LPS is addressing some of the most challenging issues in urban education – and finding solutions.
Dr. Louise Bay Waters, Superintendent and CEO
Dr. Waters comes to LPS from the Stupski Foundation where she headed research on districts that have accelerated the performance of students of color and poverty. Her work at Stupski built off of her experience in the OaklandUnifiedSchool District. As Associate Superintendent of Student Achievement in Oakland, Dr. Waters led the instructional reforms from 2001 – 2004 that resulted in district achievement gains that out-paced the State. She was also responsible for Oakland’s exit from two long-standing Office of Civil Rights oversight decrees related to bilingual education and disparate academic opportunities for African American students. As a principal in the New Haven district (Union City), she designed award-winning assessment and extended day programs. Prior to her career in district administration, Dr. Waters led the state’s first new teacher program, a partnership between Oakland and the CaliforniaStateUniversity, EastBay. As a professor of Teacher Education at the university, she was head of a number of urban teacher preparation programs. Dr. Waters holds a B.A. and Masters from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.
Edie Hoffman, Vice President of Talent
Ms. Hoffman is the Vice President of Talent for Leadership Public Schools. Prior to joining LPS, Ms. Hoffman worked as Human Resources Director for various organizations including Jewish Community Federation, more.com, and Peet’s Coffee & Tea. At Edgewood Children’s Center, she managed hiring, credentialing and compliance. She began her career as a high school teacher on a path to school leadership. Ms. Hoffman has a Master of Educational Administration from San FranciscoStateUniversity.
Joyce L. Montgomery, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Montgomery is the Chief Financial Officer for Leadership Public Schools. Prior to joining LPS, Ms. Montgomery had a successful career in both for-profit and non-profit financial leadership roles. Ms. Montgomery has finance and operations management experience in education, advertising, high tech and banking. As a school executive, she served as the Chief Financial Officer at CrystalSpringsUplandsSchool where she was responsible for managing all operations units: business and finance, physical plant and deferred maintenance plans, food service operations, legal affairs, human resources, and construction. She was also the Chief Financial Officer at the HowardSchool in Atlanta , Georgia. Ms. Montgomery is active in many community organizations and serves as the Chair of the Finance Commission for the City of Belmont.
Soo Zee Park, Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Parks is the Director of Operations for Leadership Public Schools. Prior to coming to LPS, Ms. Park worked with the non-profit Unity Council and Fruitvale Development Corporation as the project manager for the $68MM mixed-use FruitvaleTransitVillage adjacent to the Fruitvale BART Station. She also worked on a $2MM Fruitvale Streetscape Project with the City of Oakland. Ms. Park has over seven years of experience in architecture and construction administration working on a variety of residential, mixed-use, university and museum projects including the award-winning TenderloinElementary School in San Francisco. Ms. Park holds a Bachelor degree in architecture from North CarolinaStateUniversity and a MBA from John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. She is a board member and facilities committee chair of Lighthouse Community Public Schools in Oakland.
Ellen DiGiacomo, Director of Technology
Ms. DiGiacomo is the Director of Technology for Leadership Public Schools. Prior to joining LPS, Ms. DiGiacomo was Associate Director of IT Operations at Exelixis, a development-stage biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. Ms. DiGiacomo spent 25 years in Information Technology holding positions as Director of Global IT for Gupta Software, Director of Global IT Operations for Clarent Technologies, and Director of Global Networks and Technology Operations at TIBCO Software. She began her technology career working for the Southern Pacific Railroad in San Francisco as a Telecom and Network Engineer from 1980 – 1995. Ms. DiGiacomo holds a degree in Electronics Engineering, a B.S. from Golden GateUniversity and a Master’s in Information Systems from University of Phoenix.
Lauren Klaffky, Director of Instruction and Professional Development
Ms. Klaffky is the Director of Instruction and Professional Development for Leadership Public Schools. Lauren joined LPS in 2009 as the Principal at LPS Hayward. She has worked as a site and network administrator for LPS since that time. Prior to joining LPS, Lauren worked as an administrator in Oakland Unified School District and was trained in education administration with New Leaders for New Schools. She has also worked for the University of California Puente Project and spent her formative years as a middle and high school teacher in New Mexico and California. Her areas of interest include adult learning, leadership development, college ready curriculum and instruction, and working with first generation college going students. She holds a B.A. in English from Reed College and a Master’s Degree in Education from UC Berkeley.
Amy Epstein, Director of Data, Assessment & Intervention
Ms. Epstein is the Director of Data, Assessment and Intervention for Leadership Public Schools. Amy has worked as an administrator and consultant with many school districts, schools, foundations, and other non-profit organizations to advance evidence-based dialogue and decision-making. Prior to joining LPS, Ms. Epstein worked for 8 years with the OaklandUnifiedSchool District, serving as Data Systems Designer, Coordinator of Data Analysis and Support and Manager of Performance Culture. She began developing her data-related skills “on the job” while serving as a school-based social worker and center director from 1992-1998. Areas of expertise include data systems, assessment of student learning, inquiry processes and tools, stakeholder surveys, and program evaluation. She holds a B.A. from WesleyanUniversity and a Master’s in Social Work degree from San Francisco State University.
Joe H. Pacheco, Director of Special Education & Student Services
Mr. Pacheco is the Director of Special Education and Student Services for Leadership Public Schools. Prior to coming to LPS, Mr. Pacheco worked for Partners In School Innovation serving as a principal coach and school reform consultant for two downtown San Jose schools.He served as Principal of Campbell Middle School in the CampbellUnionSchool District for 10 years until 2003. Mr. Pacheco has worked for the Santa Clara County Office of Education as a Program Specialist for Special Education and more recently as a Program Evaluator for IIUSP schools.He began his career in public education at the OakGroveSchool District where he worked for 12 years in Special Education. He received his undergraduate degree from San JoseStateUniversity and his Master’s in School Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Kate Levitt, Director of Communications and Development
Ms. Levitt is responsible for designing and executing our development and communication strategies. Prior to joining LPS, Ms. Levitt served as a Post-Secondary Success consultant for several Bay Area college access non-profits and as Program Manager at the Athletic Scholars Advancement Program (ASAP) in San Francisco. In these roles, she counseled students from low-income families on how to apply, get into, and succeed in college, while leading strategic planning and managing daily operations. In addition, she has taught communications courses and mentored students at UC Berkeley, UCSD, MIT, Santa Clara University and St. Mary’s College. Ms. Levitt began her career in non-profits at the Social Science Research Council and the United Nations, where she worked on international media campaigns and managed grants. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College, an M.A. in Communication from UCSD, and is finishing her PhD in Communication at UCSD with a focus on music, technology, and youth.