Q&A with Victoria Kim about her Paly experience
by Ido Gal
Published March 13, 2014
The Paly Voice sat down with Assistant Principal Victoria Kim to talk about her experience at Palo Alto High School so far. She joined the Paly staff on Aug. 26, a week into the 2013-14 school year.
The Paly Voice: In what ways have you enjoyed working at Paly so far?
Victoria Kim: I’ve really enjoyed learning about the school, meeting students and parents and just getting more acquainted with the community. It’s nice knowing everyone’s names and who they actually are. Before I would just hear a name and not know if it was a student or a teacher or a parent. I would say the best thing about my time so far has just been building relationships within the community.
PV: Are there any stressful things about working here?
VK: I think that everything could be stressful. It’s really important for me to remind myself not to be stressed out about everything that goes on. Everything I do is pretty important and so dealing with things effeciently is really important. Working with a whole bunch of students at once can be stressful, but at the same time it is still manageable.
PV: What’s your relationship like with students at Paly?
VK: I’m really getting to know students. Officially, when I meet with a student so far it’s usually because of a bad situation whether that be a discipline situation or an attendance situation but my relationship with students has the potential to grow. Working with students is the fun part of my job; it’s meeting with the adults that’s not as fun. As a staff, the most enjoyable part of the day is when we get to interact with students. I actually went to Camp Everytown and I met a great group of students there and developed relationships with some of those students.
PV: How is Paly different than other schools you’ve worked at?
VK: I think Paly is different because it’s a little bit like a “mini college campus.” It seems pretty open and the flexibilty that students have is really cool. The other campuses I’ve worked at, students couldn’t leave school and they didn’t have preps. Seeing kids sitting on the lawn or playing frisbee is really cool and I think it adds to an environment where a student can feel safe and not always having to deal with the stress of the academic challenges.
PV: Do you think the academic demands and pressure at Paly is higher than the other schools?
VK: I’ve only really worked with the English Department and the Special Education Department, so I can really only speak to those two. From what I’ve seen, I would say the expectation on this campus is pretty similar to other high performing schools. I think Paly is fortunate enough to have so many resources to availibe to provide for a difficult environment for kids.
PV: What goals have you accomplished so far and what do you hope to accomplish in the future?
VK: I think my number one goal for this year was to really get to know people and build relationships. I still really need to know more. That comes with time but also me being able to balance my work load and that’s still a goal for me. When I first started, I felt like I didn’t really have much to do but I feel like I’m very much grounded now.
PV: If you could have one super power what could it be?
VK: I think my super power would be the ability to get things that are needed for any situation with the snap of my fingers. If a student needs more help, then bam! But usually there’s always a process. I don’t even know if that counts as a super power.