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Meet Professor Deborah Peterson, an innovative educational leader with extensive school administrative experience
Meet Professor Deborah Peterson, an innovative educational leader with extensive school administrative experience

Deborah Peterson, EdD, is an associate professor in the Executive Leadership and Initial and Continuing Administrator Licensure programs. She earned her doctorate at Lewis and Clark College where her dissertation focused on Oregon high schools successful with Latino youth. Recent research includes studies of social justice leaders who thrive while successfully increasing opportunities for k-12 students. 

Dr. Peterson’s leadership background includes campus principal of Roosevelt High School in Portland Public Schools where she began a turnaround in which Roosevelt Schools’ academic achievement increased from 14 percent to 40 percent. While at Roosevelt, a rigorous college prep curriculum was added, including 17 advanced placement courses, dual college enrollment, and theater and music, all at a time of declining resources. 

Dr. Peterson has also served as the founding director of the German-American School of Portland (now known as the German International School) and as the principal of a k-5 Spanish immersion school. She has received awards for innovative language programs, sustainability projects, and as an Ally of the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators. Dr. Peterson has successfully mentored many future teachers and administrators from underrepresented populations. 

She is a member of Oregon’s Quality Education Commission, she served on the committee to rewrite administrator licensure standards to include cultural proficiency for TSPC licensure, she was a member of the state steering committee for the Oregon Leadership Network, and she has served on national leadership in the Carnegie Foundation for the Education Doctorate and the University Council of Education Administration.

Dr. Peterson’s experience as a principal, educational district human resources director, and school administrator, give her the expertise and experience to successfully prepare future leaders who ensure every child thrives in our schools. 


Deborah Peterson, EdD
Portland State University
Graduate School of Education
Educational Leadership and Policy
PO Box 751
615 SW Harrison
Room 506U
Portland, Oregon 97207-0751
Phone: 503-725-4688
Fax: 503-725-3200
Email: dpeterso@pdx.edu