APUSH teacher Lisa Kemp makes history as she steps into the new assistant principal position

Ava Razavi

As the new school year comes into full swing, there is a change to be excited for, a new assistant principal. Former Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History and Nonfiction teacher Lisa Kemp has decided to join David Sondheim, Saum Zargar and Sue Hall and become a part of the administrative staff as the interim assistant principal. Kemp is taking the place of LaSandra White, who is now the principal at Archie Williams High School. 

Kemp will leave behind 16 years of teaching at Redwood to pursue her new supervisory position. During her years as an educator, Kemp has taught nearly a dozen different classes ranging from not only AP U.S. History to Nonfiction but also Essay Exposition and Humanities.

As a teacher, Kemp has made strong bonds with hundreds of students, which is why one of the challenges of her new role will be not seeing the same group of students on a daily basis. 

“I think if I continue to be the assistant principal, one of the hardest things will be for me to have less and less connections with kids,” Kemp said.

The week before instruction began, the Tamalpais Union High School District announced that Lisa Kemp would replace LaSandra White as an assistant principal at Redwood.

However, Hina Kojima, one of Kemp’s former AP U.S. History and Nonfiction students, believes Kemp’s time spent with kids will pose a large benefit for her as an administrator. 

“It is important for the administration to have people like Ms. Kemp who connect with students on a personal level and know what will be best for the student body,” Kojima said. 

In helping the school’s population, one of Kemp’s main goals is for students to get more involved in the electives and activities Redwood offers. 

“I wish that as a school… kids had the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone more often and explore their interests or experiences,” Kemp said. “[I want students] to come out of here feeling like there was something for them at Redwood, whether it was an architecture class, drama class, club or even just making some friends.” 

Megan Holguin, a new member of the English department who will fill Kemp’s vacant Nonfiction teaching role, is excited about her positive experiences with Kemp thus far.

“My first impression of Ms. Kemp was, ‘Whoa. This lady knows what she’s doing.’ She comes across as both friendly and confident, and those two things aren’t too easy to mix,” Holguin said. “Sometimes, I think it’s difficult for me to perform my best for my students if in the back of my head I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know anybody here,’ but it hasn’t felt like that. Ms. Kemp has done a great job of [welcoming me].” 

Interim Assistant Principal Lisa Kemp is working on parking permits, the AP program and student activities in her new role.


Kemp hopes her extensive teaching experience will provide a new perspective to her work as an administrator and aims to take a different approach in her position.

“I see the role of administration as the support staff for the teachers… so I am making sure that I am taking care of the behind the scenes so teachers can focus on their students,” Kemp said.

Holguin, as a teacher, recounts the importance of trusting that your administration has your back.

“I really do trust her when she says she’s here to help, especially because she was so recently in the classroom. I’m looking forward to learning from her because she is so knowledgeable and approachable.” Holguin said.