Retiring: Patty Parnow


By Hillary Betz

After nine years of working at Tamalpais High School as the assistant principal’s secretary, Patty Parnow is retiring to pursue her interests in travel and, more importantly, help out her family as they need. 

Parnow is the friendly face you meet at the front desk the second you step into the Administration Office at Tam. She is the person who answers most questions from students and visitors and helps out the assistant principals with a variety of things. Parnow takes care of everyone and always does it with a smile on her face. 

When Suzanne Garcia, science teacher of  six years, first walked into the front office at Tam for her interview, Parnow was one of the first faces she saw. 

“I first noticed how warm, welcoming, and friendly Patty was with everyone and it was such a positive environment she created,” Garcia said. “Patty being there creating such a warm and welcoming feeling ultimately was one of the deciding factors on me taking the job.” 

Before working at Tam, Parnow worked at Archie Williams part-time in the athletics field for seven years. Eventually, she was offered a full-time position at Tam and had a difficult time deciding if she wanted to take the gig due to the 30-plus-minute commute it requires, but she chose to go for it and has no regrets about that decision. 

“I love coming to work every day, I am going to miss it,” Parnow said. 

Parnow has made a major impact in the Tam community with all the things, big and small, she has done. There have been lots of memories and positive moments in her career at Tam and there is definitely more to come this semester, but Parnow will deeply miss the students and environment at Tam.

 “Dealing with the students is for sure my highlight, I love seeing how much the students mature from their freshmen year to their senior year,” Parnow said. 

A cherished memory Parnow will never forget is the 2020 senior graduation. This day stood out to her because she got to participate and see the event so upclose in person even though it was during the COVID pandemic. She was a volunteer there and her job was to direct traffic. While she was doing this she got to high-five and congratulate all the seniors.  

Even though it was during COVID-19 she still considered that day to be a highlight at Tam. Patty described it to be a day of amazing memories and festive energy. 

Another thing that Parnow said she will miss is Tam Unity days. It was a great thing for her to watch all the students coming together and it brought her lots of joy to see the Tam community on full display, she said. Parrow expressed how Tam Unity is a great new initiative and that she thinks it’s a great event that brings everyone together. 

Working at Tam with the community around her has changed her life in several ways. Every day she sees how hard her coworkers around her work with the students, holding them in very high esteem. 

“I hope that I impacted the students’ lives by being here and being kind to everyone,” Parnow said. 

Once she retires, Parnow is planning to help take care of her five grandchildren, who are all under the age of five. Outside of work, Parnow especially enjoys hiking and spending time with her family, and hopefully, there will now be plenty of time for her to follow her other interests.

Parnow has made a positive impact in the community and she will be missed by all at Tam deeply. 

“She is at the heart of what makes Tam a welcoming and warm community,” junior class Vice President Emma Friedman Lowenthal said.