Having participated in the development of more than 30 charter school applications and renewals, Sarah Rapa credits her experience as a college writing instructor and her study of English and literature with helping distill each school’s vision for authorizers.
“My focus is at the systems level, and I have the ability to look at things at a high level and also drill down to the nitty-gritty—that comes in large part from teaching English,” she says.
As business development coordinator of the National Heritage Academies, Rapa wrote charter applications and managed the submission process as the CMO expanded to additional states. Her academic background, which includes a strong emphasis on issues of diversity, first drew her to charter schools.
“I was excited about the idea of providing choice for families, particularly low-income families that don’t usually have these options,” Rapa says.
Rapa first came into contact with SchoolWorks as part of its work with National Heritage Academies. As a consultant, she writes and reviews charter school applications and conducts school quality reviews.
“To be able to go into a school and provide opportunities for growth is a really valuable process, and it’s just not done enough in schools,” she says.
During her time at SchoolWorks, Rapa also has served as a project manager for a broad range of clients and reviewed new charter applications for Chicago Public Schools and the Louisiana Department of Education. She credits SchoolWorks with building strong relationships among its teams and with its clients.
“SchoolWorks values the perspective of the people who work for and with it,” she says. “I appreciate its openness as an organization to continuing to learn and change.”