Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Pinewood Upper Campus will be introducing a new vice principal: Gabriel Lemmon. The next school year will act as a transition year, as Pinewood will be saying goodbye to its beloved principal Mark Gardner and hello to its new one.
“It’s always good to have a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective and so forth, but at the same time we don’t want to make Pinewood not Pinewood, so that’s important as well,” Gardner said.
Pinewood made the decision to hire Lemmon because of his experience and background along with his professional, yet friendly and warm disposition. Lemmon has worked as a principal at the American School Foundation in Guadalajara, Mexico for the past four years. His two children, Magnolia and Max, will be joining the Pinewood community next year as well.
“He was very concerned about his own children and whether Pinewood would be the place for them, and I think if someone’s concerned about their kids, they’re also concerned about other parents’ kids, and so it kind of goes hand in hand,” Gardner said.
However, the news of Lemmon’s arrival has come in addition to Gardner’s upcoming plans to retire after the 2017-2018 school year.
Gardner and Pinewood President Scott Riches have been considering hiring a new vice principal since February. They reached this decision in order to facilitate a smoother transition once Gardner leaves.
The vibrant, inclusive culture at Pinewood is what makes the school so attractive to everyone on campus; therefore, hiring a new principal has the potential to create a big change.
“We love what we have here, but that doesn’t mean we’re not open to some new ideas, new things that help make it an even better place than it already is. I mean I’ve been here 32 years and I obviously think it’s a great place to be. We’ve got great students. We’ve got great teachers, and I love everything we have here, and so the purpose of hiring another principal isn’t to come in and make major changes, but that doesn’t mean we’re not open to tweak some things and so forth to make it even better than it is,” Gardner said.
Gardner is looking forward to spending time with his grandchildren in San Diego following his last year as principal. He will be greatly missed in the Pinewood community in coming years; however, Pinewood is welcoming Lemmon with open arms.