Director, Reading Solutions

About Us

The Client – a non-profit education solutions company dedicated to improving the lives of struggling learners at school, home, and in their lives – began 70 years ago as Recording for the Blind with a mission to provide access to books for those who were blind or visually impaired. With a history of evolving that initial mission to serve even more readers and learners, The Client continues to grow its vision and solution offerings.

Our solutions are currently in over 20,000 schools nationwide. We are passionate about growth, both internally and for the educators and students we serve. Our partnerships with world-renowned researchers at institutions like UC San Francisco and MIT are allowing us to develop new ground-breaking solutions that allow for early identification of literacy challenges, as well as cognitive strengths and weaknesses of students. We believe we can fundamentally change the way education works for the over 60% of students who are currently struggling by understanding how students learn and developing educational solutions to meet the needs of students.

Position Summary

We are seeking an experienced product management director with deep understanding of innovating and growing education software-based solutions. The Director/VP of Reading Solutions, 3rd-8th Grade will be responsible for the portfolio covering 3rd-8th grade literacy solutions and partnerships. This position will report directly to the Vice President of Solutions Development and will be responsible for product lifecycle across multiple products in the portfolio. As such, the candidate will need to be both a team player and a coach – leading without direct authority yet delivering best-in-class solutions for multiple market niches. The Director/VP must be able to see from both the 30,000- and 1-foot views, providing enough detail and steering the course to deliver against the business roadmap. The ideal candidate will have expertise and leadership capability in breaking down complex problems into ideal market-ready solutions. The Director/VP must have direct experience as a Product Manager with an emphasis on business strategy: valuation, market segmentation, product vision, key metrics, launch, and lifecycle. This candidate must have experience in the PreK-12 reading market. The Director/VP should have comfort working in ambiguity, using business goals, market experience and data, with the roadmap as guide, to solve problems as they arise. This role requires high level of analytical skills. The candidate should be able to synthesize multiple sources of complex information and data to refine strategy, solutions, workflows, and processes.

Primary Position Competencies and Objectives:

Product Management

  • Development and execution of research plans to guide product planning.

  • Gathering effective and clear product and business requirements from internal and customer stakeholders.

  • Ability to have firsthand understanding of and empathy for end users.

  • Ability to develop personas, story/journey maps, user stories and program architecture.

  • Creation of clear Product Requirements Documentation at both document (high level) and ticket (detailed) levels.

  • Adherence to Agile Scrum SDLC; collaborate with Product Managers, Scrum Master and Development leadership to deliver quality software solutions on time and on budget.

  • Management and prioritization of a multi-product backlog.

  • Development of effective release plans from established roadmap based on business priorities, customer needs, and organization readiness.

  • Familiarity with Confluence/Jira, Trello, A-ha! and Notion.

Business Strategy

  • Ability to conduct market research and write business cases.

  • Creation of comprehensive product roadmap outcomes and outputs across multiple product portfolios.

  • Understanding of the K12 education sector funding and spending decisions, especially for special education, intervention, and Title I.

  • Ability to write value propositions, using personas and market research to provide for the most important needs for our students and educators.

  • Creation of competitive intelligence to assist marketing and sales.

  • Experience with technology implementations in school districts and classrooms.

  • Planning and execution of Go-To-Market plans for feature and product releases.

  • Effective project management, with the ability to manage multiple simultaneous projects.

  • Ability to understand and ensure that organization’s goals and strategies are supported by product development. 

Leadership, Collaboration, and Communication

  • Excellent people skills.

  • Ability to communicate at both detailed and high levels, understands what level of detail a given audience requires. Demonstrated strength in creating simple, user-friendly solutions for complex problems.

  • Ability to identify and work with various cross-departmental stakeholders to garner consensus on release plans and to provide support for product launches

  • Ability to manage multiple products across entire Solutions portfolio by collaborating and leading with product pillar leads. Mentoring and/or people management.

  • Ability to know who needs to be in the room to move initiatives forward.

Experience:

  • At least 10 years of related experience in education, education technology, instructional design, and/or educational services. Classroom/School experience is a plus.

  • At least 5 years of experience directly tied to Product Management (designing, developing, delivering, and maintaining) of high-value technology solutions for educators and learners.