Principal, PPS leader leave jobs after KATU report about alleged abuse by teacher
Jennifer Patterson, the senior director of Portland Public Schools' Franklin cluster, and Rene Canler, the principal of Lent K-8 School in Southeast Portland, have left for jobs outside the district, KATU has learned.
A district spokesperson said Patterson left for a job with Oregon's Department of Education (ODE), and Canler took a position with the North Clackamas School District.
The news follows a May 10 story by KATU which found that Sam Leach, a Lent K-8 school climate coach, had been disciplined for allegedly abusing students at James John Elementary School in 2012-2013. He subsequently received multiple raises and transfers within the district. About two weeks after the report, KATU learned that another Lent K-8 teacher had been placed on leave amid abuse allegations.
On May 22, Carolyn Myers, the mother of a Lent K-8 student, filed a $700,000 lawsuit against the district accusing it of condoning "a violent and hostile education environment" at Lent over its handling of Leach. Myers, a PPS teacher, said Leach assaulted her son at least five times during the 2016-2017 school year.
ODE said Patterson is set to start a position next week as assistant superintendent of the agency’s office of teaching, learning and assessment. Canler will be the new principal at Alder Creek Middle School in Milwaukie, according to a North Clackamas School District spokesperson.
PPS would not say why Patterson and Canler chose to leave their positions with the district.