Q&A with Tam’s New Principal: Dr. Julie Synyard

Dr. Julie Synyard
Photo courtesy of: StHelena.k12.ca.us

Dr. Julie Synyard Photo courtesy of: StHelena.k12.ca.us

By Emma Talkoff

Next year Tam will welcome Dr. Julie Synyard as our school’s new principal. Synyard has taught English and history and received her administrative credential in the Albany Unified School District in Albany, California. Also a veteran administrator of St. Helena High School, Synyard served as vice principal and then principal there for four years. “I feel like I’m leaving a great school for another incredible school,” Synyard said of the move. Synyard, who attended Terra Linda High School, is looking forward to “returning to a familiar community, working at a larger school,” and bringing her collaborative administrative style to Tam. The Tam News talked with Synyard about her upcoming role at Tam.

How did you start teaching?

Julie Synyard: I fell in love with teaching working at a soccer camp. I knew my niche was working with children. I haven’t strayed from that course since.

What are the best things about being a principal as opposed to a teacher?

JS: I love the flexibility of being an administrator [because] I get to go everywhere [and] meet all the students. I’m a multi-tasker; I very rarely sit still. [As a principal] there’s never a dull day.

What defines your leadership style?

JS: I’m a collaborative leader. I truly enjoy working with students and teachers and rely heavily on the leadership class. [I have an] open door policy and value student and teacher input.

What are you hoping to accomplish or bring to Tam?

JS: There’s such amazing things going on [at Tam]. Continuing to build on that greatness [is a goal]. I have a very welcoming idea of leadership; I want to get some ideas and run with them. This is an incredible opportunity. I want this to be a shining academic institution [and a] reflection of the community.

What’s your impression of Tam?

JS: Kids [at Tam] are so nice, so welcoming. You guys are already at this great level—I want to be a part of this.