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Super Principal Sara Gips Goodall

October is National Principals Month and the Portland Public Schools is taking this opportunity to shine a spotlight on our principals, who are super. We celebrate and appreciate them not only this month but always! To showcase them, we have asked our principals 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 individually during this month. Read on to learn more about Super Principal Sara Gips Goodall of Lyseth Elementary School:

Lyseth Elementary School

Principal Sara Gips Goodall

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am really happy to be back home in my home state of Maine with my husband and two children, and with my family nearby. Prior to our family’s move back to Portland in 2021, I was the principal of a bilingual Pre-K-8th school in Colorado.

2) What inspired you to become a principal?

I interned in a turnaround school in Boston, focusing on the arts and teacher leadership as a way to transform student learning. I wanted to see more schools be like that – and so I went back to Denver and into school leadership!  The job of a principal is so multifaceted – and that is something I enjoy.

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

Ensuring that our school really is a community where everyone – family, kids and staff – knows and feels that they belong and that they matter.  (And... literacy! I see foundational literacy as core to academic success.)

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

Right now... staffing and systemic issues that exist in education in our country. 

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

Well, I do use a scooter sometimes to zip around the building, so I am making flying happen in my own way – so I will say the gift of more time – more time to do the work, but also more time to just sit and chat with kiddos, get to know each of the 500 wonderful students in our building on a deeper level, and yet still have time to relax with my own family after I get home.