Chief Academic Officer
Jesse Noonan, Ed.D., is Chief Academic Officer, providing a broad range of support to schools to dramatically accelerate student outcomes. She also leads the Gear Up and Promise Corps initiatives for YPI.
Jesse began her career as a high school English teacher at Locke High School, Los Angeles and subsequently moved into alternative education, serving first as a GED Teacher and then as Coordinator of Curriculum and Training at Larkin Street Youth Services, a San Francisco Homeless and Youth Services Agency, where she ran a career-track training program for homeless and marginally-housed youth.
During her nine-year tenure at Opportunities for Learning and Options for Youth Public Charter Schools, a network of charter schools throughout California that serves 50,000 students per year at-risk for school failure and in need of credit recovery, Jesse served as part of a team that was instrumental in raising the academic achievement and post-secondary expectations of students in the program. Beginning as a teacher, Jesse became the school’s first English Small Group Instructor and ELA Coach, developing the ELA department from 1 to 65 instructors. Jesse also spearheaded the charter network’s Instructional Equity Initiative, the goal of which was to close the achievement gap between the network’s high- and low-performing school sites. In the first two years of implementation, the Initiative successfully closed the achievement gap between African American and Latino students and the overall student population in the network’s targeted group of schools in South Los Angeles and North Long Beach. As the Director of Educational Programs, Jesse oversaw eight instructional departments—Professional Development, Small Group Instruction, Online Program, Educational Technology, Curriculum, Assessment, Accountability, and College Counseling—through a strategic planning process, as well as through the school’s Common Core alignment plan.
Jesse earned her BA at Barnard College, and her Masters’ degree, Administrative Credential, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice at Loyola Marymount University. Her dissertation was a youth participatory action research project in which struggling high school readers in the Northeast San Fernando Valley created their own course based on critical literacy principles. She is an LAUSD graduate.