Mountain View school district taps Palo Alto administrator as new Stevenson PACT principal


Following the sudden departure of Stevenson PACT principal Tyler Graff, the Mountain View Whisman School District selected an administrator from the nearby Palo Alto Unified School District to head the district's parent-participation program.

The school board at the June 30 meeting chose Rebecca Westover, assistant principal at Jordan Middle School, to be principal of the district's wildly popular choice program. Prior to her one-year stint at Jordan, Westover taught environmental science at Castro Valley High School for four years, and worked as a specialist for science education at Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

"Rebecca is a great compliment to the strong leadership that already exists at the school," said Superintendent Ayindé Rudolph at the board meeting.

Westover said the more she reads and learns about Stevenson PACT and the great things going on at the school, the more she gets excited to take over as principal. She said the warm reception has already left a good impression on her.

"From the moment I went to the district office and the first person I met, to just the warm welcome all around," Westover said. "This is definitely the place I want to be."

Both Rudolph and former Interim Superintendent Kevin Skelly were involved in hiring Westover. Skelly chose Westover to be the assistant principal of Jordan Middle School when he was superintendent at Palo Alto Unified in May 2014.

The former principal of the Stevenson PACT program, Tyler Graff, announced his resignation last month to take a leadership role at the Claire Lilienthal alternative school in San Francisco.

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Like this comment
Posted by PACTer
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 4, 2015 at 3:44 am

good luck to her. She has a big shoe to fill but will also have excellent staffs and active parents to help out.

5 people like this
Posted by PA neighbor
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 4, 2015 at 9:30 am

Glad to be rid of the entire dysfunctional Jordan leadership team, which showed neither leadership nor a team mentality this year. [Portion removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by correct word
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jul 4, 2015 at 9:51 am

complement not "comoliment"

7 people like this
Posted by Mr. David Starr Jordan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

@PA Neighbor: A bit of change might be just what Jordan needs. Just want to be careful what you wish for. The devil you know...

In my experience Ms. Westover and Mr. Linder have both been positive and supportive voices for both quality education and student support. I wish them both luck.

Perhaps there's a educational headhunter or school district that has their eye on Mr. Gielow. Like Mr. Barnes, he's a member of the leadership team who I would like to "spreading excellence" somewhere other than Jordan.

2 people like this
Posted by Restart
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jul 4, 2015 at 10:32 pm

The problems at Jordan are largely centered in entrenched teaching staff. So the strategy of serially shifting administrators through there every few years produces weak leaders with short horizons.

Far better to do a wholesale reset of the school:

New principal, asst principals, new IS, new counseling.
Rotate about half the staff out through other middle schools.

A large enough disruption will stop the cancer in its tracks, and the newcomers (prepped ahead of time) might be able to inject a new culture into this otherwise dysfunctional place.

It's going to take a concerted effort to root out the worst practices.

Like this comment
Posted by APRIL
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 1, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Barnes and Westover affair is a repeat of what he did in Burlingame in 2005 while he was in Burlingame

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

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