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Meet the Leadership Team

Dr. Charquita Arnold-Whitaker


Dr. Arnold is proud to be apart of the Sankofa United family. She has been a secondary educator for 10 years gaining experience from Atlanta to California.  As a past drama, language arts, and history teacher, Dr. Arnold enjoys helping students express themselves, learn about the world, and find their voice. One of Dr. Arnold’s favorite things about Sankofa is having the privilege to work with ours students and their families. Our community is vibrant, diverse, and dedicated to our students.

She enjoys writing and performing spoken word poetry, vibing to good music, and finding time to laugh. Dr. Arnold is also a Black Teacher Project Fellow and a Diversity in Leadership (DLI) Fellow. Her joy comes from building with the community she serves to ensure justice, joy, knowledge, and thriving are attained for all. She believes that students can do all things with the right support, systems, and services.  She is happy to continue serving the Sankofa United Community! 

A photo of the principal

Erica Macklin

Community School Manager

Erica Macklin has worked with students and families for over a decade with the Oakland Unified School District. Throughout her career she has held many roles in leadership from a paraeducator to Resources Specialist. She has been on the Sankofa campus since 2014 as an advocate for students, families, and the community at large.As the Sankofa United Community School Manager, her role is critical in integrating the partnership work of the school with its academic mission. Erica serves as a high-level administrator by managing, leading, and coordinating the community work to support school and student needs. This work is accomplished by conducting ongoing needs assessments to provide proper alignment with school, student and family core values. Mrs. Macklin serves with a strong equity lens and strives for equality in education for all students.

Erica earned a bachelorÅ› degree from Holy Names in Oakland, California and is a wife and mother of two daughters.

Erica Macklin

Elissa Moriarty

Teacher on Special Assignment

Elissa Moriarty is a passionate elementary educator, with ten years of classroom teaching experience in 1st through 4th grade and twelve years as a mentor and coach to teachers. She is committed to the well-being of students and supporting teachers in maximizing their students' learning through equitable, high-quality instruction. Elissa brings a wealth of knowledge and perspective that drives her practice. She has worked in a variety of settings, including OUSD, an urban charter school, and independent schools, collaborating with teachers and school leadership to transform instruction and culture. Her work is rooted deeply in equity and social emotional learning, finding ways to raise the voices and meet the needs of all students. Elissa is committed to transforming the educational experience of students by leading teachers in their own growth, resilience, and understanding of how to best serve their students. Elissa has been working in OUSD since 2018 and is the proud mother of two Sankofa United scholars! 

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Derrick Wesby

After School Program Coordinator

Derrick Wesby, affectionately known as "Mr. D", is the Bay Area Community Resources After School Program Coordinator. Derrick began his career with BACR in 2006 on the Sankofa campus as an instructor. Derrick has over 15 years experience within the education and social justice realm and has held titles such as program assistant, intervention specialist, and resource specialist. Derrick supports students, families and staff through programs that not only enrich student academic learning but also support student social emotional growth. Derrick's mission is to provide a safe space for youth, support student agency, and advocate for the Sankofa United community. Derrick has received many awards and accolades including the 2019 Superintendent Recognition Award. Derrick is a proud father and community member who is committed to social change in the community.

Mr. D