All Hallows principal ready to steer students

By Dave Schwab

The new principal of All Hallows Academy in La Jolla is a mother, a wife, a born Catholic and a “firm believer in the foundation that we give our children through this experience.”

“I have a wealth of knowledge and a lot of energy and I want to really look at the future of All Hallows and see where we can take, even further, this institution,” said Jill Platt, who was selected as the K-8 school’s principal after an extensive search.

“Her strengths include faith-based leadership, creative thinking, problem solving, long-range planning and the ability to communicate with a diverse population,” said Father Raymond G. “Jerry” O’Donnell, All Hallows superintendent. “I know she will build on the school’s solid foundation.”

Platt, who has two master’s degrees in education, one from Loyola University in Chicago and the other from Arizona State University, has 18 years experience in teaching.

“I’ve taught kindergarten through graduate-level in five different states,” she pointed out noting she’s really excited about — and prepared for — her new position.

“Having served as an assistant principal for eight years working under three really good principals, I feel ready to take the helm,” she said, adding her expertise is in curriculum development and technology. She intends to bring the benefit of both to All Hallows.

“I spent six years working in an all-boys, college-prep Jesuit High School in Phoenix, and I was able to take that school from having a single computer in some of the rooms to having over 450 computers on campus and moving into an individual laptop program for each of the students,” she said.

Integrating technology with education is critical today, said Platt.

“For students to be ready and to really function in the world, the idea is not to ignore technology but to embrace it,” she said. “By integrating technology into the curriculum, we’re giving them that outside vantage point and teaching them to maneuver through it.”

Though she hasn’t been there long, Platt’s already been impressed by the uniqueness of the school that has an enrollment of 230.

“It’s this idea that we’re one family; we’re in it together,” she said. “People have bent over backwards for me.”

As the principal of a private, religious school, Platt noted she has an additional challenge.

“You’re not just the instructional leader of the school, but also the spiritual leader,” she said. “You need to model what it means to have moral and ethical values, developing the mind, the body and the spirit.”

Most of all, Platt wants to add to the rich history and high-performance level of the school.

“Clearly our students have done well,” she said. “So we want to ensure that we’re keeping that high expectation, not only for the students, but the teachers.”