Portland (Ore.) Public Schools
portland ore supt guerrero

San Francisco administrator is tapped to be next superintendent in Portland (Ore.) district

Aug. 12, 2017
Portland board chooses Guadalupe Guerrero after selection made earlier this year fell through

The Portland (Ore.) School Board has selected an administrator in the San Francisco Unified School District as its next superintendent.

Guadalupe Guerrero, a deputy superintendent in San Francisco, has worked as a teacher and an administrator in that city and in Boston.

“Guadalupe Guerrero is a proven educator who brings a deep understanding of classroom teaching connected to what it takes to help all children succeed,” says Julia Brim-Edwards, chair of the Portland School Board. “Our goal was to hire an educational leader who is student-focused and has experience building and sustaining systems to support every student leaving our schools ready for college, career and life."

The hiring is conditioned only upon completion, review and approval of a final background check by the State of Oregon, the Portland district says in a news release. The check doesn't begin until a job offer is made.

The Portland school system has about 49,000 students.

“I have learned that there are no short cuts in school district improvement," Guerrero says. "To improve student outcomes at scale, you have to define a set of aligned strategies to support learning and ensure that the supportive conditions are in place in every school, and all classrooms, for every student to thrive.” 

The selection of a top administrator comes a few months after an earlier superintendent search in Portland failed, The Oregonian reports. The Portland board selected Atlanta Public Schools administrator Donyall Dickey as its lone finalist, but the job offer was rescinded after the district and the candidate reached "a mutual understanding that our expectations for the job were not in complete alignment."

In the aftermath, board members accused Dickey of lying about his past, and Dickey contended the district was too cheap.

Guerrero started his career as a bilingual elementary school teacher, working for seven years in San Francisco and Boston Public Schools, before earning his certification to be a school principal.

In 2012, he became Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice in the San Francisco district.

Guerrero received a bachelor's degree in history from UCLA, and two Master’s degrees from Harvard University, one in School Leadership and Principal Certification, and the second in Educational Policy and Management.

The school board and search consultants initially considered more than 40 prospects and candidates for the superintendent's job. Twenty-five candidates applied for the position, and the board selected seven to interview.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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