Who is Leroy Gaines?
Leroy Gaines was a principal at Acorn Woodland Elementary in East Oakland for nine years. During that time, Acorn Woodland was named a California Distinguished School and he was named Principal of the Year (2012). He also served as an executive principal and was on the board of the Oakland Administrators Union.
Leroy was a teacher in San Jose for four years before joining Partners in School Innovation, a nonprofit focused on educational equity.
Currently, Leroy works at New Leaders for New Schools training and coaching principals across the Bay Area. Leroy also sits on the board of Our Family Coalition, a nonprofit working to support LGBTQ families and students.
He has a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College.
Leroy for District 5
I entered the education field over 20 years ago to be an anti-racist warrior. Far too often our Black and Brown youth are denied access to the same high-quality education that is afforded to their White peers.
Quality public education is a foundational requirement for true equity and opportunity for all. My career has been a testament to my belief that our schools should be inclusive spaces for all students regardless of race, gender, class, or sexual orientation. I have been an Oakland educator for a decade and an urban educator for almost two decades. Most recently, I was the principal of Acorn Woodland Elementary School, an award-winning district school in East Oakland. For nine years, I led our school to consistently outperform other Oakland public schools serving Black and Brown children in both math and English language arts.
Equity is not just a number or benchmark to be hit. Equity is not just giving more to some. Equity is a deviation from the norm, both with respect to resources and to mindset. It is about eliminating the gaps that created the disadvantages and embracing the gifts our children bring to school every day. I have experience working with communities, teachers, classified staff, school and district leaders, and the Board. I have experience bringing people together around a common vision and executing on that vision. I have experience working thoughtfully and persistently to dismantle the racist structures that exist throughout schools, districts, and classrooms.
I am running for School Board because the challenges confronting the Oakland Unified School District require direct experience addressing those challenges. As a seasoned principal, I understand what schools need to recruit, develop, and retain high-quality and diverse staff. I understand what it takes to truly accelerate academic outcomes and facilitate joyful and inclusive learning.
I am running for School Board because I love Oakland. I've spent the last 10 years serving this community as a teacher, a principal, a non-profit leader, a volunteer, and a proud resident. My passion and commitment to this work have been unwavering because I see me, an Afro-Latino immigrant, in the children that I have served in Oakland.
I am running for School Board because our students and families deserve a leader who will stand with them, advocate for them, and represent them. I know that educational equity is achievable and I will fight every day until all children of Oakland have access to a high-quality education.