When Mountain View High School students started school this week, they met their new principal, Dave Grissom.
Grissom, a San Diego native, assumed the position after eight-year principal Keith Moody transitioned to the role of director of the district’s Adult Education program in June.
Grissom discovered that he enjoyed interacting with youth while in college, when he coached baseball and football.
“I always saw myself doing something good for kids,” he said. “I loved (working with the students). I found my niche in life.”
Grissom began his teaching career at Santa Clara High School in 1994 and in 1998 became an administrator at Lincoln High in San Jose, eventually coming full circle back to Santa Clara High, where he served as principal for the past seven years.
“I just love being around kids – they bring such a zest for life,” he said. “I always thought I could bring a real positive change in their lives as well.”
Although he will miss the Santa Clara High community, Grissom expressed enthusiasm as he begins his tenure at Mountain View.
“I’ve never felt more welcome than I have at Mountain View,” he said. “I have met some very dynamic and great people already, and I’m really ready to start the school year.”
Rich in resources
Grissom praised the resources of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been fortunate enough to be at a school and district that offers as much for their students as this one does,” he said. “The resources they offer to their students is bar none above what I’ve seen offered before.”
As to goals and objectives for his first year on the job, Grissom listed diving into the new grading policy and implementing the new common core curriculum as priorities.
“I want to work on the grading policy to help all,” he said. “I am trying to create some transparency there.”
Grissom described himself as a “hands-on leader” who enjoys “positive relationships with kids and families.”
Grissom and his wife of 19 years, Christine, live with their sons, Ryan, 15, and Connor, 11, in San Jose. In his spare time, Grissom spends time with his boys, usually involving sports.
An admitted sports fan, Grissom plays golf and serves as an umpire for Little League games. His coaching experience in college served as a bridge to his career.
“I found a love there, and the love transferred into the classroom,” he said. “Being a teacher was the greatest job I’ve ever had, and it pushed me into the profession I am in today.”
Other new faces
Grissom’s is not the only new face on campus this year. The district hired two assistant principals at the close of the past school year: William Blair, a Mountain View High instructor, and Lynne Ewald, an administrator who worked with Grissom at Santa Clara High.
Blair taught Leadership, Broadcast Journalism, Newspaper and English for the past nine years at Mountain View High. He received the Mountain View Los Altos Teacher of the Year Award in 2009-2010 for his outstanding teaching and work with myriad student groups, including the Iwata Japanese Exchange Program, the Associated Student Body, Camp Everytown and the Link Crew. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and his teaching credential from the University of San Diego.
Ewald joins the district from Santa Clara High, where she served as assistant principal for 12 years. Ewald was responsible for curriculum, master schedule, student activities and special programs. She has received commendations for her work as a science teacher at all levels of biology and physics. She received her undergraduate degree from Florida State University and her master’s in educational administration from San Jose State University.