Dr. Julie Synyard, St. Helena High School principal and administrator for nine years, will be leaving at the end of the school year to take a new job as principal of Tamalpais High School.
“I am very excited for my new position, but leaving the high school will be difficult. St. Helena has been a wonderful place to work. I have been supported by an outstanding staff and team, and an incredible community. I look forward to new leadership challenges and the opportunity this will afford my family and me,” said Synyard, who will be returning to Marin County where she was raised.
St. Helena School Board President Jeff Conwell praised Synyard’s work.
“This is wonderful news for Julie, personally and for her career, but it’s too bad for our district, which will miss her,” said Conwell. “She gave nine wonderful years of great service. She was a rock when many things have been up and down. She has provided a lot of support and guidance and helped move the district forward.”
Teachers’ Union President Dan Boyett echoed those sentiments.
“It’s a win for Tamalpais and a loss for St. Helena,” said Boyett. “Dr. Synyard has established herself as a leader in public education in California, and we have been very fortunate to have had her all these years. The faculty will remember her as one of their favorite administrators over the past many, many years — as an employees’ administrator who treats the faculty as professionals and who allows them to do what they are trained to do.”
The St. Helena Unified school board is scheduled to meet in special session in the coming weeks to discuss the hiring process for the next principal, and “put together a public campaign to find a replacement,” Conwell said.
Synyard said she is confident that whoever replaces her will be blessed with outstanding support.
“The next person moving into this spot will be truly lucky,” she said. “Every situation, every day, I work with people who have a great sense of humor and a passion for learning. We work through issues, we celebrate academic successes, and we support our students in all of their endeavors.
“I hope the community knew I put my heart and soul into the school. I am so lucky and proud to have been a part of the St. Helena community and proud of the students who graced our halls. I thank everyone for almost a decade of student achievement and personal growth, and I wish the St. Helena Unified School District continued success.”