GSE alumnus Paul Coakley wins leadership award

Centennial School District Superintendent Paul Coakley, EdD ’13, is the recipient of the 2017 Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), a national consortium of education leaders. He received the award at the Centennial School District board meeting, May 24, 2017.

The award is offered to practicing school administrators who have made significant contributions to the improvement of administrator preparation. Each year, member university faculties select a distinguished school administrator who has an exemplary record of supporting school administrator preparation efforts.

Coakley assists the PSU educational leadership program in multiple ways. He has co-taught in the principal preparation program and been a guest speaker in classroom settings. He has recruited and mentored aspiring administrators of color and provides ongoing guidance to students in the program. “His perspective has been an invaluable addition to our educational leadership program,” said Deborah Peterson, a cohort leader in the program. “His insight has helped improve the program to meet the needs of culturally diverse K–12 students across Oregon and Southwest Washington.”

Coakley not only teaches in the PSU principal preparation program but also serves on numerous GSE committees to ensure that PSU prepares future leaders for equity and that the program reflects the changing needs of schools in Oregon. He is widely respected for his strong, collaborative leadership and focus on ensuring that all kids reach their dreams.

Coakley was named superintendent of Centennial School District in East Portland in May of 2016 after serving as interim and assistant superintendent. Coakley worked as a school administrator for more than eight years. He began his education career at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Portland Public Schools (PPS) in 2003 as a literacy coordinator. Coakley is the son of Paul E. Coakley Sr., a well-recognized PPS administrator.

Coakley holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, teaching license, administrator certificates, and an education doctorate (EdD) from PSU.

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