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Les Lynn

Job Posting: UDL Assistant Director of Programs

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The CDC will be hiring a full-time Assistant Director for Programs this

summer. Please see the attached job posting, and please circulate it to

anyone you feel might be interested in the position. This person will work

closely with me in helping CPS administer the Chicago Debate League.

Qualifications for this position are most heavily "debate programming," but

they also include effective pedagogical and communications skills, and some management and development abilities as well. This person will work in the CDC offices downtown full time, and will be compensated based on their experience; the annual compensation can certainly exceed $55,000.




Chicago Debate Commission

Assistant Director for Programs

Job Description and Application Information

The Chicago Debate Commission (CDC) is searching for a qualified candidate to work in its small but growing core staff, taking lead responsibility for implementing the CDC’s role in administering the programming of the Chicago Debate League. The Assistant Director for Programs will work full-time from the CDC’s downtown offices.

Job Description

The Assistant Director for Programs will primarily work to conduct a variety of academic debate programs, but will also have some development and administrative responsibilities. This position will work with all three Conferences in the CDL, in addition to the Middle School League and the Lincoln-Douglas events.



  • Conduct school and coach recruitment and retention efforts, including communications, presentations, flier distribution, calls with principals, site visits, and monitoring;
  • Prepare the curriculum for and conduct all trainings for coaches, students, and judges;
  • Provide on-going training, assistance, and support to all CDL Coaches through phone, email, and on-site meetings;
  • Conduct approximately three site visits per week at local schools to provide support, modeling, and training to coaches and debaters;
  • Complete reporting forms for all site visits, trainings, and tournaments;
  • Build engagement, investment, and ownership of teachers, coaches, and school district administrators in the CDL;
  • Promote and effect high attendance at trainings, and track participation;
  • Conduct all necessary preparation work for all CDL Tournaments;
  • Administer CDL “A” and “AA” Tournaments;
  • Supervise Middle School Tournaments;
  • Monitor RCC and L-D Tournaments;
  • Facilitate and supervise the National Circuit participation of CDL schools;
  • Respond to requests and requirements of the Chicago Public Schools Office of High School Programs in the administration of the CDL; and
  • Direct the 2009 Chicago Debate Summer Institute.



  • Prepare regular articles for the Chicago Debate Commission’s quarterly newsletter;
  • Help prepare and conduct the CDC’s annual donor cultivation event;
  • Provide text for grant proposals;
  • Participate in presentations to current and prospective institutional partners or sponsors.



  • Collect and process data from all CDL Tournaments and training events;
  • Prepare periodic reports to schools and principals;
  • Recruit and manage volunteers effectively, and support the ED in managing part-time staff effectively;
  • Maintain the CDC public website, including a Coaches Corner and a Student Q. and A. blog;
  • Track and monitor student performance, including the programmatic inputs (student participants, teacher involvement, contact/training hours, debate programming) and outputs (graduation rates, college matriculation, grade-point average, standardized test scores, attendance, and specific performance assessments); and
  • Conduct regular meetings with the CDC Executive Director, the Chicago Public Schools, and the CDC Board.



  • B.A. or higher degree;
  • Extensive experience in current high school cross-examination policy debate;
  • Demonstrated ability to teach and train policy debate to all levels of debaters and coaches, from raw beginners to successful competitors on the National Circuit;
  • Passion for the urban debate mission and the educational justice objectives of the Chicago Debate League
  • Ownership of a vehicle and/or willingness to ride public transportation to high schools and other sites;
  • Willingness to work evenings/weekends where necessary – total working hours will be 40-50, but hours will not always be “9 to 5”;
  • Experience in urban education – non-profit, administrative, or classroom – is a plus;
  • Effective time management skills and ability to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously;
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and organizational skills.

Additional Information

Compensation commensurate with experience, but can exceed $55,000. Benefits will be folded into a single overall compensation figure.

Candidates passing an initial screening will be interviewed by the staff and Board of the Chicago Debate Commission and the Chicago Public Schools.

The Chicago Debate Commission is seeking a commitment of at least two years.

The Assistant Director of Programs position may begin August 1st, August 15th, or September 1st, pending negotiation.

It is the policy of the Chicago Debate Commission to provide employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex) as required by law.

Submit your c.v. and a cover letter, via email and U.S. Mail to:

Les Lynn

Executive Director, CDC

332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 500

Chicago, IL 60604

Thank you for your interest.

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