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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Oakland Unified School DistrictCandidate for School Director, Trustee Area 5

Photo of Sheila Pope-Lawrence

Sheila Pope-Lawrence

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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improve all school sites by putting policies in place to ensure that all schools are clean, safe, and welcoming
  • Bring leadership to OUSD by working with our community and be transparent when touch decisions have to be made
  • Make education excellent for all students regardless of zip code , to be prepared to compete globally and thrive in tomorrow's ever changing world



St. Mary's College Master of Arts (M.A.), Educational Leadership (2006)
University of LaVerne Master of Science (M.S.), School Counseling (2001)
Holy Names University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Spanish and Psychology (1987)


I am Sheila Pope-Lawrence, a parent and teacher running for Oakland School Board in District 5. I’ve lived and raised my family in the Fruitvale neighborhood for 25 years.  I’m guided by values I learned from my family which include integrity and a strong work ethic. I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents as a child. My grandfather was born on a plantation and only received a 4th grade education before he was put to work. My grandmother worked as a maid for White families and they both stressed the importance of education as I was growing up. My dad was determined that I have opportunities denied to him as a child. He moved the family from S.E. Washington, DC to California that had one of the best public education systems at the time. I benefited from great teachers and a community of caring adults who recognized my potential and encouraged me to never give up. 


 I’m running to ensure that all Oakland students regardless of zip code, receive the high-quality education they deserve, in a safe, clean, and welcoming environment. Our students must be prepared to compete globally and thrive in tomorrow’s ever-changing world. I have 29 years of experience in education, as a bilingual teacher, school counselor, a dean, and an administrator in both traditional and non-traditional schools. I understand what goes on in schools and with my collaborative leadership along with residents, parents, students, and teachers I know that we can make Oakland schools better. Over the years, I have received a few honors for my contributions to the field; including a nomination from the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) for Administrator of the Year in 2009: Leadership recognition from Energy Recovery Inc. in 2010 for H1N1 recovery efforts, and California Department of Education Model SARB Award for Leadership in 2012.  I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Holy Names University in Spanish and Psychology.  l also have a Master of Science degree in School Counseling and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. I’ve mentored youth as a Big Sister Volunteer, a girl’s group home counselor, a High School Volleyball coach, and I’m an "Auntie" to many youth in my neighborhood as well as around the world.

Who gave money to this candidate?

To see who is funding campaigns in Oakland, visit Open Disclosure Oakland.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am a democrat running to deliver bold, progressive and proactive leadership to OUSD. Our school board should reflect the values and priorities of the community it serves. If elected I will vote to stop the permanent closure of public schools, support a moratorium on charter schools, and create budget solutions that increase resources for traditional public schools. I will work with teachers, organized labor, and families to improve our public schools for all students regardless of their zip code.

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