Meet incoming assistant principal Erik Olah

Jason Lin and Jeffrey Tu

Incoming assistant principal Erik Olah instructs a Marine Biology science class Friday morning. After a grueling semester of virtual learning, Olah has just finished his 13th year at Paly. Olah said he’s enjoyed working on campus and looks forward to the next school year, when students can return in-person. “There’s a lot of things I do miss,” Olah said. “Having everyone on campus is one of my favorite parts. It feels more like Paly when we’re at lunch — there’s kids going out playing and doing stuff.” Photo: Jason Lin

Erik Olah, currently the science department instructional leader at Palo Alto High School, is confirmed to become one of next year’s assistant principals.

Olah has experience in various roles across the Paly campus, including serving as a teacher advisor, as a member of the bell schedule committee and the instructional leader for the science department.

Olah also served recently as a Western Association of Schools and Colleges coordinator, which he said helps give him a more well-rounded understanding of Paly.

“We had to create this huge document of what we’ve been doing for the last several years, and what goals we have going forward as a school,” Olah said. “And so me being able to do that role really gave me a good look at all aspects of the school.”

According to outgoing assistant principal Tom Keating, he and Olah held weekly debrief meetings to discuss activities since Keating is the assistant principal overseeing the science department.

“Being in a partnership has worked really well,” Keating said. “It shows that he is open to discussion, taking new ideas, and sharing ideas, which can’t go wrong in an educational environment.”

Olah said he hopes to continue these weekly meetings with the department instructional leader he is in charge of overseeing.

“I really want to make sure I have good communication going back and forth so I know what’s going on in those departments,” Olah said.

Keating said that he’s come to regard Olah very highly after working together for the past three years.

“I’ve been encouraging [Olah] over the last couple of years to pursue becoming an administrator, because I think we need a new generation of really inspired and intellectually deep administrators,” Keating said.

Olah said he looks forward to being a supportive staff member on the Paly campus next year.

“I’ll have to support different departments, just being a good conduit for them or someone you can talk through problems with,” Olah said. “Just kind of give my expertise where I can use my experience working with folks to further help strengthen programs.”

The other incoming assistant principal is LaDonna Butler, who is currently serving as assistant principal at Gunderson High School.