Woodside High School Principal Diane Burbank will retire at the end of this school year, she told families last week. Burbank is the second Sequoia Union High School District principal to announce their departure this spring — Menlo-Atherton Principal Simone Rick-Kennel is stepping down to take on a new district office role.
Burbank, who has headed Woodside High since 2012, told families in an April 16 email obtained by The Almanac that she has loved her time in the role.
"I've enjoyed, and tried to make the most of, the privilege of leading our Woodside staff, community, and students," she said. "As an educator for 38 years, what I've embraced is the pace and the rock-n-roll of student life on a large public high school campus. Helping teens navigate their learning, their changing lives, and the changing world has been my career's work as a teacher of English, activity director, coach, and administrator. I've valued my opportunities to help teens make sense of our world in the moment — when even the campus adults are sometimes struggling to make sense."
Burbank noted that she is working with campus colleagues to help students respond to social injustice and navigate the isolation of the pandemic.
"While it won't be my work after this year, it will be your work," she said.
The Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce named Burbank principal of the year in 2011, according to The Almanac's archives.
Prior to joining WHS, she was principal of Prospect High School in Saratoga from 2008 to 2012, according to the school's website. She served as principal at Aptos High in Santa Cruz County from 2003 to 2008. Prior to that, she worked at Cupertino High School, Gunn High School in 1989 and Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto, and Newark Junior High School in Newark, where she began her teaching career in 1984.
Burbank said she has "confidence in the current and incoming district leadership to select your next principal."
The district will also have a new superintendent joining in July, the district announced last week.
She closed her message to families with the following: "As I'm fond of reminding people, 'We let our students graduate; we have to let our adults, too.' As I'm fond of ending, let me roar (beneath a face mask) 'Go WILDCATS!'"
The district posted an application for Burbank's position on Friday, April 26. The application deadline is May 15 at noon. The salary for the job is listed as between $182,617 and $210,698, plus $1,456 if the person selected holds a master's or doctorate degree.
"The position has been posted in both EdCal and EdJoin and we will be conducting stakeholder meetings at Woodside within the next two weeks," said district spokesperson Ana Maria Pulido in an April 26 email. Burbank's final day with the district is June 30, Pulido said. "A recommendation to the Board (of Trustees) for the appointment of the next principal of Woodside will be at the first board meeting in June."
Meanwhile, this past week, the district conducted stakeholder meetings at M-A to gather input regarding the characteristics and skills that staff, parents and students would like to see in that school's next principal, Pulido said. The board will vote on a finalist for the role at its last meeting in May, she noted.