Addison Elementary principal to leave

Jocelyn Garcia-Thome seeks new career options

Jocelyn Garcia-Thome, the principal of Addison Elementary School, has announced she will resign in order to explore other career possibilities, the Palo Alto school district has announced.

She was hired at Addison in 2010, following eight years with IBM, where she served as the corporate citizenship and corporate affairs regional manager, and three years at Hewlett-Packard Company as the human resources and staffing manager.

Before that, Garcia-Thome was principal for 11 years at Lynhaven Elementary School in the Campbell Union School District, assistant principal at Monroe Middle School in San Jose, and a district school psychologist.

"Garcia-Thome has enriched Addison through her dedication to students and her innovative thinking when it comes to programs and activities," Superintendent Kevin Skelly stated in a press release.

The district plans to seek community input as part of the hiring process for her replacement, the press release stated.

Garcia-Thome is the latest principal in the past two weeks to announce her resignation from her job. Gunn High School Principal Katya Villalobos has said she is leaving that school to head the Palo Alto Adult School.

Palo Alto Adult School Principal Kara Rosenberg will retire in June. Ohlone Elementary School Principal Bill Overton and Fairmeadow Elementary School Principal Gary Prehn have also announced their retirements.

In addition, Jordan Middle School Assistant Principal and longtime math teacher Ellie Slack is planning to step down in June.

Overton, who taught at Ohlone for 24 years before becoming principal in 2009, taught earlier at Sequoyah and Green Gables elementary schools.

Prehn, principal at Fairmeadow since 2011, previously served as principal at Escondido and Juana Briones elementary schools. Before moving to the administration, he taught at Escondido, El Carmelo and Loma Vista. He also taught English and Social Studies at Jordan Middle School.

Slack taught outside of Palo Alto for 25 years before returning to Palo Alto to teach math at Jordan Middle School and Palo Alto High School for 16 years. She became assistant principal at Jordan in 2011.


Like this comment
Posted by Jean
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 28, 2014 at 10:46 am

Looks like all the principals of Palo Alto schools are jumping ship. What is going on? Maybe the parents and their demands are becoming obnoxious. Glad my kids are out of school.....

Like this comment
Posted by PA mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 28, 2014 at 11:15 am

There is a virus spreading in the PA school district. What are the causes for all the leaving? Is it tough to work in their levels?

Like this comment
Posted by District insider
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2014 at 11:30 am

Some of it is normal turnover. Some of it is teachers taking advantage of the power vacuum to get rid of administrators they don't like.

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Posted by a voice
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

Hey District Insider-

uhhhh teachers don't hire or fire administrators. A quick exploration of any reliable source on the subject would inform you about this....rather than allowing your highly emotional viewpoint to control your posts.

Like this comment
Posted by Insider
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2014 at 11:51 am

Sure, it's high pressure, but many retire with huge pensions and then find another (high paying, often) job. I know of 2 principals who have retired with lovely pensions and are making even more at another type of education job.

Like this comment
Posted by District insider
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Why don't you check with Katya and get back to me on that.

Like this comment
Posted by George Orwell
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 29, 2014 at 12:14 am

George Orwell is a registered user.

Bravo! silence the discussion!

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