Who we are

KairosPDX was founded by a diverse group of leaders who understand the pivotal role that education plays as a gateway to opportunity. We know that many came before us and fought for the right for all kids to learn, to be in good schools, to have the chance to overcome systemic poverty…
Yet we are faced with a reality that there still exists two worlds -and they are split on soci-economic and racial lines. One need only look at said schools to see who is who. We are faced with a persistent achievement gap that perpetuates inequity and the denial of opportunity that so many fought for, died for.
We believe we can do better. We believe we can provide a model that narrows that gap and develops young people that do not just know how to pass a test, but know how to help their neighbor, know how to lead, know that they can change the world for good.

Co-Founders

Founders_Cropped2

Left to right: Kaaren, Marsha, Zalika, Kali & Jasmine

Kali Ladd, KairosPDX Executive Director

Kali’s background as an Educator spans from teacher to program manager to policy maker over the last 16 years. After spending  4 years as Education Director for Former Mayor Adams, Kali pursued establishing and co-founding KairosPDX. In May 2013, Kali won election to the Portland Community College Board of Directors where she has served for the last three years. Prior to her 4 years in the Mayor’s office, Kali worked in policy development and program implementation for government and educational establishments. In addition, Kali spent over 2 years in South Africa teaching middle school and developing educational curriculum for rural African children. There, she also supported the development of two community based projects: a community library and women-owned bakery.

Kali resides in North Portland with her husband and two young children. Kali received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Boston College and earned a Masters Degree in Education Policy from Harvard University.

Zalika Gardner, KairosPDX Education Director

Former Opal Charter School Anchor Teacher / Equity Consultant. Zalika has worked with primary aged children for the past 22 years. After beginning her teaching career in the Los Angeles Public Schools, Zalika spent the last thirteen years teaching first and second grade at Catlin Gabel School. As an adjunct professor in the Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling for six years, Zalika taught Child Development, Literacy and Historical Perspectives in Education. As a founding partner, Zalika has co-designed the scope, trajectory and focus of KairosPDX program and theory of change. She serves as instructional leader for KairosPDX Learning Academy facilitating partnerships with educational institutions as well as recruiting, sustaining and training educators and volunteers.

Born and raised in N.E. Portland, Zalika resides in N. Portland with her husband and 3 children. Zalika received her BA in Psychology from Scripps College and earned her MA in Educational Leadership and Multicultural Studies from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Kaaren Heikes, KairosPDX Board Member

Kaaren has served in the public education arena for 22 years. For the past ten years, she has served as the key leader in Oregon’s charter school movement, providing extensive technical assistance to charter schools, charter developers, and district sponsors, as well as working at the state level to influence legislation, policy and practices.  Kaaren will bring her expertise to the work of building and managing the non-profit as well as providing organizational administration of KairosPDX.

Kaaren is a Northwest native and lives in Portland with her husband and 3 children. Kaaren has earned an M.S. in K-12 Policy and Administration, a B.A. in English, and certification in both in K-12 Administration and Secondary Teaching.

Marsha Williams, KairosPDX Board Chair

Former Project Manager, OHSU, School of Medicine. Marsha has over 16 years professional experience researching, writing, managing and coordinating over 15 research grants in academic medicine. She is first generation American and served for over 6 years with the Haitian Health Institute, in Boston, exposing underserved youth to enrichment and college preparatory programs as well as helping high school students navigate the college application process.

Marsha comes to Oregon from New York by way of Boston and resides in Portland with her husband and three young children. Marsha received her bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in health, law & society and women’s studies from Brandeis University.

KairosPDX Board Members:

  • David Anderson, Schwabe, Williamson, and Wyatt, KairosPDX Board Secretary
  • Stuart Ellis, CEO and Founder, Charter School Capital
  • Kenneth Harris, Graystone Partners LLC, KairosPDX Treasurer
  • Greg Martin, KinderCare
  • Chris Nelson, Principal, Capstone Partners LLC
  • Tiffani Penson, City of Portland, KairosPDX Board Vice-Chair
KairosPDX Advisory Board Members:

  • Michael Alexander, Past President Urban League of Portland
  • Swati Adakar, President and CEO, Children’s Institute
  • Jay Bloom, President and Founder, Bloom Anew
  • Kimberlin Butler, United States Department of Education
  • Jeffrey Camarillo, Founding Director & Principal, Luis Valdez Leadership Academy
  • LaTrece Gaither, Counselor/ Case Manager, Cascadia Behavioral Health Care
  • Daniel B. Garrie, Esq, Senior Managing Partner & General Counsel, Law & Forensics, LLC
  • Stephen Green, Partner, Elevate Capital
  • Margaret Hinshaw, President, Insight Center
  • Eric Knox, President, Holla Foundation
  • Joe McFerrin II, President/CEO, Potland Opportunties Industrialization Center
  • Ben Sand, CEO, Portland Leadership Foundation
  • Ken Weigel, Consultant
  • Fran Von Schlegell, Education Advocate
  • Julie Mancini, Executive Director, College Possible

The KairosPDX Board of Directors generally meets on the second Tuesday every other month. The Learning Academy section of the meeting is public.

Next Learning Academy Section Agenda:
 
Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 6:00-7:00pm
Location: Charter School Captial, 222 SW Columbia St #1750, Portland, OR 97201
  • Fundraising
  • Learning Academy Enrollment
  • Facility Planning

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