Dougherty principal Kravitz passes on torch to incoming Powell


Caroline Lobel

With confirmation from the SRVUSD Board of Education on Nov. 19, Evan Powell entered Dougherty Valley as permanent principal. Former principal Dave Kravitz is set to become SRVUSD’s new Director of Secondary Education.

Evan Powell replaced Dave Kravitz as permanent principal of Dougherty Valley High School on Nov. 20 after approval by the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) Board of Education.

The administrative change was one of multiple rearrangements involving middle schools Windemere Ranch and Los Cerros and high schools California and Dougherty Valley. Kravitz will be joining the district office as the Director of Secondary Education.

Before becoming assistant principal at Dougherty in 2013, Kravitz spent 27 years as a coach and teacher at Cal and San Ramon Valley High. In fall 2016, he took up the principal position at Dougherty upon Daniel Hillman’s leave.

At Dougherty, Kravitz has headed efforts to improve student and staff wellness, encouraging community members to understand what motivates them while emphasizing work-life balance. In leading this endeavor, Kravitz has learned much about what defines Dougherty.

“Academics is a focus for our community … and that’s great,” Kravitz said. “But we have blossomed into a school that is way more than just academics. Whether it be our athletics, fine arts programs, clubs, our leadership program … students have taken advantage of them and ran with them further than we ever thought they would go.”

Simultaneously, Powell looks forward to returning to the school that first employed him. From 2007 to 2012, he taught in Dougherty’s athletic department; since then, he’s served as assistant principal at Monte Vista and principal at Los Cerros.

“I’ve been gone seven and a half years,” Powell said. “I’m excited for what the school has become, and all the great accomplishments that the students and staff have put together.”

At Los Cerros, Powell’s initiatives have included a full bell schedule change, grade reforms and test score improvements. Most importantly, he’s “fostered a community of respect” with “high expectations and well-behaved students.”

Moving to Dougherty, he hopes to continue Kravitz’s endeavors in helping students discover their dreams and convictions.

“The one big thing I would really like is to understand where our students are going … I really want to get information on what they wish they would have known or done differently in high school,” Powell said.

At the same time, he hopes to build trust in the community and create a sense of purpose. While leading Dougherty to be, “literally, the best high school in the state,” he also hopes that students explore every available option while they can.

“When I was in high school, I stopped playing baseball my sophomore year. I had two great seasons, [but I] wish I ran track and field. I wish I played football,” he said. “So there’s things … I just didn’t do. And once you’re out, you can’t go back.”

Powell believes that nurturing school spirit and mutual encouragement is the first step toward helping students.

“When the school starts supporting, it goes a long way for morale,” Powell said. “So it’s really important that we work together and support each other. Get that ASB pass at the beginning of the year and go to everything.”

Passing on his principal position, Kravitz will keep in touch with Powell on both administrative logistics and school culture. Simultaneously, Powell will connect with students in hallways and work with “staff, students and parents to find out what we want for a 1-3 year plan together.”

Ultimately, Kravitz said that what he would miss most about Dougherty is “the people.”

“The people whom I work with are phenomenal in so many ways … I’m amazed by not only [student] achievement … but the care that … our staff has for our students and our students have for each other,” he said. “That welcoming attitude of staff and students together has been something I’ve been very blessed to be a part of.”

A follow-up to this story with opinions from students, teachers and the SRVUSD is pending.