The new principal of Jordan Middle School, Katie Kinnaman, will be leaving after one year on the job to move to Texas, she announced in an email to the school community on March 29.
Kinnaman, who was most recently the principal of Gardner Bullis School in Los Altos Hills and is also a former Palo Alto Unified School District teacher, was the school's third principal in as many years.
In the fall, Kinnaman replaced Tom Jacoubowsky, formerly Gunn High School's longtime assistant principal, who served as Jordan's principal on an interim basis in the 2015-16 school year. Jacoubowsky had replaced Greg Barnes, who left Palo Alto after four years to become director of secondary education in the Milpitas Unified School District.
Kinnaman did not return requests for comment. In her message to the Jordan community, she said she will be relocating to Dallas, Texas, where her husband got a job.
"While I know this is the right decision for my family, I understand that it certainly is not the best decision for Jordan," she wrote. "It was always my intention to stay with this school community for much longer."
In a weekly memo, Superintendent Max McGee lauded Kinnaman for leaving a "sound legacy, despite her short time at Jordan's helm."
"She has such an upbeat, forward-looking persona that it really impacts the culture of the school and the community," he told the Weekly Wednesday.
Kinnaman previously worked in the district as a special education aide, elementary school teacher and district-level teacher on special assignment before leaving to head Gardner Bullis in 2013. Her two daughters also attended Palo Alto Unified schools.
The district is conducting a "comprehensive" search for her replacement and is accepting both internal and external applications, McGee said. He said he hopes to find someone who can follow in Kinnaman's footsteps and "who is going to stay for a few years, too."
McGee and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Scott Bowers plan to meet with members of the Jordan community after spring break to discuss the "key qualities and qualifications that students, teachers, and parents want to see in the next principal," McGee wrote in his weekly message.