Palo Alto High School Principal Jacquie McEvoy will resign her position effective June 30, Superintendent Kevin Skelly said Friday.
McEvoy, who joined Paly in 2007 after seven years as principal of San Mateo High School, "has decided to resign for personal reasons," Skelly said.
In a message to the Paly community, McEvoy said she was announcing her plans to leave "with a bittersweet heart."
She noted her pride in the accomplishments of Paly's faculty, parents and students.
McEvoy recently had been criticized by some parents -- and the district threatened with a lawsuit -- over her "punitive" discipline style in issuing suspensions following an Oct. 27 egg fight between Paly juniors and seniors.
The egg fight occurred on the Gunn High School campus, causing damage to new sports facilities at Gunn and sparking a $3,200 professional cleanup. Students spontaneously held their annual fight at Gunn after being shooed away from a Stanford eucalyptus grove by Stanford police. McEvoy said after receiving complaints from Stanford after last year's egg fight that she had alerted Stanford when she heard that another one was about to occur.
McEvoy quickly reduced her initial five-day suspensions to one-day suspensions, and said she would expunge them entirely if students stay on good behavior for the rest of the year.
Palo Alto lawyer William D. Ross threatened the Board of Education with a lawsuit if it fails to expunge the suspensions immediately, saying the discipline record would unfairly interfere with students' ability to win athletic scholarships.
Skelly thanked McEvoy for her leadership at Paly.
"Under Dr. McEvoy's leadership, numerous measures of school success improved, including California Standards Test results, SAT scores, and Advanced Placement test participation," Skelly said.
"Dr. McEvoy also led the school through a successful accreditation process and the completion of the school's master plan for facility improvements.
"I want to thank Jacquie for all her efforts on behalf of PAUSD children, youth and families over the last two and a half years and wish her the best in her future endeavors," he said.
"We will immediately begin a search for her replacement, and will update staff, students, parents and the community as we progress," Skelly added.
McEvoy said she was announcing her June 30 departure now in order to leave time for the school to search for a new principal.
"Palo Alto High School has constantly pushed for excellence, whether that means aligning our program offerings, supporting every student, ensuring equity, or taking on whatever else must be done to help our students thrive," she said in her message to Paly families.
"We can all be proud of this work. I know I am."
McEvoy could not be reached for further comment.
■ Palo Alto High principal reflects on 'egg wars' (Posted Nov. 16, 2009)
■ New Palo Alto High principal selected (Posted June 11, 2007)