Chalkboard Project welcomes Erin Prince as its new vice president for education policy. Prince brings her unique experience and perspective to Chalkboard, where her chief priorities are advancing teacher leadership and championing educational equity for students.
“I’m energized by this opportunity,” Prince said. “Chalkboard walks the talk when it comes to elevating the teacher voice and doing what it takes to get the results we want for our schools in Oregon.“
“Erin is a visionary leader with deep experience in education,” says Sue Hildick, Chalkboard’s president. “She is a champion for innovative and collaborative solutions to ensure every child in Oregon succeeds.”
Prince earned her BS in teaching from Oregon State University, her MAT from Lewis & Clark College, and PhD in education from Oregon State. After teaching elementary school in several districts, she became a principal of elementary schools in Lake Oswego and Albany. As assistant superintendent in the Sherwood School District from 2007-11, Prince served as the district’s project director for Chalkboard’s CLASS (Creative Leadership Achieves Student Success) Project, which she calls “one of the most exciting times in my career,” as the district shifted its culture to embrace collaboration and innovation. Prince also served as strategic advisor for Chalkboard since 2010, and is a key member of the Distinguished Leaders Council that developed the Leading for Learning initiative.
As superintendent in Corvallis from 2011-16, Prince continued her partnership with Chalkboard, creating teacher leadership opportunities and, most importantly, boosting achievement. During her tenure the district’s graduation rate surged from 68 to 86 percent, easily surpassing the state average and becoming a model for the state.
Prince understands from her own experience that the key to school transformation is effective teacher leadership and decision making based on research-based, data-driven best practices. She noted that Oregon’s 74 percent graduation rate shows that “we’re leaving behind a quarter of our students.”
“If you seek transformational change,” she said, “you need to come at problems with a mindset of creativity and openness, as well as a willingness to challenge old ways of doing things.”
Oregon schools face plenty of challenges, but Prince prefers to focus on opportunities.
“This is not a conversation about deficits. This is a conversation about strengths,” she said, “We have many extraordinary educators in this state, and if we want to see change it starts with our teachers.”