Chief Marketing Officer
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 U.S. 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 most comprehensive personalized learning framework, as well as the first survey tools to measure practice in 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. Winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation, LEAP Innovations is poised to increase reach and impact by deploying thought leadership, services and tools across the country.
The mission of LEAP Innovations is to create access to equitable, high-quality personalized learning experiences for all learners, ultimately helping each one to reach their full potential. LEAP operates at the intersection of educators and edtech innovators—researching and implementing personalized practices and tools.
LEAP is defining and articulating the teacher practices that best meet individual student needs; determining the school- and classroom-level models that best personalize learning; and constructing the research methods and tools to best evaluate the impact of personalized learning and edtech programs on student achievement. Similarly, from the edtech side, LEAP aims to help edtech companies utilize LEAP’s research and educator feedback to create tools that are more aligned with teacher and student needs.
LEAP has built a scaffolded trajectory of programming to accomplish these goals, including the LEAP Pilot Network, in which school teams select, pilot and evaluate personalized learning technologies and practices within individual classrooms, as well as whole-school redesign programs, in which school teams design transformative, school-wide personalized learning models.
- 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 team at LEAP envisions a future in which there are no boundaries to learning – a future in which each and every student’s learning experiences in and out of school create a seamless, accredited, unique pathway that is tailored to that student’s needs, strengths, interests and limitless ambitions.
Over the next five years, LEAP will work toward this vision in two key ways:
Regional Expansion: LEAP will strengthen its impact by expanding its local work, serving an additional 165,000 students at 325 schools and developing additional focus areas such as early childhood, after school and juvenile justice.
National Impact: Through its work in Chicago, home to the third largest school district in the country, LEAP will build the foundation of tools, resources and knowledge to scale its personalized learning work across the country. These tools and resources include the LEAP Learning Framework, which defines and provides strategies for the implementation of personalized learning, and the LEAP Personalized Learning Surveys, which measure the degree of personalization in a learning environment and are now being used across 11 states. Additionally, LEAP will conduct rigorous research to aggregate and analyze data on teacher practice, student outcomes and product efficacy.
AREAS OF RESPONSIBLITY
The LEAP CMO will be responsible for establishing LEAP as the national thought leader and center of excellence in personalized learning. Partnering closely with the CEO and COO, he / she will clarify the brand positioning and oversee all marketing, communications, public affairs, social media and digital activities, as well as support development and fundraising activities. The ideal candidate will be comfortable in an individual contributor role as chief brand strategist and advocate, and as a team manager in the execution of marketing tactics, in keeping with the organization’s goals:
- Establish LEAP Innovations as the national center of excellence on personalized learning and education innovation.
- Drive adoption of LEAP Innovations’ Framework, surveys, Pilot Network, and research among district leaders, educators, policymakers, and influencers.
- Establish Chicago as the national standard for classroom-level piloting and evaluation of personalized learning.
- Raise visibility of LEAP Innovations and its Senior Leaders as go-to thought leaders, building LEAP’s national reputation.
- Develop the annual marketing plan and strategies to build awareness and visibility of LEAP Innovations on the national education stage.
- Develop a comprehensive brand strategy that integrates across marketing, communications, public affairs, social media, and development / fundraising activities, and ensure that day-to-day activities are aligned.
- Provides leadership, direction and management of market insights from other fields and external thought leaders to propel the achievement of LEAP Innovations’ goals.
- Develop the positioning and brand platform for the LEAP Innovations brand and its products, and oversee its extension into all representations of the organization.
- Ensures the consistency and alignment of the entire LEAP Innovations organization to speak with one voice about its mission, its innovative model, and its impact on teachers and learners.
- Drive adoption of LEAP’s framework, surveys, and programmatic model among district leaders, educators, policy makers, and influencers.
- Serve as a passionate and articulate spokesperson for LEAP Innovations to funders, influencers, and the media.
- Guarantee that all LEAP Innovations external, internal and funder facing communications reflect a unified positioning and voice.
- Guide the visual representation of the brand and its communications channels including all media, website, presentation documents and logos to reflect the desired brand attributes.
- Develop expert proficiency of LEAP Innovations’ education model to ensure quality and clarity in the creation of grant applications, donor communications, research reports, and conference presentations.
- Facilitate and oversee internal, external and public affairs communications strategy, development and execution.
- Build a market for LEAP Innovations’ products with educators, districts, and associations.
- Design a go-to-market strategy for new LEAP Innovations’ products and oversee the product manager(s) in the execution.
- Partner with the COO and external experts to implement a product development engine that leverages insights coming from LEAP Innovations’ core educational programming and translates them into high impact offers.
- Supports the organization’s mission, vision, and values by exhibiting the following behaviors: excellence and competence, collaboration, innovation, respect, personalization, commitment to community, and accountability and ownership.
- Lead, coach, and develop a high performing marketing team with a strong service orientation towards the support and betterment of LEAP Innovations.
- Participates in professional societies and activities related to the education industry in general, and the marketing profession in particular.
The ideal candidate will be a mature, proven leader with 10+ years of marketing and brand experience, including oversight of a high performing team. In addition, she / he will have:
- A bachelor’s degree, MBA or equivalent is preferred.
- Deep functional expertise in all aspects of marketing, communications and branding.
- Familiarity with development and external affairs and the ability to operate effectively across a broad range of stakeholders.
- Ability to translate conceptual ideas into communications that are clear and compelling.
- Experience in an entrepreneurial environment and the willingness to roll up his / her sleeves and serve as an individual contributor when needed.
- Proven ability to foster a healthy organizational culture, to encourage teamwork and collaboration, and to build a sense of community and pride.
- A passion for education as demonstrated through academic study, volunteerism, or work in public sector roles, and a commitment to LEAP’s mission.
- 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.