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New principals for six Inner Southeast schools

by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS - Principals - the six new appointments in Inner Southeast, from top left:  T. J. Fuller, Woodstock Elementary; Matt Goldstein, Duniway Elementary; Conrad Hurdle, Creston K-8; and from bottom left, Joseph Galati, Llewellyn Elementary; Brenda Fox, Lane Middle School; Pam Joyner, Hosford Middle School.A phalanx of new Principals will welcome students and staff when Portland Public Schools reopen in September. The schools involved are Woodstock Elementary, Duniway Elementary, Creston Elementary, Llewellyn Elementary, Lane Middle School, and Hosford Middle School.

Some of the newcomers replace retirees; others arrive in response to other changes in school leadership. Just as teachers can be assigned a new grade to increase their professional skills, Principals change schools to be exposed to different communities and school climates.

Principal T. J. Fuller will take the helm at Woodstock, following the retirement of Principal Mary Patterson. Matt Goldstein will fill the Duniway position left by Sara Hahn, who transferred to Lent K-8 School. Conrad Hurdle succeeds Interim Principal Chris Guitierrez at Creston K-8 School; Joseph Galati will assume leadership at Llewellyn, following the July 1 retirement of Steve Powell, reported last month in THE BEE. And Brenda Fox takes on the position at Lane Middle School, replacing Pam Joyner, who moved on to Hosford Middle School.

The recent appointees bring much experience to their new roles, and are eager to establish bonds with a new crop of students, staff, and communities. Each reports being dedicated to providing an enriched educational experience for students, while establishing strong relationships with families and community partners.

T.J. Fuller began his career in Georgia as a “Teach for America Corps” member. He has worked with a wide variety of students from different backgrounds, races, cultures, and ethnicities; and he reports being committed to working with students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He pursued his Masters in Leadership and Administration at Portland State University.

Fuller worked in a Spanish immersion program at Rigler Elementary, learning to lead a school with a neighborhood and language immersion program similar to Woodstock’s. He says he has learned the value of safety, student and staff well-being, and high expectations for personal achievement – and will carry these values to his new role at Woodstock, while celebrating the traditions and hard work already in place there.

Matt Goldstein’s strong instructional leadership skills fit well with priorities expressed by the Duniway community, where he replaces Sara Hahn, who now will lead Lent K-8 School. He says he is skilled at providing support in improving instruction and assessment skills, and deepening the understanding of the curriculum for both staff and students. Goldstein works to facilitate creative and engaging learning experiences, collaborating with school and community to nurture a safe and positive school environment. Goldstein reports that he understands the importance of valuing multiple perspectives on the subject of school equity, and he says he feels honored to be assigned as Principal at Duniway School in Eastmoreland, and he appreciates the passion and commitment of staff, students and community to create an exceptional learning environment there.

Creston’s incoming Principal Conrad Hurdle started with Portland Public Schools fourteen years ago as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher, and he now has ten years experience as an administrator. He comments that he has a deep commitment to improve education for all students, while collaborating with parents and the community. While Principal at Ockley Green PK-8 School, he secured additional subsidy funds to offer enrichments, and launched a new pre-Kindergarten program.

Hurdle worked with partners to bring extra programs to Ockley Green students – such as “Tools for School”, “Start Making A Reader Today (SMART)”, and the “Right Brain Initiative”. He looks forward to finding out what teachers, parents and students love about Creston, and “working with them to tell Creston’s story”.

The new Principal at Llewellyn, Joseph Galati, has twenty-six years experience as a teacher and leader in the Portland Public Schools. During his five years as Principal at Chief Joseph Elementary School, he was well-known for developing business partnerships, recognizing deserving students, and engaging the community through his “Cup of Joe with Joe” program.

Galati helped acquire enrichments, technology, and student teachers from the University of Portland. He also collaborated with the Native American community at his school to create the Nez Perce Garden, and the beautiful murals there. He tells THE BEE that he looks forward to building on retired Principal Steve Powell’s efforts to keep Llewellyn strong and vital for students, families, and the neighborhood.

Brenda Fox transfers from Bridger K-8 School to become Lane Middle School Principal, where “It feels like coming home”, she says. Her combination of teaching and leadership experience as well as expertise with a Spanish immersion program make her a good fit with Lane. She has also served as an instructional coach, and believes that cooperation between families, staff, community, and PPS creates the best school atmosphere.

Ms. Fox views schools as the center of a neighborhood, and delights in seeing students work to achieve their potential. She says she can build bridges between school and district staff to marshal resources for teachers and students – and looks forward to working with teachers, students, and the community to develop a school culture of academic excellence. In addition, Pam Joyner moves from Lane Middle School to be Principal at Hosford Middle School, succeeding Kevin Bacon who will lead Boise-Eliot/Humboldt. As THE BEE prepared to go to press one additional Principal remained to be announced in Inner Southeast Portland – because Kevin Crotchett was announced on July 10 as moving from being Arleta K-8 School Principal, to Jackson Middle School in the same position. PPS expects to announce the new Arleta administrator by mid-August.