Jacqueline McEvoy, who will become principal at Palo Alto High School this summer, said she favors senior pranks that are more creative than parking a car upside down.
McEvoy, reached at her current office at San Mateo High School, said she read about the Paly incident in a newspaper.
"It's always a good day in high school when you're not on the front page" for something like that, she told the Weekly.
Without discussing details of the Paly case, she noted that students learn responsibility from such incidents.
"I do know that at that age students do need to learn responsibility and they need to learn what's wrong and they need to learn what's right. It sounds like this was a hard lesson for the student ... and some severe consequences for him" if felony charges remain.
She said at San Mateo High "the senior pranks have evolved to things that are more creative.
"(Students) actually work with faculty on what I would call a senior prank. They get very creative and do things that are a little bit more fun and not as damaging," she said.
The student who owned the car, Blaine Marchant, 18, is being allowed to graduate with classmates and participate in all graduation activities. The status of charges against him is pending a review by the Santa Clara County district attorney's office.
McEvoy has been principal at San Mateo High School for seven years. Her first day at Paly is July 1 when she will replace current Principal Scott Laurence, who will become assistant superintendent under new Superintendent Kevin Skelly.
Palo Alto High's graduation is Wednesday at 5:45 p.m.