Pleasanton Weekly

News - July 2, 2010

Harvest Park principal tapped for Amador Valley High post

Jim Hansen to move after 11 years at Harvest Park

by Glenn Wohltmann

Parents of Amador Valley High School students have gotten their wish.

In May, parents met to discuss what they want in a new principal at Amador, and agreed they'd like someone 'visible" and "collaborative" -- someone, they said, like Harvest Park Principal Jim Hansen.

The district announced Tuesday that Hansen has agreed to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Bill Coupe. Jan Mitchell, president of the Amador Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) said Hansen got some behind-the-scenes encouragement.

"Parents from Harvest Park put a bug in his ear and asked that he take the job," Mitchell said.

Hansen has been principal at Harvest Park for 11 years. Under his leadership, the middle school has been recognized as a California Distinguished School, a National Blue Ribbon School, and a National School of Character.

Before coming to Harvest Park, Hansen was principal at three schools in Dublin: Wells Middle School, Dublin High School, and Valley High, Dublin's continuation high school. He still needs the approval of the Pleasanton school board, which is expected to come at its next meeting.

Mitchell describes Hansen as "warm and personable."

"All these years after my son attended his school he (Hansen) still remembers his name and asks about him," she said.

Mitchell admits that Amador's gain is Harvest Park's loss.

"Those are going to be big shoes to fill," she said. "I think there won't be anyone like him. They have to opt for equal talents but not the same ones."

She said there's some consolation for Harvest Park parents, though.

"They can at least look forward to having him in their student's high school years," Mitchell said.

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