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BDS Director - Principal For A Day at Benson High School


Director - Paul L Scarlett, Executive Director - Connie Van Brunt and Outreach Coordinator - Tiffani Penson.On Tuesday, BDS Director Paul Scarlett had the pleasure to partner with the Portland  Schools Foundation and Portland Public Schools for "Principal For A Day". Principal for a Day invites business and civic leaders into to the schools to learn about and experience the challenges, responsibilities and daily decisions that principal's face.

The morning started out with an introduction ceremony at OMSI from Portland Schools Foundation Executive Director, Connie Van Brunt. This featured the newly appointed Portland Public Schools Superintendent, Carole Smith and a Comcast sponsor representative.

The Director was introduced to Ms. Van Brunt who expressed her excitement and support for the innovative ways BDS is engaging the youth (School to Work Program).  She commended him for participating and taking the lead in ways to participate in the advancement of our youth.

Benson High School

The Director chose to spend the day at Benson Polytechnic High School with Principal Susan Schenk.  Benson is a professional-technical magnet high school that offers a variety of professional technical majors or Career Pathways, such as: Automotive, Drafting Communication, Construction, Electronics, etc in addition to a rigorous academic curriculum.  The school is also features one of the most diverse student enrollment of any Portland school.

The Director participated in various activities and visited several classrooms, which included drafting, electrical and construction classes.  He also teamed up with the track coach, Leon McKenzie, to discuss one of his passions, track and field.   He was constantly on the move walking from class to class and covering the entire campus.  One of the most eventful opportunities was participating in a disciplinary action conference with a student who had skipped school.  The Director asked the student his reasons for skipping school, explained the consequences of his actions and strongly encouraged the student to stay in school.


Benson Student

Overall, Mr. Scarlett described the day as exciting, informative and an eye opener to a very busy, important and tough job.  It was a first hand account of Portland Public School's and staff at its finest.  The hands on experience was very rewarding and he looks forward to participating for years to come.


In addition to the Director's participation, Customer Service Program Outreach Coordinator, Tiffani Penson, was Principal for a Day at Jefferson High School where she accompanied Maccari Traynham, Vice Principal of the Academy of Science and Technology. After meeting and receiving instruction from Principal Cynthia Harris, she hit the floor running, visiting classes, learning about the exciting programs offered such as the Academy of Arts and Technology, Young Men's Leadership Academy and all girls college prep academy Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy. 

When she wasn’t in classes, she was patrolling the halls making sure that students were on their way to class and talking with various students.  "It was extremely educational and refreshing to see a school at work and the respect shown to the tough, no nonsense Ms. Traynham.  It was invigorating to spend the day with the very educated and energetic students and staff," said Penson.

Vice Principal - Maccari Traynham Jefferson Student and Teachers

For more information, contact Tiffani Penson at (503) 823-1109 or email


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