Celine Kuhn, who has served as executive director of the youth literary-arts organization the Telling Room in Portland for five years, will leave the position in September.

“After five years of joy as the Telling Room’s executive director, I have come to the decision that it is time to step aside to spend time with my family and invite in a new leader for the organization in the fall of 2021,” Kuhn said in a statement.

Celine Kuhn will step down as executive director of the Telling Room in September. Telling Room

“Being the Executive Director of the Telling Room has truly been the best professional experience of my life, and I am so proud of all that we have accomplished together. Working with these students and staff has filled my heart and soul. I cannot wait to see what comes next for the Telling Room, and I will always remain connected.”

The board of directors has launched a search for Kuhn’s replacement in collaboration with a consulting firm.

“We are incredibly grateful for all that Celine has done for the Telling Room. We also deeply appreciate her thoughtful approach to this moment, and the care she’s taken with her communication, timing, and support in finding her successor,” board president Tim Schneider said in a news release.

The mission of the Telling Room is empowering youth through writing. Kuhn got involved in the Telling Room in 2009 as a parent of a student. She joined the board of directors soon after and became executive director in fall 2016. Under Kuhn’s leadership, the organization has expanded programs and publications, Schneider said, noting that over the first two full years of her tenure, income grew by 40 percent.

“All of this helps ensure we have the capacity to invest in our staff, strengthen our internal systems, and innovate to respond to our changing world, so that we can continue to be here for our students and our community for many years to come,” he said.

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