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Schools

LAHS mainstay Dawson set to retire


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Los Altos High School Assistant Principal Cristy Dawson is scheduled to retire at the end of the school year.

Los Altos High School Assistant Principal Cristy Dawson plans to retire at the end of the school year, capping a long career in education.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District hired Suzanne Woolfolk to replace Dawson, effective in July.

Dawson joined MVLA in 1996. Before landing at Los Altos High, she worked at Alta Vista and Moffett high schools, focusing on helping students earn their high school diplomas in a nontraditional setting.

She wore many different hats at Los Altos High, including serving as assistant principal for 13 years, and built a foundation on her “students first” philosophy, according to Principal Wynne Satterwhite.

“Cristy’s energy and passion when it comes to kids is immeasurable,” Satterwhite said. “She has supported and developed programs and activities in her role as counselor and assistant principal over the last 14 years that have supported all students.”

Satterwhite said Dawson’s legacy at Los Altos High includes her impact on Camp Diversity (formerly known as Camp Everytown), the Opportunity class, Student Recognition Lunches and dodgeball.

To honor Dawson on her imminent departure, students and staff performed a dance and awarded her the “Tireless Teacher Award.”

The award recognizes Dawson for leaving behind a “legacy of fun activities, memorable Homecomings, proactive support of all students but specifically our At Risk population and a commitment to the academic and emotional development of students.”

The award also lauded Dawson’s willingness to help students and staff “try new ideas, create new activities and build a strong sense of support and community.”

New hire

Woolfolk earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stanford University. She taught Spanish and English Language Development and advised the nationally ranked yearbook at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, then served as assistant principal at both Burlingame and San Mateo high schools. The San Mateo County School Boards Association named her a 2014 Kent Award Winner for her efforts in creating Family Literacy Night, weekly events to encourage a love of reading in elementary school students.

“I am pleased to have Suzanne join the Los Altos High administrative team next year and am looking forward to working with her,” Satterwhite said. “She brings with her a wide range of experience from her previous district not only in her administrative job responsibilities, but also in some of the innovative work that she has done both in the classroom and with students and their families.”

According to Satterwhite, when she first met Woolfolk, her passion for students and their academic and personal success was evident.

“When she talks about her involvement with students, you can feel her energy and excitement,” said Satterwhite of the newly hired administrator. “I believe that she will make a great addition to Los Altos High School.”

Woolfolk said she was “honored” to join Los Altos High.

“I am eager to learn from current leadership, and to also bring my experiences working with students and instructional programs to benefit our school,” she said.

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