MO - St. Louis metropolitan area
About the Organization

In 2009, KIPP Inspire Academy opened with 80 fifth graders and one promise: that they would do whatever it takes to help our students climb the mountain to and through college. Five years later, they continue to make - and keep - that promise. With the recent addition of their second school, KIPP Victory Academy, KIPP St. Louis has grown to support over 500 students. Their next two schools, KIPP Triumph Academy and KIPP Wisdom Academy (set to open in the fall of 2015), will double the size of the region. With the support of their sponsor, Washington University in St. Louis, KIPP St. Louis eventually plans to serve more than 2500 students in six schools. KIPP St. Louis enrolls students from every zip code in the city and aims to bring the opportunity for quality education to those students living in areas without access to high-performing schools. Ninety-eight percent of their students are African American, 89 percent qualify for free and reduced-price meals, and 11 percent quality for special education services.

KIPP St. Louis’ mission is to serve as a catalyst for education reform by establishing and supporting a world class network of public schools that develop in all of our students the knowledge, skills, character, and pursuit of excellence necessary to succeed in high quality high schools and colleges and the world beyond. For more information please visit the KIPP St. Louis website:

About the Position

KIPP St. Louis seeks an experienced Chief Operating Officer (COO) to help manage and support the organization’s mission and reflect the priorities of KIPP St. Louis. A new position to support growth, this senior leader will oversee the implementation of a new strategic business plan that will allow KIPP St Louis to scale and serve more youth. In this role, the COO will help build and maintain the operational and financial infrastructure necessary to guide KIPP’s growth in developing college-preparatory schools that lead children from low income communities on the mountain climb to and through college. Reporting directly to the Executive Director and working closely with the Finance Director, the COO will serve as a senior leader on the Regional Team.

This is an ideal opportunity for an entrepreneurial leader to scale a best-in-class charter network at the forefront of increasing educational options for low income communities in St. Louis and Missouri.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Strategic Plan Execution

  • Collaborate with internal staff and board to implement a new strategic business plan and financial model to enable KIPP St. Louis to successfully expand its network.
  • Partner with key internal stakeholders (ED, school leaders and regional support staff) to ensure strategic priorities are well-defined and translated into rigorous, executable and measureable plans.
  • Build out and manage Finance, Data, Human Resources, Operations, Technology, Legal and Facilities functions.

Operations Oversight and Performance

  • Assess challenges and develop solutions around KIPP’s school-level operations, including but not limited to transportation, food services, facility needs, and data systems.
  • Secure contracts and manage relationships with consultants and outsourced vendors to ensure that all services are being provided completely, effectively, and efficiently.
  • Assist in the development and direct the implementation of a facilities plan.
  • Procure facilities for all new schools /divisions of KIPP St. Louis.
  • Maintain custody of funds, securities, deeds, bills of sale, insurance policies, contracts and other similar documents and instruments relating to the business operation.
  • Codify operational procedures and policies across all school sites, differentiating when necessary to fit the needs of each school’s student population.
  • Report on operations to the Executive Director, ensuring the continuous flow of information regarding financial transparency and all business operations.
  • Review current technology systems and capabilities and work on development of overall technology strategy.

Financial Performance, Oversight and Compliance

  • Assist the Finance Director in ensuring effective financial management and organization.
Major responsibilities and duties:

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; MBA highly preferred.
  • Minimum of 5-10 years of progressively increasing operational management experience and strategic planning for a growing, multi-site organization.
  • Experience developing and implementing highly effective strategies for various business units.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; demonstrated experience in the ability to communicate with, engage and inspire a wide range of audiences.
  • Ability to negotiate and execute contracts, and manage the quality of service providers and vendors including but not limited to auditors, IT and other administrative functions.
  • Experience leading, planning and managing in an entrepreneurial, client-oriented setting.
  • Experience in facilities, transportation, food services, and real estate; especially as related to schools, is preferred.
  • Ability to multitask, work collaboratively, manage and maintain focus in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong data analysis skills and the proven capability to develop the structures and processes to disseminate actionable information across a wide scope of decision makers and audiences.
  • Demonstrated passion for the mission, vision and values of KIPP St. Louis; comfort and willingness to actively participate in the school and neighborhood community.
  • Willingness to “get your hands dirty” and understanding that no task is too big or too small.

The Chief Operating Officer will also possess qualities that align with KIPP St. Louis’ core values:

  • Character - We follow through on our commitments. We only say about a person what we would say directly to them. We make decisions based on the interests of KIPP St. Louis and the families we serve.
  • Positivity - We always strive to find a solution. We have the power to change the situation for the better. We will leave the world a better place through our actions and our work. We enjoy our work and the people with whom we work and bring laughter into the workplace.
  • Excellence - We will work to ensure that KIPP St. Louis is recognized as best in class for academic achievement and character development. We will help KIPP St. Louis identify and use best practices in all areas. We will set aggressive goals and work toward achieving those goals. We will work to pursue excellence in these areas because it will prepare our students for high school and college.
  • Grit - We learn from failure and bounce back from adversity. We take risks. Where there is not a clear path, we will make one.
Compensation and benefits:

The compensation package is commensurate with experience and includes medical, dental, vision, life, and retirement benefits.

KIPP St. Louis is committed to a policy of equal treatment for all individuals applying for employment at our school. KIPP St. Louis does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, handicap, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.