• Superintendent's Leadership Team

Dr. Kregg Cuellar
Dr. Kregg Cuellar  
Deputy Superintendent,  
Instruction & School Communities  


Dr. Cuellar came to PPS in June 2018 from Baltimore Public Schools (the 25th largest school district in the U.S.), where he was community superintendent. He has served as a paraprofessional, teacher, administrator and college professor. Dr. Cuellar is deeply experienced and respected for his school and school system transformation work.

Dr. Cuellar started in PPS as Chief of Schools, and in July 2019 was promoted to Deputy Superintendent. In that role, he oversees curriculum and instruction, student support services, and school performance. He earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts from the University of Houston-Victoria, and a Doctorate of Education from the University of Houston.

Stephanie Soden
Stephanie Soden  
Executive Chief of Staff  

Stephanie joined PPS in January 2018 as Chief of Staff and was elevated to Executive Chief of Staff in March 2019. She oversees Human Resources, Communications, the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, the board office, government relations, the complaint process, as well as supporting the superintendent in daily operations and management.

Stephanie came to PPS from Metro, where she served as chief of staff and chief policy advisor to the agency’s president. She served as public affairs director for the Oregon Department of Justice and held positions with Multnomah County and the governor’s office. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Concordia University.

Luis Valentino
Dr. Luis Valentino  
Chief Academic Officer  

Luis first joined PPS as a consultant in December 2017 and played a central role in stabilizing the curriculum and instruction department. He worked with Superintendent Guerrero when he was associate superintendent/chief academic officer for the San Francisco Unified School District.

Luis leads the Office of Teaching and Learning, whose primary role is to ensure that all educators provide rigorous, authentic, and personalized experiences for all students, particularly our underserved populations. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas, a Master of Science in Administration from Pepperdine University, a Master of Art in Education Technology from California State-Los Angeles, and a Doctorate of Education from UCLA.

Brenda Martinek
Brenda Martinek  
Chief of Student Support Services  


Brenda came to PPS from Vancouver Public Schools, where she was the executive director of special services. Brenda previously served at Reynolds School District as director of student services, as principal of Holy Trinity K-8 Catholic School, and served Portland Public Schools as a program administrator in special education.

Brenda leads the Office of Student Support Services, whose core purpose centers on supporting students and school communities with essential wraparound services, supports and resources. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Utah, and a Master of Education from Portland State University. 

Keeley Simpson
Dr. Keeley Simpson  
Regional Superintendent  
Jefferson-Madison-Lincoln-Roosevelt Cohort  

Dr. Simpson joined PPS in 2018. In her role as Regional Superintendent, she oversees and supports the cohort that includes the elementary, middle and K-8 schools that feed into Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln and Roosevelt High Schools.

Dr. Simpson came to PPS from the Houston Independent School District, where she was a School Support Officer, leading 15 diverse schools. She has more than 15 years of educational experience and has served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.

Dr. Esther Omogbehin
Dr. Esther Omogbehin  
Regional Superintendent  
Cleveland-Wilson-Franklin-Grant Cohort  

Dr. Omogbehin joined PPS in September 2019. As Regional Superintendent, she leads the Cleveland-Wilson-Franklin-Grant K-8 cohort, which is made up of 40 K-5, K-8 and middle schools.

Dr. Omogbehin came to PPS from the Roosevelt School District in Phoenix, Ariz., where she served as Chief Academic Officer. She has worked in the Houston Independent School District and served more than 20 years in the San Diego Unified School District, where she held roles as a teacher, staff developer, literacy administrator, vice principal and principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Russell Brown
Dr. Russell Brown  
Chief of Systems Performance  

Dr. Brown came to PPS from Baltimore County Public Schools, where he served as Chief Accountability and Performance Management Officer. He is a well-respected leader whose research background includes the management and conducting of program assessments, accountability structures and boundary review processes. Prior to Baltimore, Dr. Brown was Deputy Chief of Organizational Accountability at Cleveland Municipal School District.

Dr. Brown holds a Doctorate of Counseling Psychology from the University of Akron. His published work and presentations cover a myriad of subjects, including student safety, professional development, student achievement testing and educational research partnerships. He has also worked professionally as a university instructor and children’s mental health therapist.

Dani Ledezma
Dani Ledezma  
Senior Advisor,  
Racial Equity & Social Justice  

Dani comes to PPS from the Coalition of Communities of Color, where she had served as interim Executive Director. Before that, she served as a policy advisor to Govs. Kate Brown and John Kitzhaber and spent more than a decade in leadership roles with the City of Portland.

In her role, Dani will help guide the process of building a clear strategic direction for equity, diversity and inclusion at PPS. Dani holds a degree in Government and Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and is a graduate of Unidos, a statewide Latino leadership program.

Claire Hertz
Claire Hertz  
Deputy Superintendent,  
Business & Operations  

Claire came to PPS from the Beaverton School District, where she served in a number of roles, most recently Chief Financial Officer. She has built a legacy of success in managing finances and leading operations for school districts, including spearheading school bond efforts. She has worked previously for school districts in Newberg, Parkrose and Roseburg.

Claire oversees key departments in PPS: business and operations; finance and accounting; school modernization; facilities management; and technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from UCLA and a Master of Education from Wilkes University.

Sharon Reese
Sharon Reese  
Chief Human Resources Officer  


Sharon has more than 19 years of experience as a human resources leader, consultant, and employment law attorney, including more than 11 years with Knowledge Universe. Sharon's strengths include partnering with executives and emerging leaders to identify organizational priorities, develop staff, and improve team functions. Sharon earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Scripps College, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Shawn Bird
Dr. Shawn Bird  
Chief of Schools  

Dr. Bird joined PPS in January 2020. He has more than 20 years of educational experience, including district leadership positions for large, urban school districts in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Pasadena. He started his career as a secondary English teacher and has served as a principal at the middle and high school levels.

As Chief of Schools, Dr. Bird leads and supports the Office of School Performance, guiding the Regional Superintendents and Area Senior Directors who support our principals and schools. Dr. Bird earned three degrees from the University of Houston: a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Spanish, a Master of Education in Secondary Education, and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Jonathan Garcia
Jonathan Garcia  
Chief Engagement Officer  

Jonathan currently serves as the Chief Engagement Officer for Portland Public Schools. In his role, he leverages the power of student, family and community voice with the generosity of business and philanthropy to strengthen PPS’s mission of providing a rich and dynamic learning experience for every student. He also serves as President of The Fund for Portland Public Schools, the school district’s nonprofit fundraising arm. He’s led similar initiatives in Los Angeles and San Francisco, creating strong movements in support of youth and public education.

A son of undocumented immigrants, Jonathan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Management from Azusa Pacific University. He has earned multiple professional accolades, including being named to the 2018 Forbes' “30 Under 30 in Education” list. Jonathan lends his thought leadership to the Board of Directors of two nationally-based nonprofits: Futuro Media Group and Arte Público Press. At the local-level, Jonathan serves on the Board of Directors of the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation, is the Co-Chair for the 3 to PhD Collaborative at PPS’s Faubion PK-8 School, Executive Committee-member of the Portland Teachers Program and serves on the Latino Partnership Program Statewide Advisory Council for the Oregon Community Foundation. He is a “big brother” to a PPS 6th grader through Big Brothers Big Sisters and inaugural coach to the PPS Alliance High School Volleyball team.

Dan Jung
Dan Jung  
Chief Operating Officer  

Dan has worked in PPS for nine years and was elevated to Chief Operating Officer in 2019. He oversees the Office of School Modernization, Facilities, Maintenance and Operations, Planning and Asset Management, Facilities Project Management and Student Transportation.

During his time in PPS, Dan oversaw the major modernization and safety work made possible by the passage of two bonds totaling $1.2 billion. Dan is a graduate of Portland State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.

Don Wolff
Don Wolff  
Chief Technology Officer  

Don came to PPS from the Hillsboro School District, where he served as Chief Information Officer. He oversees all PPS technology functions, including application maintenance, our data centers, help desk and hardware support, voice and data communication, and computer systems operations.

Don earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Teacher from Southern Oregon University, and a Master of Educational Technology from Pepperdine University.

Rosanne Powell
Rosanne Powell  
Senior Manager, Board of Education  

Rosanne serves as PPS Board of Education manager.  She supports the board, serves as liason with PPS executives, directors, staff and employees, helping to fulfill the commitment of serving all students to the highest standards. Prior to this role, Rosanne worked in the Human Resources team as a Recruitment Specialist, in school communities supporting principals and in the Dual Language Immersion programs, supporting growth of the programs across the district.  

Rosanne attended UC Santa Cruz, where she studied Psychology.  She is the proud parent of two PPS students.

Liz Large
Liz Large  
Interim General Counsel  


Liz came to PPS from Kindercare Education, where she was executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.  Throughout her legal career, she has provided strategic guidance and response to complex emerging business, legal and education policy issues. Liz is licensed to practice law in Oregon, Washington and California. 

Liz provides legal advice that promotes district goals, accelerates equity, preserves relationships and allows staff and students to focus on teaching and learning. Liz earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History from the University of Washington, and a Juris Doctorate from Willamette University.