Mary Thomas is a Program Manager, School Enrollment at SMART.
“Surge is an opportunity to be a part of a movement that is transforming education by developing and supporting leaders of color. I want to be a part of this movement so that I can better serve my students, continue to fight for equity and disrupt the systems that I work in, and work towards our collective liberation. We are in a critical moment right now, and have the opportunity to radically reimagine what education looks like – and I hope the fellowship will help me be effective in this change and create sustainable systems centered in values of equity, justice, and joy.”
Previously, Mary taught for 5 years at a continuation high school in East Oakland, CA, where she worked to engage and support students to get them back on track to graduating high school, piloted project-based curriculum, and was a founding member of the school’s pathway redesign team. Working in this capacity helped her develop her love for helping others reach their goals, especially those who might not yet see their true potential. She is committed to reimagining education systems to equitably support all students and provide strong pathways to post-secondary success and seizes any opportunity for strategy and problem-solving. Mary has worked in various capacities in education, including as a private tutor and teaching assistant, and has seen and experienced many different angles of our education system. The throughline in her career in education is a foundational desire to advocate for underserved students, and center joy, love, and healing in her work with youth. She is a Bay Area native and wants to create a future where communities of color are thriving and succeeding in the Bay.
Mary holds an M.Ed and Single Subject Teaching Credential from Holy Names University, and a BA in Political Science from UC San Diego. As a child of immigrants, Mary was always taught that education is the path to creating a better life and generational change. Having experienced this gift and opportunity, she is committed to helping transform systems to make this a reality for more students.
Mary lives in Oakland, CA and can be found on LinkedIn. She believes deeply in community, joy, and justice and you can unusually find her dabbling in amateur arts and crafts or reading a book in the sun.