No student will fall through the cracks at Earl Boyles Elementary in southeast Portland. Not if Principal Ericka Guynes has anything to do with it. Ericka Guynes, GTEP ’92, MEd ’95, has won Oregon’s National Distinguished Principal Award. She was recognized by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) at their June conference in Seaside.
Ms. Guynes is in her sixth year as principal at Earl Boyles and her efforts have resulted in making the school one of the best Title I schools in the state. Earl Boyles Elementary School is in a diverse area of the David Douglas School District where the student population represents 23 languages. It is in a high poverty area where eighty percent of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch.
Ms. Guynes addressed school improvement by working with Professional Learning Teams, creating programs such as Parents United that increased parent involvement, and Early Works which promotes school readiness for preschoolers. Next fall, the district will open a new $7 million dollar preschool wing at the school that will operate as a community center for parents and children. Earl Boyles Elementary has one of the first public preschool programs in the state, and the new wing will provide preschool services for the entire Earl Boyles attendance area.
“One thing about Ericka, is that at all times she has only the best interest of kids at heart,” said David Douglas Superintendent Don Grotting. “It can be a cliché in education, but Ericka lives it—it truly is all about the kids. She eagerly embraces any initiative that helps students learn, and she does it with an incredibly positive attitude. We’re all tremendously proud of her and the recognition she’s earned, which is truly deserved.”
“I feel it’s been a team effort for all of us to get it [Oregon’s National Distinguished Principal Award], and for Earl Boyles to be recognized,” she said. “I’m a very fortunate principal to work in such a wonderful school and community.”