Longtime Lincoln teacher Melinda Gale leaves for administration role in NE Portland


Courtesy of Melina Gale

Melinda Gale, pictured above, left Lincoln this October for a new role as Assistant Principal at Roseway Heights Middle School.

Melinda Gale, who taught at Lincoln for over 20 years, has left to serve as assistant principal at Roseway Heights, a Portland Public Schools middle school in Northeast Portland.

During her time at Lincoln, Gale served as AVID Coordinator and taught Spanish, Immersion and Humanidades, AVID 9, U.S. History (Ethnic Studies), IB History and Sheltered English U.S. History.

Last year, she began a graduate program to make the transition from teacher to administrator. Although Gale hadn’t originally thought of becoming an administrator, she felt it was her next step.

“I realized that, after gaining 25 years of classroom teaching experience, I have insights and experience that I can leverage to help create student-centered programs and to support teachers in their work of reaching many students,” Gale said.

Roseway Heights is very different from Lincoln, especially in terms of its size and cultural representation.

“[Roseway Heights] has a very diverse family base, with 650 students, many of whom do not speak English as their first language,” she said. “I love working with diverse languages and helping students access curriculum as their English grows.”

Gale made the decision to switch from a high school to a middle school because she believes these transition years are vital to developing learners.

“Sometimes for students who are not being well-served by the school system, high school can be too late,” Gale said. “I think middle school is an essential time to communicate to students how valuable they are, to inspire their self-esteem as learners, and to remove the obstacles, or as many of them as we can, that get in the way of learning.”

Teachers Amy Loy and Chris Buehler have taken over the classes Gale was teaching before she made the move to Roseway Heights. These classes include AVID 10 and IB 20th Century History.

Last year, Loy worked part-time on the Writing Center and general academic support. She recently renewed her teaching license and is excited to take over Gale’s previous role as AVID Coordinator. Because she had previously worked with Gale’s students, the transition was even easier.

“[Last year,] I helped out a lot in the AVID 9 classroom with Ms. Gale, and I really connected with the students and the program,” Loy said. “When the opportunity came up this year, I had renewed my license and was ready to go. So it worked out really well.”

Buehler, who taught Political Economy and IB Global Politics, has dropped his Political Economy sections and replaced them with IB 20th Century History and Academic Center.

For most of the history department, the announcement that Gale was leaving was not a surprise.

“I think we all knew that [her leaving] was a possibility,” Buehler said. “She’s been such an asset to our community, but we’re excited for her because it brings a new set of challenges that I think will really allow her to shine in new ways. It’s a big loss for our school, but we’re also excited for her personally.”

Buehler is also excited to get back into teaching history. Although he has taught Political Economy for the past few years, he began at Lincoln as a history teacher.

“It feels good to be able to do source analyses [again] and emphasize the role of [storytelling] in social studies,” Buehler said. “Sometimes Political Economy and civics can be not as story-based. So I’m excited to [get back into it].”

With online school, Buehler’s goal is to try and strike a balance where he can challenge students with rigorous content, but also make them feel supported and healthy.

While Gale is undoubtedly excited about her new role at Roseway Heights, she will also miss teaching at Lincoln.

“I have met so many really smart, sensitive and courageous young people, and that has really shaped and inspired me,” Gale said. “Without a doubt, I will miss sharing a classroom with Cards.”