Two Glendale Unified principals, each with more than three decades as educators, will retire at the end of the school year, officials announced this week.
Principal Bill Card of Toll Middle School began his career in the district in 1979 as a band director at Crescenta Valley High.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet moment as we say goodbye,” he said. “I’m not just saying goodbye to a school. I’m saying goodbye to an entire district I’ve been part of for a long time….There have always been people to whom I could look and learn from. The only successes I’ve enjoyed as an educator have only been because of the good examples I’ve been able to see and take from as I’ve gone through.”
He has spent the past three years at the helm of Toll Middle School, and worked in roles at the elementary level and district office prior to that.
As he prepares to depart Toll, a campus of just under 1,200 students, he hopes the school’s next leader will motivate parents, students and staff as well as consider the “tri-school pride” he’s discovered embedded among students who attend Keppel Elementary, Toll and Hoover High.
“We need someone who’s going to have an understanding of that…and lead with that in mind,” he said.
La Crescenta Elementary Principal Kim Bishop, who has served at the helm of that campus for the past nine years, hopes the next principal “will love them as much as I do,” she said.
Bishop began teaching for Los Angeles Unified in 1976, and landed in Glendale Unified in 1989 where 20 of her years entailed serving as principal for Cerritos, Horace Mann and La Crescenta elementary schools collectively. She spent several other years working in professional development at the district’s headquarters.
She hopes the next leader for the La Crescenta campus pins their focus on the school’s implementation of the new Common Core State Standards, understands the needs of the special education students and consider that the teachers and staff at the campus of about 530 students have “lots of leadership potential,” she said.
A graduate of Glendale High who was born and raised in the city, Bishop has also sent her four children to Glendale schools.
Although she’s looking forward to spending more time in Hawaii, she’s not entirely ready to leave her educational career behind just yet, and addressed plans to serve as a consultant with the district to coach principals.
“I’m looking forward to still doing consulting work with Glendale,” she said. “I don’t want to walk away.”
Maria Gandera, assistant superintendent of Glendale Unified, said the district would recruit new principals for the two schools beginning Friday.
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.