GSE alumna Margaret Calvert named Oregon High School Principal of the Year

Jefferson High School Principal Margaret Calvert, IAL ’08, is Oregon’s 2016 High School Principal of the Year. She was selected by the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA). She is a graduate of the PSU Initial Administrator Licensure program and will complete the Continuing Administrator Licensure program this spring.

Margaret Calvert Wins

Margaret Calvert, IAL ’08, Oregon High School Principal of the Year (with flowers); with (L–R) Carol Campbell (Grant HS principal), Payton Chapman, (Lincoln HS principal), and Craig Hawkins, COSA executive director.

Calvert taught at Rex Putnam, Wilson, and Grant High Schools before coming to Jefferson in 2008. She was named principal in 2011. She is a former math teacher and lives with her family in the Jefferson attendance area. She stood out for her work, dedication to students, and support of colleagues. This is her first job as an administrator. She was nominated for the award by her entire staff.

“She has been instrumental in creating a culture of high expectations for students in which staff members identify, encourage, and support individual students to get them to their potential,” Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carol Smith said in a statement to district employees.

In 2010, only 50 percent of Jefferson’s seniors graduated on time. Today, that number has increased dramatically to 80 percent. It’s a remarkable accomplishment in just five years for a school that the district had considered closing in 2010.

Calvert was primarily responsible for the conversion of Jefferson High School into a community college magnate school for the district. Portland Community College (PCC) provides college credit for classes taught on the Jefferson campus and offers access to PCC Cascade Campus where Jefferson students may take additional college classes for free. Jefferson students are able to continue for a bachelor’s degree as well—at Portland State University, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Warner Pacific College, Pacific University, or Willamette University—under an agreement that provides scholarships, financial aid, and gap funding.

Calvert will be honored at the statewide annual conference for COSA in June and will be eligible for the NASSP National Principal of the Year award that is announced in Washington, DC, in September.


PSU nets $1.2 million grant for orientation and mobility training

COMETThe US Department of Education awarded the PSU Graduate School of Education a $1,247,470 grant to develop a new certificate program to train orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists. This program will be linked to the existing PSU Visually Impaired Learner (VIL) program.

Over the next five years, Project COMET, Certified Orientation and Mobility Educators in Training, will prepare 38 fully trained and highly qualified O&M specialists to help individuals who are blind or visually impaired to develop the skills necessary for independent and safe travel within their homes, workplaces, and communities. Continue reading

PSU Graduate School of Education earns new national accreditation

CAEPThe PSU Graduate School of Education has achieved national accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). At this time, only 10 Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) have been accredited by CAEP, and the GSE is the first to achieve CAEP accreditation in Oregon and on the entire West Coast.

In 2014, two national accrediting agencies united to create CAEP. The CAEP standards are new and more demanding than the previous ones, which were governed by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Educator preparation programs must have more reliable and valid assessments of candidates and of programs, and they must be able to show that graduates are effective. They must also have mutually beneficial partnerships with local school districts.

The GSE has held NCATE accreditation for more than 25 years and this year had the option of addressing NCATE standards or the more rigorous CAEP standards. The GSE chose to lead by taking the CAEP option. Last year, Oregon passed a law requiring all teacher education programs in the state to be CAEP accredited by 2022. At that time, the GSE will be seeking renewal of its CAEP accreditation.

“I want to again thank all of the many faculty, staff, and school district partners who contributed to this effort, especially Associate Dean Micki Caskey and GSE Assessment and Partnership Coordinator Leslee Peterson for their tremendous leadership,” said Dean Randy Hitz. “Through your good efforts, we are leading, learning, and changing lives in the most important ways.”

The GSE is the largest, most comprehensive school of education in Oregon and holds four national accreditations: Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Council on Rehabilitation Counseling (CORE), and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

GSE alumnus Paul Coakley selected to lead Centennial School District

CoakleyPaul Coakley, BS ’00, MEd ’01, IAL ’06, CAL ’12, EdD ’13, is the new interim superintendent of Centennial School District, the 21st largest in the state. He follows Sam Breyer, who will be the new superintendent of the Multnomah Education Service District.

Coakley began his career in education in 2000 as a teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Portland Public Schools (PPS). In 2003–05, he served as literacy coordinator for the school. He taught in Champaign, Illinois, for the 2005–06 school year and then moved back to Oregon as the student management specialist for Beach K–8 School in PPS from 2006–08.

His first administrator position was principal of Hudson Park Elementary in Rainier, Washington, where he worked for six years before being named assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Rainier Washington school district. Coakley was hired by Centennial in July 2014 as assistant superintendent and has served as the human resources director. Continue reading

PSU doctoral student recipient of national science teaching award

Garcia ArriolaAlfonso Garcia Arriola is the District XVII recipient of the Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Awards from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The award recognizes six full-time K–12 teachers of science who successfully use innovation and excellence in their classrooms. Arriola teaches 7–8 science at ACCESS Academy in Portland Public Schools. He is a doctoral candidate in the PSU Educational Leadership (EdD) program.

“These teachers and science education professionals have shown tremendous dedication and commitment to their students and to science education,” said NSTA President Carolyn Hayes. “We are so proud to honor them as they help to inspire the next generation of informed citizens, scientists, engineers, and innovators who can embrace all that science can offer.”

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PSU faculty member/alumna recipient of national science teaching award

Wendi LaurenceGraduate School of Education (GSE) Curriculum and Instruction Assistant Professor Wendi Laurence has won the Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). She is a 2007 graduate of the Doctorate of Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction program. The award recognizes a teacher with at least three years of experience for “excellence in the field of aerospace education.” The award includes an honorarium of $3,000, along with $2,000 toward her trip to the annual NSTA conference in Nashville, Tennessee, March 31–April 3, 2016.

Laurence is an Oregon Laurels Scholar and a past recipient of the Portland State President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement. She lives in Park City, Utah, and teaches online classes for PSU in the Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction program. She has taught for the GSE since 2009. Prior to that she was a graduate assistant, 2001–2004, and a research specialist, 2004–2006, for the PSU Center for Science Education.

“Wendi has more energy than anybody I know,” said Professor Christine Chaillé, who heads the Curriculum and Instruction Department at PSU. “You can find her teaching robotics, astronomy, engineering, aviation, rocketry, and STEAM in a variety of formal and informal venues. She always brings her expertise, passion, research, creativity, and curiosity to everything she does so that more students can reach their potential to learn and love science.”

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