Paly, Gunn principals step down

Palo Alto High School Principal Adam Paulson announced that he will be resigning at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, in an email sent out to faculty and staff at 10 a.m. today.

After working at Paly for six years, as principal, assistant principal and dean of students, Paulson stated that he would be leaving at the end of the school year, citing his decision what was best for himself and his family. Henry M. Gunn High School’s principal Kathie Laurence also announced today that she would be resigning as principal and becoming the district’s new director of secondary education services. 

Paulson told the Paly Voice at lunch, for now, he wants to keep his plans after Paly to himself but that one of his favorite aspects of working at Paly is being able to interact with students every day. 

“Right now, I’m just keeping all of that sort of personal,” Paulson said. “It’s been a big day today, so I’m gonna let that sink in. I love interacting with students, that’s what I’m gonna remember the most.”

Students and staff alike responded to his announcement. Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said that he is saddened by the decision and voiced his concerns about the constant recycling of Paly admin.

“I love working with the guy, we get along really well and he allows me to do what I do,” Berkson said. “Whether [trend of admin resigning] it’s going to continue on, it’s definitely been a trend and there’s definitely been a few principals and assistant principals coming through. A lot goes on here, and a lot happens here, and we are kind of like the front of the school district. It’s an intense place to work, so you see a lot of movement but then people leave for all sorts of reasons and most people that leave land on their feet somewhere else in education.” 

Berkson said he doesn’t know about any replacements for Paulson’s position yet, and when asked whether he would want it said, “I’m happy in my position.” 

Journalism advisor Rodney Satterthwaite said he was saddened by his announcement and voiced his concern for consistency within admin.

“When I first read the email I was sad,” Satterthwaite said. “He’s always been a good leader here and supported me in the journalism program. We’ve had a lot of principals here in the past few years so it would be good to have some consistency.”