Portland school superintendent, principal search groups seek input

Two administrator searches in the Portland Public Schools have milestone events scheduled in the coming days.

Portland Superintendent Search Committee Chairwoman Sarah Thompson

The superintendent search ad hoc committee is holding it’s kick-off meeting with Illinois-based talent finder consultant PROACT Search, during which they’ll develop a timeline, talk about roles and responsibilities, write up a community engagement process, and agree on how they’ll want to screen candidates, among other things.

That subcommittee meeting is scheduled to take place Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Portland Arts & Technology High School.

Current Superintendent James Morse is retiring in June after three years in the district, during which he rearranged the system’s finance department in response to an inherited budget mess (the previous superintendent and finance director each resigned after a budget overrun of nearly $2.5 million was discovered in 2007).

But superintendent isn’t the only position that needs to be filled in the district.

According to a district announcement, on Wednesday night, neighborhood parents are invited to a gathering at Lyman Moore Middle School to talk about what qualities they’d like to see in the next principal of that school. That meeting is to begin at 7 p.m.

Stephen Rogers is currently in the Lyman Moore position as a one-year interim appointment. Rogers had been the principal of the school for nine years before moving up to Portland High School to work as the assistant principal in that building for five.

Under Rogers’ watch this year, Lyman Moore was one of three individuals or organizations honored by the Portland branch of the NAACP at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.

The school partnered with the NAACP on a pilot project called “Excellence in Education,” which sought to “formally assess the impact of school climate, culture, parental involvement and community engagement on student achievement.”

Said Rogers of the project:

What began as a partnership has grown into full-fledged ‘family’ effort to assure that all members of our community feel safe, secure, valued and respected at all times. This will lead to higher levels of student achievement for all.

Another sign of the school’s embrace of diversity under Rogers’ watch, the school hosted a special presentation in the fall on the subject of African warlord Joseph Koty and his enslavement of village children as soldiers.

Students at the school joined fundraising teams to contribute to the effort resisting Koty’s advances across the continent.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.