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Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Meet the new admin for the 2023-24 school year

Over the summer, Redwood hired a new assistant principal and dean of student success to its administration. Karen Hatton, the new assistant principal, worked at

High School (Tam) as an assistant principal for the last four years before moving to Redwood.

“One of my favorite things is being at the front of the lunch line everyday and welcoming kids; all the students have been so respectful,” Hatton said.

“I have been in education for 25 years. I started in Napa as a middle school teacher, then I worked at Napa High School, then at Tam, and now I’m an assistant principal here at Redwood. I’m new to Redwood, but not to the job,” Hatton said.

 Hatton’s job consists primarily of offering support to student services programs, including the special education department, wellness department, counseling department, academic workshop classes, peer resource program and the Tobacco Use and Prevention Education program. She supports students whose last names start with A through Gi. Hatton hopes to elevate the student voice with her new role. 

“How are we creating opportunities to have regular input from student voices to inform our work? [We need] more student panels to see how we [can] integrate students into some of our professional development days for teachers,” Hatton said.

While Hatton has only been here for a few weeks, she’s already looking at changes designed to help support students. She has observed that because Redwood has so many feeder schools, friend groups can be very cliquey and she hopes to change that.

“I was thinking about ways [administration] could provide opportunities for grade levels to interact as a whole. [Maybe] a grade-wide lunch with provided food and fun games, like spike ball and music, [could] make everyone feel included,” Hatton said.

New Dean of Student Success Tyrone Robinson Jr. also worked at Tam last year as a counselor. He has also previously worked at Lincoln Middle School, Alameda High School, Berkley High School and Encinal High School.

Tyrone Robinson Jr. is “looking forward to continuous improvement and continually learning” as the new dean of student success this year.

“As the dean of student success, I’m here to make sure [students] are successful. That includes student attendance, making sure they show up and get to class on time [and] low-level discipline” Robinson said. “I mainly just build student relationships to have a positive rapport with [them] and [their] families, so I can help [them] be successful.”

One way Robinson hopes to help students is by ensuring they feel like they have someone rooting for them and there to support them. He wants to make sure school is a safe environment. 

“I hear a lot of students [say], ‘Oh, that teacher [or] that person just hates me.’ I don’t think anyone hates you here. Tyrone Robinson Jr. for sure doesn’t hate you,” Robinson said.

Robinson continuously stresses the importance of students’ feelings being supported at school.

“I don’t get joy in suspending anybody, or referring anyone to suspension. But what gives me joy is helping [students] through those situations,” Robinson said. “It is key for students to have someone to talk to and help them, and I’m happy to support them no matter what.”

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About the Contributor
Jay Knopping, Reporter
Jay Knopping is a junior at Redwood High School and is a reporter for the Redwood Bark. He enjoys playing lacrosse and hanging out with friends.