Tara O’Neil

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
Closing the DEI Gap in Authorizing
According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 68% of charter school students are students of color and nearly 59% come from lower-income households. Unfortunately, most educational organizations, including...
New School Application
What’s possible today? Who can start new, high-quality, innovative, and equitable schools? Is it possible for community members, talented educators, or the next generation of leaders to start a new...
Third Thursdays
NACSA provides professional development opportunities, online courses, resources, and publications that are specifically designed to help authorizers and other school leaders grow and network. Third Thursdays, an ongoing virtual learning...