Tom Jacoubowsky, former longtime assistant principal at Gunn High School and interim principal of Jordan Middle School this past school year, will be moving to a permanent position this fall as principal of Juana Briones Elementary School, the district announced Tuesday.
Jacoubowsky is the latest announcement in a series of leadership changes at Palo Alto Unified's elementary and middle schools. He is replacing Lisa Hickey, who will start this fall as Jane Lathrop Stanford (JLS) Middle School's new principal.
Hickey is taking over for Sharon Ofek, who was recently named the district's new chief academic officer of secondary education. The current secondary-education head, former Terman Middle School principal Katherine Baker, is retiring at the end of the year.
Jacoubowsky moved to Jordan in the fall of 2015 after a 14-year career at Gunn. There, he had worked as teacher, athletic director, dean of students and assistant principal.
In the district's announcement of his new appointment, Jacoubowsky noted that his son attended Juana Briones and the community is one he knows well.
"While I've dedicated most of my career in education at the secondary level, I'm passionate about reading comprehension and I'm a strong advocate for developing all students to be strong readers," he stated. "I'm excited that I will be able to see that passion come to fruition supporting Briones teachers as we all work together to ensure Briones students continue to grow as strong readers."
Superintendent Max McGee said in the announcement that in Jacoubowsky, the district found what it needed to fill Hickey's position: "an internal candidate who had a relationship with Briones parents and neighbors."
"This is a remarkable fit and I look forward to the good work Tom will do at Briones similarly to his work at Jordan and Gunn," McGee said.
Jacoubowsky's appointment is effective July 1.
Jacoubowsky began his career in 1995 as a student-teacher at Sequoia Union High School. He transferred the next year to Menlo-Atherton High School, where he taught and coached track and field for five years. He moved to Gunn in 2001 to serve as the school's new athletic director and dean of students. He became assistant principal in 2006.
He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California, Davis, and a master's degree in public administration from Notre Dame de Namur University.
Jacoubowsky was transferred to Jordan this year on a temporary basis; the position has been filled permanently by Katie Kinnaman, principal of Gardner Bullis School in Los Altos and a former Palo Alto Unified teacher.
In April, the district also named a new permanent principal for Palo Verde Elementary School: Hillary Miller, currently assistant principal at JLS.