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.
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.