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Brian Stimson of The Skanner
Published: 23 July 2008

After a district-mandated audit into its operations, Jefferson High School's much-vaunted high-tech academy system has officially been disassembled.
Portland Public Schools announced last week that Jefferson High School's leadership will be changed once again after two of the school's academies merge into one.
Lavert Robertson, administrator for the Academy Arts and Technology, has been named vice principal at Franklin High School; Macarre Traynham, administrator for the Academy for Science and Technology, is now vice principal at Lincoln High School; and interim Young Men's Academy administrator Marshall Haskins is now vice principal at Wilson High.
Replacing the two Arts and Science positions will be vice principal Margaret Calvert, a teacher who worked to improve Jefferson's math department last year. Calvert also previously taught at Grant and Wilson high schools. Ricky Allen, the new administrator for the Young Men's Academy, is a former assistant principal at Reynolds High School who also taught at Jefferson and Whitaker Middle School. Allen also was an executive staff member for Self-Enhancement Inc.
Many of the changes implemented over the summer were the result of an audit of the school performed at the request of Superintendent Carole Smith. Shelby said the recommendations from the audit served as a guiding document for the current changes. In short the changes represent a shift to "start treating Jefferson just like any other high school."
While personnel records are private, district spokesman Matt Shelby said the two Arts and Science administrative posts were dissolved when the district decided to stop the two-year experiment with the academy system at Jefferson, although the all-girls and all-boys academies will continue as they have for the past two years.
The Jefferson Cluster will now be supervised by Toni Hunter, the former principal at Grant High School who has worked for Portland Public Schools for more than 30 years.
Previously, Jefferson Principal Cynthia Harris served as her own supervisor when she was moved from her position as area director to principal of the cluster's high school.
"Before this, we didn't have a clearly defined organizational or accountability structure at the district level," Shelby said, who added that it wasn't clear who Harris' supervisor was.
Administrative shakeup has long been a criticism of Jefferson High School from a variety of people involved with the school. When The Skanner interviewed numerous students, staff and parents, leadership continuity was one of the main things they felt kept the school from functioning at the level of other Portland schools.
Another main criticism was the frequent "experimentation" with various academy systems and magnet programs. The district said there will still be specialized programs at the school, including: health sciences/biotech magnet; engineering technology academy; performing/visual arts magnet; and a business/financial services academy.
Hunter told The Skanner that students' schedules would remain relatively the same from last year, and that five teachers at Jefferson will be qualified to teach AP classes -- which won't be available until at least the spring semester.
Jefferson also lost about six teaching positions, a trend seen at every high school in the district except for Cleveland High.

Other new administrators:
Faubion: LaShawn Lee, Principal.
Clarendon-Portsmouth: Veronica Magallanes, Asst. Principal.
Boise-Eliot: Molly Chun, principal.
Grant: Joseph Malone, Principal; Curtis Wilson, Vice Principal.
Irvington: Lisa Moore, Asst. Principal.
James John: Brenda Fox, principal.
Madison: Jeff Spalding, administrator.
Roosevelt: Leo Colegio, administrator; Devon Baker, administrator
Vernon: Tina Acker, principal.
Woodlawn: Deadra Hall, principal

For a full listing of administrative positions visit www.pps.k12.or.us.

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