Former Palo Alto High School Principal Sandra Pearson has been appointed interim principal of Jordan Middle School, the school district announced today.
Current Principal Suzanne Barbarasch announced her resignation in October and Pearson will begin Jan. 7, according to a district press release.
Pearson will serve until June and the district will interview candidates for a long-term role in the spring, Superintendent Kevin Skelly said.
The district will seek staff and parent input in hiring a replacement, he said.
Experienced and well-known by Jordan's staff and in the community, Pearson will guide the school without trouble through the changeover, Assistant Superintendent Scott Bowers said.
"We see this as providing a really smooth transition," he said.
School functions are planned well in advance so the principal change will not shake things up, Jordan's Assistant Principal Christina Regalia agreed.
"Things aren't going to change. It doesn't matter who it is. Schools prepare a year in advance," she said.
Pearson has had many roles in the district, most recently coming out of retirement to re-assume her previous post as Paly's principal from 2002-04.
Her goals were reducing college-related student stress and bringing newer teachers together with more experienced staff, she said in a 2003 interview with the Palo Alto Weekly.
Pearson earlier taught drama at JLS Middle School -- then called Wilbur Junior High -- before acting as Paly assistant and then head principal.
She also worked as assistant to the superintendent, retired and came out of retirement to steer Paly once more.
This fall she has worked as a moderator for the district High School Task Force, a group tasked with envisioning the schools' future in time of growing enrollment.
"I think the community is going to be very happy" with Pearson as principal, Skelly said.