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Drake Shelton, chosen Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year in 2016, will lead 1,400 student-school

COURTESY PHOTO: CONFERDERATION OF OREGON SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS  - Drake SheltonDrake Shelton, an assistant principal at Parkrose High School, is the sole final candidate for Gresham High School principal.

The Gresham-Barlow School Board is scheduled to vote Thursday night, June 6, to approve educator contracts, which would include the new principal. The district planned to issue an announcement on its selection after the meeting.

Shelton was named the 2016 Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators when he was assistant principal at Portland's alternative Alliance High School.

"He has the strong intellect, big heart, sly sense of humor, tech-savviness and humility to keep learning and growing, while serving as a talented and tireless school administrator," said Alliance Principal Lorna Fast Buffalo Horse said at the time.

If appointed, Shelton faces some big challenges at the 1,400-student Gresham High. The school is in the middle of a three-year renovation project to modernize or replace about 70 percent of the historic school. Students are attending school as the building is being remodeled around them.

Gresham High School's graduation rate slipped from 80 percent of kids graduating in 2017 to 73.2 percent in 2018. That lagged behind the statewide four-year graduation rate of 78.7 percent last year, which is among the lowest in the country.

If appointed, Shelton would replace Michael Schaefer, who resigned in March, citing health reasons.

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