IB coordinator hopes to support more students as VP


Sagarika Ramachandran

Jo-Ann Wadkins has stepped out of the classroom and takes time to walk down the hall and talk to students as vice principal.

This year, there are a few changes in the administrative line up. Replacing Sean Mailey and Alfredo Quintero as Vice Principals are James McGee and Jo Ann Wadkins. Wadkins has been a physics teacher and IB coordinator at Lincoln, and is eager to take on her new role.

Her favorite thing about Lincoln is the students.

“When I moved to Portland… I felt that students were very engaged with their school, and that was really exciting. It has always been my pleasure to teach students at Lincoln High School,” she says. “I see the future when I see [Lincoln students].”

As vice principal at Lincoln, she has a variety of duties. She’s aligned with two of the counselors, Debra Sankovitz and Sada Dewey, and they work as a team to support students. She’s also a liaison with the leadership class, planning and approving activities.

Besides activities, Wadkins is responsible for getting students the help they need at Lincoln, ranging from grades to more personal issues.

During her time as an IB Coordinator at Lincoln, she grew familiar with the issues that students struggle with. “Some of the problems students face is the pacing. It’s pretty fast and there can be a sense of ‘Am I doing enough, am I good enough’ and the anxiety that goes around that,” she says. She hopes that students feel they get the support they need and have people they can turn to.

“Whether that trusted adult be their teacher, counselor, someone in the administration or school staff so that when you’re here as a student at Lincoln, you know we have your back,” she says.

“I think it’ll be wonderful having someone I already have a rapport with be a member of the administration. She’s been a respected member of the teaching staff for years,” says physics teacher Angie McVay.

Wadkins’ priority is student safety. She wants students to know that they can always reach out and get what they need to feel safe at school. “That’s part of setting a positive school culture, how do we want to build a community together.”