Jenna Stauffer

Entrepreneur in Residence

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My favorite childhood book that I read over (and over and over and over) was: A Wrinkle in Time for its mystery and science fiction and strong female protagonist.

My hope for Oakland students is: that all children read on grade level by grade 3 and that all children feel a strong sense of belonging in the world. With that foundation of love and rigor, Oakland children will be able to not only explore their world but also contribute to its greatness.

Jenna Stauffer joined the Rogers Family Foundation in 2021 as an Entrepreneur in Residence. In her role, Jenna works in coordination with the RFF team to uplift the sustainability and capacity of select grantees through direct support and connections to resources and services. 

Jenna brings over 25 years of on-the-ground experience of founding, running, and improving schools and systems to ensure equitable outcomes for students for whom the opportunity gap still exists.  Accomplishments include growing a small charter school to a thriving Family of Schools with a $22M budget, serving over 1500 students in Deep East Oakland, a part of town characterized by rich diversity of families, but egregiously underperforming schools. With a track record of 90%+ students being prepared for college and career upon graduation from Lighthouse Community Public Schools, Jenna built systems that created generational change for hundreds of families.

As  a believer in deep listening, sharing power, and action to drive positive change, Jenna led a multi-year process of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work that supported her 180+ staff team to examine power and privilege, white supremacy culture, and led to the transformative diversification of her team from 30% BIPOC to 70% BIPOC and an inclusive workplace where racial affinity spaces were an integral part of professional development.  Other awards and accomplishments include Charter School of the Year (2013); Teach for America Schools to Learn From (2015); and Partnership for 21st Century (P21) Learning Exemplar School (2017) as well as The Green Apple Award recognizing pioneering charter school leadership (2020).

In the early part of her career, Jenna was a Teach for America Corps Member in Los Angeles and founded a school in rural, upstate New York based on the principles of wilderness and environmental education. Jenna holds a Masters in Education degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education and Bachelors’ of Science from Purdue University in Wildlife Ecology. A Hoosier by birth,  Jenna has lived in Oakland, California since 2000. She is the only parent to three resilient children, carrying on the legacy of her late husband, Steve Sexton who passed away from brain cancer in 2015. When not fighting for social change, she is happiest hiking with her dogs and children, having walked every mile of the East Bay Regional park, puttering in her emerging garden, listening to all genres of music, and planning and cooking elaborate meals for her family and friends.