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UPDATE: Two longtime Hart district principals to retire

Posted: February 18, 2014 1:34 p.m.
Updated: February 18, 2014 6:48 p.m.
West Ranch High School Principal Bob Vincent West Ranch High School Principal Bob Vincent
West Ranch High School Principal Bob Vincent
Valencia High School Principal Paul Priesz Valencia High School Principal Paul Priesz
Valencia High School Principal Paul Priesz

Two high schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District stand to lose decades of combined experience after this school year as two seasoned principals prepare to retire.

Both Paul Priesz, the principal of Valencia High School, and Bob Vincent, the principal of West Ranch High School, have announced retirement from their posts in the coming months.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Priesz said he knew this year was the right time to step away from the school he has helmed for two decades.

“It’s just the time,” he said. “It’s a good time as we transition into Common Core (State Standards).

“It’s going to be a long process and they need to get a principal in here who will see that through,” he said.

When asked his fondest memory of his tenure at Valencia High School, he said graduations are always an especially poignant moment.

“Seeing students who are prepared to go on, that’s always very gratifying for me,” Priesz said.

Vincent, too, said Tuesday he thinks this year is the right time to retire after almost four decades working in the Hart district.

“There’s a tagline I’ve been using and it’s that I’m leaving with a grateful heart, knowing that I’ve done my best, and it’s time for others to do better,” Vincent said.

Vincent started his career in the Hart district in 1976 and served at a number of schools, including Sierra Vista Junior High School, Canyon High School and Valencia High School, where he was an assistant principal.

He was selected as the founding principal for West Ranch in 2003. As founding principal, he supervised construction of the school campus.

“The opening of West Ranch High School was by far the most exciting experience of my career in the Hart district,” he said. “Getting the opportunity to build a 52-acre, $80 million school from the dirt up was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’m so grateful for that.”

Hart district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said it is the district’s practice to hire from within when replacing principals.

“We want the person to already be familiar with the culture of the district and the policies of the district and all the people that are involved in the district and in our schools,” Pinsker said Tuesday.

“We want them to have a good understanding of the achievements of our schools and the district and the philosophies of both the school and the district.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney





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