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Vicki Phillips talks education reform at Power Breakfast

She's baaaaack: Former Portland Public Schools superintendent Vicki Phillips is coming to town next Thursday, and for just $40, you can hear her talk about her work in education reform.

Phillips, who led the Portland district with her bold and some say brash style from 2004 to 2007, now serves as director of education for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.

There, she oversees work to ensure U.S. high school students graduate ready for success in college, career and life; and to improve access to college.

Previously, she'd led education initiatives in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Washington, D.C.

In Portland, critics faulted her leading the charge to close some schools and reconfigure others to a K-8 model without much public process or an implementation plan. She quickly earned the moniker 'Hurricane Vicki.'

According to her latest bio: 'Phillips has built a strong education reform record throughout her career, at all levels - from neighborhood schools to the federal government. For nearly three decades, she has endeavored to improve education - as a teacher, state-level policymaker, leader of a nonprofit education foundation, superintendent of a large urban school district and now as the director of education for the foundation."

Phillips' 'June Power Breakfast,' sponsored by the Portland Business Journal, is set for 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 16 at the Governor Hotel in downtown Portland.

Tickets are $40 or $350 for a table of eight.