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About Deborah S. Peterson

Deborah Peterson, EdD, was recently promoted to associate professor with unlimited tenure in the Executive Leadership and Initial/Continuing Administrators Licensure Program. She earned a doctorate from Lewis and Clark College where she focused her dissertation on Oregon high schools successful with Latino youth.

Her leadership background includes campus principal of Roosevelt High School in Portland Public Schools where she led a turnaround in which Roosevelt Schools academic achievement was raised from 14 percent to 40 percent within 4 years. While at Roosevelt, a rigorous college prep curriculum was added, including 17 advanced placement courses, dual college enrollment, theatre and music-- at a time of declining resources. As principal, she developed with co-author Nora Lehnhoff, a model school-based social services coordination program, which is now replicated in several area high schools.

Dr. Peterson also co-founded and served as an elementary principal in a preK-2 German immersion program and a K-5 Spanish immersion principal, receiving awards for innovative language programs and sustainability projects. Dr. Peterson also has extensive experience as an education district human resources administrator, a commissioner of Oregon’s Quality Education Commission, and committee service with rewriting administrator licensure standards to include cultural proficiency for TSPC administrative licensure. She was recently honored with the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators Ally Award for her work supporting the success of Latina/o administrators.


Present Assistant Professor, Portland State University Educational Leadership and Policy

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Honors and Awards

  • Tom Ruhl Ally of OALA Award, 2014

Articles (8)

Contributions to Books (1)