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Gordon Russell, our namesake.

Gordon Russell

Mr. Gordon Russell was the superintendent for the Gresham Grade School District from 1948 until 1977. He was instrumental in moving Gresham School District from a small country district to one of the largest districts in the state. Gresham saw tremendous growth during Russell's term of employment. Highlights of Mr. Russell's career include the following:

  • graduated from Oregon Normal School, now Western Oregon State college,
  • received his administrative certificate from University of Oregon,
  • first administrative position in Looking Glass, Oregon in 1939 (pay was $90 a month),
  • Superintendent Wittaker School District,
  • 1948 hired as Superintendent for Gresham School District, only one school in the district at the time (pay 5,000 year),
  • first superintendent in Gresham to have a full time secretary,
  • constructed East School in 1950,
  • constructed North School in 1960,
  • constructed Powell Valley School,
  • constructed McCarty Middle School in 1967,
  • constructed Highland School in 1971,
  • Gresham Grade School moves to year round school,
  • constructed Gordon Russell Middle School in 1977.
  • Died 2000

Gordon Russell was married for over 54 years to Edna Jean Russell. They had one child Dr. Ron Russell:  who was superintendent for the David Douglas School District in Portland, Oregon. Ron passed away recently.  Ron Russell Middle School was named after him.  Ron's wife, Beverly, was an active member of the parents clubs while her children attended the Gresham Schools. She is still a strong supporter of public education. Mr. Russell has two grandchildren, Michael Russell is working on his PHD at Dartmouth in inorganic chemistry, and Tamara Russell is in law school at Boston University Law School.
Unfortunatly, we lost Mr. Russell in 2000. His spirit continues to inspire students and staff to be the best they can be.

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