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PDX Update

SCHOOLS

Smith shakes up office

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith announced last week that she would consolidate three top-level staff positions into one, with the creation of a new chief academic officer position.

The administrative shake-up - her first since taking the helm last summer - will replace three chief officers who earned salaries between $115,000 and $145,000 each.

Judy Elliott currently leads the Office of Teaching and Learning, Barbara Adams led the Office of Schools until leaving the district to pursue another job recently, and Leslie Rennie-Hill directs the Office of High Schools.

The latter office was created two years ago with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but the grant money expires June 30 so 'something had to happen,' district spokesman Matt Shelby said.

Also, he said the shake-up shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. 'Anytime a new superintendent comes in, they have the ability to look at the top-tier system and shape it the way they want,' he said.

The district will hire a chief academic officer who will bring the functions of the three offices into one and work to improve instruction, manage day-to-day operations and bring about academic change in the schools, Smith said.

Grant High School Principal Toni Hunter has been hired to work under the new chief academic officer beginning July 1, leaving Grant to search for a new principal.

ELECTION

Dozono sees funding surge

Since Sho Dozono began accepting private campaign funds for his mayoral campaign, he has outraised Sam Adams more than 4-to-1.

According to Monday's filings with the Oregon secretary of state's office, Dozono raised more than $53,000 over the past two weeks, compared to more than $12,000 raised by Adams in the same period. Adams has raised far more cash overall, around $154,000 compared to just more than $93,000 for Dozono.

Noteworthy contributors to Dozono included conservative businessman David Lister. Adams' supporters included the Stacy and Witbeck construction company, which helped build the Portland streetcar line.

Dozono began seeking private contributions after an administrative law judge ruled he violated the rules governing the city's public financing system by seeing a $27,295 poll on the mayor's race late last year.