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93 Shares Portland Sets Sights On High Level Atlanta Educator To Be New Superintendent
Dated: March 6 2017
The Portland school board is poised to pick Atlanta Public Schools' chief academic and schools officer to lead Oregon's largest school district, provided a visit to Georgia and contract negotiations go well.
Portland would be Donyall Dickey's debut as superintendent. A successful principal for many years, he worked as a top administrator in Philadelphia for two years before being recruited for the chief of schools position in Atlanta nearly two years ago.
The Portland school board conducted a confidential search in hopes that secrecy would make highly experienced candidates feel comfortable applying without jeopardizing their current jobs. Out of the 32 educators who sought the post, 13 were superintendents.
The closed process was contentious, with board members penning opposing editorials in The Oregonian after a 4-3 vote not to announce finalists. The editorials ran the weekend the board brought in its first set of hopefuls for interviews.
After nearly three hours of secret deliberations Friday about who should lead Oregon's largest school district, the Portland school board isn't ready to announce a finalist.
Dickey, 43, has been at his post at Atlanta since fall 2015. Before that, he spent a year as one of Philadelphia's regional superintendents, then was promoted to chief academic officer, according to a copy of his application obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Some Portland school board members and perhaps other district-watchers will visit Atlanta to make certain they think Dickey has the right skills and experience to lead Oregon's largest district. Board members called several references before deciding to announce him as the sole finalist.
School board member Paul Anthony, who was skeptical the process would result in strong contenders, says he is very pleasantly surprised by the outcome. "I'm still unhappy with the search process, but I think who we got coming out of the process was very good, and so far I'm very happy with him."
Anthony said the main concern the board heard from the stakeholder committee amounted to, "Is he too good to be true?"
"His references are absolutely backing up everything that he says," Anthony said. "He is a very remarkable education leader, and I think we are very lucky to have him."
Dickey wowed the Portland Teachers Association, whose president sat on a 17-member stakeholder committee that interviewed finalists and offered advice to the board.
"We are excited that the board went with a candidate who expresses true educational leadership," Portland Teachers Association President Suzanne Cohen said in a statement. "It is unusual to see someone at the superintendent level with such clarity and vision for the teaching and learning that goes on in the classroom."
See full article at Oregonlive.com
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