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Kimi Kean

Area Superintendent, Bay Area Region


Kimi Kean has been honored to serve as the Bay Area Superintendent at Aspire Public Schools since June 2014.  Kimi was raised in the Bay Area, in both East Palo Alto and Oakland.  She is a former high school drop out who used her energy and determination to return to community college and eventually earn degrees from UC Berkeley and Columbia University Teachers College. Since 1996, Kimi has worked in youth development, leading college awareness and academic support programs for off-track adolescents before teaching English in Japan. Kimi taught in a dual language program in NYDOE, before founding a small school in East Oakland, where she eventually served as principal for five years. Acorn Woodland Elementary was one of the highest improving schools in California and was designated a California Distinguished School in 2010. Kimi was recognized for Leadership Excellence by New Leaders and as Principal of the Year by OUSD in 2007. Kimi is a proud fellow of New Leaders Cohort 4 and built on her passion for school leadership through serving as the Regional Executive Officer for 24 elementary and middle schools in Oakland Unified School District.

Excited about new possibilities in the charter school movement, Kimi transitioned to Aspire Public Schools in 2014.  As the Area Superintendent, Kimi manages the performance of all 11 Aspire Bay Area schools to achieve our AspireForward targets through providing our scholars with an extraordinary, college-ready educational experience. As Area Superintendent, Kimi supervises and coaches regional leaders to cascade leadership practices and instructional/cultural systems across our schools.  At Aspire Bay Area, Kimi manages the regional priorities and strategy and directly supports all 6-12 secondary sites and our post-secondary success initiatives. Kimi’s best days are those spent in school coaching school leaders in the practices of leading content, observation and feedback and data meetings.

Kimi loves Aspire because of our phenomenal school leaders, our dedicated educators and talented team. Her love of Aspire is predicated on the ability to focus intensively and relentlessly on the important and hard work of improving the quality of teaching in our classrooms.  She breathes the urgency of improving learning and results for our scholars every day. Two fun facts about Kimi are 1) her obsession with bitmoji and 2) reading intense non-fiction. Outside of work, Kimi loves being a mom to two wonderful daughters, 11 and 15 years old and supporting her partner in his new endeavor – Paulista Brazilian Kitchen and Taproom.  To keep up her energy she practices the Dailey Method and is always ready to drop it down low for a turned-out-squats challenge.