North Clackamas School Board narrows choices for district leader
School board members are considering three finalists to replace retiring North Clackamas Superintendent Matt Utterback.
In October 2019, Utterback announced his retirement at the end of the 2019-20 school year, but delayed his retirement until the end of the 2020-21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His three potential replacements include one internal candidate, or recruits from Nevada or Minnesota.
To introduce these finalists to the community, NCSD is holding a virtual forum to hear each candidate's response to preselected questions from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 1. Registration is required, and once registered, attendees will receive the necessary sign-in information. Following each person's 45-minute session, attendees can complete a confidential Candidate Impression Form that NCSD's School Board will use during their Feb. 4 meeting to deliberate on the finalists.
Currently region superintendent for Clark County School District, Brockett oversees 108 pre-K-12 schools, including two Career and Technical Academies, a virtual learning academy and several magnet schools.
Brockett has been working with public school students for over 26 years, beginning as a special-education teacher and coach in Clark County. She then moved into administration and served as a dean of students, assistant principal and principal.
As the principal of Las Vegas High School, Brockett increased the Advanced Placement course offerings, career and technical pathways and graduation rates for all student groups. In 2016, she was chosen to receive the Heart of Education Award for Innovation in Schools.
Brockett also is an adjunct professor in the school leadership and special-education departments at National University.
Gadson currently serves as an associate superintendent with Anoka-Hennepin Schools in Minnesota. He received his bachelor's degree in business economics and secondary education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, and his master's and doctor of philosophy degrees from Washington State University.
Gadson's career includes serving as an assistant principal and principal at primary, middle and high school levels with Broward County and Palm Beach County school districts. He also was district director of secondary education in Palm Beach County.
Gadson led reform efforts at several high schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as chief transformation officer with a private organization from 2010-12.
Prior positions include supervising high school operations for the Austin Independent School District in Texas, associate superintendent with Atlanta Public Schools, and executive director of curriculum and schools with Robbinsdale Area Schools in New Hope, Minnesota, among other roles.
James currently is the assistant superintendent of education for the North Clackamas School District, joining NCSD in 2016 as its executive director of high school programs.
Previously, James held several roles with Portland Public Schools, where she worked as a teacher, assistant principal, vice-principal and principal of Franklin High School. Before leaving PPS, James was senior director of high schools and college and career readiness.
Before her 21-year career in education, James worked in the business sector. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education at Portland State University, and her doctorate in educational leadership from Lewis & Clark College. Additionally, she taught as an adjunct professor at Washington State University for two years.
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