New WES principal goes back to his future

Jeff Knebel

Recently selected as the new principal of Weed Elementary School, Gilbert “Tag” Pimentel said he is excited to take on new challenges as the new leader of the school he graduated from in 1975.

The Weed native comes to WES from the Montague School District where he served as superintendent/principal. His new position will become effective on July 1.

“I am very excited to be coming home and to have the opportunity to give back to the community that has given me so much over the years,” said Pimentel. “I have been waiting 24 years for this opportunity to come along.”

Pimentel expects that one of the bigger challenges he will face at his new school is adjusting to the larger size of WES.

“It’ll be quite an adjustment,” he said. “I’m leaving a school of approximately 130 students for one with around 350, not to mention the number of personnel. I’m sure it will be a little difficult at first.”

Pimentel said he will address this new challenge by focusing on getting to know the students and staff on a personal and professional level as quickly as possible.

“It is very important to be able to build a rapport with both the kids and the staff,” he said. “It’s important that they believe in their principal and feel they can trust him.”

A product of the Weed school system, Pimentel attended WES, graduated from Weed High School in 1979 and from College of the Siskiyous in 1981.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and teaching credential from California State University, Chico, and an administrative credential from Simpson University in Redding.

Pimentel began his career at Butte Valley Unified School District, where he taught sixth grade for three years. He then taught in Montague for 18 years, working in grades 5, 6 7 and 8, as well as teaching Community Day School for three years. He has also served on the Special Education Local Plan Executive Committee.

In 1992, he received the honor of being nominated for Region 2 Teacher of the Year Award.

Throughout his career, Pimentel has coached a sports, including elementary school sports teams and varsity level baseball and basketball. He has also coached T-ball and Little League in the Weed Youth Baseball program.

He currently has no solid plans for coaching in the near future, but says he will entertain the idea if the opportunity arises.

The Weed Union Elementary School District Board of Directors announced June 2 that Pimentel had accepted the offer of the principal position.

The WES alumnus will be taking over for principal Kathleen Emerson, who will soon begin her new job as principal of Sisson School in Mount Shasta.

Pimentel has been married to his wife Liz for 19 years. They have a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Katie.