Cathy Howard, principal of Barron Park Elementary School for the past 12 years, will retire June 30, the school district announced Thursday.
In 25 years with Palo Alto schools, Howard has worked as an instructional aide, a classroom teacher at Ohlone School and a district-wide curriculum resource teacher.
She was named to lead Barron Park in 1998 when the school was re-opened to accommodate enrollment growth.
Howard recently spearheaded College Bound, a pilot program at Barron Park offering extended school hours and days for extra academic instruction for fifth-graders considered "at risk." Preliminary results showed academic gains among participating students.
A graduate of Harvard University with an administrative credential from Santa Clara University, Howard lectured at Cornell University and taught high school in New Haven, Conn., before coming to Palo Alto.
"Cathy will be missed by all her colleagues, students and parents," Superintendent Kevin Skelly said.
"She has worked tirelessly on behalf of her students and will leave a legacy of caring for students and a passion for learning.
"Assistant Superintendent Scott Bowers will work closely with the Barron Park community to find an equally talented replacement for Cathy," he said.