Why I GO
"I believe that what happens at school plays a powerful role in shaping a student, in developing their skills, knowledge, mindset, awareness, empathy, and self-perception. I am reminded more than ever of our charge to foster the development of the kinds of citizens we want to share our society: critical thinkers, able to craft and analyze arguments and claims, prioritize, and reflect."
Kelley Leathers

Kelley Leathers

Teacher Policy Fellow

Kelley is in her second year in OUSD after 10 years in SFUSD. An Oakland native, Kelley taught at John O’Connell High School in the Mission and is currently an English teacher and instructional coach at Coliseum College Prep Academy.

Why public education?

I experienced public schools that worked for me, and some that didn’t. I experienced boredom, frustration, and feeling silenced at school; I also experienced excitement, passion, support and belonging. I teach as an act of social justice, but my own varied educational experience is also a motivator. Public schools can, and should, be a supportive community where students are both seen and challenged.

Why Oakland?

Oakland is my hometown – I’ve lived in some fantastic other places (New York, Los Angeles, SF), but when it was time to put down roots, there was never any question of where that would be. Nowhere else has Oakland’s diversity and energy. Just as you love a partner for their faults and not just the good stuff, I love Oakland – not just Fairyland and Fentons, but the challenging and discouraging aspects too…the beautiful struggle. I’m dedicated to making Oakland a better place – for the people who have always lived here.

What are your vices?

British detective shows. I don’t know why, but I just can’t get enough of them.

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