Frank “Pancho” Rodriguez will serve as interim principal at Palo Alto High School while Principal Kim Diorio is on medical leave.
In a message sent to students’ families on Feb. 23, Supt. Karen Hendricks stated that Diorio would be back “sometime in the Spring.”
According to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson, Rodriguez began his job as substitute principal this morning at 8:30 a.m.
This is not Rodriguez’s first time working at Paly. “Last time he was here, he was the substitute assistant principal for Ms. [Victoria] Kim in November and December,” Berkson said.
According to an additional message from Hendricks released to staff on Friday morning, Rodriguez has extensive administrative experience as the founding principal of Pajaro Valley High School and a short-term administrator at Aptos High School, E.A. Hall Middle School, Lake View Middle School, Rolling Hills Middle School and Carmel High School.
As the Founding Principal of PVHS, Rodriguez won the 2012 Ally to Queer Youth Award for his efforts to create a safe, positive climate for LGBT youth. When Rodriguez retired as PVHS principal in 2014, both graduation rates and university enrollment rates had accelerated, according to Hendricks.
In her statement, Hendricks said, “Mr. Rodriguez will help support and shepherd the good work, focus on learning, and on providing continuity in this interim period.”
Rodriguez said he was unavailable for an interview this afternoon, but The Paly Voice is hoping to sit down with him next week to hear about his plans for his time at Paly.