus on teachers and learners. She / he will oversee all of LEAP’s day‐to‐day operations as they relate to school piloting and professional development programs, the Breakthrough Schools initiative, our close partnership with CPS, the insight and feedback offered to the edtech community in the Collaboratory, and the large scale education innovation summit we host each year. In addition, the COO will oversee all of the administrative and operational functions including finance, HR, and IT.
- Lead the expansion of LEAP’s core programming to meet ambitious annual growth goals
- Cultivate high trust, mutually beneficial relationships with teachers, schools, districts, and the field that allow us to stay current on the classroom context, on the leadership environment, and on schools as organizations
- Develop a deep understanding of LEAP’s programming and identify and implement continuous improvements to increase efficacy and efficiency
- Establish deep expertise in the edtech industry landscape both locally and nationally which allows us to continue to be a partner of choice for education entrepreneurs
- Oversee the recruitment and vetting of potential edtech partners to participate in Collaboratory and Pilot Network programming
- Support the translation of insights from LEAP’s classroom partners into tangible and usable implications for edtech partners, which meaningfully impact their product development
- Ensure that LEAP is fulfilling its promise to edtech partners to connect them with teachers, without losing sight of our key goal – to enable teacher practice and student outcomes leveraging the power of technology
- Lead a process that ensures each function is operating with a clear set of quarterly and annual goals / milestones and is on track to deliver them
- Develop and implement a system for tracking and reporting on the progress of strategic plan implementation
- Set performance standards in the organization and support the team to ensure that they are able to deliver on them
Coaching and Team Leadership
- Lead, coach, and develop LEAP’s high‐performance senior management team with an emphasis on developing capacity in strategic thinking, general management, and team development
- Cultivate a healthy organizational culture that reflects LEAP’s core values and serve as a role model to the team for effective working practices and inspiring leadership
- Establish a system of ongoing alignment and communication that ensures that there is effective cross‐functional coordination and appropriate levels of communication Fiscal and Operational Oversight
- Partner with directors in the development and submission of an annual operating budget; manage the implementation of the budget to ensure timely and accurate fiscal reporting
- Safeguard the continued financial viability of LEAP’s operational units through sound fiscal management.
- Ensure that the administrative functions are operating at levels of performance that enable LEAP to achieve its ambitious goals
- Oversee the recruitment and onboarding of high quality team members; ensure consistency and equity in the process
- Spearhead the annual performance evaluation process and develop a culture of real‐time and productive two‐way feedback
Major milestones / events in the coming year:
- Identification of a new physical location and the preparation and transition into the new space
- Recruitment and onboarding of at least 10 new staff members including key positions in research, professional development, and partnerships
- Validation and launch of several new nationwide business models
The ideal candidate will be a mature, proven leader with 10+ years of work experience with general management responsibilities, oversight of a high performing team, and experience in scaling a business. In addition, she / he will have:
- A demonstrated track record in building strong relationships across a diverse and highly active stakeholder base.
- A passion for education as demonstrated through academic study, volunteerism, or work in public sector roles, and a commitment to LEAP’s mission.
- Fluency in the languages of business or consulting as well as those of the education and public sectors.
- Demonstrated thought leadership and experience in codifying ideas and processes into intellectual property.
- Excellence in designing and leading high performing projects to completion.
- Demonstrated success in change management and maintaining stability during times of rapid change and growth.
- Proven ability to foster a healthy organizational culture, to encourage teamwork and collaboration, and to build a sense of community and pride.
- A positive outlook and appreciation for working in a dynamic, results‐oriented environment in which expectations are high for both the quality and speed of work
- An affinity for working in partnership with a high‐octane founder with a strong vision for the organization.
Commensurate with experience. Excellent health benefits, 403(b) plan and group life insurance.
Position currently available.