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Mary Padden

Mary joined Mayor Libby Schaaf’s team in July of 2015 and currently serves as the Project Director for Kindergarten to College, a program of the Oakland Promise. Kindergarten to College sets college as an expectation for all by fostering a college-going culture in elementary schools, providing an early college scholarship of $100 to every Kindergarten student in Oakland public schools, and supporting families to open their own 529 College Savings Account.  After graduating from Pomona College with a degree in public policy analysis, sociology, and French, Mary began teaching in Oakland through the Oakland Teaching Fellows program. She taught special education at Castlemont High School where she developed curriculum and piloted a reading class for the school’s most struggling readers. Prior to teaching, Mary conducted policy research for a college access nonprofit and lived and taught English in Haiti. She continues to teach weekly at Alameda County juvenile hall through The Beat Within. Mary is deeply committed to educational equity and the power of a community to come together to enact change.