June 16th, 2010 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

Key Architect of High-School Redesign to Leave Portland Public Schools

Franklin 1
Xavier Botana, Portland Public Schools' chief academic officer and one of the architects of the pending high-school redesign, is leaving the school district after just one year. In an email to PPS staff today, Superintendent Carole Smith said Botana's departure was due to an illness in his family.

Carla Randall, principal of Madison High School, will replace Botana on Aug. 10, his last day with the district.

Here's that email, which arrives on the same day as the Portland School Board's final work session on the high-school redesign this evening:
from: allpps-bounces@mailman.pps.k12.or.us [mailto:allpps-bounces@mailman.pps.k12.or.us] On Behalf Of carolesmith@pps.k12.or.us
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 1:34 PM
To: All PPS
Subject: [Allpps] Best wishes to Xavier Botana

Dear PPS Employees,

I am sad to announce that Chief Academic Officer Xavier Botana will leave PPS this summer to return to Chicago, due to a chronic illness in his family.

We will miss the strong academic leadership that Xavier has brought to our school district, yet I support his decision to return to Chicago where he and his family can benefit from the support of extended family.

Over the past year, Xavier helped achieve several major accomplishments ? from improving education for English language learners and students in special education, to creating a core program for our high schools that will give every student access to a rigorous and well-rounded education, to the launch of our district-wide equity plan and Beyond Diversity training. PPS is a better place because of his service.

Carla Randall, principal of Madison High School, will become our Chief Academic Officer upon Xavier's departure Aug. 10.

Carla has done outstanding work during her year at Madison, building up the school's academic and extracurricular offerings, supporting students and staff, and generating strong support from the community. She is well prepared for the CAO role, having served from 2005 to 2009 as the K-12 Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Tigard-Tualatin School District.

Carla started her education career in 1977 teaching high school math for Lake Oswego and came to PPS in 1998. She served as vice principal, first at Cleveland High School and then at Jefferson High School. From 2002 to 2005, she was principal of Wilson High School.

I am pleased that Carla has agreed to step into the Chief Academic Officer role, and I look forward to the continuity of innovative and focused leadership she will bring.

Within the coming weeks, we will convene a meeting for the Madison community to begin the process to select a new leader.

Please join me in wishing Xavier well and in congratulating Carla.

Photo of Xavier Botana discussing the high-school redesign at Franklin High School in December.
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