Next generation of school leaders receive $150,000 for scholarships

Portland State University, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), and Chalkboard Project are proud to announce a generous contribution of $150,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation to financially support 22 new candidates in PSU and COSA Leads Preliminary Administrative Licensure program under the innovative Leading for Learning initiative. The teachers, representing a diverse array of communities across the state, are participating in the first cohort of the pilot program, funded by the Oregon Department of Education.

The pilot program supports 32 aspiring school leaders who serve Oregon’s diverse population of students in K-12 schools. The candidates—chosen for their unique perspective and depth of understanding of equity—will receive on-the-job leadership experience by participating in half-time internships supervised by experienced mentors. The scholarships—ranging from $3,000 to $10,000—will apply toward tuition, books, fees, and travel.

“This is a unique collaborative effort among the Oregon Department of Education, Chalkboard, Portland State University, and COSA that helps us prepare future administrators to close the opportunity gaps in our schools,” said Susan Carlile, associate professor in the PSU program.

“It brings increased resources to instructional leadership for equity,” said Deborah Peterson, assistant professor in the PSU program. “In addition to release time, a key feature is that new leaders can work alongside experienced principal mentors, much like medical interns work alongside licensed physicians.”

Leading for Learning promises to deliver high caliber, equity-focused, instructional leaders to districts across the state. “It allows us to partner with districts in a new way and engage candidates in authentic administrative responsibilities,” said Colin Cameron, COSA’s deputy director.

“This is an important step toward achieving equity and true representation of our school leaders matching our growing diverse student population,” said Erin Prince, Chalkboard’s new vice president of education policy. “The program pulls from successful models and best practices nationally to prepare and support future leaders to enhance student success.”

The recipients are: Catherine Barber, Jackson County; Bijoli Biswas, Beaverton; Kelsey Bowers, Lake Oswego; Scott Burns, Portland; Christian Chavez, Hillsboro; Kathy Childress, Gresham-Barlow; Ardis Clark, Madras; Darryl Coppedge, North Clackamas; Alyssa Dodds, Springfield; Maria De Valdenebro, Portland; Shelby DiFonzo, Ontario; Michelle Eagleson, Vernonia; Tamika Hampton, Salem-Keizer; Miranda Johnson, Sherwood; Claudia Kis, Woodburn; Salvador Munoz, Salem-Keizer; April Murphy, Silverton; Carlos Ruiz, Salem-Keizer; Dulce Nash, Beaverton; Myrna Salinas, West Linn; Sean Saxton, Albany; Edgar Solares, Beaverton; Britta Sorensen, Gladstone; Cassandra Thonstad, Newberg; Robin VanBuren, Sheridan Estella Weigand, Forest Grove; and Ashley Wildfang, Salem-Keizer.

The first cohort of aspiring leaders began meeting in spring 2016 and continues through the next year. The program aims to prepare 120 new school principals by 2018-19.

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