The Month in Review: February 2013


By Wesley Emblidge, Randy Shapiro, Jackson Twilling & Chris Yip


LUTZ: Tonight! A principal leaves, a program survives the chopping block, and mock trial wins! These stories and more, tonight, on the Tam News Month in Review.

Welcome. I’m Sander Lutz, and this is the Tam News Month in Review.

Our top story tonight centers on our principal, well, that is, our former principal. Thomas Drescher has been at Tam for the past six years, but last November he announced he would be resigning at the end of the school year. Then, on Monday, January 28th Drescher left campus in the middle of the day, after sending out an email announcing his immediate resignation.

Drescher stated that “A recent change in personal circumstance will likely result in me resigning and leaving Tam prior to June for a position in another district. I asked Laurie Kimbrel for a transfer to the district office for my remaining time in TUHSD in order to allow a smooth transition in leadership. Today is my last day at Tam, and an interim Principal will fill in my position until the new Tam Principal is selected this spring.”

That interim principal was announced the next day, and began working on Monday, February 4th. Dr. Robert Vieth was formerly at San Marin High School in Novato, and has a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy from U.C.L.A., an M.A. in Special Education from St. Mary’s College, and a B.A. in Biology from UC Berkeley.

Vieth will be acting principal for the rest of the school year.

The other big administration news was the possibility of the Team program being cancelled. We sat down with Tam News reporter and former Team student Justin Schmidt to learn more.

So Justin, there was a big controversy this month over the possibility that Team, the alternative program available to juniors in the district, might be cancelled next year.


SCHMIDT: Yeah, there were a lot of factors that made the school board consider cutting Team. They announced on January 25th that they were considering it, which instantly got the entire community into an uproar.


LUTZ: And just to be clear, the program is still happening next year, right?


SCHMIDT: Yes, technically the district was never planning to cut it, it was more that a plan was being suggested to the school board by Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel that would re-locate the money Team spends, and focus it more on low-income students, a group the district was concerned Team underserved.

The board held a meeting on February 6th, and over 200 people came in support of Team to voice their opinions. After that, a few days later Kimbrel and the board announced they will not be eliminating the Team program, at least for next year.


LUTZ: So no changes were actually made?


SCHMIDT: Well, no, there wasn’t even really a vote, since this was just a suggested plan that the board could consider voting on, something they didn’t even end up doing.

However, the one change we’ll probably see is an increase in diversity in the program. In their email Kimbrel and the board wrote that, quote, “The board also expressed interest in a collaborative effort between administration and the Team staff so that recruitment efforts can be expanded to encourage a greater variety of students to apply and so that acceptance criteria are explicit, transparent, and available to all stakeholders.”

We’ll see next year what exactly that means.


LUTZ: Thanks Justin.

The mock trial team, which I am a part of, won the Marin County championship for the 18th time in a row. This time we defeated Novato High, and in late March we’ll be moving on to the state championship in Riverside.

Now, for an update on the world of sports, we’ll go to Randy Shapiro for a recap of the month.


SHAPRIO: February was an exciting month for Tam sports teams. The baseball and softball teams have just returned from a week-long trip to Cuba over Ski Week, and officially began their season this week. Additionally, the wrestling team ended a very successful season with several athletes competing at NCS.

This month also brought the start of boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ tennis, golf and soccer, track and field, and swimming and diving.

While some of us may have been vacationing in Tahoe during ski week, or just relaxing at home, the baseball and softball teams were enjoying an experience few of us may ever have.

During their week on the island nation of Cuba, the team stayed in Havana, and in addition to experiencing the local culture and history, they also had the opportunity to meet and play against Cuban teams. The trip was complicated by the fact that many participants became very sick during their stay. Including coaches, 12 people became sick. Three students had to visit a local medical clinic, and one coach was hospitalized. However, all trip members fully recovered, and all of them felt that they still had a truly great experience.

At NCS, the Tam wrestling team ended a great season, with seniors Steve Peters, Ryan O’Boyle, Oliver Duler, Dylan Krings leading the team, backed up by freshman Henry Duler and [others]. Congratulations to Dylan for making it further than any other wrestler, competing in four matches during the tournament.

Coming up over the next month, all spring sports teams will begin playing league matches, and we will have updates posted on our website,


LUTZ: Well, that’s all from us here at The Tam News. Until next month, you stay classy Tam High.