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Portland district leaders encourage principals and administrators ahead of new school year

Friday wrapped up a three-day leadership conference held for principals and administrators in the Portland Public School District.

PORTLAND, Ore. — With less than a month to the start of the school year, Portland principals and school leaders got a pep talk from Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero on Friday.

“Even in these times of darkness, we find hope and inspiration,” said Guerrero.

That was part of the message he had for principals and administrators as he wrapped up a three-day leadership conference in preparation for the new school year with full five-day-a-week, in-person learning.

“Behind us stands a devastating year-and-a-half filled with trauma, grief and transitions,” said Guerrero. “As your superintendent, I too find hope in each one of you.”

In about three weeks, nearly 50,000 students will be walking onto campuses throughout the district. Benson Polytechnic High School principal Curtis Wilson Junior is ready.

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“We’re excited but at the same time got a little bit of nervous tension as well,” said Wilson.

That’s just the truth of it, especially since we’re still in a pandemic. Right now, the expectation is that things could possibly change.

“This is uncharted territory for us. But we’re gonna be in this together. We’ll figure out how to make this happen,” said Wilson.

He’s excited to see his students again and particularly excited about teaching his Zumba class.

“We can’t predict what’s gonna happen over the next nine months but we’re excited about what’s coming and we’re definitely excited for September first,” Wilson said.

In a couple weeks Wilson will give a pep talk to his teachers and staff, similar to the superintendent’s speech. Among the many priorities this year is making sure students’ needs are taken care of.

“Behind the scenes we’re going to leverage all the additional counselors, the additional social workers, work with our community-based partners to make sure that you know all of our students are beginning to get ready to learn,” said Guerrero.

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