Larissa Adam is Superintendent of Schools at Education for Change. Larissa’s motivation to be an educator comes from a deep desire to ensure that every child experiences safe, rigorous, and joyful learning every single day, so that they graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, mindset, and agency necessary to thrive as adults and be powerful community members who exercise their voice. As the daughter of two parents who did not have the opportunity to go to college, and as the granddaughter of a woman whose schooling ended at the third grade so that she could support her family, she is deeply committed to making sure that every one of our children graduates college-ready, and to building a future in which socioeconomic status is no longer a predictor of academic opportunity or achievement.
Her career in education started when she joined Teach for America in 1993, and taught 4th-6th grades at her original placement school for eight years. Drawn into Oakland’s district-wide New Small Autonomous Schools reform movement through a partnership with a classroom parent, she co-founded ASCEND, a K-8 school recognized for its arts-integrated expeditionary learning model and effective community engagement practices. She eventually led ASCEND as Principal for 10 years, facilitating significant increases in student achievement and leading our staff and families to successfully petition for charter status to join Education for Change Public Schools. She then served as Chief Talent Officer at EFC for five years, prior to becoming Superintendent of Schools. Larissa holds a B.A. in Spanish and International Relations from UC Davis, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from UC Berkeley. She lives with her wife and two daughters in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, and is the proud parent of an EFC student.
Brandee Stewart was born in Oakland and raised in Richmond, California. Growing up in Richmond in the 90s is what brought her to this work. At the time the narrative about Richmond was always related to drugs and violence. It was the city people avoided. But she lived there and experienced daily the beauty and brilliance of the people in her community and the students she went to school with. Brandee got into this work because she saw education as a way to change the narrative and transform Richmond. As she got older and was exposed to more, she realized that Richmond was not unique. That there were urban cities and districts across America who struggled to recognize and harness the beauty and brilliance of its people. So she does this work because she thinks that education is the key to transforming livesBrandee began as a teacher in New Orleans with Teach for America, and also taught middle school in Los Angeles. After teaching she joined New Leaders For New Schools, which placed her as a principal in the Oakland Unified School District. As a leader in OUSD, she designed and opened a small middle school where she was the principal for five years. Then she became an elementary school principal in Oakland for six years. Brandee joined EFC as the Deputy Chief of Leadership development; in this role she supervised EFC school principals. Now she is the Assistant Superintendent of Schools. In this role she supervises four school sites, multi-tiered student support services, and the talent recruitment team.
Brandee truly believes that education, access, and opportunity for our students will allow them to be leaders in their communities and in our country. She is excited about continuing to collaborate with our school teams and families to provide a high quality education for all of our students. Click here to email Brandee Stewart.
Chief Academic Officer
Mr. Bradley comes to EFC with over 16 years of experience in education. After joining Teach for America in 1997, he taught 2nd and 3rd grades for 13 years in Oakland public schools, receiving OUSD’s Teacher of the Year award in 2010. Mr. Bradley went on to serve as a teacher coach, reading interventionist, and most recently Assistant Principal at Think College Now, a high-performing public school in Oakland’s Fruitvale district. He has provided strategic consulting for teacher teams, school sites, and districts across the greater bay area. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University and enjoys hiking and playing with his two children.
Mr. Chari joined EFC as its first ever Director of Innovation and Technology in 2013. Previously, Mr. Chari had been on the front-line helping to lead high-profile initiatives for the Chicago Public Schools for 6 years. Mr. Chari has numerous experiences leading change management processes and developing the capacity of leaders to adopt new strategies, including leading a blended learning pilot program and developing the processes that guided over 500 schools through the major effort of redesigning their school day around student needs. Prior to working at Chicago Public Schools, Mr. Chari was a peer educator in India and a research associate for an organization that did economic analyses. He comes to EFC with a strong background in public policy, analytics, and project management.
Tavita Robles is our Director of Site Operations at Education for Change. Tavita was born in Guatemala and came to the United States when she was 9 years old. Her passion to help and serve our families in the Oakland Community comes from her personal experience, being an immigrant and an English Learner, she knew it was in her heart to provide support to those families, the support her parents never got living in the Peninsula. Her interest in working at schools started back in 2004 when she was employed with Oakland Unified as an Assistant Attendance Clerk and was soon promoted to Administrative Assistant; that’s when she joined EFC in 2007. Since then she has been in many roles here with Education for Change from Office Manager, to Site Operations Manager, to Systems Administrator to Director of Site Operations. In her role as Director of Site Operations for the last four years, she has been incredibly proud of the work she has done at each site, and the growth of all operations teams. She is excited to continue to support all operations teams so our instructional staff can focus on student achievement and families.