About Us

Chamberlin Education Foundation supports educators and community partners to advance education equity and academic excellence for students in West Contra Costa public schools.

ON THIS PAGE: Our Mission / Our Location / Guiding Principles / Our Team

Our Message

Chamberlin Education Foundation CEO, Dr. Stefanie Phillips, shares the central question driving our foundation’s approach.

Our Vision

We envision a free, high-quality public school ecosystem in West Contra Costa that values student intellect and identity, challenges students to achieve their full potential, promotes student agency and wellness, and delivers equitable and inspiring outcomes for every student — particularly Black, Latinx, and other historically under-resourced students. We envision active collaboration within and between our district’s public schools that can amplify and strengthen every school’s impact for its students.

Active grants in West Contra Costa
Local investment in education in 2020
Schools supported

Our Location


The Chamberlin Education Foundation works to improve student success in the 54 traditional district schools and 14 public charter schools distributed across Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Pinole, Hercules, El Sobrante, and unincorporated Contra Costa County. 

Guiding Principles

Academic Excellence

We value academic excellence in the public school ecosystem. We believe that TK-12 academic success is critical to students’ long term college and career success. We support research-backed and data-driven initiatives designed to raise academic achievement and deliver measurable academic growth, particularly for underserved student populations.

Collaboration and Partnership

We value authentic community partnerships built on a shared commitment to student success. We believe partnership is necessary to solve complex problems and create sustainable change. In collaboration with community partners, we identify mutual student-centered objectives, and we support partners to achieve shared goals.

Distributed Community Agency

We value the equitable distribution of power, voice, and agency across our community. We leverage our resources to increase the impact and sustainability of our current and future partners. We listen to stakeholders to refine our strategy, and distribute funding and program support to those best-positioned to achieve equitable student outcomes. 

Racial Justice in Education

We value racial justice in West Contra Costa public schools. We believe that equitable education outcomes for Black and Latinx students are a necessary component of a just and healthy school ecosystem. We support instructional practices and advocate for policy change to combat systemic bias and structural inequities in our public schools. We support individuals and organizations working to design systems for racial equity in public education.

Continuous Learning

We value our own continued learning, and the collaborative growth that we experience and share through work with our community partners. We believe that dynamic conditions require emergent and evolving approaches. We rely on academic research, local data, community insights, practitioner expertise, and regular, internal evaluation of our grants and programmatic work to inform our strategy and refine our philanthropic impact.

Our Team

Dr. Stefanie Phillips
Chief Executive Officer

As the former Superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District, Dr. Phillips brings an inclusive, equity-focused vision and an extensive education leadership background to the CEF team.

Dr. Phillips earned her MBA in Finance (UC Davis) and her Doctorate in Education (USC) as she advanced through two decades of public school leadership and district financial stewardship.

Christine Castillo
Chief Operating Officer

Christine directs the foundation’s accounting, finance, operations, and property management. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Real Estate and is a California Notary.

Minnie Bhattacharyya
Chief Program Officer

Minnie is responsible for the foundation’s grant portfolio, ensuring a focus on strategic investments to advance impact. Minnie joins the team with experience in public school leadership and administration, teacher development and organizational strategy.

Caroline Damon
Senior Program Officer

Caroline partners with West Contra Costa schools to support the recruitment, development, and retention of excellent educators. Caroline is a former classroom teacher and nonprofit leader with a passion for culturally responsive and sustaining instructional strategies.

Justin Warren
Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations

Justin manages the foundation’s identity, messaging, and storytelling. A former photojournalist and multimedia educator, Justin produces narratives that highlight the foundation’s values, celebrate its partnerships, and demonstrate community impact.

Daniel Newman Sr.
Property Manager

Daniel manages the foundation’s learning facilities. He and his team ensure that classrooms, grounds, and campus amenities remain in top condition for students and school staff.