Editor's Note: The following letter is being disseminated via the school's e-mail network this week.
Dear La Jolla High Parents:
I would like to introduce myself, Pat Crowder, Ed.D., the interim principal of La Jolla High. I am honored with this opportunity to help open the school year for our students and staff while a new principal is selected.
I began my teaching career at La Jolla High in 1980 and returned in 1982 where I taught English and AVID until 1996 when I was appointed vice principal at Wilson Middle School. I loved my years teaching English, particularly my wonderful students. I later became vice principal and principal of Lewis Middle School before being appointed principal of Patrick Henry High in 2002 where I led the second largest school in the district until I retired October 2012.
Two of my children also attended La Jolla High, so I have been an active Viking parent as well. My son participated in many athletic teams, particularly water polo, and my daughter participated in ASB, ZLAC Crew, and focused on preparing for her career as an architect. I have seen how children thrive in an academic environment in which caring educators help them reach their dreams. I have also supervised many La Jolla dances, football games, and water polo matches. As a parent of an ASB senior, I even worked in the snack shack at football games, participated on the Scholarship Foundation and PTA boards, and taught the SAT Preparation English
classes on weekends.
As a high school principal, I have loved working with students and faculty to create learning opportunities to prepare students for 21st century careers, including an Engineering Academy, medical science classes, a new performing arts center to support arts, media, and entertainment production, as well as adding Japanese, American Sign Language, and more AP classes.
I believe we need to prepare our students for the 21st century through positive, supportive relationships and encouraging innovation,
curiosity, and initiative. Educators need to provide a positive learning environment in addition to an academic curriculum in order to help students find their passions and talents. They are our future leaders of the world.
In 2010, I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership, which focused on how student engagement and trust are increased when instruction is taken into the outdoor environment.
Currently, I serve on the California Public Schools Accountability Act Advisory Board, which recommends the accountability processes to the State Superintendent of Instruction. It is rewarding to represent high schools as we determine how best to measure quality indicators of our children's education in the Academic Performance Index.
The one thing I have noticed upon my return to La Jolla High is how big the trees have grown. The campus looks beautiful, and I cannot wait to meet the students, staff, and parents. If you would like to contact me, please call (858) 454-3081, ext. 2200. I am still waiting for my district e-mail address to be activated.