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Tam High Principal Tom Drescher to Resign in June

Drescher plans to begin "a new chapter" after completing his doctorate in education leadership in the spring.

Tam High Principal Tom Drescher announced last month that he plans to resign at the end of the school year after completing his doctorate in education leadership in the spring.

Drescher sent an email notifying Tam High parents and staff in November.

“It has been an honor to be a part of The Tam Family the past six years during which time I had the privilege of working with an outstanding group of teachers, administrators, and staff who possess deep commitments to supporting the learning of all students,” Drescher wrote in the email. “I serve an amazing school community who has consistently supported my work to improve the quality of education offered to our students.”

His last day will be June 30, 2013. The email has been the only official notice issued by the Tamalpais Union High School District, officials said. Drescher was not immediately available to comment.

Drescher served as an assistant principal at Tam High for about a year before replacing Chris Holleran as principal in July 2008, the Marin Indepedent Journal reported at the time. Prior to that, he worked as a special education teacher in Buffalo, N.Y. for five years.

Drescher graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY-Buffalo in 1997, completed his master’s in counselor education from Canisius College of Buffalo in 1999, and earned his administrative credential at the University of California at Riverside in 2003.

Drescher will finish up his Doctorate in Education Leadership from San Francisco State in the spring, and said he’s “looking forward to beginning a new chapter in my life.”

Former PTSA President Leslie Wachtel said one of his greatest accomplishments was creating the CORE program that pairs freshman and sophomore students with the same English and social studies teachers for their first two years, establishing a strong bond that helps students succeed. He's also established an enthusiastic vibe that permeates throughout the campus.

"Since he's been here the reputation of the school, and the whole energy level of the school has really changed," she said. "I think he's been a great leader for Tam High.

Laurie Kimbrel, Superintendent of the Tamalpais Union High School District said she's sad to see him go, but thinks he's ready to move on.

"He's been an absolutely fabulous principal and has done a lot to improve student outcomes," Kimbrel said. She said she was surprised when she found out about his decision, but given his current success, the fact he's finishing up his doctorate, and other personal life changes, now is a good time for him to make a transition.

Kimbrel said she can picture him moving into a district office position, such as an assistant superintendent, and also mentioned it's unlikely there will be any openings at the Tam Union High School District anytime soon.

"I think he's ready," Kimbrel said. "Some district will be lucky to have him."

Kimbrel plans to start the search process for a new principal in January. The first step is to send a letter to parents, faculty and staff to gather input from the Mill Valley community, and create focus groups to help identify who would be a good fit for the school. She plans to focus on three main points: What are the strengths of Tam High, what are the issues that are likely to arise in the future, and what characteristics should a new principal have.

Kimbrel hopes to finish interviewing candidates in March, and bring a final candidate to the school board for approval at the March 13 meeting. 

Drescher said he also plans to help with the adjustment of the Tam High community.

“I will work tirelessly with teachers, administrators, and my eventual successor to ensure a smooth transition in leadership,” he wrote. “The significant progress we have accomplished as a school community during my tenure has been rewarding and is a source of personal pride. The positive changes we’ve instituted will lay the foundation for the next principal of Tam High to continue our legacy as one of the premier high schools in the country.”

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