Chief Operating Officer

Reading In Motion |

Who We Are:
Founded 35 years ago, Reading In Motion is a results-oriented early education literacy program that uses the power and discipline of the arts to get at-risk kindergarten and first-grade students reading at or above grade level. The Reading In Motion program combines the use of unique content with engaging methods and increased time spent on task. Reading In Motion leverages its resources by training classroom teachers on its curriculum, which incorporates music- and drama-based elements in individual and small group sessions. These teachers deliver the curriculum daily, and Reading In Motion provides them with coaching, materials and monthly data on student progress so that they are better able to tailor instruction and attention to students’ individual needs. Reading In Motion consistently drives significant gains in literacy for at-risk students. A recent study showed that the same Chicago teachers who were able to get 63% of their students on grade level in 2010 using traditional methods (in line with CPS averages that year) were able to get 92% of their students on grade level in 2011 after implementing Reading In Motion’s curriculum.

Halfway to its ambitious goal of serving 10,000 students, Reading In Motion currently has school partnerships with 38 schools in Chicago and 4 schools in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Position Overview:

This is an exceptional opportunity for a hands-on leader to play a significant role in realizing Reading In Motion’s mission and vision. The Chief Operating Officer will report to and partner closely with the Executive Director and will be charged with strengthening and leading an effective, collaborative, and scalable operational model for the entire organization. S/he will also manage the leadership team, providing best-in class coaching and development.

Competitive salary and benefits package available.

Please send resume, cover letter and salary expectations to

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s preferred
  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience, including at least two years of management experience
  • Strong financial management skills, including overseeing monthly financials, budgeting, and annual audit.
  • Understanding of K-12 public education issues, with previous experience working at or with schools and/or school districts strongly preferred
  • Experience managing teams, with the ability and desire to motivate, coach, and develop staff
  • Exceptional relationship management skills, with the ability to develop strong relationships across a diverse spectrum of stakeholders
  • Excellent planning and project management skills, with meticulous attention to detail
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, self-direction, and results-orientation, demonstrating initiative, resourcefulness, and follow-through
  • Commitment to collaboration, transparency, and diversity
  • Passion for the mission of Reading In Motion; commitment to the power of arts as an educational tool to expand children’s capacities and create lifelong learners

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Organizational Planning

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director in solidifying vision, strategic plan and positioning; serve as a thought partner to the Executive Director and senior staff.
  • Build an organizational planning function, modeling forward-thinking strategy.
  • Translate strategy into operational plans and budgets; manage execution, accountability, and internal communications across the organization.
  • Assess the organization’s performance on an ongoing basis, enabling and promoting a culture of learning, continuous change and the drive to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

People & Operations Management

  • Manage all members of the leadership team: Program, Development and Sales & Marketing.
  • Additionally, the COO manages the financial functions of the organization, including the part-time accountant.
  • Coach and develop team leaders in recruiting, on-boarding, managing, and developing best-in-class staff members.
  • Facilitate cross-functional collaboration, improving processes, and managing teams towards results.
  • Implement internal systems and processes to drive efficiency, effectiveness, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

Relationship Building & Stakeholder Engagement

  • Partner with the Executive Director and development team in order to steward funders; capitalizing on existing relationships and generating new support for the Reading In Motion program.
  • Support the expansion of Reading In Motion’s impact and reach by working closely with the marketing and sales team; ensuring they have the resources and capacity needed to establish and maintain strong relationships with schools and community organizations
  • Engage with Board of Directors on as needed basis to ensure they possess an accurate understanding of Reading In Motion’s people and operations work

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