02-19-2017  10:48 pm      •     

Leon Dudley, a high school principal in Dallas, Texas, who says he loves a challenge, will be Jefferson High School's new principal beginning Aug. 14.
Dudley was hired this week by Vicki Phillips, Portland Public Schools superintendent. Phillips also hired Cynthia Harris, a school administrator in California, to serve as area director for all schools in the Jefferson cluster, as well as the elementary and middle schools in the Wilson area.
"Leon Dudley and Cynthia Harris are outstanding school leaders,"
Phillips said. "While new to Portland, they are not new to the work at hand: providing a world-class education for students in urban schools."
Dudley, a principal at Dallas Independent School District's Roosevelt High School, has a track record leading urban middle and high schools and closing the achievement gap, according to Phillips.
Dudley said in a telephone interview with The Skanner Wednesday that he is familiar with the "trials and tribulations" that Jefferson has undergone. But the community will see that he loves a challenge, he added.
The new principal said he believes in "rigor, relevance and relationships" when it comes to leading a school.
"It's all about relationships," Dudley added. "I plan to listen to people who are smarter than me about the culture of North and Northeast Portland and smarter than me about the culture of Jefferson."
Once community and school relationships are established, he said, he will help students to understand how academic standards are relative to their lives. The same goes for teachers, who may often feel they are teaching in isolation, Dudley said.
"We can't expect children to do any more than what we model for them," he added.
Once the relationships and the relevance are established, then the academic rigor will follow, he said.
"It is important to me that rigor does occur, but the people must come together and determine what that rigor will look like," he said. "What's the building going to look like? The technology, the teachers, the students?"
Dudley calls himself an "architect, a builder" who designs learning environments where students can achieve.
He said he plans to develop monthly meetings or "vertical conversations" between teachers in Jefferson's feeder schools to align subject matter and academic standards to prepare students before they enter Jefferson. He is doing the same thing at his current school, which he compares to Jefferson.
"They are like schools," he said. "The social dynamics are about the same — there's a lack of parental involvement, the need to motivate the reluctant learner, to motivate parents and to keep and maintain staff. They have all the challenges of urban schools."
Phillips called Dudley a "dynamic leader who has proven his success at urban schools much like Jefferson."
"He has the ideas, the energy and the inspiration it will take to engage students, teachers, school staff, families and the broader community to meet our common goal: to re-establish Jefferson as a premier high school. I am excited to have him on the team," Phillips added.
Dudley has increased graduation rates, improved instruction, supervised alternative and magnet programs and has engaged the community in schools he has served, she said.
He started his career as a third-grade teacher in Dallas and has spent most of his career in Texas, including two years at the Texas Education Agency working in accountability, development and support of alternative schools.
Dudley will take the helm of a school undergoing transformation. Beginning in September, Jefferson will house the Academy of Arts and Technology and the Academy of Science and Technology, and in September 2007, two more academies will open, one for young men and another for young women.
The Jefferson Design Team recommended that Portland Public Schools actively recruit candidates nationally for Jefferson principal. A panel of students, teachers, parents, representatives of the Parent Teacher Student Association and community members, asked the top candidates to give Phillips advice about the school.
Dudley has a master's degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas and is a doctoral fellow in the Cooperative Superintendency Program at the University of Texas. He replaces Larry Dashiell, Jefferson principal since 2002.
Cynthia Harris, the new area director for all schools in the Jefferson cluster, will work to integrate the high school reforms with other programs offered by Jefferson area schools. Those programs include an arts and technology strand through Ockley Green Arts School (kindergarten through eighth grade), developing the city's first kindergarten-through-high school International Baccalaureate program, building on the elementary schools' successes as they expand to kindergarten through eighth grade and instituting a culture of excellence in teaching and learning.
Harris has worked at California's West Contra Costa Unified School District since 1988, as principal of an inner city elementary school, coordinating coaches to work with under-performing schools, leading a department that provided transitional services to hundreds of disabled students and directing a program that engaged community volunteers in providing tutoring and mentoring to students.
She began her career as an elementary teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. Harris earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Harris will build on the work started by Area Director Harriet Adair, who will continue to work with the Grant cluster. Harris replaces Jean Fischer, now retired, as the Wilson area director.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
    Read More
  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
    Read More
  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Oregon Lottery
Carpentry Professionals


Reed College Jobs
His Eye is on the Sparrow