School Programs Coordinator

Severson Dells Nature Center

Rockford, Illinois

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $20-25/hour
Deadline Jul 15, 2024
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Job Title: School Programs Coordinator

Reports to:  Education Programs Manager

Starting Wage: $20.00-$25.00, commensurate with experience

FLSA Status: Full-time, Nonexempt (Hourly)


  • Medical, dental and vision insurance
  • 401k Employer retirement match
  • Vacation (80 hours-increases with tenure), IL Paid Leave for All (40 hours) and sick leave (64 hours)
  • 9 paid holidays and 2 paid floating holidays 

WHO WE ARE.  Severson Dells Nature Center links people to nature through education and research. We promote awareness of the natural world, fostering respect, enjoyment and preservation now and in the future. Severson Dells Nature Center is situated on a 369-acre county forest preserve with four miles of trails through prairie, savanna, oak woodland, creek and pond ecosystems. We aspire to be the local leader in nature education and create meaningful experiences with and for all ages. Our team seeks to build community connections while fostering an inclusive and innovative workplace.

YOUR ROLE. This position will support and carry out the mission of Severson Dells Nature Center by planning and implementing nature education programs including school field trips, in-school programs, after school programs, and support for other programs as needed. If you enjoy creating and delivering hands-on learning opportunities using nature as your classroom, supporting the professional growth of a team, and building relationships with community partners, this could be the position for you. 

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT. Severson Dells Nature Center is a strong collaborative team who see opportunity in every corner of our community. You will step into a robust set of school programs as well as many exciting opportunities for program growth and new partnerships. The Rockford Area has a wealth of habitats to teach in, too. Our organization is in a season of growth, and we want you to be a part of our next chapter. 


  • 30 % Direct Teaching- coordinate  and lead school field trips, in-school, and afterschool programs. Develop, implement, and evaluate educational curriculum and lesson plans for school groups, preK-12 community groups, camps, using current informal education best practices.
  • 30% Coordination- communicate with clients and stakeholders, schedule staff and volunteers, track program attendance, prepare curriculum and materials. 
  • 20% Supervision- with support from the Education Programs Manager, the School Programs Coordinator will supervise and train up to 3 AmeriCorps members, School Field Trip volunteers and seasonal Summer Camp assistants. 
  • 10% Outreach- collaborates with the Community Engagement Coordinator to provide high quality, accurate content for publications and social media, including education and promotional material. 
  • 5% Administration- collaborate with the Education Programs Manager to help develop and manage the school programs budget.
  • 5% Support- support annual special events, assist with minor facilities and grounds needs.  May be required to work some evenings and weekends to accommodate programming needs.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions unless undue hardship and/or a direct threat to the health and/or safety of the individual or others would result.

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree required, Master's degree desirable in environmental/science education or biological/environmental sciences.
  • Teaching and Curriculum Development:  A minimum of two years teaching experience with strong teaching foundations in informal science learning environments. Experience developing informal science programs and curriculum.
  • Communication: Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills with ability to adapt information for different audiences. Comfortable with public speaking to groups of all sizes, ages and demographics.
  • Relationship-building: Demonstrated highly collaborative work style who can effectively work with all constituent groups including staff, volunteers, visitors, and teachers. Experience supporting the development of diverse and inclusive environments, and demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Have a strong customer focus when working with all constituencies.
  • Project management: Strong organizational skills with the ability to prioritize, problem solve, and adapt to change.
  • Operations:  Ability to maintain regular attendance and punctuality. Must successfully obtain and maintain CPR and basic first aid certification. Adheres to all risk management and safety programs. A valid Driver’s License and reliable transportation are required (mileage reimbursed at the IRS rate). 
  • Systems: Ability to use or learn the following: 
    • Microsoft and Google Suites 
    • CRM Systems for customer management and program registration
    • Willingness to learn new applications and identify innovative ways for technology to support organizational objectives.


  • Strong knowledge of Midwest environments, flora, fauna and natural history, plus related environmental issues  
  • Two years experience scheduling, planning and supervising environmental education programs and activities is desirable
  • Experience working with ISBE State Education Standards or Next Generation Science Standards
  • Bilingual in Spanish
  • Experience with Canva and/or Adobe Creative Suite

PHYSICAL DEMANDS. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job .

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk, stand, sit, talk or hear.  The employee is frequently required to use hands to handle, feel or operate objects such as a computer or controls, and includes repetitive motions of the wrists, hands and/or fingers; and is required to reach with hands and arms.  The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel or crouch.  Sufficient vision, hearing and stamina to perform the above functions is required. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently.

WORK ENVIRONMENT.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee works in an office environment, but is frequently exposed to outside weather conditions, including heat, humidity and cold.  The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet while in the office or moderately noisy when out in the field.

This position description reflects Severson Dells Nature Center’s best effort to describe the essential functions and qualifications of the job described. It is not an exhaustive statement of all the duties, responsibilities, or qualifications of the job. This document is not intended to exclude the opportunity for modifications, providing reasonable accommodation.

About the Rockford Region

The Rockford, IL region is home to 4 rivers and more than 20,000 acres of protected greenspace that are full of opportunities to hike, camp, bird, mountain bike, paddle and fish. The region has a thriving arts and cultural community that includes diverse public art, museums and music and art festivals. Check out Made for Rockford to see all the area has to offer!


TO APPLY: Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Ann Wasser ann@seversondells.org  with the email subject: School Programs Coordinator. Initial resume review will begin Monday, July 15th, 2024.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership, Environmental Education, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Cultural Resources, Nature Center