Center for Student Success - Center Leadership
The Center’s professional staff is widely respected by K–12 schools as well as by the university staff. Our director and all of the consultants providing services have an extensive background in K–12 education.
Linda Jessell’s extensive background in public education in Oregon includes over 40 years of work in schools, school districts, and at the university level. She has been director of the Center for Student Success since 2008 and has also served on the faculty of the Graduate Teacher of Education Preparation Program in the PSU Graduate School of Education. Her current areas of specialization include: program evaluation, charter school evaluation, research and application of research to existing programs, teacher professional development, and school leadership training and development. Jessell’s work in K-12 schools included leadership positions in the Beaverton and Gresham-Barlow school districts including the following positions: assistant principal, principal, director of secondary schools, and K-12 curriculum director. The key areas of focus for her work in schools included: high school improvement, curriculum development and grade level alignment, curriculum alignment with state content standards, teacher and administrator professional development, and school improvement planning and implementation. In 2005, Jessell’s work was recognized by the Business Education Compact and she was selected to receive their annual Education Achievement Award.
Our consultant cadre includes
Deborah Sommer, Ed.D, has a rich background of over 38-years in public education, as a staff development specialist, vice-principal, principal, curriculum director, school superintendent, and university faculty. Having worked in large and small school districts, suburban and rural schools, and at an ESD, she has extensive experience in curriculum development, including power standards, curriculum mapping, and program audits. A specialist in team building and conflict resolution, contract negotiations, and building parent and community support for schools, she was the recipient of the Oregon Superintendent of the Year award in 2006, Canby School District.
Rick Dills, Ed.D, has over 30 years of experience as an educational practitioner (teacher, coach, and school administrator). Dr. Dills’ work with the Center has included grant evaluation design and implementation, logic model-based evaluation plans and the use of data to assess and inform educational improvement. Before retiring in 2005, Dr. Dills was the director of student achievement for the Gresham-Barlow School District. In that capacity, he and the district received state, national and international recognition for leadership in using Rasch-based assessment information to study and promote student growth. Dr. Dills has taught classes on performance assessment and educational measurement for Portland State University, and previously worked for the Oregon University System to develop its Proficiency-Based Admission System (PASS).