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.
Mary 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.
Hae-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.
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. 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 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
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.
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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