November 17th, 2010 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

Portland School District's Special-Education Director Moving On

PPS Special Education Meeting

Portland Public Schools' special-education department is on the cusp of change as its director prepares to leave and her associate director gears up to take over.

Joanne Mabbott, special education director at PPS since 2008, will become interim principal at Maplewood Elementary School in Southwest Portland starting Jan. 1, 2011. But that's not a permanent move. Mabbott will lead Maplewood until June, and the search for a long-term principal will begin this spring.

Jennifer Jackson, now Mabbott's second in command, will replace Mabbott as head of the district's special-education department. But that too is temporary, according to PPS. Jean Fischer, a PPS administrator who retired in 2006, will support Jackson during the transition. (Last year, Fischer also temporarily ran the district's department for English-language learners.)

Amid the changes, current Maplewood principal John Blanck will become the district's new "interim director of principal hiring." According to an email sent to PPS employees this morning, Blanck will hold this position until June, when he plans to retire.

Mabbott tells WW the decision to move was hers. She says she's not leaving PPS at the end of June when her term at Maplewood ends. Instead, she will apply for vacant principal positions, she says. A spokesman for PPS was not immediately available for comment.

Photo of a meeting with special-education leaders from earlier this school year.
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