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Super Principal Sheila Jepson

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 Sheila Jepson of Portland High School:

Portland High School

Principal Sheila Jepson:

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself:

 My background is in special education and I was a special education teacher for nine years before becoming an administrator. I served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal at Bonny Eagle High School for 20 years prior to coming to the Portland Public Schools.

2) What inspired you to become a principal?

I was an assistant principal and my superintendent at the time encouraged me to pursue a principalship. When the principal left mid-year I was an interim and then interviewed for the permanent position. I was inspired by staff who were invested in the community, who supported the work of improving education for students and who were committed to students and student success. 

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

Seeing students progress, be successful and move through a system that can be challenging and rewarding. I love hearing about students' goals and their success in the world once they have graduated. I also respect and appreciate all that teachers do to provide instruction to today's teens and the energy they bring to the classroom.

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

An administrator's job is not just the hours of a school day.  It extends to hours before the school day starts and hours after the school day. Principals "spin many plates" and keeping track of the multiple tasks and making sure that all is going smoothly is challenging. Every day is a different day and plans can change quickly. 

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

My superpower would be making sure students have all the supports they need to be successful.