Dear PPS Community,
I am running for the Portland Public School Board because I believe education is a pathway to expanding opportunities that put children on the path to achieving their dreams. As a graduate of Grant High School, an educational community that transformed my life, I feel compelled to bring my leadership to PPS to ensure every student is guaranteed an excellent education and a supportive community.
Growing up my mother was a single parent of three, who worked multiple jobs to provide for our family. In spite of any hardships we might have had at home, I could always count on the support of amazing teachers and advocates like Charles Hunter, Anthony DeLoney, Raina Beavers, and Barbara Knox. Grant High School provided an educational environment that engaged my interests, fostered my aspirations, and challenged me to see beyond any limitations. It was this pivotal experience that inspired me to be a leader for educational equity, instilled a commitment to educational excellence, and motivated me to be an educator and an advocate for all students.
I understand the challenges our children, parents, and teachers face. As a former student of PPS, a former teacher, a former principal, and current leader of a teacher preparation institute; I know the critical importance of lived experience, leadership, integrity, outcomes, and vision. I have worked tirelessly to provide a transformative education for children in communities across the country and will bring that same commitment and dedication to this vital leadership role at PPS.
I believe in a strong PPS and I have decided to stand up and take action to improve our school system here in Portland. I am running because I know that as an educational leader I am personally invested in ensuring change and progress for our students, our schools, our community. I am running because I am willing to build bridges and collaborate with our school board members to achieve results and stand up for equity. And I am asking for your support to stand with me as I stand for our children’s future. Together, with courage and collaboration, we can build an education system for the future. Let’s stand together and use our voting power to create a board that will build a strong PPS!
Accomplished, collaborative leadership
A Portland Public Schools graduate, Jamila Singleton Munson has spent a career in education as an educator, administrator, and teaching mentor.
Munson is running for Portland School Board, Zone 4, to bring accomplished, collaborative leadership to create excellence in education at the District.
While attending Grant High School, Munson was nominated and chosen to be a Pamplin Fellow, a peer leadership program at Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI). While a Fellow, Jamila experienced the impact a dedicated mentor and counselor can make in the life of a student. Applying this knowledge as a student at the University of Oregon, Munson became co-director of the Black Student Union and then the University’s Multicultural Center. Working collaboratively with student leaders, she helped create a support network for students of color and challenged racial inequities on campus.
Determined to continue helping students in low-performing schools succeed, Jamila began her education career through the Teach for America program. During her first assignment as a fifth-grade teacher in the South Bronx, Jamila affirmed her commitment to educational excellence, student growth, as well as culturally responsive teaching. While a full-time teacher, Jamila completed a Masters of Education and obtained certification in educating English Language Learners. Throughout her career, Jamila has sought out professional development opportunities and gained critical skill sets in administration, which led to important leadership roles as assistant principal and then principal. Each step of the way, Jamila was dedicated to transforming school culture and creating pathways to student success.
Since returning to Portland, Jamila has remained a committed leader in education and an advocate for culturally responsive curriculum. Munson also works with educators to provide professional development, particularly in providing culturally specific instruction, and developing content that resonates with today’s diverse student population. She is the co-founder of Community for Equity PDX, a local group of community leaders focused on social justice.
Munson lives in Northeast Portland with her husband, Iron, and their Cane Corso, Athena.