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Grant High School Principal Rejects Promotion to High-Level Portland Public Schools Post

The decision follows Superintendent Carole Smith's announcement that she will retire in a year.

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.

Related: The Grant High magazine panned the decision to relocate to Marshall, rather than Jefferson High, which is closer and under-utilized.

"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:

Here is the original announcement of Campbell's promotion.