A Tribute To Mr. Reilly
Mr. Reilly sits in his office with a wide smile on his face, looking back on his time as both a teacher and principal of Woodside High School. “I think we’ve done a great job the last several years providing more interesting opportunities for students,” he says intently, “and it’s really fulfilling for me to see the students take advantage of those opportunities.”
From humble beginnings, our principal started out as a substitute teacher for Woodside High School in 1995, then joined the faculty in 1997, working as an English teacher. “He was one of the best teachers my children had,” exclaimed Ms. Hines, Mr. Reilly’s office assistant and proud wildcat parent.
In 2005, Mr. Reilly left on a brief hiatus, working as vice principal of Sequoia High School, but was then reunited once again with Woodside in 2008 when he took up the position as principal. As the big man on campus, Mr. Reilly has had a tremendous impact in fulfilling the future of the Woodside students and community. As someone who had changed his own major in college many times himself, Mr. Reilly made it one of his missions to make classes at Woodside an informative experience so that when college comes around, students can make informed decisions. He helped in creating AP computer science, which is scheduled for students to take next year, and the current Mandarin classes. He also introduced the summer math acceleration program, audio production program, and the green academy to the school.
“I like to create new opportunities for young people so that when they graduate, they’re leaving with some kind of specialized skills. And when they apply to college, they’re not just saying, ‘I think I wanna study that,’ they’re actually making decisions, saying ‘I really enjoy doing that because I’ve had experience with it and it’s what I want to pursue.’” said Mr. Reilly of his goal for all Woodside students.
A typical day as principal isn’t very typical at all. From all the constant meetings, to appointments, to decision-making, Mr. Reilly’s time tends to fill up fast. Though he did say that whenever he had time, he would “try to get in the classrooms and see the kids in action as much as possible.”
Mr. Reilly admitted that one of his favorite parts of being principal is seeing the students succeed. “The sort of vibe in the atmosphere, the energy, and just the feeling of great potential,” he commented, are the things he enjoys most about working with all the students.
His other favorite moments at Woodside High School include working with his wonderful staff. ”I really enjoy working with my administrative team, all the teacher leaders, and the parents. There’s a lot of good people with good intentions,” he recalled. Staff members describe his as having a funny, yet hardworking personality, and his ability to balance work and fun is very favored by the teachers. Mrs. With, Woodside’s student activities director, said of working with Mr. Reilly, “Our weekly Admin meetings were actually fun. It was great working with a team that got along and enjoyed spending time together.”
As you already may have heard, Mr. Reilly has received an opportunity to work as the new assistant superintendent for human resources, overseeing our school district as a whole. He will be incredibly missed by the students, staff, and parents alike, though we hope to still see him around, making a difference in our school community! “I really, really enjoy working with my admin team, teacher leaders, department chairs, and the students,” said Mr. Reilly. “I’m going to miss the people at Woodside High School the most.”
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