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Janice Chen leaves for Monta Vista, becoming third administrator to depart this spring

Janice Chen leaves for Monta Vista, becoming third administrator to depart this spring

After spending one year as an assistant principal at Paly, Janice Chen has accepted an offer to take on the same role next year at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif., according to an email Chen sent to Paly staff on Wednesday.

Following the departure of Former Principal Kim Diorio and Former Assistant Principal Vicki Kim, Chen will be the third administrator to leave Paly in the last four months.

In Chen’s email to Paly staff, she described her decision to leave Paly for Monta Vista, her alma mater, as a difficult one.

“Although it was not an easy decision to leave Paly, I am looking forward to having an opportunity to go back to my old stomping grounds,” Chen said in her email. “I have genuinely loved being at Paly and working with all of you.”

The news of her departure came after the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) Board of Education approved her position Tuesday night, one day after the last working day for Paly teachers.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to say a proper goodbye [to Paly staff] in-person.”

Janice Chen, Former Assistant Principal

Although Chen’s tenure at Paly was only one year, Senior Class President David Foster said she had a positive impact on campus.

“Paly [was] really lucky to have Ms. Chen this last year,” Foster said. “Every time I interacted with her, she was kind, caring and supportive. I know she’ll be an amazing administrator at Monta Vista, but I’m sad to see her leave us.”

Bonnie Belshe, a social science teacher at Monta Vista, said she thinks Chen will be a positive addition to the school.

“I believe that it is highly valuable for our students to have an AP [assistant principal] that understands the Cupertino and Monta Vista community because she grew up here and has walked in their shoes. Our other administrators are also all men, and it is important for our students to see women in positions of leadership.”

Bonnie Belshe, Monta Vista High School teacher

Belshe said Chen’s experience as a Paly administrator will help her support a similar community at Monta Vista in her new role.

“Like Paly, Monta Vista is known for academics and test scores and AP [Advanced Placement] classes,” Belshe said. “But our students and our community, like at Paly, are so much more than that. Ms. Chen is focused on students and their needs first. And that is what all students need.”

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