• Important: Senior Leadership Announcement from Superintendent Guerrero

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     Kregg Cuellar and Russell Brown

    Kregg Cuellar (left) and Russell Brown.

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am very pleased to announce the appointment of two critical senior leadership positions at Portland Public Schools. First, Dr. Kregg Cuellar, who has effectively served as our Chief of Schools, will be our new Deputy Superintendent for Instruction and School Communities. Secondly, Dr. Russell Brown, who has built a national reputation for his work in Baltimore and Cleveland public schools, will be our new Chief of Systems Performance.

    In both cases, we conducted national searches and received interest from a number of highly qualified candidates. In the end, we felt the best person for the role of Deputy Superintendent was already here in the district, demonstrating effective leadership.

    When Kregg Cuellar joined the district a year ago, I shared my belief that he would be instrumental in our system transformation work and in building a service-oriented school performance team focused on leadership development and the implementation of a differentiated school support model. In a relatively short amount of time, he and the Office of School Performance team, while we strive to be better, have made positive progress in becoming a more collaborative support system for principals and educators throughout the district. Kregg has cultivated positive working relationships with our school leaders and staff, our labor partners and PPS stakeholder groups. He has worked tirelessly and in partnership with school administrators to begin to build the sort of leadership culture that our leaders want and our district needs.

    With this promotion, I believe he will reinforce our commitment to continue improving our ability to serve and support our school communities. I know Kregg will carry that collaborative, problem-solving, supportive ethic to the Deputy role, where he will undoubtedly enhance our collaborative work with schools. I look forward to having Kregg join the executive leadership team as we grow our partnership with him as my right-hand person, providing leadership and strategic guidance to multiple central office departments, all in the service of our school communities.

    Dr. Russell Brown comes to PPS from Maryland, where he has served as Chief Accountability and Performance Management Officer for Baltimore County Public Schools. His arrival is a big milestone in our journey to become more data-driven and intentionally focused on continuous improvement as an organization. Russell is a well-respected leader whose deep research background include the management and conducting of program assessments, accountability structures and boundary review processes. In Baltimore, he implemented a new performance management system, designed a new model for enrollment projections (a model that has proven to be 99% accurate) and led continuous improvement processes in that large urban school district.<

    Prior to Baltimore, Russell was Deputy Chief of Organizational Accountability at Cleveland Municipal School District. In Cleveland, he was responsible for the district’s learning management system and developed the metrics to evaluate district performance and provide transparent progress monitoring reports. His published work and presentations cover myriad 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.

    Russell’s extensive subject matter expertise and stellar track record at two large, urban school districts illustrate why we are so fortunate to have him join the leadership team here. I know he looks forward to meeting as many of you as possible once he arrives in Portland later this summer.

    Finally, Kregg’s promotion results in an opening for our Chief of Schools position. We will immediately begin advertising the position and then proceed with our application process. I will be interested in incorporating a number of stakeholder groups, including school leaders, in the vetting and selection process. In the meantime, our objective is to identify a new Chief who will carry on and enhance the collaboration and engagement between central office departments and our school administrators.

    As a result of our collective efforts, the academic year we have just completed was filled with progress and success in many areas. We have much more work to do. We remain committed to maintaining a steady rate of progress in the year ahead and beyond. With our central office departments now stable and strengthened in their core functions, we look forward to engaging more purposefully with principals in our next level of work. Please know of our intention to create two-way feedback and input opportunities so that together we can maximize our efforts towards the shared goal of raising student outcomes.

    Please join me in congratulating Dr. Kregg Cuellar and welcoming Dr. Russell Brown to Portland Public Schools!


    Guadalupe Guerrero