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The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Female leaders at Lincoln forge the future

Meghan Whitten
English and Critical Race Studies teacher Mary Brunson and Principal Peyton Chapman are female leaders at Lincoln who help shape the community.

Women have been in the education system since the 18th century, and were given the right to an education, free of discrimination, through Title IX in 1972. According to USA Today, Women make up roughly three-fourths of K-12 teaching jobs. Forbes also reported that over 55% of principals are female as of 2023.

Peyton Chapman has been Lincoln’s principal for 18 years and is Portland Public Schools’ (PPS) longest-serving female principal. She works with many different partners to ensure the best for the Lincoln community.

“It’s really more like being a mayor of a small town. We work with multiple stakeholder groups and the teachers,” said Chapman. “[This year] I worked with three different unions, the parents, the business partners and the local community.”

 Chapman said when she was growing up she looked up to her mother and her two grandmothers in her all-female household. 

“I think because my dad wasn’t in my house with me, that I had a very strong voice with my mom,” said Chapman.

The characteristics that render her a strong leader, according to Chapman, are courage and integrity, which help drive her decisions as principal.

“I make decisions that not everyone agrees with, but if I understand the why, and the why is based on the right things, not self-interest, then at least I can sleep at night,” said Chapman.

English and Critical Race Studies teacher Mary Brunson, who is also a tea and plant enthusiast, has been teaching at Lincoln for two years. Brunson shares the advice she would have told her high school self.

“Comparing yourself to your peers isn’t going to do anything,” said Brunson. “The good things take time.”

Brunson said it was important for her growing up as a woman of color, to see female leadership and have female mentors in her life.

“I had a lot of role models growing up,” said Brunson. “My mom and my aunt have taught me a lot about how to live in this world as a woman. But also, they taught me about navigating things that might be hard in this world, especially as a woman of color.” 

Chapman said women’s empowerment is always important to emphasize, not only during Women’s History Month. 

“I think the negative self-talk is distinctly female,” said Chapman. “We’re all going to make mistakes. So if you make one, just say to yourself: I was good enough yesterday, I’m good enough today and I’ll be good enough tomorrow.”

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About the Contributors
Scarlett Dempsey
Scarlett Dempsey, Opinion Editor & Design Editor
Scarlett is a sophomore this year. She is excited to learn more about the news process and become a better writer. Her favorite part of newspaper is design.
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.
Meghan Whitten
Meghan Whitten, Sports Editor
Meghan is a sophomore this year. It's her first time on the paper, so she is excited for the experience and the chance to be a part of this amazing community! She is also excited to write for a publication! She loves sports and opinion pieces because they are so entertaining and fun to write!
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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