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McCormick Museum Seeks Museum Educator

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The Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny Park is seeking a Museum Educator. He or she will report to the McCormick Museum Director.

The Museum Educator will make in the mid-$30k range. He or she will develop the McCormick Museum’s education initiatives for formal group programs and informal drop-in activities; serve teachers and students through partnerships, curriculum and lesson plan development and school programs; facilitate distance learning and outreach to administrators, educators and students and serves as an education advocate by incorporating national and state educational education goals into programs, exhibits and school tours.

There are responsibilities in ten areas for this position. First, the Museum Educator develops and fosters relationships with teachers, school districts, and education leaders to develop lessons for in-gallery programs that align with state education standards. Second, he or she develops and administers curriculum and common core-based school programs and tours for student groups and collaborates with Tour Coordinator on Tour Guide training to administer these programs.

Third, he or she develops and implements measurements of effectiveness for school tours and programs. He or she uses results to recommend modifications, make adjustments, and improve the visitor experience.

Fourth, he or she develops and manages and pre-and post-visit materials for teachers/school programs, ensuring teacher/school educational resources are closely tied to Robert R. McCormick. Fifth, he or she maintains records of school visits including attendance data and visit day experience.

Sixth, he or she creates drop-in programs for other museum visitors and collaborates with the Tour Coordinator on Tour Guide training for these activities. Seventh, he or she collaborates with Cantigny and First Division Museum educators to develop and evaluate school and group education programs.

Eighth, he or she develops and evaluating out-reach programs for school and adult groups including hands-on classroom materials. Ninth, he or she promotes supporting resources provided by the McCormick Foundation Civics Program, McCormick Foundation grantees, and relevant external organizations to help educators integrate a McCormick Museum program into their classroom curriculum.

Tenth, he or she creates and maintaining hands-on education collection and incorporates material into museum tour program and outreach/loan program. Other duties may be assigned.

There are seven requirements for this job. First, a bachelor’s degree in museum education, museum studies, education, history, political science or related field required, and a master’s degree in Museum Education is desired.

Second, at least 3-5 years of experience in museum education, classroom teaching and/or conducting educational programs with direct experience creating and developing such programs is desired. Third, experience working in an informal learning environment, such as a museum, with 3rd through 8th grade students is preferred.

Fourth, one must have excellent organizational, interpersonal, public speaking and writing skills; knowledge of learning styles, developmentally appropriate educational practices and state education standards; experience working with school-age and adult audiences; and strong ability to work collaboratively. Fifth, this position requires work hours outside of normal business hours, so one must be able to work evenings and weekends as necessary.

Sixth, one must be mobile on stairs, able to climb stairs repeatedly and lift twenty-five pounds. Seventh, computer literacy is required including proficiency with Microsoft Office products (Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint).

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a non-profit organization that states it is “committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities.”

Upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation formed as a charitable trust. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the largest foundations in the U.S., with more than $1,000,000,000 in assets.

Located in Wheaton, Illinois, Cantigny Park is the 500-acre former estate of Tribune publisher Joseph Medill (1823-1899) and a number of his descendants. Medill, who was also served one term as Mayor of Chicago in the immediate aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, acquired the estate he called Red Oaks and built the mansion.

Charles Allerton Coolidge (1858–1932 of the Boston architectural firm Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge designed the mansion. [In that same time period, he also designed the World’s Congress Auxiliary Building for the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), which afterwards housed The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Public Library building, which is now the Chicago Cultural Center.] That mansion is now called the McCormick Museum.

Medill’s grandson, Col. McCormick, who also served as publisher of the Tribune, remodeled the mansion and named the estate Cantigny in honor of a battle in which he had fought during World War I, the Battle of Cantigny (May 28, 1918). In 1910, McCormick his first cousin, Joseph Medill Patterson (1879-1946), became partners as co-publishers of the Tribune, an arrangement they that lasted until 1926, after which Col. McCormick remained at the helm alone.

Together, the established the Joseph Medill School of Journalism – now the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications – at Northwestern University. They founded the New York Daily News.

Patterson moved to New York City to establish the new paper. A dispute between the cousins resulted in Patterson agreeing to give McCormick freedom to run the Tribune if McCormick gave Patterson freedom to run the Daily News.

McCormick and Patterson held a contest to design the Tribune Tower. John Mead Howells (1868-1959) and Raymond Mathewson Hood (1881-1934) won with their Neo-Gothic design, but the runner-up designed by Finnish architect Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950) was also influential. McCormick and Patterson later commissioned Howells and Hood to also design the New York Daily News Building.

Col. McCormick named W.G.N. after the initials of the Tribune’s motto “World’s Greatest Newspaper.” He championed the idea of building a convention center on the lakefront, which is why the McCormick Center was named in his honor.

Col. McCormick married twice but had no issue. By his last will and testament, he left the bulk of his estate to the Robert R. McCormick Charitable Trust, which is now called the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Cantigny Park is home of the McCormick Museum, First Division Museum, gardens, picnic grounds, nature trails, a Visitors Center with banquet and dining facilities, educational and recreational programs, and a championship golf course.

To apply for this job, April 28, 2014, send cover letter, resume and one description or example of an in-museum program developed for a school audience to dgutenkauf [at] cantigny.org by Monday April 28, 2014.

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