Interim to fill Sam Breyer's former superintendent role in Gresham.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Paul CoakelyThe Centennial School Board named Paul Coakley as the district's new superintendent.

Coakley, 40, had been acting as interim superintendent since July 2016, replacing Sam Breyer, who left the district to become superintendent of the Multnomah Education Service District.

"We've had a chance to work with Paul as our interim superintendent for the past several months. The school board likes the energy and steady hand he brings to the position," said Shar Giard, board chairwoman, in the announcement.

"After watching Paul work, and comparing what we wanted in our next superintendent, it was an easy decision to ask him if he would continue as our next Superintendent. We are excited that he said yes."

Coakley himself sounds glad to be in the position.

"We must always keep our focus on ensuring that every child succeeds," he said, "while at the same time supporting the teachers and administrators who work tirelessly on their behalf."

Coakley went to school in Gresham.

"So I know this area well. I am thrilled the Centennial School Board has confidence that I can lead our great staff and students to a successful future," he said.

Prior to becoming interim superintendent at Centennial, Coakley was assistant superintendent and human resources director. He held that position since 2014, when he was hired from the Rainier School District in Rainier, Ore., where he was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

Coakley began his school administrator career in 2008 as the principal of Hudson Park Elementary school in the Rainier district in Oregon. After six years, he was promoted to assistant superintendent in the district.

Coakley previously taught in Portland Public Schools and for a brief time in Champaign, Ill. He is frequent presenter at state and national conferences on a variety of education topics.

Coakley has a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Portland State University and a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction, also from Portland State University. He serves as a professor at his alma mater n the school administrator Initial Administrative Licensure program and on the Oregon Leadership Network Executive Committee.

With about 6,200 students, Centennial is the state's 21st-largest school district.

The Centennial School Board had opened a nationwide superintendent search to fill the position. The board conferred with district stakeholders including staff, community and students, to identify the characteristics expected in the next superintendent.

Coakley will officially become the district's leader on July 1.

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