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Our Principal

Interview with Jefferson Principal Dr. Kim Adams (Fall 2017)


Q. What is it like being a principal?

A. It is very fun to be a principal. It is tiring to be a principal because there are no breaks (meaning, no lunch break).  But I really like to be able to see everything that is going on in the whole school and to understand the bigger picture. I get to see the progress of the whole school and understand more at the system level than when I was a classroom teacher.

Q. What is your favorite color?

A. Purple.

Q. Do you like your job and why?

A. I love my job.  I like to learn a lot, and I learn something new every day in this role.  I also get to use my skills, which is important to me in a job.  Getting to know all of the students is one of the best things about my job, and I am proud of myself for learning all the students’ names.

Q. When did you become a principal?

A. My first full year was 2015.

Q. Where were you a principal before Jefferson?

A. I was an Instructional Reform Facilitator (IRF) at Dr. William Cobb Elementary School, helping teachers by going into their classrooms to help them find better ways to teach.  The principal left in the middle of the year, and I took over as acting principal.

Q. What do you like about Jefferson?

A. The Jefferson community.  Families, students, and staff are very thoughtful and caring, which makes the job easy.  Everyone is very dedicated and positive.

Q. How many jobs have you had?

A. Wow, I have had about 15 jobs since I was a teenager, including:

  • Retail sales clerk
  • Pizza takeout
  • Shampoo girl in a salon
  • Italian language tutor
  • Ribbon specialist at Britex Fabrics (I studied art and fashion
    during my year abroad in Italy)
  • Administrative Assistant and Day Manager/VIP services
  • Classroom teacher
  • IRF (see above)
  • BTSA Coach (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program)
  • Principal
  • ACSA Coach (Association of California School Administrators)

It is really helpful to work in the hospitality or service industry, where you interact with people all day:  you learn to really care about people.

Q. What do you like about San Francisco?

A. Usually I like the weather; it is not too hot and not too cold.  [Note: interview took place on the hottest day on record for San Francisco.]  
In comparison, I have lived in some very hot places and some very cold places.  I like the diversity in San Francisco, and I like to meet people from all over the world with different perspectives on life.

Q. Why did you become a principal?

A. Honestly, I feel that life has always had a way of taking me where I’m supposed to be.  After 6 years in the classroom, I was in a major head-on car accident. I had physical therapy every day for 7 months while in my 7th year of teaching, but I noticed a lot of changes in myself and felt I was not able to think as clearly or quickly as before.  I decided I needed to focus on my brain, so I decided to go back to school and get my doctorate.  The doctoral program at USF also had an administrative services credential program, and I felt becoming a principal was the next logical step for me.

Q. Do you have any pets?

A. When I was growing up, we always had dogs.  As a grownup, I used to have a cat named Dumpster and a dog named M80.  They both live with my parents in Massachusetts and are very happy.

Q. Do you like being in a school in the Sunset?

A. I like that we have families from the Sunset and other parts of the city.

Q. Where have you lived?

A. That is a hard question to answer because I moved around.  Let’s see:

  • Preschool:                  Massachusetts
  • Elementary School:    Georgia
  • Middle School:            Orange County, California
  • High School:               Massachusetts
  • Undergrad (college):  Vermont, with a year abroad in Florence, Italy
  • 2002+:                        San Francisco

Q. What kind of weather do you like?

A. My favorite weather is a cool fall day with a nice breeze, like you get on the East Coast.

Q. What is your favorite animal?

A. My spirit animal is the deer; they are so calming.  I also like giraffes.

Q. What is your favorite place apart from San Francisco?

A. I have enjoyed spending time in New Zealand; it is very pretty, and the people are warm and friendly. 


* * *

Click here to read the fall 2016 interview with Principal Kim Adams.

Click here to read the fall 2015 interview with Principal Kim Adams.

Interviewing Dr. Adams
Two intrepid reporters from Ms. Kanbara’s third grade class interviewed Dr. Adams to learn more about Jefferson’s wonderful principal.
Here is what we learned!

Dumpster and M80
Dr. Adams' pets - Dumpster the cat and M80 the dog - now live in Massachusetts.

Ana and Shirley
Joining Dr. Adams in the Main Office are Jefferson secretaries
Ana Cerqueira and Shirley Yee.