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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Change at the helm: Anderson stepping down as principal, moving to District Office at end of school year

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Principal Jeff Anderson has announced that he will be stepping down as principal to accept the position of assistant superintendent for the Los Gatos-Saratoga Unified School District. Anderson will continue to serve as principal until the end of the school year, after which he will assume his new position at the district office.

In a press-release, superintendent Bob Mistele announced Anderson’s appointment by the Board of Trustees and welcomed him into the position made available when Mistele took over as superintendent last year.

“Jeff brings a thorough understanding of high school curriculum, our staff and the challenges and opportunities of a high-performing district,” Mistele said.

Anderson is excited about the new position.

“In my career as an educator, I’ve always been looking for new opportunities and new challenges,” Anderson said. “I began as a teacher, where I could impact kids in the classroom, then became a principal, where I could impact the whole school, and now I have an opportunity to impact both schools in the district.”

Anderson became Saratoga’s principal in 2005. During his tenure, the school implemented a number of new policies, the most significant being the block schedule and “open access” for advanced placement classes.

“I think I’ve done a lot of good things here at Saratoga, and it’s running pretty well,” Anderson said. “We can always improve, but we have great kids and great parent support and a new principal will bring a fresh set of eyes and new ideas I haven’t thought of.”

Many teachers were saddened by the news of Anderson’s departure.

“I’m disappointed for the school, but happy for him,” said math teacher Deborah Troxell. “He knew how to balance the interests of parents, students and teachers. He gave teachers autonomy when needed and was one of the best principals I’ve worked under.”

Although he will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of the school, Anderson said he will not be far removed from the school in his new role and will be around to guide and mentor the new principal.

In his new role as assistant superintendent, Anderson will manage human resources for the district, but his primary goal will be to help effect change in the district’s curriculum, especially in utilizing new technologies in the classroom.

Anderson is looking to expand the MAP program at SHS, aid Los Gatos principal Markus Autrey in reforming the school’s curriculum and further efforts at both schools to “flip” the classroom: using online instructional tools such as iTunes U and Khan Academy to allow students to learn material at home and use classroom time to focus more on the application of knowledge.

“Life now is a lot different than it was 10 years ago,” Anderson said. “Kids are spending a lot of time on the computer and we would be remiss as educators to not tap into that.”

Anderson said he will be involved in the process of selecting a new principal, a decision he intends to have finalized by the end of March. He hopes to give the new principal sufficient time to select the replacement for current assistant principal Karen Hyde, who is retiring after this year.

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