Open School is excited to announce that Kimberlee Pierce Sheng will be the organization’s new Executive Director. Sheng will be the fourth person, and first African-American woman, to lead Open School in its 50-year history. A committee of Open School staff and board members selected her after a national search. She will begin on February 22, 2021.
Kimberlee brings more than 25 years of experience leading impactful social justice and racial equity work in the Portland community, including work with Meyer Memorial Trust, Pathfinders of Oregon, and the Black Parent Initiative. More recently she served as the executive director of American Leadership Forum and Black United Fund of Oregon. As a Trustee of The Collins Foundation, she leads their Black Equity Movement. Kimberlee is also a member of The Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators and serves on the Board of the ACLU of Oregon. You can find her LinkedIn here.
She resides in Portland with her husband of nearly 28 years and together they have two adult children. As a multicultural family they are rooted in JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) values both at home in Portland and in their global community.
“Kimberlee knows that traditional schools have historically failed Black, brown, and low-income students” said Lyn Cameron, Board President of Open School. “For 50 years, Open School has built environments where all students thrive and find paths to successful careers. Kimberlee is the bold leader this movement deserves.”
Kimberlee joins Open School during an exciting time of tremendous momentum. The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the students and families we serve, and we have risen to the challenge. We’ve received national and community attention for our response to distance learning:
We are excited about the experience and passion Kimberlee brings to this life-changing and systems-changing work. “The moment I walked into Open School, I was struck by the words ‘EQUITY. ADVOCACY. ACADEMICS.’ emblazoned above the front entrance,” said Kimberlee Pierce Sheng, “These are the values that have driven my life’s work, and I’m thrilled to join this team of outstanding professionals who are committed to youth and justice.”
Please join us in welcoming Kimberlee to the Open School community!