Foothill, Amador high principals leaving PUSD | March 29, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - March 29, 2013

Foothill, Amador high principals leaving PUSD

Pleasanton Middle School principal also departing district

by Glenn Wohltmann

Both of Pleasanton's veteran high school principals are leaving the district.

John Dwyer made the announcement Wednesday morning in a letter to Foothill High staff. He's moving to Fremont Union High School District, where he'll take over as principal of Lynbrook High School in Sunnyvale beginning July 1.

Dwyer leaves after spending nine years at the school, starting as a vice principal. He's been principal for six years.

"I have immensely enjoyed my time at Foothill and will always 'bleed (Falcon) blue,' but next year this will be as a parent and not as the principal of the school," he said in his announcement. "The last six years have been very challenging for all of us in education but I believe that our incredible staff, students, and community have negotiated these difficult times with passion, vision, commitment, and class."

While Dwyer said he's proud of the school, he also said, "This is the right time for me to pass the reins on to a new person who can work with you all to take our school on the next leg of our journey of continuous improvement to the next level of excellence."

Meanwhile, Amador Valley Principal Jim Hansen is retiring, in an announcement made Tuesday night by the Pleasanton School Board.

Hansen has been principal at Amador since 2010, and spent 11 years before that as principal at Harvest Park Middle School. Under his leadership, the middle school was recognized as a California Distinguished School, a National Blue Ribbon School and a National School of Character.

"I've been in education for 40 years and I've also raised a family at the same time. I have two more grandchildren on the way so I'll have four grandchildren by this summer, so I'll spend a lot of time with my grandkids," Hansen said. "I've had a great career, but you know when it's time. I started in high school and I always said I wanted to end in high school."

He pointed out that all eight of his brothers and sisters attended that high school, adding, "This was my chance to go to Amador."

"I was able to come over with my middle school kids, so I had the privilege of being with my sixth-grade kids though graduation. That's kind of fun and it's rare to know kids that many years," Hansen said. "I'm going out with a great class."

Pleasanton Middle School Principal John Whitney is also retiring, the board announced. Whitney has been principal at PMS since 1999. He was principal at Donlon Elementary before that, and served as dean -- a position that no longer exists -- at PMS before moving to Donlon.

The announcements from Dwyer and Hansen make a clean sweep of Pleasanton's high school principals. In January, Principal Greg Giglio left Village High, the district's alternative school, after seven years at the helm to take a position as principal at Homestead High in Cupertino.