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Super Lead Teacher Lori Bobinsky

October is National Principals Month and the Portland Public Schools is taking this opportunity to shine a spotlight on our principals and also on our lead teachers at Reiche Elementary School, a teacher-led school. All of them are super. We celebrate and appreciate them not only this month but always! To showcase them, we have asked our principals and lead teachers to answer five questions about themselves and their leadership role. We also asked what superpower they'd like to have to aid in their jobs.

We're featuring each principal and lead teacher individually during this month. Read on to learn more about Super Lead Teacher Lori Bobinsky of Reiche Elementary School:

Reiche Elementary School (a teacher-led school)

Lead Teacher Lorraine (Lori) Bobinsky

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I was a primary school teacher in Colorado, Utah and New Hampshire for 24 years, during which time I became a National Board Certified teacher as an early childhood generalist. Wanting to better understand the complexities of teaching children how to read, I pursued my MA in reading from the University of Northern Colorado early in my career and later stepped out of the classroom to become a Reading Recovery teacher. I moved to Maine in 2003 and worked as a Reading Recovery teacher in Auburn for a year before joining Reiche staff as a first grade teacher. The principal at Reiche asked me to step into the literacy specialist role shortly after my arrival. As Reiche was offered a year of exploration to become a teacher-led school, I was asked to support the interim principal during the transition year. I became one of the first three lead teachers as the school transitioned to becoming the first school in the nation to transform from a traditional principal-led school to a teacher-led school. I have been in the role as lead teacher/literacy coach for 13 years, during which time I received both my endorsement as an ESOL teacher and my MA in ed leadership.

2) What inspired you to become a lead teacher?

Becoming a leader was not something I had aspired to do until staff, parents and the superintendent encouraged me to think about stepping into one of the first lead teacher roles at Reiche. However, I accepted the invitation and have developed a passion for leadership while working alongside PPS colleagues. One of Reiche's core values is growing leaders. I enjoy supporting teachers as they step into leadership roles and am always inspired by how they hold the work of the school. The teacher-led model allows me to focus on the instructional work, while working alongside the other two lead teachers. I love curriculum work, visioning with teachers, working alongside teachers and being in a role of ever learning alongside leaders, staff and children. The equity goals of the district and the passionate staff at Reiche have fueled my inspiration to stay in a leadership role at Reiche. 

3) What do you feel most passionate/excited about in your job?

My passion comes from the face of every child who enters through the doors at Reiche. I am a passionate literacy teacher and thrive in the environment of working with both students and teachers as they provide literacy instruction. I am relentless in making sure every child is making progress – academically, socially and emotionally. I love the diversity at Reiche and the challenge that comes from working with children who speak multiple languages. I love looking at data, whether student work, or whole school data determining next steps. There is absolutely nothing like working alongside a teacher with a student struggling to read and seeing the joy when it all comes together. That magic is infectious!

4) What's the most challenging part of being a principal?

The most challenging part of being in a leadership role are the multiple tasks that take me away from working with students and staff. 

5) If you could choose to have a superpower to help you in your job, what would it be?

My superpower would be the ability to complete the busy work tasks with a snap of my fingers so that I could support more teachers and students on a daily basis.