Andrew Mason to step down June 2017

January 19, 2017

Longtime employee and Executive Director Andrew Mason has decided to move on from Open School at the conclusion of the current program year in June. While we thank Andrew for his amazing efforts, and wish him all the best in his next ventures, the organization is already making preparations for a successful transition following his 22 years at Open School.

During his tenure Open School grew from a single high school program, then Open Meadow High School, serving 84 students to a multi-faceted 21st Century educational organization. Open School now serves over 500 students annually in four programs across six school districts. During his time at Open School the annual budget grew from $500,000 to $5 million.
Board President Stephen Gomez noted that “This is a very good time for a transition – Open School has just completed a $7 million capital campaign that features a new school facility – Open School East – and new partnerships. Our solid team will continue to spur innovation as we embark on the next big thing.”

Open School notes the following achievements during Mason’s tenure –

    • We have put in place an innovative program offering with six district partners that advances the role of Open School by using predictive analytics to enroll students before they drop out. Outcomes from OSE are very promising and the new staff team is as terrific as the other staff teams that have been together much longer.

        Our newest program is firmly rooted in a brand-new state-of-the-art facility located in the neighborhood in the Portland will benefit most from its service.

          Equity has joined Academics and Advocacy as a critical pillar at Open School. Our staff at all levels look much more like our community than we did a decade ago and our data shows us closing the racial achievement gap.

            We completed a $7M capital campaign and record fundraising year that is the basis for a strong long-term financial model.

              We have a strong leadership team in place.
            • In an email to staff, colleagues, and friends Mason remarked, “This is the right time for the organization and the right time for me. After 22 years of breakneck change, we will benefit from new perspectives. It is a very exciting, rapidly-evolving environment right now in education. Open School has always risen to the occasion by meeting students right where they are, whatever the conditions on the ground, and we always will. I am excited to see how the next chapter unfolds.”

              Mason does not have immediate plans for his next step. “I will continue to work on behalf of the students who need support,” he said, and is exploring options.

              Mason earned degrees from Reed College and Portland State before starting at Open School (then Open Meadow) in 1995. He was named Executive Director of the Year by Portland Monthly in 2015.  He serves on the Portland Art Museum Board Education Committee and has served on the Oregon State Advisory Board for AdvancED.

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