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Introducing Madrone's New Principal, John Kennedy!

Posted Date: 3/29/24 (5:17 PM)

Introducing Madrone's New Principal, John Kennedy!

Dear Madrone High School Community,

I am pleased to announce that at their meeting on Monday, the San Rafael City Schools Board of Education approved John Kennedy as the new Madrone High School Principal! 

During the selection process, Mr. Kennedy stood out for his exceptional leadership skills, genuine passion for alternative education and fierce dedication to ensuring all students receive high-quality education. He is committed to working in partnership with teachers, staff and families to empower students with compassion, curiosity and collaborative skills.

I know Mr. Kennedy greatly looks forward to connecting in person with the Madrone community in the near future! In the meantime, I would like to share some of his own words about why he’s looking forward to this opportunity:

“I’m excited and grateful for this opportunity to cultivate success with the students, staff and families of Madrone. I will focus on building dynamic relationships with all stakeholders in order to inspire, challenge and support the growth of this vibrant and collaborative community of learners.”

Mr. Kennedy joins SRCS with over 15 years of experience as an educational leader. He's been with Santa Rosa City Schools since 2012, where he's currently the Vice Principal at Piner High School and was previously the Assistant Principal for two years. He began his career in education in 2009; he’s been an accomplished math, life skills and ASB teacher - earning a California League of Educators “Educator of the Year” award in 2015. He received a Master's degree from Dominican University and a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego. He is proficient in Spanish. 

Mr. Kennedy is an ideal administrator as he has a strong grasp of effective teaching and learning, demonstrates the skills and expertise to lead and inspire others and effectively oversees and supports a wide range of programs to support student learning. Importantly, he greatly values the role of alternative educational settings. At Piner, he oversees operations of the Grace Program, which is a credit-recovery offering for roughly 60 students, built-in to the school's campus. Additionally, he has focused on improving the Newcomer learning experience on the campus. He is known for his ability to cultivate a learning environment built on respect, support and mutual accountability. Furthermore, he has consistently demonstrated a collaborative and caring approach when working with staff, students, families and community partners.

As part of the hiring process, Mr. Kennedy interviewed with an advisory panel representing students, teachers, staff and parents. He officially assumes the role of Madrone principal on July 1, 2024 and we look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition. 

I am confident Mr. Kennedy’s unique skill sets and strong experience make him an exceptional leader for Madrone. Please join me in welcoming and congratulating him!   


Carmen Diaz Ghysels
San Rafael City Schools  |
310 Nova Albion Way
San Rafael, CA 94903