Meet Oscar Avilés, District Partnerships

Oscar at Goalbook’s 2017 Instructional Leadership Design Institute with Litchfield Elementary School District, AZ

What was your experience prior to Goalbook?

I was a teacher in San Antonio for three years, where I taught 2nd and 4th grade students in a bilingual program. My students were not only at varying levels of academic readiness, but also learning a second language. As a former English Language Learner who grew up in Texas myself, it was a personal experience supporting my students and working in a majority Hispanic community in San Antonio.

I wanted to gain business skills in the private sector and so I took a job on the East Coast with a national industrial distribution company. I gained invaluable experience and became a manager, but I realized education and working on educational equity was where I needed to be. I moved to the Bay Area to pursue my passion in supporting teachers and joined Goalbook’s District Partnerships Team.

Our focus is on empowering and creating an instructional leader in every classroom, and that is what drew me to the Goalbook team.

What gravitated you towards Goalbook’s mission?

While teaching, I took on various leadership roles, including department chair and instructional coach. My experience coaching teachers highlighted the importance of supporting educators with instructional best practices and providing accessible resources. Goalbook’s mission is to do just that — our focus is on empowering and creating an instructional leader in every classroom, and that is what drew me to the Goalbook team.

What is your role, and what are your favorite parts of it?

I lead new district partnerships in about half of the US, from Alaska to Louisiana. One of my favorite parts of my role is the opportunity to meet a cross-section of educational leaders in districts across the country. I’m able to get a close view into their priorities. I collaborate with them on how we can work together to support all their teachers and move student outcomes towards where they want to be. I love this aspect of my work!

Outside of the core work in my role, I really appreciate my team’s collaborative approach to growing and learning. This aligns to our core values of relationships and growth at Goalbook. There’s no disconnect between how my team works and what we value as a company.

How do you work and communicate with your manager?

My manager and I communicate every day. The nature of our work has us collaborating and working together with district leaders often. We travel together when visiting many of the larger districts who require more support. I’m able to learn from my manager’s experience in real time — it’s something I haven’t experienced before and I very much appreciate it. In addition to working together, we meet for a dedicated one-on-one every week. It’s been great to have a direct line of communication.

I really appreciate my team’s collaborative approach to growing and learning. There’s no disconnect between how my team works and what we value as a company.

What have you learned in your role so far?

Relationships are key at all levels of leadership in schools and districts, small and large. I’d say this has been the most important lesson — the success of our work supporting teachers and improving instruction relies on building strong relationships with the people we collaborate and work closely with.

What personal goals have you set outside of work?

A close group of friends and I plan and do Spartan Races every year. My personal challenge for this upcoming year is to complete the “Trifecta” — all three types of races in one year. These races are tough!

What’s your favorite memory during your time at Goalbook?

One of my favorite memories with the Goalbook team has to be our Summer Celebration at Golden Gate Park. It was the perfect Bay Area day — cool, breezy, and sunny. We spent the day enjoying the beautiful nature and playing a number of lawn games, Spike Ball in particular. It was a really fun day.

Which team activity has been your favorite?

I love our quarterly all-hands week; this is when we bring the entire team together to our San Mateo headquarters, including our remote folks from New York to Texas to Idaho. During this time, we schedule a number of company activities and these are definitely my favorite events. Spending time with colleagues who I don’t normally see and interact with in person is a treat!