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Phú Trầnchí 
Head of School

Phu Headshot copy_edited.jpg


The TREE Academy Board of Directors is delighted to announce the appointment of Phú Trầnchí as its new Head of School.

Phú Trầnchí has honed his educational philosophy and vision for disrupting traditional schooling over the course of 20 years teaching and administrating in independent schools.   A nationally recognized leader in experiential, service, and purpose learning, Phú defines himself as an unapologetic progressive educator and climate feminist.  He has a lifelong reputation for inspiring students and teachers alike to dream big, take risks, forge community connections, and believe in their power to create change now. 


Phu’s work centers around his fundamental belief in the capacity and agency of youth to create change in their communities when the classroom walls are permeable and students are directly engaged with the world around them. With principles of diversity and sustainability at his core, Phú believes a school should model a vibrant learning community that centers on well-being and creates an inclusive environment where everyone can bring their whole selves and thrive. When learning is designed to honor and value each individual - leveraging our evolving understanding of young, plastic, and neurodiverse brains - every student can flourish. 


After serving in the US Peace Corps, where he taught science and led community development projects in a rural secondary school in Kenya, Phú established his roots at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles. Beginning as a science teacher, his propensity for innovation and collaboration was immediately recognized and he ascended through leadership, becoming the high school General Studies Principal as well as serving as acting Head of School. He has spent the last 13 years at Oakwood School in North Hollywood, leading innovation and development of the science curriculum and growth in interdisciplinary project-based and competency-based learning. Liberated from the traditional constraints of classroom learning, Phú’s students have sent their experiments to the International Space Station and created a multinational nonprofit that produced an Academy Award-winning documentary.


As Director of Community Engagement and Experiential Learning, Phú is recognized as a national leader in the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network (ISEEN) and Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG). Phú has transformed the Oakwood Immersion program - built upon a progressive framework with mission-aligned goals - into a model for immersive experiential education, which he teaches to school leaders throughout North America. He has cultivated a relationship with the local Fernandeño Tataviam tribe to amplify their educational objectives, establishing a unique partnership in his efforts to transcend land acknowledgments and indigenize the curriculum at Oakwood. Phú has further aligned this work with his leadership in school sustainability.


Phú champions a school culture fueled by purpose, broad and diverse perspectives, and compassion -- values that can empower all of us to transform education, save the planet, and create meaningful and lasting impact on our world. 


Phu is a graduate of UCLA with both an undergraduate and masters degree in Physiological Science.  He completed coursework and advanced to qualification for a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) Degree in educational leadership at UCLA.  Husband, father, dog-person, and avid camper, Phú finds peace in the ocean, in nature, and in the kitchen.


To learn more about Phú, you can listen to him as a recent guest on the popular Unrulr podcast discussing “How Can We Create a Sense of Possibility for Students” as well as a contributor to the World Leadership School’s webinar, “Reimagine Advisory with Purpose.”


TREE is an innovative non-profit school with a customized academic approach. The school provides both small classes combined with individual college-preparatory instruction — for every student and every class — which means weekly tutorial blocks for each of our core academic classes. TREE is designed for high achievers and students feeling disillusioned, for those with burning passions as well as for those with unique learning styles — all looking for a student-centered, interdisciplinary approach to the creative arts and new technologies at a unique, diverse campus and community center, dedicated to the joy of learning.

For more information about Tree Academy, please visit​



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