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Woodlawn Elementary Principal named Oregon Elementary Principal of the Year for 2023

(Salem, Ore.)
The Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) and the Oregon Elementary School Principals Association is excited to announce Andrea Porter-Lopez, Principal of Woodlawn Elementary School in the Portland Public School District, as the 2023 Oregon Elementary Principal of the Year. Porter-Lopez was presented with the award on April 28th at a school-wide assembly to the cheers of students and staff.

Porter-Lopez began her career as an elementary school teacher and became a Special Education Administrator before becoming an Elementary Principal. Her unwavering commitment to this position has led to an accomplished thirteen years of exceptional leadership. Leading at Woodlawn for the past nine years, Porter-Lopez directed the school out of corrective action and has focused on instruction, student achievement, and a commitment to racial equity. Portland Public Schools’ Area Senior Director Karl Logan calls Andrea Porter-Lopez, a “transformational leader” who, together with students, staff and community  “celebrate and center Black excellence in the fabric of Woodlawn’s culture.”

“Of all the things I could say about Andrea and her leadership, the one descriptor that keeps coming to me is “Multiplier.”  Andrea is a Multiplier. In their book, The Multiplier Effect, Wiseman, Allen and Foster, state that, ‘Some leaders make us better and smarter. They amplify our intelligence.’  Andrea amplifies the intelligence, skill and the cohesiveness of her team. ‘Because Multipliers are leaders who look beyond their own genius and focus on extracting and extending the genius of others, they get more from their people. They don't get a little more… they get vastly more. Multipliers get so much brain power from their people that they essentially double the size of their staff.’ This is Andrea and this is who she is.” Logan continues, “Thank you, Andrea for all you have done and continue to do to make Woodlawn a beacon in our community.”

Lopez-Porter believes in the strength of teams and supports each one in pursuit of excellence for Woodlawn and goes above and beyond for her staff, with high expectations for climate, culture, and student success. Andrea is known for working alongside her staff, building community through encouragement, dedication, and a deep belief in the power of relationships.

 “She is present and engaged, clearly dedicated to our community, and in constant communication with families. I am in awe of her ability to balance the rigor, expectations, and organization needed for a well-run school with the joy, silliness, and curiosity to make an elementary school a welcoming place for kids and their families,” a parent at Woodlawn wrote in support of her nomination. “Andrea believes in her community,” said Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. “She is focused on the right things.”

“Andrea has demonstrated a career of service and dedication to students, families, and staff in her 28 years with the Portland Public School District,” said Craig Hawkins, Executive Director of COSA. “She is truly deserving of recognition.”

Porter-Lopez will be recognized at the COSA Annual Conference in Seaside, Oregon in June.