Beacon Academy is a Montessori high school that brings together independent school best practices and challenging International Baccalaureate curriculum with independence, freedom, and a student-centered approach. Our students experience a learning community that inspires self-motivation and personal challenge and celebrates intellectual, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity. At Beacon Academy, we nurture, develop, encourage, and teach the whole student – academically, socially, emotionally, artistically, and athletically. Our success has brought us from start-up to a sought-after high school option in a competitive market. Based in Evanston, Illinois, but using the entirety of Chicago as a classroom, Beacon Academy is home to 210 students in grades nine to twelve.
Our next Business Manager will succeed in a collaborative and decisive way by addressing the challenges that come with success and maturity while capitalizing on our unique opportunities as a new model for high school. To thrive at Beacon, you must value doing the hard work over seeking credit for the results and you should be driven by creating something bigger than yourself. Candidates who are confident, active listeners, who seek to understand before being understood will excel in the role and have rewarding professional and personal experiences in the process.
As a relationship-based community, we value:
Inclusion – We strive for a student body that is diverse and inclusive, respectful of all members of its immediate and global communities, empathetic and eager to be socially responsible.
Innovation – The Beacon Academy academic program is designed to be challenging, rigorous, engaging, and creative. Students are expected to go beyond comprehension, think out of the box and incorporate learning from multiple disciplines and sources of information and inspiration.
Independence – Students at Beacon Academy are encouraged to think and act independently, to be active architects of their own education, to push the boundaries of conventional wisdom, and to do so respectfully and responsibly.
Interdependence – At Beacon Academy students are expected to reach outside of the traditional classroom to connect with experts in the community and to collaborate with students, teachers and researchers across the globe. It is a community school in the strongest sense, with partnerships across the educational spectrum.
We are seeking a Business Manager to join our team ASAP. This position is a member of the senior leadership team.
The ideal candidate will be an active and enthusiastic participant on a highly collaborative team, contributing to long-term planning as well as current operations. Areas of responsibility include the financial, accounting oversite, human resources, risk management, and strategic partnership to the Head of School.
As a dynamic leader in the Beacon Academy community you:
Provide strategic recommendations to the Head of School based on financial analysis and projections, cost identification and allocation, and revenue/expense analysis.
Ensure that financial records systems are maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; monitor use of all funds. Includes bookkeeping, accounting, and regulatory filing.
Manage payroll service.
Coordinate annual and long-term financial planning and budgeting for the school.
Partner with Advancement to help set goals and track key metrics for fundraising.• Partner with Admissions to help them use data to recruit mission-appropriate students to Beacon.
Manage financial communications with families - annual contracts, indexed tuition, delinquent accounts, etc.
Prepare and present financial reports and metrics to the Head of School, Finance Committee, Board of Trustees, annual audits, and lending institutions. Partner with our Board Treasurer and Finance Committee to develop simple and insightful reports to help our various stakeholders understand the school’s performance and act as an early warning system for challenges or inefficiency. Create reports that provide the overarching strategic commentary and understanding to the organization.
Provide guidance for decisions regarding HR policies and legal compliance and practices (in collaboration with the school’s legal counsel).
Maintain employee files.
In addition to these activities over the course of your first year as Beacon’s Business Manager, you will establish yourself as a true partner to the HOS and a valuable collaborator with your peers on the leadership team. We believe Beacon Academy can be a national model for educating adolescents and, in your role, you will help us achieve this ambition. While Beacon’s success to date is apparent on most measures, and of that we are proud, we also recognize the critical challenges we face as we mature. Sustainability. Affordability. Equity. Inclusion. Integrity. Quality. Identity. Accountability. The demands of these priorities bear on us every day as we continue to educate our current students while planning for the future ones yet to enroll.
Knowledge & Skills
Three years of professional experience in finance or accounting (experience in school or other non-profit administration preferred)
Excel, QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, Google Drive, PowerPoint
BA/BS in business, administration, finance, or a related field. Masters Degree preferred. • Mature and excellent judgment and sensitivity in managing responsibilities and relationships. • Personable, positive personality with a customer service mindset.
Ability to manage several projects simultaneously and adapt to frequent changes • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Sensitivity, discretion, and ability to maintain confidentiality
The desire and ability to work collaboratively with all members of the school community
A ready willingness to accept both positive and constructive feedback, and to be part of a culture that values ongoing professional growth
A Collaborative, Strategic Partner – You are comfortable being a strategic advisor to the HOS; pairing your mastery of core financial concepts with even stronger business acumen earning you a true seat in board room conversations. We are seeking a true strategist who not only can analyze existing data to reach informed conclusions but also has the vision to know what additional information needs to be produced to make better decisions about the future.
Project Management, Organizational Planning & Execution – The Business Manager will have full responsibility for various projects as they come up. Some will be one-time in nature and others will be more recurring in nature (monthly reporting, budgeting, annual audits, and tax filings). A good Business Manager is in regular communication with the HOS and the Board of Trustees, keeping all in the loop as to the progress and timing of different initiatives, paying particular attention to deadlines as determined by both internal and external parties.
Tenacity & Conflict Resolution – At times, this individual will face challenges rolling out either new systems, implementing new internal policies, or in making procedural changes. This individual also has the benefit of interacting with faculty, students, parents, board members, and other stakeholders, so a level-headed, empathetic approach to challenges and conflicts is imperative.
Influencing and Relationship-Building – You understand the complexities of executing on an agenda that impacts multiple areas of the school moving from start-up to sustainability. You must be able to balance asking the right questions with providing direction to ensure that the work gets done, and not just by you.
Accountable – You do what you say you will and aren’t afraid to own your mistakes. You take the lead but are willing to ask for help. You regularly demonstrate the ability to meet tight deadlines, prioritize workload and achieve results.
Humility – You are quick to share credit with teammates; you take more satisfaction in meeting goals and solving problems than receiving praise for doing so.
Growth Mindset – You love a challenge; are curious and always learning; you inspire this in others.
Beacon does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin, sexual identity, gender, or religion, in the administration of its hiring policies, educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
Physical Demands and Work Environment
While performing the responsibilities the employee is required to talk and hear. • The employee is often required to sit and work at a computer screen for long periods of time. The employee is required to stand or bend over while filing in a 4-drawer filing cabinet. • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to loud.
Typical work hours are limited to Monday through Friday, but additional days/hours are required at times depending on the demands of the department and School events.
Interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and three references to [email protected].
More about Beacon Academy: Beacon Academy was established several years ago by a community of like-minded Trustees, students, parents, faculty, and staff to reimagine high school. Beacon is a shining example of what is possible when dedicated families think differently about their children’s education and commit to developing a diverse and supportive community of learners and educators.
Located in a vibrant and modern 23,000 square foot space in downtown Evanston, Beacon Academy serves families throughout the greater Chicago area. Enrollment has grown rapidly since our inception and the school operates debt-free with a healthy balance sheet and a strong donor base. Our 47 faculty, 78% of whom have Masters degrees or Ph.D.’s, commit themselves each day to their belief in our mission and our students’ success. We have graduated five senior classes and our alumni attend post-secondary schools ranging from Princeton and Wellesley College, from the University of Michigan and Parsons, from gap years to the University of Illinois. In 2019, we received our first ISACS accreditation, confirming the validity and value of our mission and the effectiveness of the people who work to achieve it.
We are confident that Beacon Academy’s strong foundation sets up the new Business Manager for success and our deeply committed community will help along the way. We believe this is a unique and exciting opportunity for ambitious, grounded, and innovative candidates.
Beacon Academy brings together independent school best practices and the IB Diploma curriculum with the independence, freedom, and student-centered methods of Montessori. The students experience a learning community that inspires self-motivation and personal challenge and celebrates intellectual, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity. Based in Evanston, but using the entirety of Chicago as a classroom, Beacon Academy has experienced explosive growth since its founding in 2014. It is a school that values entrepreneurialism, creativity, and innovation.