The person behind the principal

Long-time Principal Kevin Buchanan leaves OPUSD for Los Gatos High School

After 11 years at Oak Park High School, Principal Kevin Buchanan will be moving to Los Gatos High School in the Bay Area. 

Buchanan will be missed by teachers, administrators and students alike. And, according to Buchanan, the sentiment is mutual.

“I will miss working with everyone the most. We collaborate so well to take care of our students.  I love the District motto of Educating Compassionate and Creative Global Citizens and am privileged to have played a part in manifesting it at OPHS,” Buchanan wrote.

Among Buchanan’s many accomplishments during his tenure at OPHS, he is most proud of the quality of programs available to students in the community, and the ability of faculty members to continue delivering instruction virtually.

“The students came through too, and while the loss of interpersonal interactions was deeply felt, being open again and having some important activities for seniors is something to be proud of.  Many rose to the challenge and that made the difference,” Buchanan wrote.

Buchanan characterized his career shift as “bittersweet.”

“I am looking forward to a full return to school but with the knowledge and insight, we learned from the pandemic. I am looking forward to learning about my new school community,” Buchanan wrote.

Oak Park teachers have felt Buchanan’s support for their classes and programs throughout the years.

“As far as Mr. Buchanan’s leadership skills, he always supported Mock Trial, and one time he even went to the Mock Trial competition,” social sciences teacher Victor Anderson said.

OPHS administrators working under Buchanan’s leadership have learned from his many years of experience.

“He’s just so kind, and he’s a really big picture guy —he sees how all of the things interact with one another and flow together … that vision and that understanding. I certainly will miss him but at the same time I’m so excited for him,” Assistant Principal Natalie Smith said.

Smith has observed Buchanan in many of his student interactions, and is impressed with his ability to communicate with Oak Park students.

“Mr. Buchanan has a way of making everyone feel comfortable, and even in the most difficult, intensive situations, he can come in and just bonded with people in such a human way,” Smith said.

Smith believes that Buchanan’s experiences in OPUSD will assist him in his new career path at Los Gatos High School.

“I think a lot of what has happened at Oak Park that he has already gone through with this community, he is just going to be able to help the students at Los Gatos with very similar situations, and kind of pay it forward,” Smith said.