Van Putten will fill the shoes of Diane Burbank, who retired at the end of June after nine years with the school. Van Putten's contract began July 1.
"I look forward to connecting with and hearing the stories of our Woodside High School students, families and staff members," van Putten said in a statement. "As we come out of the pandemic and take thoughtful steps to continue to bring even more voices, heart and humanity to our school's narrative, I am honored to be part of the creative possibilities that will take Woodside to the next level in student learning and innovation. Until then, I hope everyone takes some time to rest and rejuvenate this summer."
Van Putten was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts educator scholarship for her research in African literature, according to the district. She also researched East Asian history and educational policy in China through Stanford's program on international and cross-cultural education.
Van Putten's dedication to equity, social justice and her creative instructional leadership "brings new and exciting opportunities" to Woodside High, the district release notes.
"Karen van Putten's passion for community building, cultural responsibility, and academic achievement will be a critical support to our district's mission of preparing students for excellence," said then-Interim Superintendent Crystal Leach in a statement. "We look forward to the leadership and success Karen will bring to Woodside High School as principal."
Van Putten most recently served as a principal at Argonaut Elementary School in Saratoga, according to the school's website. Before that, she served for four years as San Lorenzo Valley High School's principal, according to her LinkedIn profile. She taught English at Saratoga High School and in Holland, Michigan, before becoming an administrator, her profile states.
Van Putten holds a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from San Jose State University. She also earned a bachelor's degree in English and sociology and her secondary teaching credential from Hope College in Michigan, according to the district.
Her salary information was not yet available.
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