Director of Museum & Education

Classification: Full time

Department: Museum and Education

Work Location: Museum of the Grand Prairie (Mahomet, IL)

FSLA: Exempt

IMRF: Eligible

Hours: Typical work hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, unless otherwise scheduled. Some evenings, weekends, and an occasional holiday will be required depending on departmental needs.

Salary: $71,875/year plus a full benefits package


The Director of the Museum and Education Department is responsible for managing all operations, interpretation, and collections of the Museum and Education Department, which includes the direct supervision of the Museum of the Grand Prairie (MGP) and the Homer Lake Interpretive Center (HLIC).

Supervisory Relationships

The Director of the Museum and Education Department is supervised by the Executive Director of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. The Director directly supervises the Curator of Collections and Exhibits, the Public Programs Manager and the Youth Programs Manager. In addition, the Director indirectly supervises all other Museum and Education Department departmental staff.


Essential Functions

• Work with the Curator of Collections and Exhibits, the Public Programs Manager and the Youth Programs Manager to discuss, plan, coordinate, execute and evaluate progress on  objectives, particularly those stated in the Strategic, Collection and Interpretive Plans, at both a departmental and district level.  Assure alignment of departmental and CCFPD plans. 

• Coordinate the activities of the Museum and Education Department with all departments within the CCFPD to align interpretation and programming to perceived/expressed needs of departments and audiences. 

• Oversee the department’s collaboration with the Marketing Department on a variety of print and digital materials including, but not limited to,  brochures, booklets, self-guided and promotional materials, the museum’s website and blog, as well as online exhibits. Work with management team to foster growth of the department’s social media platforms. 

• Explore possible local, state and federal grant possibilities and seek alternate sources of funding and revenue for the Museum and Education Department in collaboration with the Grants and Development Officer. Participate in the grant/proposal writing process. 

• Coordinate with Public Programs Manager, Youth Programs Manager, and Curator of Collections and Exhibits to identify appropriate expenditure of currently committed funds, and continue fundraising and “friendraising” activities for CCFPD, specifically the museum and interpretive center. 

• Coordinate with site operations staffs to oversee the operation and maintenance of all museum and interpretive center facilities and equipment, including fire and security systems. 

• Ensure compliance with professional museum standards, particularly those of the accreditation program for the American Alliance of Museums, by maintaining records on Museum and Interpretive Center operations, collections, evaluations, and activities.  

• Recommend long and short-term capital improvement for the MGP and HLIC. Prepare specifications and proposals for new equipment and supplies at MGP. Develop and implement departmental operating budget for the MGP, the HLIC and the museum Store and maintain adequate fiscal controls to ensure costs are within budgetary limits.

• Plan and prepare an annual budget for the Museum and Education Department. Maintain adequate fiscal controls to assure that departmental costs are within budgetary limitations.

• Support the planning, construction, and opening of a replacement to the HLIC.

• Recruit, hire, train, supervise, and evaluate personnel. Develop onboarding materials in coordination with HR for training new employees. Identify ongoing training and mentoring opportunities for existing staff and volunteers. Take an active role in staff development, oversee the Coaching for Success employee reflection and goal-setting process for all direct reports.  

• Facilitate and support the Curator of Collections & Exhibits in planning for the proper storage, preservation, care and exhibition of the museum’s collection. Engage the community with this responsibility through the Museum Advisory Committee. 

• Oversee the Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion efforts of the Museum and Education Department and ensure that all people are welcome, engaged, and included in all interpretive material, programming, hiring, and activity of the department and the CCFPD. 

• Facilitate and support the Curator of Collections & Exhibits in the production or procurement of exhibits at the Museum of the Grand Prairie and the Homer Lake Interpretive Center. Work with the Public Programs Manager and Youth Programs Manager to identify and implement diversified programming suitable for all ages and ability levels, covering a wide array of topics and interest areas. Oversee the revision of the District Interpretive Plan, the Museum and Education Department Strategic Plan and the re/development of exhibit, inclusion, program and collection plans, policies and procedures.

• Ensure that all Department staff is fully trained and retrained when necessary to observe and consistently follow all District and departmental safety standards. Implement site security and safety programs; arrange safety orientation for staff and volunteers. 

• Establish and mange strategic partnerships with local and national organizations to assure departmental involvement in collaborative exhibits and programs. 

• Coordinate with other departments, such as volunteers, human resources, marketing, and others to support the department’s needs, identify & procure resources, and ensure organizational-wide objectives are met.

Secondary Responsibilities 

• Attend meetings of the Board, subcommittees and public meetings as required.

• Explain and enforce District rules of conduct and inform appropriate authority if patrons or employees are endangered. Listen and respond to patron concerns.

• Regularly participate in professional development, including attending and/or leading workshops, seminars, conferences and other educational programs. 

• Develop and facilitate public engagement with the Museum and Education Department’s mission and programs through presentations and participation in various groups and organizations. 

• Other duties as assigned.


Minimum Education and Experience

• Bachelor's or Master’s degree from an accredited college in museum studies, history, library science,  anthropology,  education, natural resources, biology, interpretation or closely related field of study. The District will also consider candidates who hold multiple years of relevant work or life experience in lieu of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. 

• Must have at least 5 years of professional experience in a  position with similar duties and responsibilities, especially as it relates to people-management responsibilities.

• Knowledge of professional standards related to the acquisition and care of natural and cultural collections is preferred.

• Experience with personnel administration and budget preparation preferred.

• Experience working in a museum, nature center, zoo, archives, library, or other institution is preferred. 

Please Note: Studies have shown that Black, Indigenous, and People of color (BIPOC), women and other marginalized groups are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe that they meet every one of the qualifications as stated in the job description. The Champaign County Forest Preserve District is interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and qualifications for the role. 

Skills and Abilities

• Must be passionate about the District’s mission to protect natural and cultural history, as well as inspiring others to care for, enjoy, and explore the natural world. 

• Must have the capability to envision the “big picture,” lead strategic, long-term planning, and, ultimately, be able to move the department forward to accomplish strategic objectives. 

• Ability to hire, supervise, train, and evaluate the work of professional, clerical and semi-skilled employees and volunteers.

• Ability to effectively communicate with, lead, motivate, develop and coordinate a team of people with varying needs, resources, and challenges. The ability to build cohesion, foster mutual respect, and a instill a sense of belonging amongst staff despite the presence of such differences is imperative. 

• Excellent oral and written communication skills essential, including effective public speaking and networking skills.

• Ability to exercise sound judgment in solving problems and making decisions; ability to respond professionally and safely to challenging or stressful situations.

• Ability to establish and maintain positive and effective working relationships with other department heads, supervisors, and employees and work harmoniously with fellow employees, patrons, community groups and other units of local government. 

• Capacity to utilize effective time management skills and be able to work under the stress of multiple deadlines, requests for other departments, including District staff, the Board of Commissioners, and the general public. 

• CPR/AED and First Aid certification, or ability to obtain within six months of employment.

• Fluent and able to communicate in English; bilingual skills a plus.

• A valid driver's license is required.


Work is primarily performed in a shared office suite within a museum setting with moderate interruptions. While performing this job, the employee regularly utilizes a computer and other standard office equipment. Some work may be performed outdoors in various weather conditions, including heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, or ice. Employee may be exposed to hazardous flora and fauna (e.g. poison ivy, wild parsnip, biting/stinging insects, ticks) and potentially hazardous substances and materials such as cleaning supplies, herbicides/pesticides, mold, mildew, rodent excrement, dust, radioactive/explosive material, and taxidermy as found in collections.

The employee will have frequent interaction with co-workers as well as program participants and patrons. Ability to talk and hear or otherwise effectively communicate is required. Visual acuity necessary for this position includes close vision and depth perception. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is primarily sedentary and may be sitting for prolonged periods of time.

However, the employee may need to occasionally move to access file cabinets and office machines or to participate in or to observe programs. The employee may regularly handle, grasp, or feel objects; reach, push, or pull to reposition items; and may occasionally lift and transport up to 25 pounds. Visual acuity

Use of personal protection equipment will be required based on job specific tasks. This may include, but is not limited to, the following items:

 • Closed toed shoes

• Protective gloves

• Safety goggles or glasses

 • Earplugs or ear covers

• Reflective vest or hi-vis shirt

• Respirators or masks


The work environment characteristics and physical demands described above are representative of those an employee must meet to successfully perform the essential functions of this position.

Reasonable accommodations may be made, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


EEO Statement

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District is an Equal Opportunity Employer and as such does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, parental status, military service, or any other non-merit factor.