As the Chief Learning Officer at NewSchools, Heather McManus develops an inspiring vision for a strong organizational culture focused on learning and continuous improvement. She also supports cross-cutting priorities, including equitable investing and centralized management assistance. Before becoming the Chief Learning Officer, Heather was the founding Chief People Officer and a Partner on the Innovative Schools team.
Heather’s career began as a classroom teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, teaching middle and high school English Language Arts. She spent the majority of her career in leadership roles at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy (CNCA), a network of schools near downtown Los Angeles. Heather served as an assistant principal and principal of the Kayne Siart Campus, which was the highest performing K-8 school during her tenure at CNCA. As the network’s Chief Learning Officer, Heather oversaw curriculum and instruction, school management, special education, knowledge management, programs, and talent.
Heather earned a bachelor’s degree and a secondary teaching certificate from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from California State University, Northridge. In 2018, Heather completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. Heather was a NILSL Fellow through UnidosUS and was selected for the Pahara Fellowship in 2023. Heather lives in Los Angeles with her puppy, Loki.