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Jun 21, 2018

Getting to Know Whitney Grubbs: An Interview with our New Executive Director

Whitney Grubbs joined Chalkboard Project as executive director in May. We are thrilled to have her, not only does she hold vast education and policy expertise but she has a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh. We recently sat down with Whitney to learn more about her background as well as Chalkboard’s immediate priorities.

You were born and raised in Montana. How did you find your way to Oregon?

When you grow up in Montana, the closest big cities are Seattle and Portland, so if you dream of an urban experience it usually means going west.

  • Teacher Leadership
  • School Leadership
  • Student Success
  • Equity and Diversity
  • Educator Workforce
Jan 11, 2018

Changing systems from the inside out

Teaching always felt like a natural fit. My experiences in school growing up were always positive. There were many teachers along the way, starting in elementary school and continuing on through high school and college and graduate school, who showed interest in me, who mentored me. What’s more, they made me feel they cared.

  • Teacher Leadership
  • School Leadership
  • Student Success
  • Trainings
  • Educator Workforce
Chalkboard illustration of a man walking up steps
Nov 30, 2017

Always a learner: From teaching to coaching

Growing up I never really found my niche at school. I don’t remember a lot of dynamic teaching and never felt truly inspired or encouraged. After majoring in psychology at Virginia Tech, I moved to Portland, studied acting, played drums in rock bands, and waited tables.

I didn’t realize until later how passionate I am about learning. That’s why I went to graduate school at Lewis & Clark to become a teacher—to have the impact on kids that I missed.

  • Teacher Leadership
  • Educator Workforce
  • Professional Learning
  • Quality Educators
  • Professional Development
Oct 26, 2017

A diverse teacher workforce is important for student outcomes

Why is it important for students of color to have teachers who look like them? And what is being done to promote workforce diversity?

A recent online article by the Urban Institute explored the issue of educator diversity. The article points out that the pipeline is tight because not enough students of color are going to or graduating from college. And not enough of those who do are majoring in education.

  • Staffing
  • Student Success
  • Equity and Diversity
  • Educator Workforce
Oct 12, 2017

Teachers, once isolated, are now empowered

 Fostering a school district-wide culture of professional learning and collaboration can pose a challenge when schools and teachers range across a district that covers 6,062 square miles.

The Klamath County School District is 40 times the geographic size of Portland Public Schools. Yet the district has 6,500 students in 23 schools, compared to Portland’s 48,000 students in 79 schools.

But thanks to a dynamic district leadership team and a grant through the School District Collaboration Fund, distance is less of a barrier to teacher collaboration in Klamath County. 

  • Teacher Leadership
  • Student Success
  • Trainings
  • Educator Workforce
  • Career Pathways
  • Professional Learning
Oct 12, 2017

Interview with Oregon’s 2018 Teacher of the Year

When asked his recipe for success, 2018’s Oregon Teacher of the Year Matt Bacon-Brenes responds with a Japanese word— kyōryoku, meaning “cooperation.”

Bacon-Brenes was awarded the honor at a surprise school assembly packed with cheering students and colleagues from Portland’s Mt. Tabor Middle School, where he has been teaching social studies in the Japanese Immersion Program the past 15 years.

  • Teacher Leadership
  • Student Success
  • Educator Workforce

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