Escondido School names new principal

Danae Reynolds, teacher and district administrator since 2000, replaces Gary Prehn

Danae Reynolds, a teacher and Palo Alto school district staff member since 2000, has been named principal of Escondido Elementary School.

Reynolds, who currently oversees the district's Tinsley Voluntary Transfer Program as well as the program for English learners, will replace Gary Prehn, who will become principal of Fairmeadow Elementary School after 15 years at Escondido.

"Mrs. Reynolds is a proven leader and team-builder with great knowledge of the work underway in the district," Superintendent Kevin Skelly said in announcing Reynolds' appointment.

"She can count on strong support from our leadership team as she undertakes the important work of leading Escondido School forward."

With an enrollment of 568, Escondido is the largest of the district's 12 elementary schools. It is also home to the popular Spanish Immersion program.

In her 11 years in Palo Alto, Reynolds has been a reading specialist, a coach for new teachers and, since 2009, the district's "coordinator for academic success."

She earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and two master's degrees in education, the most recent in educational administration from Santa Clara University.

Before coming to Palo Alto, Reynolds worked as an elementary school teacher in Merced and in Berkeley.

Chris Kenrick

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Like this comment
Posted by Marielena M-G
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I am sure she will do a great job at Escondido. Mr. Skelly forgot to mention that among many other important jobs, she also worked at Barron park Elementary as a Reading Recovering Teacher and she was great at it. I am glad she will be the leader at Escondido.

Like this comment
Posted by Just the facts
a resident of University South
on Jun 1, 2011 at 8:53 am

In paragraph 6 in the article, it quotes the superintendent as listing her work as a "reading specialist"; that was the Barron Park job you refer to.

Like this comment
Posted by Janine
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Gary Prehn deserves a standing ovation for all he has done for Escondido Elementary and the families that were fortunate enough to have him in their lives during the 15 years he was there. Not only is Gary an exceptional Principal, but also a man who truly cares about the children and their families as people (not just as enrollment numbers). My daughter and I were blessed to have gotten to know Gary and we are happy he will continue to enrich folks lives by heading over to Fairmeadow. We love you Mr. Prehn!! Janine and Amber

Like this comment
Posted by It Will Get Better
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jun 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I am glad you had a good experience with Mr. Prehn. Unfortunately that was not the case for many parents and this is part of the few reason he had to leave after working there for so long. Hopefully Mrs. Reynolds would make things better at Escondido by respecting students backgrounds, names and by setting up rules and adopting a discipline system that encourage students to respect each others..

Like this comment
Posted by keeping track
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

Ms. Reynolds, formerly Gray, was the only reading specialist I have ever met who did not believe in phonics. When we were at Barron Park, she explicitly touted the virtues of whole word learning, which had been discounted as an ineffective tool already for some years. She was arrogant and entitled during her stay at Barron Park, and by all accounts she was equally arrogant and entitled in her VTP role at the district. I would expect that Escondido will have more of the same. I am sure the Weekly will remove this comment, but I had to say it anyway.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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