The principal who accepted the highest-profile promotion at Portland Public Schools this spring has backed out of taking the new post.

In May, Superintendent Carole Smith announced that Grant High School principal Carol Campbell's promotion to overseeing all of high schools in the district—her new official title: Senior Director of High Schools.

But last week, Campbell announced she'd stay put at Grant.

In the interim, since Smith announced Campbell's promotion, working in PPS' upper echelons has become far less appealing.

Since then, Smith announced she'd retire next year after revelations that water at dozens of schools contained elevated lead levels. A new superintendent, who will be appointed within the year, might want to appoint his or her own top leaders.

Campbell announced the decision to stay on at Grant just days before she was supposed to take on the new job. But she attributed the change of heart to the fact that Grant needs her in a time of transition of a totally unrelated nature.

Next year, Grant will relocate from Northeast Portland to outer Southeast to the shuttered Marshall High for two years while its building is renovated.

"We are in the middle of planning for the modernization of Grant and the move to the Marshall campus," Campbell wrote in a letter to the Grant community. "I think it is important to keep the leadership team together at least another year to prepare for the closure of the Grant campus and to finalize the logistics of moving our community to the Marshall campus for two years."

Parents immediately speculated on Facebook that the decision had more to do with Smith's retirement than Grant's needs, even if they were happy with the outcome.

PPS officials did not respond to a request for comment about who will take on the role of senior director for high schools.

Below is Campbell's most recent announcement:

In early May, I announced to the community that I would be accepting a Senior Director position in PPS. During the past few weeks I have thought about the timing of this transition and decided to remain at Grant.

We are in the middle of planning for the modernization of Grant and the move to the Marshall campus. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Design Advisory Group and working with staff, students, parents and the community on the modernization project. I think it is important to keep the leadership team together at least another year to prepare for the closure of the Grant campus and to finalize the logistics of moving our community to the Marshall campus for two years.

In addition, I have been fortunate to work with staff, students, parents and a community that values diversity and equity. The work of the staff and student equity teams has been phenomenal and I am excited to see the work progress this year. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be the principal of such a great school.

I look forward to our continued work together. Thanks for your support. Enjoy the summer.

Here is the original announcement of Campbell's promotion.