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Tuesday, Nov 05 2013 06:00 AM

Paul Press, principal of Monroe High, leaves Tehachapi

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Outgoing principal Paul Press stops to play a quick game of Hacky Sack with students on his way to a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Monroe Continuation High School. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Principal Paul Press meets with facility members Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Monroe Continuation High School. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Outgoing Monroe High School Principal Paul Press.

Paul Press will be hanging up his hat as principal of Monroe High School.

After three years of service, Press served his last day on Thursday, Oct. 31, before packing up to move to Shell Beach. He was recently hired to take over as director of student services at the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District.

"It has been my dream and my wife's dream to live on the Central Coast," Press said in a phone interview.

After being hired in 2010, Press spearheaded a number of efforts to improve the continuation school and, as a result, earned Monroe a six-year accreditation by the California Department of Education in 2011.

The California Continuation Education Association granted Press the Administrator of the Year award in 2012.

Prior to working at Monroe, he spent two years as assistant principal at Tehachapi High School.

Press said he is going to miss working at the school.

"It was the best staff I have worked with in 22 years," he said. "I really loved the attitude of the students. They're all very appreciative of the help they receive, and they are the reason we got a six-year accreditation."

Outside the realm of education, Press has been active throughout the community, serving as vice-chairperson of Board of Directors of the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District, as well as game director and owner of the U.S. Army Arena Bowl -- an annual all-star game in Bakersfield for standout high school football players in their senior year.

According to Superintendent Lisa Gilbert, the district is currently in the process to find a new hire to replace Press. She said the district has a number of internal and external applicants, and she hopes the interview process will begin within the next week or two.

Vice Principal Laura Barba of Tehachapi High School and Anna Hoffman, a math teacher at Monroe, will share responsibilities of interim principal in the meantime.

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