Director of Operations

Job Type

Full Time




8401 S. Saginaw
United States


Great Lakes Academy is a Level 1+ charter school that opened in 2014. Our mission is to prepare all of our students with the fundamental academic skills, critical thinking ability, and strength of character to excel in high school, college, and a career of their choice.

For the 2018-2019 academic year we will be serving students in grades K-5 and will continue to add a grade level annually to reach K-8. We are uniquely suited to create change on the South Side of Chicago and have set ambitious goals for the upcoming school year. 

We are seeking a high capacity, fiercely positive, detail-oriented Director of Operations to run a well-oiled operations machine.

Job Description

The Director of Operations manages the day-to-day and strategic operations, finance, HR and compliance work of the organization and ensures that we’re meeting our ambitious goals. A crucial part of the Director of Operations role will be to effectively manage all operations staff members in the organization.  This role will work closely with the Principal and CEO to ensure the organization runs smoothly.  

Key Areas of Responsibility

1. Managing to ensure we deliver on our goals

·       Oversee all the day-to-day and strategic operations for the school including finance, HR and compliance

·       Manage operations team members, which includes:

  • ensuring your team has ambitious goals and plans in place to meet them; 
  • developing their skills, including providing clear and useful feedback so they get better and better at what they do;
  • addressing performance issues;
  • working to ensure that top performers are retained and low performers are transitioned out; and
  • serving as a thought partner and resource to the CEO and Principal in their realms of responsibility.

·       Ensure we hit our goals each year, which will include leading our annual goal-setting process and developing a robust set of metrics and systems to track our progress against goals.

2. Establishing systems that will enable all stakeholders to meet their goals

·       Analyze the strengths and opportunities of our operations department

·       Ensure that all staff members have the materials they need to do their best work, which includes managing technology, ordering materials and maintaining all systems

3. Maintaining a high standard for facility maintenance and oversight

·       Set a vision for our school facility and work with the operations team to adhere to the vision 

·       Look for opportunities to maximize space and minimize inefficiencies 

·       Take ownership over facilities issues that arise and responds quickly to requests 

·       Select a highly capable set of vendors to ensure the vision for facility is met

4. Serving as a senior leader of the organization

·       Work closely with the ED and Principal to develop, articulate and implement overall organizational strategy

·       Act as “Chief Problem Solver” to handle ad hoc issues that arise, and develop and implement smart solution

Key Tasks

1.     Lead and coach GLA Operations Coordinator, Operations Associates, Receptionist and Intern(s)

2.     Coordinate facility operations and systems and maintaining those systems

3.     Compliance systems and reports to CPS and ISBE

4.     Create staff schedule and systems to support staff 

5.     Establish and monitor systems for the sourcing, procurement, storage and utilization of supplies for school, including furniture, curriculum, technology, supplies, and food

6.     Manage the front office and maintain all student files 

7.     Draft family communication documents 

8.     Daily oversight of school-wide systems and structures such as morning entry, dismissal, lunch

Competencies/Key Qualifications

1.     A drive to make things happen. From managing high performing teams in the past, you know what it takes to get results, and you have high standards for success and a healthy impatience for progress. You know how to collaborate with others on your team to ensure everyone is well informed and equipped with what they need to be successful.  

2.     A vision for excellent school operations.  You firmly believe that operations exists to make the lives of teachers and scholars more fruitful. You find a way to say yes to opportunities for efficiency and good service.  You are excited about highly organized spaces and can easily find the most efficient way to solve a challenge.  You think critically about each system, structure or procedure you establish in a school.  You are very conscious of the small and large impact one decision can have on a school. 

3.     A skillful manager.  You have led teams to achieve ambitious outcomes. You know how to set goals and work alongside the members of your team to achieve them.  You find joy in seeing your team and your colleagues meet their goals. When people are challenged by a task you enjoy helping them find a way to a solution. 

4.     An exemplar of our culture, since you will be at the hub of what we do. People will take their cues about who we are and how we operate from you. You will blend high standards and rigor with a calm, egoless approach and an ability to stay unflappable when things don’t unfold as planned. 

Job Requirements

1.    Bachelor’s degree is required.

2.    Minimum of two years experience working in a similar capacity at a school with demonstrated track record of success; and

3.    Belief in and alignment with Great Lakes Academy’s core beliefs and educational philosophy is non-negotiable.

Apply Now

Go to www.glachicago.organd click on Join Us.

As an equal opportunity employer, Great Lakes Academy hires without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other category protected by applicable law.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to Katherine Cherry at and complete the application at