Paula Mitchell

Executive Director

Paula Mitchell is passionate about the promise of education as a liberatory tool and innovative pedagogy to support thriving students and teachers. Recognizing the importance of working with the hands, mind, and body to increase engagement and understanding, Paula has incorporated experiential learning practices from the beginning of her 25+ year career in education. 

Intensely interested in learning and developing best practices, after 20 years in the elementary classroom, Paula transitioned to becoming a teacher leader at her site where she designed her school's very first maker education/ project-based learning program and its makerspace. 

Throughout her career, Paula has kept steady in her belief in the power of collaboration, creativity, and joy to cultivate empowering learning spaces for both teachers and students. Paula finds personal joy in dancing, laughing, and hugging giant Redwoods.

Jane Lee

Director of Communications and Development

Jane is a former AbDO teacher fellow, OUSD teacher and instructional coach, ACOE program director and consultant focused on systems, social justice and joy. Jane is excited to raise folx awareness in the Bay and beyond of AbDO’s special sauce. Her core values are freedom, community and joy. Some of her joys include the Golden State Warriors, hot cheetos and her dog Gogumah.

Alia Ghabra

Fellowship Programs Director

Alia Ghabra is a queer and transmasculine white Syrian person working, living, and loving on Huichin, occupied Ohlone land. Before becoming the Program Fellowship Director for Agency by Design Oakland, they were a middle school humanities teacher for over a decade. In addition to imagining and designing for more liberatory public schools, Alia is a passionate farmer and aspiring homesteader, an artist, gamer, and avid book lover. They live with their wife, dog, two cats, 4 chickens, 7 quails, and many plants, in East Oakland, CA. 

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