Peyton Chapman

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Peyton Chapman

Peyton Chapman became principal of Lincoln High School in July 2006. Through her collaborative leadership, an understanding that academic excellence depends on both a strong team within the school and the support and partnership of the larger community has emerged as a pillar of the school’s culture. The synergy between school and community has 1) fostered a safer, more inclusive school environment, 2) significantly narrowed the achievement and opportunity gaps 3) allowed Lincoln to broaden existing academic programs and add new ones, and 4) helped to create an innovative and supportive climate where all are expected to be “Inspired. Global. Thinkers. Working for a More Just and Equitable World.”

Several key indicators of success have continually improved since Chapman’s arrival. The number of students attending Lincoln has grown from 1330 to 1735—due in part to higher enrollment of private school families, a higher capture-rate of neighborhood students, and a reduction of transfers-out. Lincoln is now the largest PPS high school and recognized for its “high demand”.  According to state data from 2016 Lincoln graduated 94% of its students, up 5% from 2013. Lincoln also showed the highest four-year cohort graduation rate of PPS for its students receiving free and reduced lunch. The school significantly narrowed the achievement gap for African-American students who now have an 83% graduation rate. The adoption of a state and district recognized anti-bullying program reduced bullying by 75% as documented by student surveys. There has been a demonstrated improvement in outcomes on standardized test scores, and the school has maintained the highest state rating in attendance, overall achievement and graduation rates.

One indication of growing stakeholder confidence is the sustained 200% increase in annual Lincoln fundraising revenue, which supplements Lincoln’s teaching and extra-curricular budget. Together with generous private and business funding, this support has assisted with the creation new Business, Technology and Culinary Arts Programs as well as the the re-creation of the defunct Music Program (full band, choir and strings), support for Academic Priority students, and additional International Baccalaureate classes (IB Economics, IB Computer Science, IB Film, IB Health and Sports, IB Philosophy and IB Geography).

Lincoln has adopted an expansive definition of community, from school, neighborhood and city, to the world. Examples of full-community engagement include: parent-led committees to address crowding and the redevelopment of the Lincoln site; partnership with the Pearl District Rotary Club to honor students-of-the-month; a thriving Arabic language and culture program in partnership with a grant from the Qatar Foundation; a Mandarin Studies program and Sister-City High School relationship with a school in Suzhou, China, and the creation of new CTE programs in Business and Arts and Communications. Student voice and civic involvement are highlighted and supported through courses such as Environmental Justice, Queer History, Critical Race Studies, student run publications and clubs such as Brothers of Color, GSA and Unity Clubs.

Within the school, Chapman worked with parents and the School Psychologist to introduce “Parent to Parent Courageous Conversations,” monthly evenings that address substance abuse, stress, sexual identity, suicide, and learning disabilities. She has worked collaboratively to implement focused staff professional development around writing, equity, common core state standards, proficiency assessments, and student mental health. She has worked with teacher-leaders to foster co-planning and collegiality through Professional Learning Communities, and with PPS Human Resources Department and the Portland Association of Teachers to secure strong hires, increase numbers of early letters of intent, and nurture quality teachers.

Chapman received a law degree in 1991 from American University, her B.A. in Literature from Kenyon College and her M.A.T. and Administrative Licensure from Lewis and Clark College. She taught at Franklin High School, Hosford and Selwood Middle Schools, serving as a Vice-Principal at Madison High School before becoming the principal at Lincoln High School. Chapman is the President-elect of the OASSA Executive Committee and just finished her term on the National Association of Secondary School Principals Board. In 2014 she was appointed by Governor Kitzhaber to serve on Oregon’s Accelerated Learning Committee. Chapman is a past President of the Portland Association of Public School Administrators and has over a decade of service to community via professional organizations including UO’s Enrollment Board, the Goose Hollow Neighborhood Association, Portland Workforce Alliance Board, Portland Suzhou Sister City Association Board, and the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools Committee.