Paly, Gunn to welcome three new assistant principals

STORY BY MELODY XU, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY

Palo Alto and Gunn high schools are set to welcome three new assistant principals next year, which include Paly science teacher Erik Olah; San Jose Unified School District Assistant Principal LaDonna Butler; and Gunn Education Specialist Courtney Carlomagno.

Assistant principals at the high school level are responsible for providing leadership in curriculum, instruction guidance, facilities management and support services. The appointments were approved at a May 11 board meeting, and will become effective July 1.

Olah has worked for the district since 2008, and currently holds the positions of teacher, science instructional lead and Western Association of Schools and Colleges teacher on special assignment. Butler — a high school assistant principal at San Jose Unified and high school teacher of 13 years — will also take on the position of assistant principal at Paly. 

Gunn has appointed Carlomagno to one of its four assistant principal positions. Carlomagno’s decade-long career in the district began as an instructional aide in the school’s special education program, where she “fell in love with working with high school students” before receiving credentials to become a teacher. 

“As a teacher at Gunn, I became very involved,” Carlomagno said in an interview. “Even though I was in special ed, I was very much interested in what we could do for the whole student body to better support them.”

Carlomagno is interested in the issue of equity in Palo Alto Unified schools, and has worked on projects from helping form a student equity committee at Gunn to working with both district and city officials in creating the Palo Alto Equity Challenge. 

“What I’m hoping to do as a formal member of the admin team is I really want to bring all the lenses I have from all my experience … [and] make sure that when we are making plans and making decisions for students and staff, that we’re taking into account all the different types of experiences here and really making sure everything is accessible for every student,” Carlomagno said.

At the time of publication, the Post was unable to reach Olah and Butler for comment.

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