Sam Romero’s American Dream
For a year and a half, I followed an undocumented immigrant’s quest for higher education. Though President Barack Obama issued an executive order that seemed to open doors for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants across the country, the story showed the road to a college degree still remains tricky.

Sex abuse and the Boy Scouts in Oregon
During a Multnomah County trial that found the Boy Scouts of America negligent in a case involving a former Scout who had been molested repeatedly by his Scout leader, a set of the organization’s confidential files emerged. Using a list of ineligible volunteers obtained from the the Boy Scouts of America, I worked with a senior investigative reporter on a story about the Boy Scouts’ response to sex abuse in Oregon in the 1970s and 1980s. The second-day story looked into how their efforts fell short for some children.
Secret Boy Scout files document flawed history of child-protection in Oregon 
The Oregonian, A1 (view PDF)


Teachers union negotiations
I covered the protracted labor dispute between Portland Public Schools and its teachers union, which led the authorization of the district’s first ever strike. I broke stories on the eventual settlement and the terms of the contract deal that averted the walkout.
– Portland Public Schools teachers contract: Both district and the union craft deliberate messages to win over public (A5, Metro front)
– Portland Public Schools Teachers contract: Three factors that help explain the impasse (B1, Sunday Metro)
Portland teachers strike: What got union and district negotiators tentative deal? (A1)
Portland teachers strike: Tentative contract deal ends weeks of stress for teachers, parents (A1)

Botched hiring of Suzanne Milano
The district hired a top-level administrator with no knowledge of her links to a well-publicized internal investigation in her previous district. On the day my story ran on the front page, the district withdrew its offer to the administrator.
Portland Public Schools hires Florida administrator, unaware of her links to investigation (A1)
Portland Public Schools withdraws high-level job offer after learning of controversy (A1)
Portland Public Schools’ botched hire exposed flaws in hiring process (A1)

Providence Center’s medically fragile children
The district was poised to take away the education of medically fragile children because a technicality in state law proved they were not responsible for the students. My coverage prompted a legislator to pass a bill in order to continue providing education to some of the city’s most vulnerable students.
Portland Public Schools relinquishes responsibility for education of dozens of medically fragile children (A1)
Legislature passes bill allowing medically fragile children to continue education with Portland Public Schools for upcoming school year (B1)

King School’s possible cheating scandal
I broke the story about a possible cheating scandal in a school that saw dramatic test score swings. The coverage helped lead the district to hire an outside investigator to look into the situation.
Portland Public Schools investigates state test scores at King School after precipitous plunge (B2)
King School test scores: District denies cheating despite allegations from former teacher and large sways in test scores (A1)
State education officials don’t routinely check for cheating on Oregon standardized tests (A1)

De La Salle North senior Melaku Arega’s determination takes him from ESL classes to Johns Hopkins University: Academic Achievers 2013 (A1)

Portland, school district award no-bid contracts to city’s former HR director, Yvonne Deckard (A1)

– Portland Public Schools, like many urban districts, faces questions about empty schools (B1, Sunday Metro)


The Followers of Christ trial
In January 2010, I live blogged the trial of Jeffrey and Marci Beagley, who were convicted of criminally negligent homicide in their son’s death. My reporting made The Oregonian the sole news outlet utilizing real-time reporting for the trial. I also wrote a story about Neil Beagley for the print edition, which served as one of the only public portraits of the 16-year-old whose death prompted the charges.
Portrait of Neil Beagley emerges during faith-healing trial, The Oregonian, (B1)
Live blog and video: Beagley case in hands of jurors following closing arguments,
Live blog: Marci Beagley testifies in her own defense during faith-healing trial,
Live blog: Trial begins in faith-healing death of Oregon City boy,