Kyla Johnson-Trammell: “She really sees and hears the community; she is a member of our community.”

Kyla Johnson-Trammell
March 2018

The 74 recently profiled first-year Oakland Unified School District Superintendent (OUSD) Kyla Johnson-Trammell  as a homegrown, listening leader with a big job ahead of her. After cutting the district budget by $9 million in December 2017, Johnson-Trammell will cut an additional $7 million from next year’s budget so the district remains financially solvent. In addition, Johnson-Trammell is working to tackle low graduation rates and academic achievement throughout the district. Despite having her work cut out for her, the new superintendent has made efforts to gain the trust of OUSD families. According to a recent EdSource article, in response to immigration enforcement policies creating fear in the community, Johnson-Trammell released a message for undocumented students and their families, pledging district support  “no matter where you came from or how you got here.” Johnson-Trammell has committed to hearing—and listening to—community voices, because she also is a lifelong member of the community. A third generation Oaklander who grew up attending Oakland public schools, she worked as a teacher and administrator in the district for 19 years. According to school board president Aimee Eng, “[Johnson-Trammell] really sees and hears the community; she is a member of our community.”