Tara O’Neil

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Tara O’Neil

2017 NACSA Leader

Tara O’Neil is the Program Director of Charter Schools for the Portland Public School District, where she manages a portfolio of eight charter schools. Prior to her authorizing role, she served as school administrator at The Emerson School, a charter school in Portland, for 14 years. Tara enjoys visiting the schools as often as possible, seeing innovative programs in action and learning how the schools are doing at a street level. Believing that strong relationships are at the core of every success, Tara centers her work on conversation, consideration of multiple perspectives, and collaboration with charter school leaders.

Away from work, Tara enjoys spending time with her family, walking with her dog, playing music badly with friends, and most recently square dancing with Portland’s LGBTQ club, the Rosetown Ramblers.


Most Recent Posts
President Biden’s Proposed Increase in Education Spending Could Be a Boost for Charter Schools
On Friday, President Biden released his “skinny budget”, a proposal for fiscal year 2022 containing top-line spending numbers. Congress rarely takes up the President’s proposed budget wholesale, but the proposal,...
What Happens When You Take the “Independent” Out of Independent Chartering Board
Maine and Hawaii are two of 17 states with an independent chartering board (ICBs). ICBs are a type of charter school authorizer often called a state charter commission. Where they...
Rebuilding Our “Love Bubble” To Take Care of Our Charter School Community
This piece was written by Arthur Samuels, Executive Director, Pagee Cheung, Principal, Princess Francois, Assistant Principal of Math & Science, and Dwayne James, Social Worker & Director of Diversity, Equity,...