Special Projects Manager

Posted 2 months ago
Employment Type
Start Date
Position Areas
School District/Cooperative


Position Title: Special Projects Manager 

F.T.E: 1.0

Location: Chicago, IL

Reports To: Chief of Staff

Start Date: April 2021

The Mission of Distinctive Schools, an educational practice leader committed to social justice and the elevation of access and achievement in historically marginalized communities, is to support each child in becoming an engaged and curious learner, a confident self-advocate, and a creative problem-solver by setting high expectations and nurturing a positive culture that honors diversity, collaboration, and optimism.

Position Description:

The Special Projects Manager is a unique opportunity to directly support the Executive leadership of Distinctive Schools as the organization seeks to sustain and grow its success in the classroom, while looking to find new, effective ways to serve its students and communities.  Reporting to Chief of Staff, the Manager is responsible for projects championed by the CEO, Chief Education Officer and President and CFO, and will be directly responsible for communicating, coordinating, and amplifying the voice of our classroom and operational leaders at all schools with empathy.  The role will have three broad responsibilities: 1) Communication, coordination, and follow up within project plans towards specific and timely deliverables 2) Research and support of strategic opportunities for program growth, funding, and continuous improvement, including making recommendations for next steps 3) Tracking, execution and compilation of organizational deliverables, including grant requests, compliance requirements, contracts that support the opportunities above.  This person will:

Support Executive team and other leaders to coordinate and facilitate cross functional projects

Develop and track project schedules, workflows, resource allocations, agendas and next steps

Communicate clearly, efficiently, effectively and with empathy to diverse project stakeholders

Coordinate internal resources and third parties/vendors for the flawless execution of project execution

Prepare and distribute selected meeting agendas and reports including research, preparation and production of data and supportive material

Perform research, planning, and analysis for student data, student needs, demographics, potential vendors, facilities and growth areas

Work with DS cross-sectional teams to identify needs, priorities and goals for new regions

Research best practice in support of growth and expansion (5 Year Strategic Plan); lead project and research tools and resources in service of identified strategic priority areas

Support public relations strategy for the organization with the goal of expanding awareness in key target markets through media coverage

Draft external messaging including emails, speeches and blogs for Executive Leadership Team

Provide support in research, tracking, and compliance for grants, budgets and contracts

Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications and expanding professional networks

Train and provide work direction to departmental staff as assigned 

Monitor workflow and assure compliance with established timelines, procedures and standards of quality on behalf of Executive Leadership Team


Bachelor’s Degree

Effective project management skills and highly organized working style

Ability to proactively lead and delegate work / coordinate cross-functional activities

Passion for improving educational opportunities for young people 

History in manipulating Trello or project management boards/technologies

Exceptional writing skills (grant application or similar preferred)

Legal knowledge and business awareness

Why Join the Distinctive Schools Team:

We are a collaborative team of professionals supporting each other to instill a love of learning in our students

We empower students, families and staff to contribute to our mission in a meaningful way

Distinctive Schools was named one of Crain’s 2021 Best Places to Work in Chicago; culture is at the heart of what we do

We make an impact in our communities by serving some of the most historically marginalized in the city

We offer a great benefits package for full time employees (Medical; Dental; Vision; PTO; 403b match, discounted gym membership, tuition reimbursement options, referral bonus)

Distinctive Schools is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other personal characteristic protected by applicable law. 

Posted By

Distinctive Schools

910 West Van Buren Street Suite 315, Chicago, IL 60607

At the following locations

Distinctive Schools Network Office-Chicago

910 W VanBuren , Chicago, IL 60607