The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is expected to appoint Mountain View High School Principal Keith Moody director of Adult Education at an April 22 meeting, effective at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
Laura Stefanski, the current director of the Adult Ed program, recently accepted a position as associate superintendent for the district.
Moody said he approached Superintendent Barry Groves after learning of Stefanski’s appointment to express his interest in the role.
“The interest comes from wanting to have some professional growth,” Moody said. “I will be turning 60 in June and knew the timing was right. I knew if I didn’t do this now, I would probably finish my career doing the same thing I’ve been doing for the past eight years.”
A learning experience
Moody has been an educator for 25 years, serving 11 as an administrator in the MVLA district and the past eight as principal at Mountain View High.
“I will certainly miss Mountain View High School,” he said. “I’ve spent a long stint as principal there.”
His most recent year at Mountain View High was not an easy one. Moody faced difficulties with a shifting grading policy; parents upset over a sexually explicit feature in the school’s newspaper, The Oracle; and upheaval in the athletic department with the recent resignations of the athletic director and football coach.
“As I look back on those things, I see learning experiences,” he said. “I see them as learning opportunities that will help me in my next endeavor. I certainly learned a lot. We are dealing with human nature and relationships. All those things come into play when running a school.”
Despite the recent difficulties, Mountain View High has excelled under Moody’s leadership. U.S. News & World Report rated the school among the top 2 percent of high schools in the country, Newsweek magazine ranked it among the top 1 percent in math and science education, and top-notch California Academic Performance Index results have allowed graduates to matriculate to virtually every selective university in the country.
Prior to MVLA, Moody played in the National Football League and directed the NFL’s counseling program for migrant youth on a national level. He coordinated the Fresno County Office of Education Student Leadership program and worked as a high school counselor in Fresno and assistant principal in Clovis.
He grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., and attended Syracuse University. He completed his bachelor’s degree at SUNY Brockport, earned his Pupil Personnel Service credential in California and New York, earned his master’s degree in education at Fresno Pacific College and completed his administrative credential at San Jose State University. He is a recent inductee in the Syracuse Hall of Fame and the Nottingham High School “Wall of Fame.”
Moody and his wife, Kathleen, live in Tracy. He has four daughters and a son. One daughter has followed her father into the field of education. After earning her doctorate in English literature, she teaches at Penn State University.
New position, new challenges
Moody said he looks forward to the new challenges that are sure to come with his new role.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with adult learners,” he said. “Adult education is an exciting growth area in the 21st century, one that offers a richness and diversity that touches over 8,000 learners in our district annually. I’m excited to be working with one of the strongest and most successful Adult Education programs in the state. It’s great that current director Laura Stefanski will remain in the school district to assist in my transition to this new position. I look forward to the new challenge.”
A search committee of students, parents and staff will aid in the selection of a new Mountain View High principal. The position will be listed as open both internally and to the public.