Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Sitton School logoSitton School

Sitton Students Soar

9930 N. Smith St. | Portland, OR 97203
Phone: (503) 916-6277 | Fax: (503) 916-2673

Dianne Newton-Prior's Bio

This is my 4th year as the Library Assistant at Sitton Elementary. I have worked hard to weed out worn and out-dated books, and we have received so many new books that the shelves are once again full.  I’d like to say thanks to the following donors who have collectively given more than $5,000 worth of books to Sitton:   

  • Concordia University- I helped secure a donation from their Children's Library.
  • Broadway Books-They’ve done a book drive for us from their store the past two Decembers. 

I have also brought in three published authors for assemblies at no cost to the school and have arranged a story-telling assembly, compliments of Multnomah County Library.  

I have a very diverse background, which has luckily brought me to Sitton Elementary.  I received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Illinois State, where, as an art major, I chose to take additional courses in children's literature, as I had been in love with books and illustrations since I was very young. I came to the school system after a career in advertising as an art director and a graphic designer.  

When I had my children I decided to stay at home and raise them. The Atkinson principal suggested, since I was forever volunteering at the school, that I become a para-educator. So I spent several years substituting in the district. After a couple years as a full-time one-on-one para-educator at Atkinson, I was re-assigned to Sitton. I LOVED it here, working with some of the best special ed teachers ever. Two years later, my dream job became available, and I became the Library Assistant (the title given to those of us working in the libraries without a teaching certificate.)  

Also, while working at an agency in Philadelphia, I volunteered for Project Literacy U.S (PLUS), Barbara Bush’s initiative to get more illiterate adults reading. I worked weekly in that program for over a year, teaching adults to read, until my husband and I moved to Portland in 1988. READING OPENS DOORS: IT IS SO VERY IMPORTANT (and fun, too!)!!  

The best way to contact me is by email, dnewtonp@pps.net, or call, if that's more convenient 503-916-6277.  I will return your calls during non-classroom hours and we can talk, or set up a one on one appointment.   

I try to help bring special events to Sitton, and volunteer at the extra-curricular functions.  We have an annual Literacy night, where the book sales are held in the library, and I help coordinate that program.   We also have our annual Thanksgiving Manners lesson and feast, we will once more be collecting Pennies for Peace to send to Greg Mortenson's foundation, building schools in Pakistan, and we have Popcorn Celebrations.  New this year, I've signed the whole school up for 'Book It', Pizza Hut's incentive program to get kids reading!  

Anne Frank said it best: "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." I love working with kids, and I love love love books! To me, it is a perfect combination, and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be working with the great students and staff at Sitton. I'm still amazed how life's path has led me to this meaningful (and fun!) job!