Reid Saaris – Executive Director
With a personal commitment to equity in education that traces back to seeing his best friend not receive the same quality of education, even though he was just across the hall at the same school, Reid founded Equal Opportunity Schools to help schools develop systems to close achievement gaps and provide all students an equal opportunity to achieve their education goals.
At Equal Opportunity Schools, Reid provides vision, organizational and strategic leadership. His role as Executive Director includes partnership, fund, and board development; long-term planning; recruitment; team and program development; and advocacy on behalf of the Equal Opportunity Schools mission to ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in challenging high school classes.
Prior to starting Equal Opportunity Schools, Reid coached soccer and cross-county running and taught history, economics, philosophy and psychology at a large, rural high school in South Carolina. He also headed the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs at a school that grew to the largest IB program in the state. It was there he found a relatively simple, high-impact reform that could enhance learning opportunities for “missing students” across the country. He committed to ensure that no student in the school would be overlooked for participation in AP or IB because of the color of their skin or the size of their parents’ paycheck. That reform effort seeded Equal Opportunity Schools.
Reid is a respected writer and researcher on education. His summa cum laude thesis at Harvard, Our Latest Generation: The Civic Greatness of Young Americans, disputed the idea that young Americans are disengaged and apathetic, and traced political inequalities back to inequity in educational opportunities. It was awarded the Hoopes Prize for excellence. Reid also authored a paper for the Education Trust about the missing students problem. He received Stanford’s only 2010 Social Innovation Fellowship and is currently a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur and an Echoing Green Fellow.
Reid graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor’s in Government and has a Master’s in Business and Education from Stanford.
Judy Margrath – Chief Program Officer
Judy brings vast experience with all levels of the K-12 education system, from teacher to superintendent, to support student success as Chief Program Officer at Equal Opportunity Schools.
As Chief Program Officer, Judy both manages the Equal Opportunity Schools program team and its partnership work. She is responsible for continually improving Equal Opportunity Schools’ effectiveness in finding missing students and meeting the needs of our partners.
Judy’s experience includes working as a teacher, principal, and program coordinator in Washington state, and as an associate superintendent and superintendent in Colorado. She was the Chief Technology Officer at Seattle Public Schools and CEO of the Digital Learning Commons, an educational non-profit focused on online learning. Additionally she served as an adjunct professor for the principal preparation program and the Coordinator/Faculty for the Executive Leadership Superintendent Program at Seattle University.
Judy is a seasoned facilitator conducting seminars across the country on topics such as curriculum alignment, instruction and assessment, school improvement planning and leadership development.
Judy received her Bachelor of Arts from Whitworth University. She also holds a Masters of Education from the University of Washington and a Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University.
As Partnership Director, Dina manages relationships with equity-minded school and district leadership teams to achieve ambitious outcomes for students. She uses consultative and collaborative problem-solving, and rigorous research and analysis to enable educational leaders to navigate their particular context toward specific, substantially-improved results for students.
Dina’s career has been guided by a commitment to education as a vehicle for equity and social justice. She has focused her work—as a teacher, administrator, facilitator/coach, and consultant—on helping teachers, instructional coaches and administrators develop systems, structures and leadership skills to better serve all students.
Most recently, Dina was a Project Director at the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership. She designed professional development programs and resources, managed district partnerships and spearheaded the development of the 5 Dimensions for Teaching and Learning, a research-based instructional framework and accompanying online assessment.
Dina received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University. She has a Master’s in Education from Lesley College and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington.
Niambi Clay – Partnership Director
Niambi’s passion for addressing the educational needs of students, business training and experience in the classroom help her make a difference in students’ lives as a Partnership Director at Equal Opportunity Schools.
As Partnership Director, Niambi manages relationships with equity-minded school and district leadership teams to achieve ambitious outcomes for students. Niambi uses consultative and collaborative problem-solving, and rigorous research and analysis to enable educational leaders to navigate their particular context toward specific, substantially-improved results for students.
Niambi has dedicated her career to education reform. She was a high school math teacher in the Bay Area where she also served as a curriculum consultant for the creation of the California High School Exit Exam and developed an internship program for teachers pursuing their teaching credentials. Most recently, Niambi served as district administrator for tutorial support in Oakland where she managed a $5 million budget. During her tenure the program was recognized by the California Department of Education as a national model for program implementation.
Niambi has a Master’s of Education and MBA from Stanford University where she was also President of the Black Graduate Students’ Association. While at Stanford she also helped develop the vision for Schools for Community Empowerment, an educational nonprofit that won the grand prize in the Global Social Venture Competition at the London Business School.
Laudan Espinoza – Partnership Director
Laudan brings a strong commitment to community development and social justice and experience in public policy as a Partnership Director at Equal Opportunity Schools.
As Partnership Director, Laudan manages relationships with equity-minded school and district leadership teams to achieve ambitious outcomes for students. Laudan uses consultative and collaborative problem solving, and rigorous research and analysis to enable educational leaders to work toward specific, improved results for students.
Previously, Laudan performed government and public relations at the City of Seattle, Habitat for Humanity and Senator Patty Murray’s office, where he worked on a variety of policy areas including affordable housing, economic development, small businesses and veterans.
Laudan has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is currently working on his Master’s in Public Administration from Seattle University. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Ross Gilliland – Senior Analyst
Ross uses data and research to inform policy decisions at Equal Opportunity Schools as a Senior Analyst.
Ross provides direct support to our partner schools and districts through collaborative work with their leaders and the detailed study of existing and new, student-specific data. He has been instrumental in developing cutting-edge research, findings and tools to enable schools around the country to understand the causes and potential solutions to the problem of students being under-matched with the challenging coursework that will prepare them for college.
Most recently, Ross worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality in Washington D.C. developing National Environmental Policy Act procedures and guidelines, as well as managing data for 26 federal agencies.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in physics and music performance, Ross was a string bassist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra for almost 10 years. Ross also has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington and serves on the Systems Advisory Committee for Seattle Public Utilities.
Ozie provides direct support to our partner schools and districts through collaborative work with their leaders and the detailed study of existing and new student-specific data. The findings and recommendations he develops enable the adoption and implementation of highly effective strategies for reaching missing students.
Most recently Ozie was a research assistant at the University of Washington’s graduate school where he studied and analyzed graduate education data, created surveys and built reporting systems to support internal decision making and strategic planning and communication.
Ozie received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Writing from Washington University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington. In his spare time Ozie re-watches episodes of the West Wing and Meet the Press.
Luke Justice – Director of Special Projects
Luke brings a strong background in education advocacy and commitment to ensure all students receive equal educational opportunities in his role overseeing special projects at Equal Opportunity Schools.
Luke collaborates with the Executive Director and the rest of the Equal Opportunity Schools team on a wide variety of projects, including strategic and financial planning; new systems visioning, development and implementation; and communications and innovation.
Prior to joining Equal Opportunity Schools Luke was a consultant on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching study. Luke analyzed student perception survey use and developed a roadmap for implementing student surveys in teacher evaluation systems. Luke has consulted for Education Pioneers and 2Revolutions, an education design firm that launches new schooling models. He served as Vice President for Aon Corporation, a global risk management company.
Luke serves as the Board Treasurer and head of the Finance Committee for Invictus Preparatory Charter School.
Luke graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard, where he was President of the Social Enterprise Club, and has a Master’s in Business from Columbia.
Barbara Norgaard-Reid – Partnership Director
Barbara uses her extensive experience and knowledge of the International Baccalaureate program to help schools become stronger organizations by advancing student learning and higher expectations as a Partnership Director at Equal Opportunity Schools.
As Partnership Director, Barbara manages relationships with equity-minded school and district leadership teams to achieve ambitious outcomes for students. She uses consultative and collaborative problem-solving, and rigorous research and analysis to enable educational leaders to navigate their particular context toward specific, substantially-improved results for students.
Barbara began her career as an English teacher and has been the Assistant Principal at Edmonds Woodway High School and the Principal at Thomas Jefferson High School. Most recently, Barbara has worked with the International Baccalaureate (IB) program as a school coach, site visitor and helped prepare schools to become IB world schools.
Barbara also was a student coach for the Small Schools Coaches’ Collaborative that focused on small schools in Washington state with an emphasis on rigor, relevance and relationships.
Barbara received a Master’s from the University of Washington and an Administrative Certificate from Seattle Pacific University.
As Office Manager, Sandy develops and implements a wide variety of systems and processes essential to the organization’s effectiveness in areas including finance, human resources, legal, compliance, contracting, information technology and procurement.
Most recently, Sandy was the Office Manager at PhotoRocket Inc., a mobile application technology start-up company. She managed finance and accounting, office operations and human resources.
Sandy was an engaged parent of Advanced Placement students in public schools and served as PTA President and a parent representative to Bellevue High School’s program delivery council at the Bellevue School District’s finance committee. Sandy also has a strong commitment to community service and has been a volunteer and advocate for Hospice of the Valley, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding, Life Care Center of Kirkland, Los Angeles DSHS and New Directions for Women.
Sandy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University.
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