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Chief Operating Officer

Denver, CO, USA | Non Profit Organization

  • Industry:
    Non-Profit / Social Enterprise
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    5-7 years
Job Description:
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As a member of the executive team and reporting directly to the Founding Executive Director ("ED"), the Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) will play a key role in leading and supporting the organization's capacity development and strategic growth plan. In addition to being a vital thought partner to the ED, Board, and other members of the leadership team, the COO will oversee the high-performing teams and external partners responsible for Finance and Accounting, Talent and Human Resources, External Affairs, School-based Operations, Information Technology, and Legal Services.

The COO must possess a strong and palpable commitment to the mission and values of U Prep. This is a new leadership position for U Prep, and a spirit of entrepreneurship along with a "service" approach to all stakeholders (including instructional and non-instructional staff, students, parents, and Board members) will be critical to success. 

As a small but growth-oriented charter management organization, U Prep seeks someone who reflects its culture, and who believes "no job is too big or too small" to support the success of all students.

As the leader of the staff supporting not only the daily infrastructure at the schools and the network office but also the future growth of U Prep’s schools, the COO must have the ability to remain nimble and flexible while prioritizing their various work streams.

Specific responsibilities include:

Team Leadership and Performance Management:

Oversee day-to-day management of non-instructional departments including Finance and Accounting (financial reporting and analysis, payroll, budgeting, compliance, procurement, asset management), Talent and Human Resources (talent acquisition, development and retention, policies/procedures, HR compliance, benefits, risk management), External Affairs (dotted line oversight of fundraising, communications, marketing, policy and advocacy work, local politics and strategy; ED will maintain oversight of some of this work as well), 

Support the management and success of School-based Operations and School-based Deans of Operations (day to day school-based operations that directly support children, families and staff, facilities, construction and renovation, safety, supplies, food services, transportation), Information Technology (systems and networks, data platforms), and Legal Services through coaching, professional development, resource sharing and in close partnership with Principals

Provide outstanding management and coaching to a high-performing team of three direct reports and three dotted line reports; design and implement targeted professional development for non-instructional staff; recruit, hire, train, manage and develop future operations staff as needed

Monitor all external vendor relationships; oversee tracking of U Prep’s physical assets; serve as a liaison to all outside consultants and professional services staff

Strategic Planning and Execution:

Collaborate with senior management to refine U Prep’s current strategic plan; the plan currently includes opening two new schools over the next 12-48 months, which when fully occupied will double the size of the network

Lead project management and execution for operational aspects of the strategic plan

Systems Development and Management:

Identify, develop and implement operational systems improvements that will support highly efficient and effective performance as U Prep continues to grow in size and complexity

Oversee the creation and management of standardized documentation and turnover procedures for all core non-academic functions within the organization


The successful candidate will possess the following skills and attributes:


Five or more years of progressively increasing operational leadership experience for a growing, multi-site organization

Experience leading, planning and managing in an entrepreneurial, client-service-oriented setting; excellent talent management, communications, and interpersonal skills

Demonstrable track record of developing, implementing, and managing business systems and processes to support a growing multi-million dollar organization, including significant experience with at least several of the following functional areas: finance, human resources, external affairs, site-based operations, information technology, and legal services

Ability to negotiate and execute contracts, and manage the quality of service providers and vendors, including but not limited to: auditors, HR operations partners, IT and other administrative / facilities functions

Ability to exercise excellent judgment in decision-making, soliciting and leveraging stakeholder input when appropriate, and using available data to drive decision-making

Personal Values and Leadership/Management Style:

Unquestionable integrity and commitment to U Prep’s mission and community, and commitment to the belief that outstanding schools will enable all students to achieve excellent life outcomes 

Extremely high expectations for staff, students, parents, donors, and Board members in a supportive, assets-based manner

Ability to serve as a role model for colleagues, students, staff, and parents

Trustworthiness in dealing with confidential matters

Ability to multi-task and thrive managing concurrent projects under tight deadlines

Player-coach mentality and ability to work both collaboratively and independently

Entrepreneurial spirit Proactive, continually looking for ways to avert problems and improve systems with an entrepreneurial spirit

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