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
Holding Up a Mirror: What to Expect at 2021 NACSA Virtual Leadership Conference for Charter School Authorizers
As educators, we need to recognize the significance of this moment for charter school authorizers. The pandemic has interrupted schooling for millions of children–widening achievement and opportunity gaps that we...
Wyoming Gets a New Authorizer Is the Headline, But There’s More to the Story
Last month we touched on a Wyoming bill, SF130, which created a new authorizing pathway in the state. But there is more to the bill that deserves to be highlighted: through a comprehensive overhaul, SF130...
Amid Change, Our Autonomy and Community Are Our Strength
This blog post was written by Dr. Sana Shaikh, who served until this spring as Director of School Operations at Rise Prep High School, an autonomous school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rise...