Q&A with new Assistant Principal Victoria Kim

Chloe Fishman, Author

The Voice caught up with Palo Alto High School Assistant Principal Victoria Kim, who started here at the beginning of this school year, today at lunch to introduce her to the Paly community and find out more about her life and work.

The Paly Voice: Why did you decide to work in education?

Victoria Kim: My original career plan was to be a lawyer and my back up plan was the be a teacher. And so what I had planned when I was in high school was to get my bachelor’s of education degree this was in Canada, because I grew up in Canada and then get my law degree afterwards. And so in doing all that I needed to do to get my education degree, one of the things was to student teach. … I did it, and I just loved teaching and so I really had a hard decision to make… but in the end I just had to do what felt right for me, and that was teaching.

TPV: Why did you immigrate to the US from Canada?

VK: My sister and her new husband moved to California when I was still in college, and I would come out to visit them, and I just loved California so I just decided I would come out here when I could.

TPV: Where were you working before Paly?

VK: I was working at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose. I was an assistant principal there as well.

TPV: What responsibilities do you have an Assistant Vice Principal?

VK: I am in charge of a lot of things. I work with [Associated Student Body Advisor] Mr. [Matt] Hall in activities and with [Athletic Director] Coach [Earl] Hansen in athletics and [Dean of Students] Mr. [Craig] Tuana in discipline. I also oversee attendance and Special Education and also working with the English department this year. I’m also in charge of AP testing and emergency plans…I’m also a 12th grade advisor.

TPV: Why are you helping with Special Education and English?

VK: I used to be an English teacher, and then at my previous job I worked in Special Education. I have some experience there.

TPV: Why did you start a week into the school year?

VK: I started on Aug. 26…  just because of the timing of the hiring process, it just was a little late. Also, I was still currently in my previous job, so I had to give them ample notice so they could find my replacement.

TPV: What do you hope to bring to Paly?

VK: We have some major projects ahead of us. We have our implementation of common core which is going to happen next year…We are changing our standards. That’s a state and nationwide thing, so we’ll all be working toward teaching toward the same standards. And then we also have our WASC [Western Association of Schools & Colleges] accreditation process that’s going to happen next school year. It’s a big process, so we’re already preparing for it now. WASC is the organization that really deems a school a school; it makes your high school diploma legitimate. Maybe down the road is a look into programs that would support high achieving students and the stress that comes along with that endeavor. But I’ve been here for three weeks and two days, so let me get a handle on things first.

TPV: What are your favorite things to do outside of school?

VK: I like watching sports. I love shopping, and I think my guilty pleasure is reality TV shows, the Real Housewives show.