John Muir High School Principal is Harvard-Bound

Published : Friday, March 31, 2017 | 3:09 PM

John Muir High School Principal Tim Sippel has announced that he will leave John Muir High School at the end of the school year to complete a three-year Doctor in Education Leadership program at Harvard University. The highly competitive program admits only 25 students each year.

“John Muir High School is an amazing place that is doing transformative work to prepare all of its students for college, career, and life beyond,” said Sippel. “It has been my honor to have led this great school and be part of the Mustang community.”

Sippel, who was named principal of John Muir High School in 2012, has had a distinguished career in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). During his tenure, John Muir High School earned distinction for its high admission rate to UCLA, one of the most competitive universities in the country. He partnered with district staff and Pasadena City College to establish a satellite campus for the college at John Muir and expand access to college-level classes. John Muir has also pioneered the establishment of a senior research paper and oral defense as a graduation requirement, a practice that will be implemented throughout the district in the coming years.

“Tim’s vision, leadership, and profound connection with the John Muir community has helped turn the school into an excellent academic choice for all Pasadena families,” said PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald. “Admission to the Harvard program is an impressive accomplishment and we all wish him the best in this exciting new chapter of his career. We will miss him and will work with the Mustang community to recruit a highly qualified principal to lead John Muir.”

Sippel joined PUSD as assistant principal and dean of students at Blair High School in 2005. He served as assistant principal at John Muir from 2007 to 2011, including a special role facilitating the “Muir Reinvention” that converted the campus into a wall-to-wall academy model. He served as Director of College and Career Pathways for PUSD in 2011-2012 and spearheaded the district’s initial efforts to align its secondary curriculum with the new Common Core Standards.

Previously, he was coordinator of English Learner programs at the Foshay Learning Center in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He began his career through Teach for America in LAUSD in 1991. Mr. Sippel has a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in Education from the Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA.

The Harvard EdLD is a full-time three-year program with a cohort of 25 students from diverse professional backgrounds who prepare to become system-level leaders in preK-12 education. Students in the program receive full tuition, stipends, work opportunities, and a paid third-year residency at a partner organization.

Sippel and his family, including children who currently attend PUSD schools, will move to Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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