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Jefferson taps Calvert as new principal

A Jefferson High School insider has been chosen to lead the school in its latest - and hopefully greatest - transformation.

Margaret Calvert, a vice principal at the North Portland school for the past three years, has been named to lead the new Jefferson High School - Middle College for Advanced Studies, district leaders said Wednesday morning.

Calvert was chosen after a selection process involving an interview with a committee of students, staff and community partners at Jefferson.

In her three years at the school, she's credited with creating new opportunities for students to catch up during the school year, as well as launching an afterschool tutoring lab.

District leaders say she's 'been instrumental in creating a culture of high expectations for students in which staff members identify, encourage and support individual students to get them to their potential.'

She's also been a leader in the school's equity work, since Jefferson joined eight other 'beacon schools' in the district to confront how attitudes about race shape interactions with students.

The schools are working on how to create a more racially and culturally responsive school that serves all students. Calvert is white, while Jefferson has been a historically black school.

The demographics could change this fall when the school reopens with its middle college program, which Calvert helped develop along with Jefferson and Portland Community College staff and interim principal Toni Hunter.

Calvert began in education as a social studies and mathematics teacher in 1996, first at Rex Putnam High School and then at Wilson High School.

From 1999 to 2005, she taught math and was head coach for the women's basketball team at Grant High School. From 2004 to 2008, she was a secondary mathematics specialist as a teacher on special assignment. She became vice principal at Jefferson in 2008.

She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in teaching from Lewis and Clark College, and received her administrator's credentials from Portland State University.

Her post begins this fall.