PAAS Newsletter

Palo Alto Adult School Newsletter Spring 2021

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Welcome Lynn Tanner, our new ESL Program Manager!

Alex Scott was our beloved PAUSD ESL Coordinator for over 12 years. She recently retired and is now pursuing her passion for hiking and kayaking and spending time with her son Ethan in the East Bay. Lynn Tanner took over for Alex at the end of last year.

Lynn has worked at the adult school for about twenty years now, starting when her son was not yet a year old (soon he’ll be turning 21). She now has two delightful children - one a junior in college and the other a junior in high school. She is married to one delightful husband, and also has a chicken and a kitty (both delightful).

She grew up in California and worked for a bank for 10 years before going back to school to earn a Master’s degree in TESOL (teaching ESL); her first teaching job was in Kyoto, Japan for 15 months. After that she taught at community college and an Intensive English Program (IEP) at San Jose State before landing here at the adult school in 2000. Since coming here, she has never wanted to go anywhere else. Over the years, in addition to teaching, Lynn has served as the WASC coordinator for the adult school, as the volunteer tutor program manager and as a testing instructor.

Lynn loves our program, and admires and respects our students, fellow teachers, and staff. She is excited to be serving our students in this new role now as ESL Program Manager and is thrilled to be working with us.

"Alex has giant shoes to fill, and she patiently and methodically taught me how she keeps all the balls in the air (even during a pandemic!) so I’ll do my best to make her proud." - Lynn Tanner

Alex Scott - Former ESL Coordinator Bids Farewell to PAUSD

"I feel very grateful to have had the good fortune to have worked with such talented, dedicated and supportive colleagues. As I mentioned at my retirement party, your commitment to serving our students, passion for teaching, determination and perseverance despite recent challenges inspired me every day and encouraged me to be a better manager. I will miss you and wish you all every success as you continue your work to support PAAS, the ESL program and serve our students."
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Principal Shannon Coleman, PreSchool Family at Greendell

PreSchool Family is a parent education program serving families with children ages birth through five years. The program began in 1946 and is part of the Palo Alto Adult School under the auspices of the Palo Alto Unified School District. The program is designed to offer parents an opportunity to learn about parenting and to actively participate in their child's education. For children, the program offers a developmentally appropriate, play-based, educational experience.

Our Mission is to serve parents and young children in a way that nurtures, respects and educates each individual in a developmentally appropriate environment in order to build strong families and communities.

PreSchool Family serves parents and young children in a way that nurtures, respects and educates each individual in a developmentally appropriate environment. Our program welcomes preschool children from all families, cultures, and religions. Each child and parent is treated with respect for their individuality and unique potential.

Read all about us in our latest newsletter:

Shannon Coleman, Principal of Greendell School, has been with PAUSD for ten years. Shannon leads the early childhood and parent education programs at Greendell including Young Fives, Preschool Special Education, Springboard to Kindergarten and PreSchool Family, our parent education/parent participation program through Palo Alto Adult School. Shannon believes in the tremendous benefits of early childhood education and family involvement in education and is proud to be a part of the Greendell School community.

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Spotlight: Robert Schick, Art Teacher

Please welcome Robert Schick, our "newest" art teacher. He's been teaching privately since 2004 and has been with PAAS for a few sessions now.

He was featured in the Los Altos Town Crier and is well known locally for his work on landscapes and historical landmarks. For the past two decades or so, he's been on a mission to preserve our surroundings in art before it all disappears, including our picturesque orchards. (Check out the Town Crier article here).

In addition, his local landscape paintings will be featured in a one-person show at Los Altos City Hall this summer. You can also see more of Robert's work at his website is

"As an artist, I visually celebrate the invisible spirits of people and places. As a teacher, I nurture the unique inner spirit of each student while providing them a proven process to successfully design and render illusionistic paintings and drawings."

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Dave's Almanac

When I think of “Looking to the Horizon" (the latest PAUSD School News theme), I think of that distant line out over the ocean. At the end of the day as the sun drops below the edge of the world, I see a horizon line. Or early in the day, I see the peak of sun as it begins it trek across the early morning sky, another horizon line.

I think both images are appropriate for this time of the year. We’re looking at a new horizon as we anticipate opening schools this fall. PAAS has its own little peak of light with a few classes meeting in person this month - a couple of Upholstery classes, a PreSchool Family class, and a Yoga class, all under strict COVID protocols. I am excited with this new beginning, even though it is also the end of the school year. We’ve had a few bumps in the road, but this is all new territory, and a new trail is never without some dips along the way.

The image of the sun dropping beyond the horizon is also appropriate since this is the end of my time here at PAUSD. I will be retiring at the end of June. So, with this new peak of light, I look forward to new adventures on the horizon during retirement!

Dave Hoshiwara, Principal of Adult School and Secondary Options, as well as the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital School, has been with PAUSD for an official 25 years in various roles, including past career highlights such as Career Technical Education Coordinator and Summer School Principal. He is especially proud of creating Secondary Options, which helps special needs students gain valuable work experience, in collaboration with the Palo Alto VA Hospital.

Dave will be greatly missed by all!

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Editor's Corner - Natalie Skelton / Editor

Yes, it really has been a full year since we all went into lockdown due to Covid and our worlds changed completely.

Following Santa Clara County Health Department and District guidelines, adult school campuses would remain closed while instruction continued online. We were compelled to find creative ways of navigating our new reality and everyone seemed to come together to keep things running as best we could. PAAS rose to the challenge early on by combining spring and summer quarters together and adding more classes online.

From our separate corners inside the endless Shelter in Place Order, we kept in touch with our fellow staff members through email and Zoom. We reconnected with family members at home and watched the news incessantly. We worked on jigsaw puzzles, ordered curbside delivery food and streamed lots and lots of shows. We saw our political landscape evolve as we memorized the names of our representatives. As we stayed stuck in the wrong color tier, we waited.

Now it looks like we are turning a corner and the faint glow of hope grows brighter and brighter. I'm so glad that light never went out and that so many of us were invested in feeding the embers. As a result, "normal" seems as if it has almost arrived.

Here's hoping.

And on behalf of the PAAS, Welcome Back.

PAAS Announcements

Today's announcement is that from now on

ALL PAAS STAFF must use their PAUSD email (

For many years we've had the luxury of using our personal email addresses, but after the experience of the pandemic we realized we are by far the exception rather than the norm. If you have any questions, or need to set up a PAUSD account, please reach out to Dave Hoshiwara ( immediately.

If you are already using your work email - congratulations! You won't miss any pertinent emails from us.

Adult School Summer Registration begins May 14.
Be sure to mark your calendars!

2021 is the 100th year of Palo Alto Adult School and the 75th year of PreSchool Families.

Keep an eye out for Centennial celebrations coming this fall!

Thanks everyone!

About PAAS

Palo Alto Adult School was established by the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) in 1921. The adult school offers a robust program and annually serves a student population of approximately 5400 students. Our school is committed to excellence by providing a broad range of affordable, high quality education programs. Our goal is to meet the diverse lifelong learning needs of our community.

We provide classes for English learners, parents, job seekers, travelers, hobbyists, and others who want to expand their skills. Whether you want to learn to cook, try your hand at something new or enhance your skills, let us meet your lifelong learning needs.

Most of our instructors are credentialed. Credentialing involves having studied or worked with the subject matter being taught and obtaining education related to adult learning theory. Students are thus assured that their instructors have the skills to guide students appropriately.

English as a second language and citizenship classes are free and other classes have affordable prices, offering you excellent value for your time.

The majority of funding for state-mandated classes is provided by state tax money and is based on student attendance hours. As a result, the class fees for students are significantly less for these state-supported classes. All other Adult School classes are supported entirely by enrollment and lab fees.

Questions? Call (650) 329-3752 or send an email to