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Board

GO Public Schools is governed by a board of educators and community members with a shared mission of ensuring all Oakland students have access to a quality education.


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David Stein, President
A lifelong Oakland resident, David is a Partner at Donahue Gallagher Woods, LLP and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the East Bay Agency for Children, the Advisory Board for Friends of Oakland Parks & Recreation, and the Board of the San Francisco Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is a Past President of Oakland Rotary. David was admitted to the bar in 1982 in both California and Massachusetts. He received his B.A. degree with high honors in 1978 from California State University, Hayward. In 1981, he earned his J.D. degree from the Hastings College of the Law, University of California. After graduation from law school, David served as a law clerk for the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has been named a Super Lawyer by San Francisco Magazine, an honor bestowed on just 5% of the lawyers practicing in Northern California.


Mary2.pngMary Prime-Lawrence, Vice-President
Mary is a parent of three beautiful children and a longtime Oakland resident. She also finds time to teach math to 4th and 5th graders in Oakland. She is known by just about everyone around her as a leader in her neighborhood - involved with education, public safety, community development, and bringing healthy food to their neighborhood. She graduated from Mills College with a degree in Political Science. She lives with her husband and children in the Las Palmas neighborhood of deep East Oakland.


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Sheilagh Polk, Secretary
Sheilagh Polk has spent her entire professional career  working in the trenches on a myriad of social justice issues. She brings with her extensive experience in social justice communications for nonprofits, community organizing, and education advocacy. She is currently the Director of Communications for Coaching Corps. Previously, she led successful communication strategies for organizations like The Education Trust--West and Community Coalition and was a leader in the state-wide movement for equitable access to college and career ready curriculum for all. Sheilagh is also an actress and spoken word artist. She lives with her daughter Jadyn in West Oakland. 

Hae-Sin photo.jpgHae-Sin Thomas, Treasurer
Hae-Sin is a founder of Great Oakland Public Schools and the CEO of Education for Change, a charter management organization based in Oakland, California whose mission is to provide excellent educational opportunities throughout the "flatlands" of Oakland.  She was the co-founder and CEO of urbanED solutions, a non-profit education consulting organization committed to improving academic outcomes for children in historically underserved urban centers across the country. Previously, Hae-Sin worked for the Oakland Unified School District for 15 years - as a teacher, principal, school developer, and executive officer, including as founding principal of ASCEND. Her last three years, she led a team charged with designing and leading two key foundational tenets of OUSD's nationally recognized reform effort Expect Success, where she was responsible for facilitating the design and opening of 22 new schools, replacing 18 chronically-failing schools. Hae-Sin holds a B.A in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of San Francisco, and a Masters in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University.


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Allison Akhnoukh
Allison Akhnoukh has been working in education reform for over a decade, most recently as the Founding CEO for Caliber Schools. Previously, Allison worked for the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Foundation where she supported the growth and sustainability of KIPP regions in California, Colorado and Texas. Prior to this work, Allison served as Director of School Portfolio Management for Oakland Unified School District. A key component of this role involved working closely with school communities to ensure that any changes within the portfolio of Oakland public schools were informed by and responsive to the needs of the community. Before working at OUSD, Allison served as Director of Development for Epiphany Middle School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Allison received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Dartmouth College and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.


Dr.Burns.pngDr. Washington Burns
Dr. Washington Burns has spent the last 17 years working to better the lives of residents in the West Oakland neighborhood he once called his own. Now the Executive Director of the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement, which offers free health, education, art and social services, Burns first settled at 27th and Adeline streets after moving from northern Mississippi when he was a teenager. He earned a degree in public health from UC Berkeley and a medical degree from the University of Buffalo. In 2000, he retired from his post as lab director in the department of pathology at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where he had worked for 34 years. He has won nearly countless awards for public service and is truly a pillar of the Oakland community.


David Castillo.jpgDavid Castillo

David Castillo is the new principal of Urban Montessori Charter School. Prior to this position, he served as the Oakland / Alameda County Regional Director at California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) where he advocates on behalf of the charter community in Oakland. As Regional Director, he supports member schools to ensure that students and families have access to high quality school options in Oakland. Before joining CCSA, David was the principal of Oakland Unity High School for almost nine years. He is dedicated to working to close the achievement gap and make higher education accessible and standard for underserved populations. 


Jillian Loh Kearns.pngJillian Loh Kearns

Jillian Loh Kearns joined LOH Realty & Investments and Wellington Property Company after graduating from UC Davis in June 2005. She is very active in the Rotary Club of Oakland, the 3rd oldest Rotary Club in the world. She has served as the Co-Chair of the Enterprise Institute for 3 years, taking 70-80 high school juniors from the public and private schools of Oakland, Piedmont and Emeryville to business camp for 3 days. She served as Vice President on the Oakland Rotary Endowment Board, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Club. 


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Jonathan Klein
In January 2012, Jonathan Klein joined the GO staff full-time to serve as its first Executive Director. In fall 2008, Jonathan began working with parents, educators, and community to develop the network and organizations to advance GO's vision of an Oakland where all children receive the schooling and support they need to live successful, fulfilling lives. Prior to joining GO, Jonathan served as Chief Program Officer at the Rogers Family Foundation where he was responsible for investment strategy and partnership development to increase educational opportunity and student achievement in the City of Oakland. In addition, Jonathan served as Teach For America's Bay Area Executive Director from 1999-2003, served as Lecturer at the Haas School of Business on nonprofit leadership and management, taught elementary school in Compton Unified, and was a co-founder of the Oakland Schools Foundation and Revolution Foods. Jonathan is a fully credentialed California teacher and received a bachelor's degree in history from Yale University - where he served as student body president - and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley. Jonathan lives with his wife and two children in Oakland's Dimond neighborhood


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Brandon Nicholson
Brandon Nicholson is a Senior Associate at Social Policy Research Associates. As a committed researcher experienced in program evaluation, research design, project leadership, and client communications, Brandon works with his firm to support the advancement of social policy. Prior to this position, he was the coordinator for Graduate Minority Outreach Recruitment and Retention (GMORR) Project at UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly where he worked to build vibrant and sustainable graduate minority community on campus through programmatic initiatives, administrative partnerships, and student group support. As a former Education Pioneers Fellow, Brandon is familiar to OUSD and seeks further impact as GO's board member. He received a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in educational policy from UC Berkeley.

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Carmelita Reyes
Carmelita Reyes is the principal of Oakland International High School, a school she founded in 2007 with the support of the Internationals Network of Public Schools, Oakland Unified School District, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The school targets a population of students, newly arrived immigrants and refugees, who have historically been underserved nationally, in California, and in Oakland.  Prior to becoming principal, she was a founding teacher at Life Academy of Health and Bio-Science, located in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. There, she taught 10th grade humanities and journalism.  In 2005 she was awarded the honor of "Oakland Unified School District Teacher of the Year" and in 2007 she was named "Oakland Educator of the Year" by the Marcus Foster Foundation. Carmelita began her teaching career in New York City, teaching to a primarily Dominican population. Carmelita received her BA in Economics at Princeton University and studied abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received a Masters in Education at Columbia University and received her administrative credential from a collaborative between the National Equity Project (formerly BAYCES) and California State East Bay.


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David Roe
David Roe's long public interest career includes 25 years as a senior attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund, during which, with some inspired colleagues, he pioneered the first use of sophisticated economics in support of environmental protection and wrote the country's most successful law in reducing unnecessary exposures to toxic chemicals, among other strategy innovations. He has also worked in human rights, civil rights, medical reform, and federal mediation. He was educated at Yale, Oxford, and Yale Law, taught at Harvard Law, and wrote Dynamos and Virgins (Random House 1984) about some of his environmental work.



Brian StanleyDr. Brian Stanley, Ed.D.
Dr. Brian Stanley is the Executive Director of the Oakland Schools Foundation, where he leads a team to generate, secure, and manage resources for Oakland public schools while helping those schools develop their own capacity to create the best learning environments for their students. Prior to his role at OSF, Brian worked for five years in a number of roles at the San Francisco Education Fund where he refined and strengthened program strategy, used data to deepen impact, and led the implementation of two strategic plans. Before joining the Education Fund he worked at California Tomorrow as Senior Associate for Public Education, Advocacy, and Alliance Building for the Community College Access and Equity Initiative. Prior to working at California Tomorrow, Brian spent seven years as the Director of Black Student Programs providing academic advising, advocacy, and support for Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American, first-generation, and low-income students at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga. Brian was born in San Francisco and attended schools in San Francisco and Oakland. After graduating from Oakland High School, he received his B.A. at Saint Mary's College of California and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mills College. He currently lives in West Oakland with his wife, two sons, and their chocolate lab named Wags.

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