Saum Zargar: Redwood’s new Assistant Principal

Sydney Soofer

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“Saum is my name, and bow ties and socks are my game,” beamed Saum Zargar, the newest of Redwood’s three assistant principals.

Zargar’s quirky and fun attitude has allowed him to form connections with Redwood students and faculty in the few weeks he’s been on campus.

“What has stood out to me is the number of people who have approached me with kindness,” Zargar said. “I’ve also had a chance to talk to students a little bit in classrooms. They’ve all been very sweet in my reception.”

At a TUHSD board meeting on Sept. 6, Zargar was appointed as the new assistant principal of Redwood.

The position had been vacant since former Assistant Principal Lisa Jimenez left just days before the start of the school year, due to another job offer. Before Zargar was hired, former assistant principals Katy Foster and Sue Chelini had been working together to fill the vacancy.

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“It’s exciting to see how well he’s getting along with students and staff,” said Principal David Sondheim. “He’s bringing much experience and energy to Redwood.”

Zargar was an AP Environmental Science and AP Biology teacher at Terra Linda High for 11 years, as well as an assistant principal at Vintage High School in Napa for the past two years.

“One thing that’s been consistent with me both as a teacher and as an administrator is what can I do every single day to support our students and staff academically, socially and emotionally,” Zargar said. “It’s very important to me that I do a good job with that.”

Zargar credits his experience as the eldest of four brothers as a key influence on the type of person he is today.

“I want to be a mentor to my students, just like I did with my brothers,” he said.

His passion for working with kids originated when he was a student himself. Growing up as a soccer player in Sacramento, Zargar has always had an interest in coaching. His love for soccer carried into college at UC Davis, where he played a year of Division I soccer.

“I had coached younger teams throughout college, but then I got the opportunity to coach club women’s soccer at Cal which was a really amazing experience,” Zargar said.

Doubling as a coach and teacher, he worked at the college level for five years while simultaneously student teaching in the Bay Area.

Zargar was drawn to Redwood because of its reputation for supporting students both academically, socially and emotionally. On top of that, he is able to work near home, keeping him close to his wife and two-year-old son.

“I am really impressed with the Wellness Center and counselor support system,” Zargar said. “I want to continue to assist students in helping them balance their academic component of their lives with their social and emotional well-being.”

Sondheim had only positive things to say about the new staff member.

“He is very warm, accessible, and dedicated to high levels of student learning engagement.” Sondheim said.

When Zargar isn’t shopping for new socks to add to his “on-point collection” or working with students and faculty, he enjoys hiking throughout Marin County with his family and exploring new restaurants in Marin (he’s open to suggestions). Having also played four years of club lacrosse in college, Zargar is excited to attend many Redwood sporting events himself.

“I look forward to getting into more classrooms in the coming days and meeting more of our teachers and putting a face behind the name,” Zargar said.