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Palo Alto veterans named high school principals

Original post made on Apr 29, 2010

Two veteran Palo Alto teachers and administrators, Katya Villalobos and Phil Winston, have been named the new principals at Gunn and Palo Alto high schools.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 29, 2010, 4:19 PM

Comments (34)

Posted by This is not true, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Not Mrs. Winston. Did anybody bother to ask students, how did they feel aobut him? Big mistake!


Posted by parent, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 29, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Skelley isn't interested in accomodating anyone or any agenda. He clearly is only interested in imposing his will and agenda. God forbid you, (teachers, parents, community members) disagree.


Posted by Paly Student, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 29, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I thought Mr. Lim was a good candidate for the Paly principal. Personally as a student, I think he would be a much better fit because he is already known and very well-respected at Paly.


Posted by Norman, a resident of Southgate
on Apr 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Congrats Mr. Winston. Long overdue.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Ms. Villalobos is an EXCELLENT choice! She did a great job when she was at PALY before.


Posted by Student, a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm

As a Gunn student, I can say that Mr. Winston is a person who PALY students will come to know and love. He will be missed at Gunn, and was a good candidate for our principal position as well. That said, Ms. Villalobos is fantastic.


Posted by student journalist, a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Paly should be very excited to have Mr. Winston as their new principal
He has character and definitely cares earnestly about students


Posted by Jonathan S, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I have to say Gunn is gaining a wonderful principal, it was truly a shame we lost Ms. Villalobos at Paly a few years ago.


Posted by student, a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 29, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Mr. Winston does truly care about students and he has a great sense of humor. Paly will love him!

Ms. V also really takes time out to get to know students and she really knows what she's doing.


Posted by student, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 29, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Mr. Lim was the student's choice, although anyone is better than McEvoy.


Posted by wewantwinston, a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm

dude. mr winston belongs at gunn.
gunn isn't gunn without winston.


Posted by Paly Student, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I've heard bad things about Mr. Winston. I am sad he will be my principal :(


Posted by Student, a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 29, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Go Ms. V! :D


Posted by gunnstudent, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm

mr. winston is great, congrats. hopefully he'll stay principal for a long long time and paly students won't drive him out like every other principal they've had


Posted by Gunn parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 12:46 am

These are brilliant, inspired choices to lead our two high schools. Both educators are experienced and dedicated. Congrats to them both!


Posted by Bob, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 6:23 am

I am relieved that they are local. At Paly the imported principal approach failed, and I am relieved that we start with a local context. With the grin on this guys picture, I hope he will be fun. That they are both from Gunn should help a better setup for next years egg wars as well. Perhaps it can rotate campuses. Looking forward to more smiles, and less police.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

@Bob: I cannot believe you support the egg wars. I guess you don't clean the dishes in your house. If you did, you would know how difficult it is to scrub off egg from a dish after it has dried. They should change it to water balloon wars but not allow froxen balloons.

That B.A. in psychology is appropriate for a principal who has to deal with Palo Alto parents.

While Mr. Lim is likeable, he has not even been an assistant principal yet so he does not have enough experience.

Why is Todd Feinberg leaving?


Posted by JA3+, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 9:24 am

I'm excited by the choice of Mr. Winston! Like Gunn, Paly is a fantastic school with a number of 'competitive advantages'; it's an exciting place to be.

I sincerely wish Mr. Winston the best; I hope he enjoys a long stay at Paly.


Posted by Gunn parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 10:33 am

Paly is very very lucky to get Mr. Winston; our Gunn student really admires him which is saying a lot coming from a 16 yr old; based on my own interactions with Mr. W., i can say that he is a sincerely caring person who has genuine concern for his students, but not in a philosophical way; he is very hands on and action oriented----I had hoped he would get principal position at Gunn but am heartened by comments on this post about Ms. V! i am also glad we are filling both positions with local talent. Good work Kevin Skelly & PAUSD.


Posted by parent and volunteer, a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

If you do not know Mr. Winston - please do not pass judgment based on someone elses comments. Allow him the time and the latitude to do his job. You will find he has excellent administrative skills, but even more so the interpersonal skills to work with both students and parents in the capacity for which he was hired. Although this is a loss for Gunn - we will be gaining a wonderful new principal as will Paly.


Posted by Denise, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

Very interesting responses about this Mr. Winston. Time will tell which students were right. I think it is funny that the students really chimed in on this one.

As a parent Ms. V. should really be at Paly. She is fantastice. She genuinely cares about the students. Her management style firm, but nurtureing. It is really great to see her back in the Palo Alto community.


Posted by Linda, a resident of Monroe Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 11:06 am

Why does GUNN continuly get the great Principals and Paly end up with anything.


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

Some of the Paly students, those that went through JLS, will remember Mr. Winston from his time there as a teacher.


Posted by a mom, a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I have my issues with Skelly's leadership, but I have to say, he seems to do a thoughtful job with administrative placements. I am heartened by these choices. I wish both of them long and successful tenures and their respective schools.


Posted by James, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 30, 2010 at 1:36 pm

@ Parent"

"While Mr. Lim is likeable, he has not even been an assistant principal yet so he does not have enough experience."
Perhaps if you saw Mr. Lim's role in the math department you'd digress.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by sucks, a resident of another community
on May 1, 2010 at 10:57 am

i remember winston used to search peoples backpacks for no reason


Posted by really now, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 1, 2010 at 11:57 am

"i remember winston used to search peoples backpacks for no reason"

Where is the proof? Were you with him when he did these searches?


Posted by another sucks, a resident of Gunn High School
on May 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm

and he goes through students' cell phones and looks at text messages.


Posted by student, a resident of Gunn High School
on May 2, 2010 at 9:49 pm

@sucks

Mr. Winston would only do that for the purpose of keeping students safe.


Posted by Gunn parent, a resident of Barron Park
on May 3, 2010 at 11:06 am

Paly parents, please give Mr. Winston the respect he deserves and the chance to do his job. If you do not interfere, you will be pleasantly surprised.


Posted by Brett, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm

wow - rumor had it addisons principal was going for one of those spots


Posted by kmom, a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 4, 2010 at 10:54 am

I was surprised to see that Mr. Winston was chosen as the next principal of PALY.In my personal experience with him I found him and there really is no other way to put this, but I found him unyielding. It's the most pleasant word I can think of in looking back at the meetings with him. I wish you luck PALY. Good Luck to Mr. Winston too.


Posted by paly student, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2010 at 11:03 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 8, 2010 at 12:04 am

I had an issue and found Winston to be professional, caring, and understanding. He used to work with special ed students. Only those who really love children choose do work with special ed students.


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