School Says Goodbye: Three Staff Members to Leave Before Year’s End

Ron Nelson

Ron Nelson, the longtime Student Conduct Liaison and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, will be leaving the school after eight years of service on January 30, 2009. Nelson will travel to his hometown in northeastern Pennsylvania to take care of his parents.
Nelson said that the thing he will miss most about the school is the students.
“[I’ll miss] just being with the students in classes, sports, theater events [and] talking to the students at brunch and lunch,” Nelson said.
Nelson said he still communicates with past students via e-mail and phone calls.
“It’s kind of fun when after four years you can have a level of one-on-one [conversations with students],” Nelson said. “I will miss my ‘daily reality check’ with the students.”
Among his fondest memories from the school are his seven trips to Camp Everytown, conversations with the students he went with every day and the field hockey alumni game, which he participates in on the side of the parents.
“It’s my toughest physical challenge,” Nelson said, as he recalled one particular incident when the father of alumna Sarah Nolet, ‘07, picked her up and summarily “body-slammed her.”
It is uncertain as to whether a replacement for Nelson will be hired.
“It’s been a pleasure working with him,” fellow Student Conduct Liason Genaro Quintana said. “The whole school is going to miss him.”

Laura Kostinsky

Counseling Secretary Laura Kostinsky, who has been working at the school since August 1998, will be retiring this year.
“I just need to spend more time with my family,” Kostinsky said. “[But] it’s been a difficult decision because I’ve been really happy here. … I will miss all of the LAHS staff, students and parents that I’ve had contact with.”
When Kostinsky first came to the school, she worked in a little room roughly where Assistant Principal Morenike O’Neal’s office is now (before the Administration Building was remodeled).
“This was also the room where the custodians clocked in so they were some of my first friends at LAHS,” Kostinsky said.
Among her favorite memories from the school are the Diversity Week assemblies.
“One of my favorite memories is the performances at the Multicultural assemblies because the students greatly impress me with their talents,” Kostinsky said.

Ruth Gibbs

English Department Secretary Ruth Gibbs will be retiring this Friday after 14 years of service to the school. Gibbs had been considering retirement for a while and decided that now was a good time because “with the budget as it is, I will be saving the district money if I retire now.”
“It has been a grand ride,” Gibbs said. “The children are all wonderful and I have learned much.”
Looking back, Gibbs said that she would “miss [her] good friends Laura Kostinsky and Toni Manzoni.” Most of all, she will miss “working with and seeing all the terrific students every day.”
Gibbs’ proudest accomplishment at the school was her contribution to the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
“I will forever remember the honor of being the Gay-Straight Alliance adviser and the Gay Alliance Pride Parade in downtown Los Altos that the City Council fought so hard to deny the GSA,” Gibbs said.
She was the club’s adviser for eight years and asserted that, upon her retirement, she will “continue to crusade for gay youth.”