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Presidio Knolls School Announces New Head of School in San Francisco

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Lee Drolet brings strong background in Mandarin immersion and gifted-learner program development

San Francisco—Presidio Knolls School has announced that Lee Drolet, a long-time educator with the Minnetonka, Minnesota, public school system, has been named Head of School to lead the city’s only progressive Mandarin immersion preschool and elementary school as it expands its South of Market campus.

Drolet, who hails from a family of teachers and oversaw the development of a Mandarin immersion program that began in 2006, was the top choice of the Presidio Knolls search committee after an intensive and thoughtful search process. Drolet will begin her term this year.

Drolet most recently served as the principal at Excelsior Elementary, an 800-student K-5 school in Excelsior, Minnesota, and has spent 35 years as a principal and educational leader. She has worked as a teacher mentor, K-8 math curriculum and instruction leader, and national presenter on effective instruction. She has also taught students in a gifted and talented program.

“Having a child be bilingual is a huge advantage in terms of their problem-solving skills,’’ said Drolet. “Nothing is more important than serving young people. That’s how I grew up.’’

The first 30 days at Presidio Knolls will be spent getting to know the staff and the parent community and building relationships, she said. “I work really hard to be transparent, with crystal clear communication, and I love to be efficient.’’

Drolet comes from a long line of teachers—her father was an art teacher and potter, her mother was  a school administrator and one of the first women in her area to lead a special education program, and her grandmother was a lifelong teacher. “I was surrounded by people who were serving in education, working on social causes for children and advocating for children,’’ she recalls.

Drolet has holds degrees in elementary education, and educational policy and administration with an emphasis on family social science from the University of Minnesota.  She will be relocating to the Bay Area with her husband, a writer and artist, and their husky. Drolet is an avid hiker, camper and cross-country skier and enjoys having her dogs pull her on skis—a sport known as skijoring.  She has four grown children, two of whom reside in California, and spent the fall traveling Europe with her family, exploring small villages and coasts in Spain, France and Italy.

About Presidio Knolls

Presidio Knolls School is San Francisco’s only progressive, Mandarin immersion preschool and elementary school, emphasizing experiential learning that inspires intellectual curiosity and supports academic achievement. By relying on an evidence-based approach – also sometimes called inquiry-based learning – Presidio Knolls’s exceptional teachers develop their students into adventurous scholars who are self-motivated and confident. We are also a community of involved parents from all walks of life, who are bonded in the belief that children should be encouraged to question, create, innovate and believe.