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MVHS photography teacher becomes assistant principal

Donna Peltz will be doing her usual this year -working with students and faculty at Mountain View High School. But this time it will be as assistant principal and director of student activities.

Peltz is assuming the position from Matt Neely, who is on a year's sabbatical. Peltz has taught photography and coordinated the art department at Mountain View High School for the past seven years.

"This is my first shot at administration," said Peltz of her new position, which began July 2. "I wanted to view the whole campus as my classroom and get to know more students and be involved in more activities."

Last year Peltz worked as an administrative intern for the district, which gave her the opportunity to try her hand at administrative duties.

"I spent half my time in the classroom and half my time with administration. I felt like I was getting the training," she said. "I was part of the administration team for one year and I got to understand what the job would entail."

Feeling that she was ready to take on a greater challenge, Peltz decided to apply for the position of assistant principal.

"The interview process was to fill the three openings for assistant principal that we had in our district," said Peltz. "I was interviewed by principals, associate superintendents, parents and teachers for both schools," she said, referring to the high schools.

Ralph Cave and Cristy Dawson were chosen to fill the other assistant principal positions, at Los Altos High School.

"I have become very familiar with her teaching," said Rich Fischer, superintendent of the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District. "She was selected for teacher of the year last year," he added about the district wide honor.

Having teachers work as administrators adds perspective to the position, said Fischer. "I think it's important for a school administrator to have teaching experience," he said. "You have to have teaching experience to get administrative credentials, but I think it was a good challenge for her to take on."

In her new position, Peltz will be working closely with students in organizing activities and teaching student government class.

"Right now we are planning freshman orientation and homecoming, which will be on Oct. 26," said Peltz. "I have also been working with the Associated Student Body (ASB) students in looking at what the student government class will look like for the year, and what it's going to be like with somebody else."

Peltz will be in her position until June, the end of the 2001-02 school year.

"We haven't decided yet what her status would be," said Fischer. "If Matt returned and there was no other assistant principalship in the district we would have her go back to the classroom. In some ways we hate to see her leave the classroom because she is a great teacher."

No matter where Peltz ends up, she enjoys being at Mountain View High School. "I have always been involved in global activities at the school," she said. "I feel at home."

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