Who We Are
Oakland Enrolls is a non-profit organization committed to helping Oakland families choose the best Oakland public schools for their children. Oakland Enrolls aims to empower Oakland families to make informed choices about their public school options and make the process of selecting and enrolling in a public school easy, efficient, and equitable.
Our portal provides access to information about all Oakland charter public schools, allowing for easy comparison and exploration. We also manage the single common application for 98% of charter schools in Oakland.
We launched in 2016, providing the first ever online TK/K-12 public school application portal for Oakland families. Now in our fifth year, we are excited to bring more improvements to the family experience. Creating a single application and timeline for charter public schools in 2016-2017 was our first step, and we hope that in future years we can find even more ways to make it easy for families to enroll their child in a great public school.
Currently, 98% of Oakland charter public schools are participating in the common charter application process for Oakland’s annual enrollment period. View a complete list of participating schools here.
Staff, Governing Board & Steering Committee
Oakland Enrolls is overseen by a governing board, whose members are Lisa Gibes de Gac, David Castillo, Akil Hollis, Dave Moore, Luis Rodriguez, and Dorothy Young (bios below). In addition, an independent steering committee advises on ensuring the organization fulfills its mission to Oakland families. If you have any questions about our governance structure or would like a copy of our 990 forms, please email email@example.com.
Sandra Diaz is the Office Coordinator and Program Associate at Oakland Enrolls. Having lived in Mexico and attended school in Mexico for 5 years, she brings with her an in depth knowledge of the culture of the Hispanic community that we serve in Oakland as well as language skills and over 13 years of experience in direct marketing and Medical Interpreting, to provide families with over the phone support and outreach to create awareness of choice in Oakland’s public school system. Prior to that, she worked as an International QA Specialist for several HI-Tech companies in the Silicon Valley. She has a BA degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Phoenix and is a California native.
LISA GIBES DE GAC
Lisa Gibes de Gac is the Executive Director of Oakland Enrolls and also serves on its Governance Board. She is an education strategist with 10 years’ experience working to provide better and more equal educational opportunities to all kids. She most recently managed the education grantmaking portfolio at Emerson Collective, a social change organization. Prior to this, she served in several roles throughout her tenure at 50CAN, a national education advocacy and policy nonprofit. As 50CAN’s Vice President of Strategy and External Relations, she managed organizational strategy, fundraising, and communications. Prior to working at 50CAN, she was a third grade teacher in The School District of Philadelphia through Teach For America. Lisa earned her Masters of Science in Education at the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in Journalism and English at Michigan State University.
Julia Judge is the Director of Operations and Family Experience at Oakland Enrolls. She has spent most of her career in the non-profit sector working in homeless services. At Bay Area Community Services in Oakland, she directly supported individuals experiencing homelessness with securing and maintaining permanent housing. At Compass Family Services in San Francisco, she was a manager at their homeless shelter, where she supported staff working with families experiencing issues related to housing, mental illness, domestic violence and child well-being. Prior to that, she served two AmeriCorps terms with Rebuilding Together Acadiana in Louisiana, where she led groups of volunteers and students in home-repair projects for low-income seniors to help keep them in their homes. She also worked for several organizations in Boston that supported adults with disabilities, the homeless community, and aided with community development. Julia has seen firsthand how inequitable access to resources, specifically education, can maintain oppression and poverty and is excited to be a part of an organization that seeks to combat that disparity. Julia is a Massachusetts native, got her BA from Northeastern University in Boston, and will love the Red Sox forever.
Kwame Baffo-Gyan is the current Operations Coordinator for Oakland Enrolls. Kwame’s interest in working with Oakland Enrolls comes from his own experience attending schools in the Bay Area. Kwame understands the issues that come with the advantages/disadvantages of the school system, and is working to do his part to help improve the system for students coming after. Kwame attended Middle College High School in San Pablo, California and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Davis in 2019. Kwame has prior experience serving families and helping them understand US Department of State information and requirements regarding travel policies. Raised in Richmond, California, Kwame’s interests are in music and sports, with a special love for soccer.
David lives in, works in, and is dedicated to his East Oakland Community. He’s a parent and former teacher who is deeply passionate about bringing high quality public education to all students. David is the current Principal at Leadership Public Schools in Oakland, CA. Leadership Public Schools is a public charter high school network that transforms educational outcomes for students that have been historically under-represented in college, empowering them for a range of college, career and community leadership options.
David is the former Executive Director at Oakland Charters, an advocacy organization for the city’s dynamic public charter school sector. Prior to that role, David was Head of School at Urban Montessori Charter School (UMCS), a nationally-recognized breakthrough model, based in Oakland. Before UMCS, David was with the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) as the Oakland Regional Director for two years. There, David spearheaded citywide advocacy for Oakland’s growing and controversial charter sector. From 2002-2012 David served as founding teacher then Principal at Oakland Unity High School, a high-performing charter school transforming lives for first-generation college students. His work in the public education landscape also includes several years as a team leader with the Charter Schools Development Center’s annual charter leader intensive boot camp program.
David’s served on multiple charter school and community boards, including Unity Schools, Community School for Creative Education, Oakland Families for Quality Schools, Enroll Oakland Charters, and GO Public Schools. David also co-chaired the Oakland Public Schools Equity Pledge enrollment working group. Prior to his career in public education, David worked in the private tech sector. A first generation college student, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at San Diego, then a single subject teaching credential in social science from San Francisco State University. He obtained a Master’s in Educational Leadership from California State University East Bay in 2009.
Akil’s work with Oakland charter school boards is facilitated by Oakland Families for Quality Schools. He is currently Head of Corporate Planning at Visa Inc., the largest credit card company in the world. Prior to Visa, Akil managed eBay’s balance sheet by managing their debt issuance, stock buyback and free cash flow. Previously he has worked in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business development, and investment banking at firms including Goldman Sachs, AIG, and Koch Industries. Akil has a degree from Yale Law School, where he was an inaugural member of their Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, and is a member of the Georgia State Bar. Akil is a proud alum of Howard University. Akil lives in Castro Valley, California with his wife and two daughters.
LUIS RODRIGUEZ, M.A. Ed.
Luis Rodriguez is the Founder of Oakland Enrolls. After more than a decade of experience in management and technology consulting, Luis transitioned from the private to the public sector through the Broad Residency in Urban Education program. Prior to joining Oakland Enrolls, Luis was a partner at The Learning Accelerator, a non-profit focused on accelerating the implementation of high-quality blended learning in public schools. Luis also served as the Director of the Office of Digital Learning for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he was responsible for improving digital literacy and capacity across the state. While at the state department, he also helped implement an educator effectiveness framework and served as a technology advisor on several Race to the Top initiatives. As a result of his efforts in Massachusetts, Luis was awarded the Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service. Luis has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Science in Strategy from the University of Texas Dallas Jindal School of Management, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from The Broad Center.
Dorothy Young is a graduate of California public schools, from elementary school through college and law school. She taught kindergarten in district public schools for four years in New Orleans, LA. She is an attorney and works in the government sector investigating employment discrimination.
ARLETTE DE LA CRUZ
Arlette De La Cruz is the project manager for enrollment, operations and facilities at Aspire Public Schools, supporting the Bay Area with its student enrollment and recruitment, operations, and facilities projects. Arlette is currently in her second year of The Broad Residency. Prior to Aspire, Arlette was a strategic fellow with Oakland Unified School District, where she supported the district’s enrollment and projections processes and school portfolio management. Before her transition to the education sector, Arlette worked for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, as director of program and business development, where she oversaw strategic growth and expansion through mergers, acquisitions, and program development. Arlette earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and Spanish from Amherst College and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. She is currently a candidate for a master’s in education leadership at the Broad Center for Urban Education.
DR. IDA OBERMAN
Dr. Ida Oberman is an immigrant and English learner. She was born in Holland and moved to Germany at age nine. There she attended a Waldorf School where she learned German and English. She received her BA from Swarthmore and her PhD from Stanford where she began her dissertation and later book, The Waldorf Movement in Education From European Cradle to American Crucible, 1919-2008. She received her Waldorf teacher training in Stuttgart, Germany. She taught high school in New York where she was the founder of one of the first public Waldorf schools on the border of Harlem in New York. She served as Hewlett Foundation Associate Program Officer in Education and as Pivot Learning Partners (then BASRC) Director of the California Best Practice Study where she guided a team in a three-year state-wide study of high-poverty, high-performing schools. In 2008 she began design and launch of the country’s first intercultural public Waldorf school, which this year marks its 10th year since charter approval. The school now serves 285 children grades K – 8 and is among the most diverse schools in Oakland. Each step in her journey has led her back to work with children in school, and to her dream to join with others to build strong community-based Waldorf-inspired, multicultural, multi-lingual, equity-focused schools in underserved communities such as Community School’s proud home of Oakland, California.
Jonathan Perry is the Associate Director of Operations, Recruitment and Enrollment, for KIPP: Bay Area Schools, where he drives recruitment and enrollment efforts to provide students across the region with access to a high-quality education. Jonathan transitioned from a 12 year career in international development and education policy to K-12 public education via the Broad Residency for Urban Education. Previously he worked with the World Bank, where he consulted national governments on safety net policies, cash transfer programs, and early childhood development in low- and middle-income countries. Before then, he worked with the National Ministry of Education in Bogotá, Colombia, as an author on the 10-year education policy framework and as a consultant in the department for early childhood education. Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Latin American studies from Tufts University and a master’s degree in law & diplomacy focused on international development from the Fletcher School at Tufts University together with the Harvard Kennedy School. He is currently a candidate for a Masters in Education Leadership at The Broad Center for Urban Education.
Robbie Torney is Chief of Staff at Lighthouse Community Public Schools. He is in his 11th year with the family of schools and has been a teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal with LCPS. Robbie is a New Leader alum (Bay Area Cohort 17). He graduated from Stanford in 2009 with a BA in Political Theory and in 2010 with a MA in Elementary Education. He is a passionate advocate for quality school choices for Oakland students and families.
Maya Woods-Cadiz is CEO/Superintendent of American Indian Model Schools, the top performing CMO in Oakland, CA. An educator with 20+ years of experience in public, independent, and charter schools, Maya understands the importance of giving parents a choice when it comes to educating their children. She is a fifth generation “Oaklander”, and the product of both independent and public schools. Her educational pedigree consists of a Masters of Education from UC Berkeley, a Superintendent Certificate from the Association of California Schools Administrators, an Administrator Credential, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and a Bachelor of Arts from California State University at Hayward (East Bay). She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the field of Transformational Leadership. Maya and her husband feel blessed to have been able to have options when educating their own children.