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School Board Announces Two Finalists for Superintendent Position

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School Board Announces Two Finalists for Superintendent Position
Posted on 05/02/2016
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After conducting a nationwide search, the Portland Board of Public Education has narrowed the field of applicants for the position of superintendent of the Portland Public Schools down to two finalists. They are Xavier Botana, an associate superintendent in Indiana; and Teresa A. Lance, an assistant superintendent in Colorado.

A public forum with Botana will take place tonight, Monday, May 2, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in room 200 (formerly room 250) of Casco Bay High School, located at 196 Allen Avenue. A separate public forum with Lance will be held on Tuesday, May 3, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of King Middle School, located at 92 Deering Avenue. Attendees at the forums will have an opportunity to ask questions of each candidate and complete a feedback form that will go to the school board.

Botana has been an associate superintendent for the Michigan City (Indiana) Area Schools since 2010. Botana, who is fluent in Spanish, has held a variety of educational roles. He has been the Chief Academic Officer for the Portland, Oregon Public schools; Chief Officer of Instructional Design and Assessment for the Chicago Public Schools; Division Administrator for the Illinois State Board of Education; Assistant Director for the Bensenville New American School Project in Bensenville, Ill.; Assistant Principal/Department Chair at Morton High School, Cicero, Ill.; Coordinator of the Illinois Alliance of Essential Schools, Chicago; and a Bilingual/ESL Teacher for the Cicero Public Schools and the Palatine Public Schools in Illinois.

Botana holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and has completed some doctoral program coursework.

Lance currently is a School Leadership Officer (the equivalent of an assistant superintendent), Secondary Schools, in Colorado Springs, Col. She also has held a variety of educational positions. She has been an Adjunct Instructor at Argosy University, Denver, Col.; Senior Turnaround Consultant, American Institutes for Research, Naperville, Ill; Educational Specialist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas; Principal - Community Education Partnership (Grades 6-12), in Houston, Texas; Principal - Harlem Park Middle School  (Grades 6-8), in Baltimore, Md.; Principal - Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts (Grades 9-12), in Baltimore, Md.; Assistant Principal - Walbrook High School, Highland Town Middle School and Thurgood Marshall Middle School (Grades 9-12 and 6-8); Facilitator, Team Leader and Health Educator in Baltimore, Md..

Lance is a candidate for a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and holds a Master of Science degree in Education/Health Education.

In addition to the public forums, the finalists also will participate in site visits to three schools – at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Each candidate will be interviewed by the board, top administrators, a group of stakeholders, and a group of high school students. The finalists will present an entry plan to the board during a two-hour, closed final interview.

The board intends to announce its final decision for Portland’s next superintendent by mid-May. The start date for the position is July 1. 

The board hired BWP & Associates, a national consulting firm, to help with the superintendent search. The firm conducted a community survey and held meetings with staff, parents, community members and the school board, then compiled a report of its findings and characteristics desired for Portland’s new superintendent. A national search resulted in 41 applications. The board interviewed six semi-finalists for the position and then chose these two finalists. 

For updated information about the superintendent search, you can click here or go to the Superintendent Search Committee quick link on the district website, www.portlandschools.org.