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Chief Operating Officer, DSST Public Schools

Position: Chief Operating Officer

Functional Area: Business Operations

Organization: DSST Public Schools

Location: Denver

Metro Region: Denver o


DSST Public Schools (DSST) is a network of 6-12th grade open-enrollment STEM charter schools and is part of the Denver Public Schools (DPS) system. This fall, DSST will serve approximately 2,700 students with seven schools on five campuses. DSST has been approved to open three additional schools on three campuses over the next five years. At full enrollment, DSST Public Schools will serve over 4,400 students, and will help to nearly double the number of four-year college-ready DPS graduates by 2020. To date, 100% of DSST seniors have earned acceptance to four year college, and DSST students have the 5th lowest remediation rate of all public and private schools in Colorado. The continued success of the DSST network has gained local and national attention, including recognition as one of three top finalists in the 2010 President’s Commencement Challenge, and a 2010 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show when Oprah’s Angel Network awarded one million dollars to DSST as one of six top charter school networks nationally.

DSST is a values driven organization where students and staff are regularly evaluated on their commitment to and ways in which they live them out. The core values include respect, responsibility, courage, curiosity, integrity, and doing your best. Senior leaders at DSST are not only expected to embrace the core values in visible ways, but will inspire our teams to live the core values at the highest level. These core values set a high bar of expectations and are an essential part of the organization’s culture of continuous improvement.


To support the continued success of its students today and to reach these ambitious growth goals, DSST Public Schools is seeking an exceptional Chief Operating Officer to work closely with the CEO in creating the DSST Public Schools network. Serving as an integral member of the senior management team, the COO will establish and support the operational practices that will make replication and expansion possible. The COO will be a key contributor to the development of the organization’s strategic goals through leadership and oversight of the technology, business and school operations, and ideally finance and human resource departments. This is an outstanding opportunity for an executive with experience managing these many facets of an organization during a period of significant growth.


The COO’s responsibilities will evolve and become more focused over time as the central office grows. In the near term, specific responsibilities will include:

Organizational Strategy

  • Advise the CEO and other key members of senior management on planning, resource allocation and operational policy matters
  • Work with CEO, senior leadership team, key members of field to prioritize all projects against goals and objectives
  • Provide strategic oversight, staff management and support for the Director of Technology, Director of Finance, Director of Operations and their staff; collaborate closely with the Director of Human Capital as necessary
  • Drive leadership development of emerging leadership to include one-on-one time, mentorship, guidance, feedback
  • Contribute to the development of DSST Public Schools strategic goals and objectives as well as the overall management of the organization
  • Effectively communicate and present critical financial and operational matters at select Board of Directors and committee meetings
  • Develop key communication protocols at the central office and in the field, and maintain continuous lines of communication keeping the senior leadership team informed of all critical operational issues
  • Align the IT vision with the overall business strategy of the organization, and ensure that all IT assets, policies, and systems are functioning smoothly for all faculty and staff, including development of a data warehouse

Systems Development and Management:

  • Represent the organization externally, as necessary, particularly in facilities management, engagement with external vendors and suppliers, strategic partners, data center partners, and outsourcing agencies
  • Oversee the development of operational systems, data management systems for internal performance evaluation and shared operational functions such as procurement, compliance, IT and IS
  • Direct the coordination of all open projects, understanding capacity, demand, resources, and key risks, and how these are communicated internally and externally
  • Create an integrated vision for the development of a comprehensive enterprise system; lead RFP process, define user requirements and lead implementation
  • Support the development of interim management systems for specific day to day functions

Business Operations:

  • Oversee risk management and legal activities: letters of agreement, contracts, leases, and other legal documents and agreements
  • Maintain a finger on the pulse of everything that poses risk, and be a key communicator of this risk to the CEO
  • Lead the development of procurement, monitoring and management systems
  • Manage DSST Public Schools metrics and measurement reporting process
  • Manage administrative functions for all DSST Public Schools, ensuring smooth daily operations of physical plant and equipment
  • Provide sophisticated financial analysis and modeling to support good decision-making with rapidly changing variables
  • Ensure the ongoing maintenance and updating of information systems and infrastructure, with a heavy emphasis on educational technology
  • Lead the development of human resource systems, policies, and benefits to ensure integration with overall organizational systems, staffing and growth plans


  • Exceptional operational experience, ideally serving in a senior management role for 5+ years in a start-up or high growth organization
  • Demonstrated analytic and planning ability in a role that oversaw IT, operations, finance and/or human resource departments
  • Experience in the education reform sector strongly preferred
  • A track record of leading, motivating and developing high performance teams
  • Strong problem-solving and communications skills, and an ability to inspire confidence and passion in others
  • Ability to operate effectively as a strategic thinker and tactical executor in a fast-paced environment
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, Board of Directors, and staff
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, ideally with an MBA
  • Mission driven professional, experienced and energized by the opportunity to improve the lives of students
  • Alignment on DSST core values (respect, responsibility, courage, curiosity, integrity, doing your best) and philosophy: Passion for closing the achievement gap in public education and a belief that every student should be held to the highest expectations. The candidate should possess a deep understanding of how the DSST core values shape every decision
  • A shared sense of urgency and excellence with a demonstrated track record of being a resourceful and creative self-starter in tackling challenges, and of questioning conventional wisdom, coupled with an impatience for the status quo in public education

To Apply:

Please email a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position to Bill Kurtz, CEO at 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

DSST Public Schools offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills.

DSST Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability.