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.

Jessica Diaz, Principal, LPS San Jose Campus
Ms. Diaz has held many different roles at LPS.  Prior to joining San Jose in 2014, she served as Director of Communications and Development,  where she was responsible for designing and executing fundraising and outreach strategies. Ms. Diaz also served as Academic Dean at Leadership Public Schools Richmond, where she was responsible for teacher coaching as well as designing and implementing professional development. She began her education career as a Teach For America corps member in San Jose, California. Following her time in the classroom, Ms. Diaz coached first and second year teachers in grades K-12 and served as a School Director for summer training programs. Prior to joining LPS, she was the Managing Director of Teacher Support and Development for Teach For America Bay Area. In this role, she oversaw professional development and coaching for over four hundred Bay Area teachers. In addition to her work at LPS, Ms. Barrett is on the adjunct faculty for Loyola Marymount University, where she teacher courses in Elementary and Secondary Literacy. Ms. Diaz received a B.A. from Cornell University.