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Saying Goodbye To Valued Staff

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Saying Goodbye To Valued Staff
Posted on 06/15/2021
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The Portland Board of Public Education and Superintendent Xavier Botana on June 15 recognized two Portland Public Schools dedicated people who are leaving the district at the end of the school year. Honored at the Board meeting were Deering High School Assistant Principal James Moses and district Medical Officer Dr. Patricia Patterson.

Botana made the following comments about the two:

James Moses

“Jim Moses is retiring (again) from the Portland Public Schools after serving as interim assistant principal of Deering High School for the past two years. Mr. Moses has served the Portland Public Schools on and off for the past forty years. He served as an ed tech and teacher in Portland before moving on to be a renowned social studies and alternative education teacher and director of school improvement in Bonny Eagle before returning to Portland Public Schools as assistant principal at Deering High School in 2009. He served there until his first retirement in 2015 and he returned there in 2019 when we asked him to help shore up leadership at Deering during a leadership transition.  Jim’s commitment to supporting co-principals Alyson Dame and Abdullahi Ahmed has allowed them to develop their leadership practice over these past two years and allowed Deering High School to re-establish itself as one of Maine’s premier high schools.

Jim’s wisdom, energy and relentless positivity has been a steadying force for staff, students and parents.  For me, knowing that Jim was at Deering every day gave me confidence that the school was a safe and nurturing place for all of our students.

Jim, thank you for your incredible career and especially for these past two years.  We will never forget your willingness to step in and make this leadership transition at Deering successful.  We wish you nothing but the best and look forward to giving you some time to pursue all of those other things that you love.”

Watch the June 15 tribute to Jim Moses on YouTube at:
https://youtu.be/b5TBOYovd88

Dr. Patricia Patterson

“Dr. Patricia Patterson has been our district’s medical officer for over 30 years.  In that capacity, she guides health policy and protocols and is a resource to district nursing staff. Dr. Patterson has served on countless state, community and district task forces in the service of meeting student health needs.

Dr. Pat also serves as the Assistant Director of the Pediatric Clerkship of the Barbara Bush Hospital.  Pat has served as a pediatrician at Me Medical center pediatric clinic since 1988. She is an attending physician at ME Med Pediatric Clinic and works weekly in our school-based health clinics. In that capacity she has provided first hand medical care for thousands of Portland children and their families. 

In the 90’s, Dr. Pat was an advocate for the first student with HIV to attend a Portland public school. At the time, HIV was poorly understood and that student's attendance was met with great deal of fear and resistance. Pat’s steady leadership made it possible for that child to attend school as part of a full, healthy life.

In 1995, Dr. Patterson was instrumental in getting school-based health clinics (SBHCs) in our high schools and King Middle School.These clinics are a vital healthcare resource for Portland teens. Over the years, our SBHCs have expanded available health resources to students, including dental care. 

Dr. Patterson has played a key role in welcoming our newcomers and bridging them to appropriate healthcare services. She has helped the district craft protocols that are models for other school districts.

Before COVID, there was H1N1. That was a frightening pandemic because H1N1 was particularly dangerous to school-aged children. Dr. Patterson led the district and nursing staff in developing response protocols and our first school-based  vaccination clinics. At the time, schools were the only place vaccines were available to children. Those flu clinics are now a yearly occurrence, greatly reducing the amount of time students need to be away from school. 

Her leadership this past year has been essential to our in-person learning.  She serves on the Maine state school health advisory council. She has worked tirelessly with our amazing school nurses and regularly provided science-based guidance that has allowed us to continue safe in person learning.

From Day One of the pandemic, Dr. Pat has been only a phone call away when we needed to think through what to do in response to guidance or new developments.  She has always been a calm, thoughtful and knowledgeable partner during this public health crisis. Whether deciding whether we should close, evaluating how we should go about reopening schools or supporting the implementation of specific protocols for pool testing, N95 masks, vaccination clinics or any of the other new experiences of this past year, Dr. Pat has been a source of science-based, compassionate and patient leadership.

We will miss that leadership as we move forward.  I cannot thank you enough for your many years of service to the students, families and staff of the Portland Public Schools, especially this past year.

When I discussed succession with Dr. Pat and nurse coordinator Tina Veillieux, we quickly coalesced around Dr. Gita Rao, who has been leading our school-based clinics for a number of years through her work at Greater Portland Health. Dr. Gita has worked closely with Dr. Pat.  As a result, she has a strong understanding of our district’s work on many health related fronts and I am thrilled that she will continue this tradition of medical leadership for years to come.”

Watch the June 15 tribute to Dr. Pat on YouTube at:
https://youtu.be/RFRGsAEdw0M

Photos: Deering Assistant Principal James Moses and PPS Medical Officer Dr. Patricia Patterson.
James Moses Dr. Patricia Patterson