LPS is addressing some of the most challenging issues in urban education – and finding solutions.


Shawn Benjamin, Principal, LPS Richmond Campus
Shawn Benjamin has been with Leadership Public Schools for the past seven years and Principal of LPS Richmond for five years. Ms. Benjamin began as Principal-Elect at LPS Richmond in 2005. In 2006, Ms. Benjamin was Assistant Principal at LPS-Hayward and in 2007, returned to LPS Richmond as the Principal. Ms. Benjamin completed her principal training at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the School Leadership Program and with New Leaders for New Schools, a national Urban Principal Training Program. During her training at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ms. Benjamin was a Principal Intern at both a Boston Public High School and a K-12 Charter School in Cambridge, MA. She has taught for over 13 years in experiential and outdoor settings. She was a field instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for over ten years leading primarily glacier mountaineering courses in Alaska and Chile. She also worked as a Lead Educator at the Shackleton School, an expeditionary learning high school in Massachusetts. Ms. Benjamin earned a Masters in Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Michael DeSousa, Principal, LPS Hayward Campus
Michael DeSousa took on the position of Principal at LPS Hayward  in the Fall of 2012. Previously, he served as Principal of Downtown College Prep in San Jose, Resident Principal at LPS Hayward, and as a teacher leader at the Alameda Learning Center where he taught courses in Pre-Algebra, Science and Engineering, English, Leadership, Physical Education, Cognitive Science and Sociology. DeSousa earned his B.S. In Molecular and Cellular Biology and M.A. in Education; both at UC Berkeley. The son of immigrants and the first in his extended family to attend college, DeSousa understands the barriers that prevent underrepresented families from accessing opportunity. He is committed to the belief that through powerful teaching and a culture of high expectations, students of all backgrounds and economic states can thrive in college and beyond. His long-term goals as Principal include supporting innovative approaches that develop a strong school culture and allow students to become scholars and leaders in their communities.

Alexandrea Creer, Principal, LPS Oakland R&D
Alexandrea Creer began her career in education as an intern at the Level Playing Field Institute where she researched educational outreach opportunities available to high school students. After earning her B.A. in English at U.C. Berkeley, she held instructional and academic leadership positions at Summer Math & Science Honors Academy and AmeriCorps. In her role as a School Improvement Partner at Partners In School Innovation,  Ms. Creer coached educators on how to use the results-oriented cycle of inquiry model to provide access and instructional support for underserved students.  Her passion for quality education led Ms. Creer to earn an M.A in Education at Stanford University. In 2009, Ms. Creer joined LPS Oakland R&D as an English teacher. She has subsequently been promoted to Academic Dean and Assistant Principal before assuming the role of Principal in 2012.

Joe Pacheco, Principal, LPS San Jose Campus
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 Campbell Union School 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 OakGrove School District where he worked for 12 years in Special Education. He received his undergraduate degree from San Jose State University and his Master’s in School Administration from the University of San Francisco.