School board picks Pleasanton principal to lead San Ramon Valley High

Board also hires new DVHS assistant principal, recruiting for district's chief business officer

Jason Krolikowski is coming back to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, with the school board on Tuesday night choosing the one-time Dougherty Valley High assistant principal to become the new principal of Danville's San Ramon Valley High School.

Krolikowski, who is wrapping up his fourth year as principal at Foothill High in Pleasanton, is expected to replace current principal Ruth Steele at the start of the next school year in July. Steele has resigned from San Ramon Valley, effective June 30, after five years at the helm to pursue an undisclosed new job opportunity.

In an email to Pleasanton school district leadership colleagues Tuesday night, Krolikowski confirmed his plans to leave and expressed thanks for those who have supported him in Pleasanton.

"The decision to move schools and districts was not arrived at lightly, and certainly the part I struggled with most was knowing I would no longer be able to enjoy the relationships I have truly come to rely on," Krolikowski said.

"Whatever level of success we have experienced is a result of the effort and performance of the wonderful students, staff, and community members of PUSD," he added. "Your dedication and commitment is extraordinary, and I thank you for enriching my life."

"However, as we all know change is inevitable, and at times abrupt. That being said, I am excited at the prospect of joining SRVUSD and working with the team that has been assembled there," he said.

With Krolikowski taking over for Steele at San Ramon Valley, all four SRVUSD comprehensive high schools have now received a new principal since 2014.

SRVUSD superintendent Rick Schmitt praised Krolikowski's selection in an email to staff Wednesday morning, calling the new hire "a seasoned principal with extensive leadership experience."

"Mr. Krolikowski is a talented educator and an inspiring leader," Schmitt said. "We are confident that he will be a great asset to SRVHS and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District."

The Wolves' new principal is a familiar face in the district. He served as assistant principal at Dougherty Valley from 2010 to 2013, right before being hired as principal of nearby Foothill High where he led a staff of more than 2,100 students and 150 staff members.

Krolikowski's other work experience includes serving as principal of Delta Alternative High School and assistant principal at Alhambra High School and De Anza High School. He began his teaching career at Lowell High School in San Francisco in 1998.

Krolikowski holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University and a Master of Science from Cal State East Bay. He has also participated in Stanford University's Principal's Fellowship program since 2014.

He will take over at a critical time for San Ramon Valley, which is in the middle of a $64.5 million renovation project that aims to replace single-story class spaces with classrooms and laboratories in a new three-story building that will offer more square footage consolidated into a smaller footprint. The project is expected to be completed by the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Reflecting on her tenure at San Ramon Valley, Steele said she was "very proud" of the school's accomplishments since she took the reins to start the 2012-13 school year.

"The staff, students and parents have embraced progressive changes such as our new bell schedule and our 1:1 technology initiative which have transformed the educational experience for our students, staff and families," she said.

"It was my privilege to work with educators who are so committed to providing a first-class education for students," Steele added. "The Danville community is amazingly supportive of SRVHS, and the new principal will have a wonderful group of parents ready to work with them as traditions are maintained, and new opportunities embraced."

Steele declined to specify where her next job will be, saying, "I can't share my new position yet as it's not quite finalized."

She said she "felt that it was time for me to move onto a new district in a different role. I need to find a way to establish a more effective balance between work and family, and believe that I have found a new position that will allow me to do that.

"I am looking forward to starting this next chapter of my life, but I will miss the staff, students and parents at SRVHS. It is truly the Home of Champions."

Steele's pending exit represents the fourth SRVUSD high school principal change in three years, following Dave Kravitz taking over at Dougherty Valley in September 2016, Kevin Ahern at Monte Vista in 2015 and Sarah Cranford at California High in 2014.

High school principal turnover has also been a recent theme in Krolikowski's current district.

This marks the second straight spring that a Pleasanton high school will be recruiting for a new head administrator. Mike Williams was promoted to principal at Amador Valley High last year after Tom Drescher's resignation.

In Pleasanton overall, Krolikowski's upcoming departure would mean that since the start of the 2015-16 school year, 10 of that district's 15 schools have had new principals.

Other vacancies

The San Ramon Valley school board discussed other administrative turnover during its closed session Tuesday night in Danville.

Board members on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Scott Anderson, the district's chief business officer, effective June 30. They took no action on the pending vacancy, but the district has started identifying candidates, according to SRVUSD spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich.

Anderson, who has held the cabinet-level position at SRVUSD since 2013, has taken a position closer to his hometown of Manteca. He'll become deputy superintendent of business services for the San Joaquin County Office of Education starting July 1.

"We are excited to welcome Scott Anderson to the SJCOE team," San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools James Mousalimas said in a statement. "He brings with him extensive experience as a chief business officer, and I have confidence in his ability to take on the important role of overseeing the management of taxpayer funds in the support of education in San Joaquin County."

Anderson worked as operations division director for the San Joaquin County office right before being hired by SRVUSD.

The school board on Tuesday did make another administrative hire Tuesday night, moving Pine Valley Middle School assistant principal Jared Gagnon across town to become a new assistant principal at Dougherty Valley High.

Gagnon fills the vacancy created when Megan Moilanen left last month to become director of guidance at Clayton Valley Charter High School.

A former physical education instructor and teacher on special assignment at Gale Ranch Middle School in San Ramon, Gagnon had served as Pine Valley assistant principal for the past four school years where he led implementation of the Response to Intervention program, oversaw the special education department and helped the science department transition into the Next Generation Science Standards.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story included outdated information on price and timeline for the San Ramon Valley High School modernization project. The most recent details are now included. regrets the error.

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Like this comment
Posted by PUSDT
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Happy to see him go.

Like this comment
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 21, 2017 at 7:43 pm

SHale is a registered user.

Makes you wonder why he left PUSD? Lotta problems in that district for sure. Least SRVUSD has far less of them.

1 person likes this
Posted by bb
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

bb is a registered user.

PUSDT, please explain why you are happy to see him go. I have 2 students at SRV and was so disappointed to see our principal leave.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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