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A new principal for Grant High School

July 12, 2013
Carol Campbell, principal at Benson High School, has been named the new principal at Grant High School. Selection of a new Benson principal begins immediately.

Superintendent Carole Smith has announced that Carol Campbell, current principal at Benson High School, will be the next principal at Grant, succeeding Vivian Orlen, who returned with her family to New York last month. A process to select the next principal at Benson commences immediately.

Campbell shared the news with her leadership team at Benson. Superintendent Smith sent an email Friday to Benson staff and families explaining her decision to ask Campbell to make this transition. Campbell followed up with a personal email. An emailed announcement to Grant staff and community members included an invitation to meet their new principal.

Campbell is former Grant teacher

"Looking for the right person to build on Vivian Orlen’s work at Grant, Carol Campbell immediately jumped out," Smith said.

Campbell taught science at Grant from 1998 to 2007, after serving as a teacher and athletic director in St. Charles, Missouri for 15 years. She went on to lead Newberg High School’s Silver School, one of four small schools on the Newberg campus where she held high expectations for every student and made it her focus to know every student’s story.

"Her work in Newberg paved her way back to PPS in 2011 when I selected her to lead Benson High School at a crucial time as we implemented High School System Design," Smith said.

To even out enrollment and strengthen neighborhood high schools so that all students could access a rigorous and robust core program regardless of where in the city they live, PPS closed the three small schools on the Marshall Campus, turning Jefferson into a middle college focus program and capping enrollment at Benson starting in the fall of 2011.

Building on Benson's strengths

"Carol has been an effective advocate for Benson," Smith said. "She deepened and added new partnerships – including with Oregon Institute of Technology - and supported the Benson staff’s creativity and talent including teachers Katie Meyer and Linda McLellan’s Fit to Live & Learn program that earned state and national recognition."

Smith indicated that Campbell's advocacy and all that she put in place will continue to serve Benson as Smith considers ways to continue building on Benson's strengths

Selection of new Benson principal

PPS is inviting Benson staff and community members to weigh in on the characteristics they want to see in their next leader in an online survey (click "weigh in") or at a meeting Monday, July 22 at 6 pm at Benson. Smith said a new Benson principal would be selected before the start of school.

Campbell said that while she is excited to lead the school where she taught for so many years, the transition is also bittersweet. She will be wrapping up work in July at Benson and then transitioning to Grant and will assist the next Benson principal when he or she is selected.

"It is very difficult for me to leave Benson," Campbell wrote to her staff and community. "I have grown to love the unique programs at Benson and have learned a lot about the importance of providing opportunities for students to explore a variety of career possibilities. Benson is a special place and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to a part of this amazing school community."

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