Chief People Officer
NewSchools Venture Fund
Heather McManus is the founding chief people officer at NewSchools Venture Fund, a non-profit venture philanthropy that makes early-stage grants in new schools and education organizations that seek to reimagine learning. In this role, she is responsible for envisioning a strong organizational culture that allows NewSchools to live into our commitment to be a different kind of funder. At NewSchools, Heather also leads cross-cutting initiatives including standardizing and centralizing NewSchools’ approach to investing, community engagement, and grantee support. In 2023, NewSchools was recognized as a finalist by SXSW for innovation in DEI for internal workplace practices. Heather began her work at NewSchools as a partner on the Innovative Schools Team, leading the work to find, fund, and support new schools across the country.
Before NewSchools, Heather served in multiple leadership roles at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles. As a school leader, Heather led Camino’s highest performing school, receiving numerous awards. The most notable included the EPIC Gold Gain award for the highest value-add growth in math nationally and the GOAL award given to one California school annually for exemplary special education programs. As chief learning officer, Heather led efforts to improve achievement across the network at scale. In her final year, Camino saw the largest and most consistent gains in its history including a 10% gain in K-12 math scores and a 12% gain in K-12 ELA scores across every school on state tests.
Heather started as a classroom teacher in Los Angeles Unified, teaching middle and high school English. She received BAs in English and psychology and a secondary teaching certificate from the University of Michigan. She received her MA in educational leadership and policy studies from California State University, Northridge. In 2018, Heather completed her EdD in educational leadership for social justice from Loyola Marymount University.