OUSD is happy to welcome a host of dynamic, new leaders to its Executive Team this year. The additions bring a wealth and diversity of experience that will augment our efforts to boost student achievement. To learn more about the figures that will help shape the future of OUSD, please read on:
Maria Dehghanfard, Principal on Special Assignment for DHP Office
Maria Dehghanfard’s appointment as Principal on Special Assignment in the DHP office, is the latest in a career devoted to education, the past 15 of which have been spent as a site administrator – seven of those in the Oakland Unified School District. Maria comes to the DHP office from Garfield Elementary, where she served as principal from 2005 through 2007-08 school year. Prior to taking the top post at Garfield, Maria was the principal at Lazear Elementary from 2001 through 2005.
Prior to joining the Oakland Unified School District, Maria served as Principal of Roosevelt Elementary in San Leandro, as a Vice Principal in Mt. Diablo, as a Summer School Principal, Bilingual Program Resource Teacher and English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher in Hayward, and as a First Grade Teacher in both Oregon and Texas.
Maria’s career as an educator is distinguished by strong curriculum leadership, experience in mainstreaming and expanding the After School and Complimentary Learning Programs at Garfield and her dedication to providing all students with an equitable, first-rate education. Maria, who speaks Spanish and Farsi, boasts an extensive Bilingual Education and Language and Literacy background and personal experience that provides her with special understanding of issues specific to the various immigrant and multicultural groups in the Oakland community.
Dr. Angela Haick, Coordinator, Attend and Achieve Program
Dr. Angela Haick comes to OUSD’s Attend and Achieve Office, from Piedmont Avenue, where she served for five years as head of the North Oakland elementary school. In her new role, Dr. Haick collaborates with various District departments as well as government and community partners on ways to improve attendance within the Oakland Unified School District.
Dr. Haick’s eighteen years experience working in rural, suburban and urban school districts – both a teacher and as an administrator – has prepared her for this challenge. During the past five years at Piedmont Avenue Elementary School, Dr. Haick directed school reform, improved student achievement, and led her school through graduation from COMITEE and IIUSP status, all while building community partnerships and increasing student enrollment during a time of declining enrollment on a District-wide level.
Dr. Haick, who received her Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of La Verne, has also played a key support role to other administrators, serving as past membership coordinator for ACSA and past chapter president, and on the Executive Council of United Administrators of Oakland.
Geri K. Isaacson, Network Executive Officer, Elementary School (Network 2)
Geri K. Isaacson has been named OUSD’s new Executive Officer for Elementary School Network 2, the latest appointment in a 32-year education career. Geri began her time in the education field as an elementary school teacher in Minnesota before moving to California. She then spent 19 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District as a general education elementary teacher, a SDC special education teacher, and an early childhood teacher. She supported other teachers as a lead teacher, mentor and Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) provider. She was invited to be an elementary literacy coach where she trained teachers and site administrators District-wide. With such a varied background, Geri was then promoted to the district office as a literacy administrator before becoming an assistant principal of a large elementary school with over 1800 students. Geri became an elementary principal in Hayward Unified School District and then a principal with the San Leandro Unified School District. Most of her career has been spent in urban schools in multi-racial/ethnic/linguistic communities as well as in segregated urban schools with predominantly Latino students who were mostly English language learners. She has spent over ten years leading professional development at the site, district, and state levels in areas including language arts, educational technology, mathematics, curriculum strategies and differentiation, classroom management, curriculum standards implementation, grade level planning, and leadership team development.
Adrian Kirk, Director, Family and Community Office
Adrian Kirk joins Oakland Unified as Director of its Family and Community Office. Adrian, who speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese, brings ample experience as an instructor, administrator and leader of community outreach programs to his new role.
Adrian’s career in education is divided between 14 years as teacher and a decade in public school administration. Most recently, Adrian served as Principal of Oakland’s Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy. Prior to that, Adrian was the Director of Community Relations for the Los Angeles Region of Aspire Public Schools, Principal of Oakland’s Monarch Academy, a Co-founding Principal of Aspire’s East Palo Alto High School and an assistant principal in San Jose’s Willow Glen High School.
Adrian began his teaching career in Los Angeles and later moved to Washington D.C., leading classes in English as a Second Language at Bell Multicultural High School. As an instructor, he mentored student teachers and interns and collaborated with a math teacher to co-lead an experimental Spanish/Math class that engaged math-proficient Spanish learners. Adrian was also tapped to serve as Bell’s Redesign Coordinator; in this role, he coordinated a school-wide effort to reform the school into teams and houses, worked with block scheduling and alternative uses of space, and wrote proposals to secure funding to continue the redesign work.
Adrian earned his B.A. in Linguistics from the University of California Los Angeles, and was a member of the second cohort of New Leaders for New Schools.
Diana Lee, Coordinator, Office of School Portfolio Management
Diana Lee, formerly an Expect Success Program Manager, has been named Coordinator for the Office of School Portfolio Management. In this new role, Diana works with the Superintendent’s Cabinet and the Board of Education to manage the District’s portfolio of schools by analyzing factors such as enrollment, demography, academics and programming.
Previously, Diana worked in the Expect Success Office, coordinating community engagement initiatives for the Family and Community Office (FCO). Prior to joining OUSD, Ms. Lee spent four years at Yahoo! Inc. as a public relations manager and was responsible for developing communication strategies for the corporate division and the Internet search technology group. Previously, she worked at a hi-tech boutique public relations firm, Walt & Co., focused on technology and consumer products, with clients such as Sprint PCS and Epson. Ms. Lee also worked as an operations and strategy consultant for the ACE Public School Network in San Jose, California. In this role, she helped develop the business model and strategic growth plan as well as conduct an industry analysis and an internal audit of the Board. In addition, Ms. Lee serves as co-director of Locus Arts, a San Francisco-based community arts non-profit, as well as a Kellogg Board Fellow on the board of the Field Museum in Chicago. Ms. Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a specialization in Business Administration from UCLA, and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Jamie Marantz, Acting Network Executive Officer, Middle School (Network 1)
Jamie Marantz joins OUSD’s Executive Team as the leader of Middle School Network 1, a group that includes the Alternative Learning Community as well as Claremont, Cole, Edna Brewer, Peralta Creek, Roosevelt, United for Success, Urban Promise, Westlake and West Oakland Middle Schools.
Formerly a member principal in Network 1, Jaime was principal at Edna Brewer Middle School, the most recent position in a career that began at Skyline High where Jaime taught Biology and Physiology. After spending three years at Skyline, Jaime moved to Berkeley High where she taught Chemistry, IAC Chemistry, Biology, AP Biology and Anatomy, while serving as activities coordinator.
Following her time in Berkeley, Jaime returned to OUSD to accept a position as Assistant Principal at Westlake, before receiving the call to lead Edna Brewer. In her free time, Jaime likes to watch birds.
Arturo Michel, Chief of Police
Art Michel, formerly Interim Chief of Police, has been named Chief of Police for the Oakland Unified School District. Michel joined the Oakland Schools Police Department as a Lieutenant in July of 2007. Prior to joining OUSD, he spent 31 years with the Oakland Police Department, retiring as Sergeant in 2003. During his tenure with OPD, Chief Michel received numerous service-related honors including the OPD officer of the year award.
Chief Michel has always enjoyed working with children and has lectured on many public safety-related topics while at the police department and as a civilian. He is also a qualified subject matter expert on many law enforcement topics and served as an instructor in the police academy for more than 15 years. In addition, Chief Michel served on many committees and community groups while assigned to the community policing unit. Chief Michel has also earned both the Intermediate and Advanced Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificates as well.
In civilian life, Chief Michel is a videographer who produces professional quality videos for businesses and police agencies in the area and described his family as the love of his life.
Ursula Reed, Director of Human Resources
Ursula Reed has been named Director of Human Resources, the latest post in an education career that spans more than two decades. During her time in the Hayward Unified and Oakland Unified school districts, Ursula has served as a teacher, a speech and language specialist, a principal and a central office administrator.
Before taking the position of HR Director, Ursula managed the Attend and Achieve program focused on increasing daily student attendance in the Oakland Unified School District. Prior to Attend and Achieve, Ursula worked as a Program Manager in OUSD’s Department of Student, Family and Community Services, where, among other duties, she processed inter-district and intra-district transfer requests and supervised the Pupil Disciplinary Hearing Panel (PDHP).
Ursula also served as Principal of Markham Elementary School in Hayward Unified, Vice Principal of Hayward High School and Hayward’s Ruus Elementary School, Teacher at OUSD’s Edward Shands adult school and as a Speech and Language Specialist in both Oakland Unified and Hayward Unified. Ursula earned her Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology from Hampton University and a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology as well as a Clinical Rehabilitative Services Credential from San Jose State University.
William S. Riley, Ed.D, Assistant Principal for DHP
Dr. William S. Riley has been appointed Assistant Principal for DHP, the latest position in an education career that spans more than three decades, and includes over 25 years of administrative experience. During his tenure with OUSD, Dr. Riley has served as Head Counselor and Student Activities Coordinator, as a Principal, and as an Assistant Principal, for a period totaling nearly twenty years.
Dr. Riley, who is a Trustee of the Peralta Community College District, has also worked as Pupil Services Coordinator for the Alameda County Office of Education; Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Bay Area Athletic Foundation; Commissioner, City of Oakland Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission and Program Quality Evaluator for the California Department of Education.
Dr. Riley earned his Masters in Education Administration from San Francisco State University and both his undergraduate (Sociology and Physical Education) and doctoral degrees (Education Policy) from the University of San Francisco.
Gia Troung, Network Executive Officer, Middle School (Network 2)
Gia Troung is the second of OUSD’s two Network Executive Officers for Middle Schools. Fresh from her tenure as Principal for Urban Promise Academy, Gia will oversee Middle School Network 2, a group that includes Alliance Academy, Bret Harte, Elmhurst Community Prep, Explore College Prep, Frick, Madison, Melrose Leadership, Montera and Roots International.
This latest challenge continues a career in education that spans 13 years and a series of classroom and administrative positions in the Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland school districts. After receiving a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Asian-American Studies from San Francisco State University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, Gia accepted a position at Seattle’s Nathan Hale High school. While at Nathan Hale, Gia provided all students access to the traditional honors curriculum and was one of a dozen teachers responsible for designing the school’s 9th and 10th grade academies.
After three years in the Pacific Northwest, Gia returned to the Bay Area as a teacher at San Francisco’s Leadership High School, where she later became an instructional coach. During her time at Leadership, Gia taught social studies, leadership and math and teamed with colleagues to design challenging curriculum units tailored to student abilities and interests. Among other duties, she also coached Humanities and Leadership teachers in curriculum, instruction and assessment.
Prior to the start of the 2003-04 school year, Gia joined OUSD as Assistant Principal for Urban Promise Academy, making her both a resident and the first Assistant Principal in the New Leader for New Schools program. In her initial year, she helped restructure the bell schedule to support teacher collaboration and professional development and worked to build a strong academic culture. Gia began the next year as the Principal at Urban Promise, which saw its API score rise from 524 to 649 during her four years as head of the school. As principal, Gia focused on coordinating and leading professional development for her faculty and served as a New Leaders for New Schools Mentor Principal. Gia now joins Jamie Marantz as one of OUSD’s two Middle School Network Executive Officers.