New Gunn principal has a passion for history, teaching high schoolers

Katya Villalobos has worked at Gunn or Paly since 1995, save for one year

Though born in El Salvador and educated at an all-girls Catholic high school, Katya Villalobos is steeped in the ways of Palo Alto public schools.

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Posted by Lucky Ducks
a resident of Downtown North
on May 20, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Congratulations Katya! Well-deserved. And Gunn, you have an extremely bright, loving, solid leader headed your way.

Happy new year!

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Posted by Tameeka Bennett
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

I am a PALY alumna! I was there when Ms. Villalobo. Came to PALY, she was awesome then and I have no doubt that she is just what Gunn high school students need! Congrats Katya- it is a well deserved blessing!

You will do great things!

Tameeka Bennett!

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Ms. Villalobos is a high-calibre administrator. We were mainly treated like a number when at PALY, but in contrast Ms. Villalobos was polite and professional and I congratulate her on her new position.

Like this comment
Posted by not sold
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 22, 2010 at 1:07 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Quals?
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 23, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I read the article twice - however could not find the qualifications of Ms. Villalobos. Anyone?

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Posted by Gunn parent
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2010 at 8:24 am

According to the PAUSD website blog posting: She received her BA in Political Science from UCLA and her Masters in Public Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University. She began her teaching career at Palo Alto High School in 1996 and became Assistant Principal at Paly in 2002. She served as principal at Capuchino High School in the San Mateo Union High School District, but stepped down for health reasons and is currently a teacher at Gunn High School.

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Posted by Jack
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

As stated in the article (I literally cut and paste these 4 consecutive paragraphs out of the article so try reading a little more carefully :-)

Villalobos went to the University of California, Los Angeles, with the idea of a career in academia. Along the way -- while teaching on the side at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts -- she got bitten by the teaching bug.

She came to Paly as a student-teacher while obtaining a credential at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. After teaching history for six years, she became Assistant Principal for Guidance and Instruction, handling the master schedule, staffing and curriculum for the next five years.

"I had many good mentors in the district and at the school," she said, mentioning former Paly principals Sandra Pearson, Marilyn Cook and Scott Laurence.

A one-year stint as principal of Capuchino High School in San Bruno ended with a medical leave, and Villalobos returned to Palo Alto -- Gunn this time -- as a history teacher in 2008.

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