Hae-Sin has been the CEO of EFC for four years and brings 22 years of K-12 public education experience to this team. Her focus before joining EFCPS was in the turnaround space – working with school districts and charter management organizations to recreate their lowest-performing schools as the CEO of urbanED solutions. She was also the lead organizer and co-founder of Great Oakland Public Schools, an Oakland-based education advocacy group and watchdog. Before urbanED solutions, Hae-Sin worked for the Oakland Unified School District as a teacher, principal, school developer, and executive officer. She led a team charged with designing and leading two foundational tenets of OUSD’s nationally-recognized reform effort – creating quality school options for families in every neighborhood and ensuring high-performing, more personalized communities of learning for children. She facilitated the design and opening of 22 new schools, replacing 18 chronically-failing schools. A recent external evaluation of the new schools reform work in Oakland found that new schools more frequently accelerated math and English–language arts performance when compared to other district schools and that new schools significantly outperformed the schools they replaced in academic achievement, suspension rates, attendance rates, and overall student, teacher, and parent satisfaction.
Prior to that, she was the founding principal of ASCEND, one of the five original new small and autonomous schools opened in Oakland, California, a school recognized for accelerating achievement and engaging community. Ms. Thomas started teaching in Oakland through Teach for America in 1993 and continued teaching for six years before becoming a site administrator. During this time, she also worked as the Special Education school director for the Teach for America Summer Institute. She holds a B.A in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of San Francisco, and a Master’s in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University.