Director of Finance and Operations Beginning April 2023
Baker Demonstration School
Location: Wilmette, Illinois
Type: Full Time
4 Year Degree
Baker Demonstration School, an independent progressive PK-8 school on Chicago’s North Shore, is seeking an exemplary Director of Finance and Operations. The DoFO plays a strategic leadership role in advancing the mission of the School and its strategic direction. The DoFO is a key strategic partner to the Head of School and Board of Trustees in all aspects of school finance and operations. The DoFO is responsible for the following: Finance, Human Resources, Facilities, IT area and Risk Management with support from an experienced administrator. The DoFO is a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The person works closely with appropriate Board committees and attends Board meetings in order to provide full, accurate, and complete management and financial information as necessary to assist the Board in meeting its fiduciary responsibilities.
General Duties and Responsibilities
Analyzes the financial needs of the School and develops financial strategy.
Assists the School in reimagining financial and compensation frameworks.
Manages the financial capital requirements and funding implications of all capital projects.
Manages the financial stability of the School, overseeing purchasing, tuition billing and receivables, banking relationships, cash flows, liquidity, and development of financial models, payroll and benefits program.
Collaborates with the Head of School and Internal Operations Committee of the Board of Trustees, securing an annual audit of the School’s financial records and position, overseeing financial investments and establishing annual budget goals.
Collaborates with the Head of School and senior administrators, oversees the annual budget setting process for the school and establishes a clear, consistent process of budget-to-actual reporting for all school budget managers.
Collaborates with the Advancement team to ensure all gifts and pledges are recorded accurately and distributed appropriately.
Provides accurate and timely financial and facility reports to the Head of School, Leadership Team, Board Committees and the Board of Trustees, enabling them to make decisions for the good of the school.
Leads the efforts and coordinates with appropriate school leaders to implement financial and operational risk management policies and maintain appropriate levels of insurance to protect the property and cover the liability of the school.
Identifies areas of opportunity for continuous improvement and leads large scale project initiatives for efficiency improvements through the utilization of technology and streamlined processes.
Participates in department and school task forces and committees as needed.
Annually updating NAIS & State of Illinois surveys and managing the databases.
Performs other duties as required.
Finance (Accounting & Investment)
Directs and advises on all accounting activities.
Oversees all aspects of financial transactions, financial reporting and external auditing.
Responsibility for financial oversight and controls, budgeting, long-range financial planning.
Maintains compliance with GAAP in the management and structure of all accounting practices.
Reviews vendor contracts with appropriate leaders (i.e. janitorial, HVAC).
Oversees tuition assistance processing and collaborates with the admission team for awarding assistance.
Provides oversight for annual review and revision of student enrollment contracts/coordinates with the admission team to ensure timely and accurate enrollment process.
Leads and directs annual financial and retirement plan audit processes.
Manages over investment funds.
Ensures that the school is in compliance with all federal, state, and local employment regulations.
Conducts annual evaluation of all employee benefits including medical, dental, vision and other insurances / communication plan with employees on any changes.
Manages employee retirement plan, including vendor relationships / ensure compliance and fiduciary oversight as appropriate.
Responsibility for creation of faculty and staff employment agreements.
Reviews and revises employee handbook annually and communicates changes to employees.
Reviews and revises employment policies and practices on a periodic basis.
Collaborates with appropriate Leadership Team to manage hiring, interview and onboarding processes.
Manages worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance, programs, claims, etc.
Facilities & IT
Supervises the outsourced facilities and maintenance crew.
In collaboration with the Facilities Manager, oversees all work requests and reviews long term and preventative maintenance plans, ensuring that safety is the top priority.
Oversees the IT professional who manages the school’s technology assets and infrastructure and helps develop technology acquisition cycle.
Leads the school’s risk management initiatives.
Manages the school’s property/casualty, directors’ and officers’ liability, employment practices liability, and fiduciary liability insurance programs, manage claims and litigation.
Collaborates with educational and operational leaders to understand and mitigate risk as appropriate.
Oversees the school’s safety, emergency preparedness, revises Emergency Handbook and activity liability.
Provides guidance for all school programs.
Ability to simultaneously manage a wide variety of issues, situations and people.
Detail-oriented, with excellent time-management skills.
Ability to be autonomous, self-motivated, and driven, as well as having a team approach.
Outstanding communication skills, ability to communicate with all constituents including: Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, maintenance staff, families, vendors, etc.
Technologically adept with advanced skills in MS Office Suite products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, etc.), web applications such as Google Suite, video conferencing software, and database management software, knowledgeable about QuickBooks and Paylocity is a plus; ability to master common automated systems, and confidently learn new technology.
Open and collaborative management style with a commitment to relationship building with faculty and staff.
A high degree of integrity and ethics, with an unwavering commitment to confidentiality.
Strong customer service orientation and the ability to represent Baker in a professional manner.
Growth-oriented, flexible, unafraid of innovating.
Qualifications & Skills
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Business Administration or related field required.
MBA or related advanced degree strongly preferred.
5+ years of experience in a DoFO, Controller or Assistant CFO / Controller / Business Manager role required.
Experience with non-profits or independent schools is highly desirable.
Strong background in finance, budgeting, investing, and cash management required.
Strong attention to detail and understanding of nuanced school environment situations.
Previous supervisory experience required.
Possesses high energy, a strong work ethic, and a positive attitude.
Collaborative team member.
Organizational Relationships/ Reporting Structure
Directly accountable to the Head of School for the performance of all responsibilities related to the position.
The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities, or requirements.
Baker Demonstration School is an independent day school, committed to providing an exemplary Preschool, Elementary and Middle School education to our 200 students. We believe that children learn best in an inclusive, creative community that encourages individual risk-taking and values different ways of learning. Baker’s experiential approach nurtures the development of the whole child enabling each student to be fully prepared for intellectual, artistic, physical and social/emotional challenges well beyond Baker. We cultivate our students’ intrinsic motivation to learn and their active participation in the learning process. We foster excellence through critical thinking and integrated connections across academic and artistic endeavors. We promote collaboration while developing personal leadership. We foster citizenship by encouraging students to develop self-awareness and compassion for others. Baker celebrates individual, family and cultural differences and graduates students who appreciate diversity in all its forms.
Baker Demonstration School does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sexual identity in its hiring ...processes and actively promotes the principles and practices of diversity throughout the school community. We offer competitive compensation and a progressive community dedicated to learning and engaged citizenship.