Who Runs the Great Oaks Foundation? Wall Street well represented. Parents and Educators, not so much.



The Great Oaks Foundation is the one charter operator that has applied to take over Jay Cooke elementary.   The company is a new comer to Philadelphia.   Their claim to be something different appears to be employing poorly paid tutors who work in their schools.   When it comes to their Board it’s a familiar picture.    Wall Street, real estate developers, and corporate types dominate.   There are no K-12 educators and one parent.   The following information comes from their website.



Steve Klinsky, Chairman

Steven Klinsky is the Founder and CEO of New Mountain Capital, a growth-focused private equity firm. He also led the creation of New York State’s first ever charter school (the Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem), and is active in a range of philanthropies, particularly in the fields of children, education and health.


Adam Weinstein

Adam Weinstein is a Managing Director of New Mountain Capital and is the treasurer of the Great Oaks Foundation board. Adam previously worked at Deloitte & Touche in the merger and acquisition and private equity investor services.


Peggy Shaughnessy

Peggy Shaughnessy is a Director at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a global investment firm. Peggy previously served as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.



Jay Cross

Jay Cross is President of Related Hudson Yards, leading development efforts of the 26-acre Hudson Yards site on the west side of Manhattan. Jay previously served as the President of the New York Jets.



Derrick Diggs

Derrick serves as the Vice President and Director of Business Development of Diggs Construction. Derrick has a wealth of experience in real estate development and construction.


Mary M. Brabeck

Mary M. Brabeck, Ph.D., is Professor of Applied Psychology and Dean Emerita of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. She is the elected chair of the Board of Directors of the Council on Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Bill Stephney

Bill Stephney is a principal for Broad Market Media LLC. Bill was the founding president of Def Jam Records and Stepsun Music. He is a current member and former chairman of United States Commission of Civil Rights’ advisory committee for the state of New Jersey.


Gregorio Mayers

Gregorio Mayers is a consultant and professor of Government and Public Policy at the City University of New York (CUNY). He previously served in the administration of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as a senior policy advisor on education and community development.


Michael Duffy

Michael Thomas Duffy is the President of the Great Oaks Foundation. Michael previously served as the Director of the Charter School Office for the NYC Department of Education. He was one of the founding board members of the Match Charter Public School in Boston.


Maureen Sherry

Maureen Sherry is an author of children’s literature, and was named to the list of “Best New Voices” by the American Booksellers Association. Maureen is the mother of four school-aged children.

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