The Pleasanton school board appointed Donlon Elementary School vice principal Carole Stothers as the next principal of Vintage Hills Elementary School earlier this month.
Stothers, who has been at Donlon for the past three years, said she has worked in education since she got her teaching credential in 1990.
"I feel privileged, really, to be able to take over leadership there and help it continue with its reputation," Stothers told the Weekly after her hiring on June 9. "I want to learn about everybody and get to meet the community of staff, students and parents."
Stothers served as a reading specialist and as an instructional coach for intervention over the last two decades. This will be her first time serving as a school principal.
"At Donlon, Ms. Stothers was beloved by her colleagues and school community as an educational leader and her ability to foster strong relationships, trust and collaboration with staff and families," said Patrick Gannon, director of communications for the Pleasanton Unified School District. "She is known for her student-first approach, stemming from a deep understanding of elementary education where she has served her entire career."
Stothers is taking over for former principal Michael O'Brien who served as principal at Vintage Hills for the previous three years. He is leaving to pursue a new job leading the Champions University program and serving as vice president of education and management training for Service Champions, a residential heating and air conditioning company.
Because of the fact that she came on around the same time COVID first hit, Stothers said a big part of her experience at Donlon was mainly spent on informing the parents and the community throughout the years about the status of reopening and other COVID related issues.
However, she said she was proud of how Donlon and the rest of the district handled the extra work that came with the pandemic.
"We learned that we have the ability to ... respond to what's needed and did an incredible job in that," Stothers said.
She said she hopes to get to a point in the pandemic where things can start to go back to normal so parents and students can feel a bit more relaxed and comfortable going to school.
And one in which she can bring back some of the joy that might have been lost in the last couple of years with events that bring the community to campus.
"Maybe a little bit of our norms back would be really awesome," Stothers said.