The career-focused charter Center for Advanced Learning selects veteran educator for top job

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Steve Day, principal of Center for Advanced Learning, is impressed with the technology available to CAL students. Steve Day, the new principal for Gresham's Center for Advanced Learning, has roamed CAL's halls before.

In 2006, the Beaverton School District was setting up it's magnet Health and Science School, and as its first principal Day led a delegation to see how things worked at CAL.

CAL, a charter school that focuses on career and technical education, was a model for others.

And now Day is back to lead the school he toured 13 years ago.

Day comes to CAL from a position as vice president of Institutional Advancement for La Salle Catholic College Preparatory, a high school in Milwaukie, and interim principal of Christ the King K-8 School.

Prior to that he was principal of Health and Science School.

Day has 12 years of administrative experience. Prior to becoming an administrator, Day taught middle school and high school science. He has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Portland State University and a bachelor's in teaching biology from the University of Illinois.

Day replaced Carol Egan as director, who retired after leading CAL for seven years.

Although students have not yet arrived at the charter high school, Day said, "The sense I get, what I've heard of the student body, they are really excited to be here."

The Chicago native and former science teacher is a big fan of the career and technical education CAL offers.

"It opens up so many doors for kids to be successful. It's huge, the advantages they get," he said.

CAL, at 1484 N.W. Civic Drive, Gresham, is sponsored by the Gresham-Barlow School District. It accepts students from three local school districts, Gresham-Barlow, Reynolds and Centennial, in their junior and senior years. They go to their "home" high schools for half a day and CAL for half a day.

CAL students can study six disciplines including computer information systems, health sciences and mechanical engineering and manufacturing. They are also able to earn college credit for many of their CAL courses.

Day said he's in "listening and learning mode."

He's meeting with teachers and educating himself on CAL's programs and procedures.

One thing that impressed him about CAL is the level of technology available to students.

"I was blown away," he said. "I'm coming into a strong school."

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