While it seemed almost an impossibility, yet another shoe has dropped with the departure, announced Tuesday, of Altimira Middle School Principal Will Deeths.
After eight years in the role, Deeths, 43, has resigned to take a job as principal of Hillcrest Middle School in the Gravenstein School District, in west Sonoma County. His appointment was approved by the district’s board of trustees on Tuesday evening.
Deeths said that most days he leaves his Sebastopol home for Sonoma at around 5:30 a.m. and doesn’t arrive back home until 5:30 or 6 p.m. With two young boys, ages 6 and 9, he said that being able to spend more time with them was the motivating factor for the change. Hillcrest is just down the road from Deeths’ home and it is the school his sons will attend for middle school.
Deeths began his career in Sonoma. He had his first paying teaching job as a substitute teacher at Altimira Middle School. He grew up in Marin County and received a degree in history at UC Davis and completed his teaching credential at Sonoma State University.
Prior to leading Altimira, Deeths was an assistant principal at Petaluma High School and an assistant principal at Kenilworth Junior High School. In 2015, he was honored by Sonoma State University’s School of Education as the recipient of its Circle of Excellence Award for his work as an educator and school leader.
Chrissy Towner worked with Deeths all eight years that he was at Altimira. She has served as vice principal at Altimira Middle School since 2014, first as interim, then part-time and more recently full-time.
“Will taught me so much about being a good leader,” she said. “He is an inspiring person and he has created a really positive attitude at the school.”
The district announcement described Deeths as “the type of principal we all wish we had growing up and the type of principal we would want our own children to have in their schools.”
While excited about the convenience and the opportunities of the new position, Deeths mentioned several times how much he will miss Altimira.
“I will miss the staff, students and spirit of the school,” he said. “There is so much — I will miss it all.”
He added: “After an incredibly tough year last year, I am excited to see the direction that SVUSD is taking and I will be watching to see all the incredible things that you all accomplish as we move into this school year and beyond.”
According to Tuesday’s internal announcement from the SVUSD office, the Altimira principal position will immediately be posted internally. Any interested candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest to HR Director Jonathan Ferrer (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Tuesday, July 17.