October 8, 2007

Sunol Glen School’s annual Walkathon, held on September 29, was titled “Shake, Rattle & Roll Around Sunol”. Very catchy, I like the “Around Sunol” part.

For the second year now the event has featured a dunk tank and again the “dunkees” are the school’s staff and teachers. One such newbie to the dunk tank was the school’s brand new Principle/Superintendent Molly Barnes.

A Fremont native, Molly attended Kennedy High School, Santa Clara University, and received her credentials at San Jose State. Molly then began teaching high school English at her alma mater before moving on to middle school vice principle, then principle of a middle school in Brentwood for six years. She also attended personnel academy to work in the school’s district office and went on to a position in Antioch as director of Human Resources.

A friend suggested that Molly look into the open position of Principle/Superintendent at Sunol Glen School and she loves he school. Being a Fremont native, she was familiar with the Sunol area and she could not pass up the opportunity to work at its tiny school.

Her energy and positive outlook was apparent during our interview. “Sunol is the way schools are supposed to be run, where kids are always in the forefront”, said Molly. “The small town feel, sense of community and sense of family is what attracts people to this district. I feel so proud to work in a place where that is what we value.”

Molly has certainly brought her experience both as educator and human resources to the school by meeting with every staff member. She felt that they were very positive and dedicated to the school and they have a sense of pride and belonging. The consensus among the staff was a need for a sports program and also a hot lunch program.

Molly immediately called the Pleasanton Unified School District who offered to partner with Sunol Glen to help provide hot meals to the students.

She then hired Coach Tony McCan to lead the school’s new intramural sports program and appointed fifth grade teacher, Karen Jeffries, as the program’s athletic director. The very first week of the new lunchtime sports program attracted 35 students from fifth through eighth grades.

Molly also understands the importance of school’s traditions and the expectation and her responsibility to honor the schools traditions and make sure to carry those traditions forward.
Molly said, “What makes Sunol so unique and special is the protected, sheltered, wonderful environment that we are able to provide for kids but what we want to make sure is that our job is to have these kids ready for high school. That middle school experience is really to get them prepared for high school.” Two new positions of curriculum leaders were created at the school; one for kindergarten through fourth grade, led by Mrs.Radulovich and 5th through 8th, Mrs. Nancy Brazil.

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