Pinewood’s New Assistant Principal: Haley Hemm By Christina Tanase

Photo by Kyle Riches

Over the course of quarantine, Pinewood has gained another Panther. If you have been keeping your eyes peeled on Zoom or in the halls, you may have noticed a new addition to the administration: Assistant Principal Haley Hemm.

Born in Redwood City, Hemm has spent her life playing sports, traveling the world, teaching, coaching, learning and so much more. Now, as she finds her love for tennis again, she also weaves her way back into the world of education and discipline.

In a short couple of months, Hemm has fit right into the Pinewood community. Although there is uncertainty with the pandemic, Hemm has been instantly welcomed and loved by the students and staff of Pinewood.

“Even with the pandemic, even with the incredible racial injustice happening across our nation, and even the divisiveness of the election, every person that I’ve encountered here at Pinewood has welcomed me as if I have been here for 10 years, which feels really good in a time that is so uncertain,” Hemm said.

Speaking of uncertain times, personal connections can be hard to make during the coronavirus. However, Hemm is dedicated to building those relationships no matter what.

“Connections are incredibly life-giving to me; anytime I can create or find a connection, whether it’s through ideas, or seeing the way the world interacts and connects. My driving mission statement is to make people feel and see all the connections that there are in the world,” Hemm said.

In addition to Hemm’s yearning to build relationships with students and faculty this year, there is one key factor that plays into it: Participation. Hemm, being a competitive person, thoroughly enjoys participating in any events, activities, and challenges.

Hemm has five core values that she would like to implement at Pinewood: joy, wonder, relentlessness, purpose, and gratitude. Joy, being Hemm’s main core value, also contributes to why she wanted to be a part of the Pinewood community in the first place.

“Joy is one of the main reasons I was attracted to the Pinewood community and wanted to become a part of the community,” Hemm said.

“Pinewood also seeks to cultivate curiosity which resonates deeply with my value of wonder,” Hemm said. “Pinewood is preparing students to be purposeful citizens and active members of their communities. As you know, I believe in living a purposeful life. The more that I think about, the more my core values are models for the Pinewood Mission and vision for their students.”