People across Oakland Unified School District, from students who got to meet him to the Board of Education who got to work with him, were stunned by the sudden and unexpected death of Deputy Chief of Facilities, Tim White. He died on Tuesday, Nov. 26 of complications from leukemia. He was 63 years old.
“I have never in all my years, and I’ve worked for OUSD since 1982, worked with an individual who champion(ed) for his employees and for the students of Oakland as much as he did,” said Roland Broach, executive director of Custodial and Grounds, who worked for White.
White came back to OUSD for a second time in April of 2018, as leader of the Facilities Department where he oversaw more than 400 employees. White worked for OUSD from 2001 to 2015 as Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and later as Deputy Chief of Facilities. He left in 2015 to serve as executive director of Facilities for the Berkeley schools, working closely with the superintendent, Construction Bond Oversight Committee and School Board.
“I am just heartbroken,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Tim’s passing has hit all of us hard. He was a larger than life person with a booming voice and a warm hearty laugh whose dedication to the young people of Oakland was unmistakable.”
“When he returned, and we announced it, employees in facilities were dancing in the hallways,” Broach said. “
“Tim was absolutely a champion for environmental sustainability in our schools,’” said Board of Education Vice President, Jody London. “In 2009, we were the first district to receive matching grants from the state for having green-verified buildings, and that wouldn’t have happened without Tim. He was willing to try new things and approach each situation thinking about what’s best for kids. He was always about what’s best for kids. Tim had such a big heart, and he leaves behind an enormous hole for all of us. It’s just devastating for everybody.”
“Tim White was a pillar of the OUSD family,” said Board of Education Member Jumoke Hinton. “He loved his job … His commitment was to the children of Oakland to ensure they had the best. He brought innovation to this district and pushed for the best in everyone. (He led) a purposed-filled life that ensured that women, Black and Latino contractors and businesses were recognized and a part of building this district.”