• Announcing Atkinson’s new principal, Brenda Fox

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    Brenda Fox

    Dear Atkinson Community,

    Please join me in welcoming Brenda Fox as the new principal of Atkinson Elementary School.

    Brenda is a veteran principal in Portland Public Schools who has held that job at Binnsmead (now called Harrison Park) Middle School, James John Elementary School, Bridger K-8 and Lane Middle School.

    She is known for her ability to build bridges between a school and district staff, a skill she used the last two years as a planning principal in the central office. She helped coordinate the re-opening of Harriet Tubman, which is scheduled to become a middle school in the fall.

    Brenda’s history with PPS goes back decades as she is a graduate of Maplewood K-8 and Wilson High School. She started her education career as a fifth-grade teacher in Rhode Island, before moving to Chula Vista, Calif., to teach at an elementary school for two years.

    Brenda returned to PPS in 2001 as an ESL (English as a second language) teacher at Binnsmead, where she later became a grant facilitator for comprehensive school reform. She moved into administration as an assistant principal at Binnsmead in 2005, then took over as the school’s principal in 2006-07.

    During her time at Binnsmead, the Title I school saw reading scores increase 38.93 percent, including 56 percent for LEP (limited English proficient) students, and 45 percent for black students. Math scores went up 34.3 percent, including 35 percent for LEP and 44 percent black students.

    At Bridger, a Spanish immersion school, she instituted a bi-weekly coffee meeting for Latino parents to help build leadership among families and give them direct access to school administration. At Lane, she worked with her team to add the MindUP curriculum, which teaches students mindfulness to manage stress while also promoting academic success.

    Brenda earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, and a Masters of Education in Administration and an ESOL endorsement from Lewis & Clark College.

    Please join me in welcoming Principal Fox.

    Dr. Yvonne Curtis
    Deputy Superintendent