Director of Admissions and Attendance Leaves Pali

Tami+Christopher

Tami Christopher

Dohyun(Andy) Ju, Copy Editor

When Director of Admissions and Attendance Tami Christopher recently announced that she was leaving the school to accept a new job, colleagues paused to reflect on the many contributions Christopher made during her 17 years at Pali. Christopher began her new job as an Assistant Principal at Da Vinci Connect TK-8 on Feb. 1. 

Amy Okafor, who has worked in education for 13 years, is the school’s new Director of Admissions and Attendance. 

Christopher, whose son Josiah will remain a student at Pali, started out as a History teacher, teaching students of every grade. She also co-taught courses related to African American History and U.S. History. In addition to her contributions as a teacher, she was part of the team that brought to Pali The Village Nation, a program aiming to support African American students. 

Transitioning into an administrative position, Christopher became the Director of Admissions and Attendance. She was responsible for recruiting new students and ensuring the entire student body attended school regularly. She viewed this change in roles as a transition from moving “beyond [her] classroom and subject matter to supporting all students at Pali.” 

According to Pali’s executive director, Dr. Pamela Magee, Christopher has had “a very positive impact on PCHS as a coordinator and administrator.” 

Magee said that Christopher was valued both as a staff member who “focused on supporting students, especially those who might otherwise be overlooked or underserved,” and as an innovative administrator, implementing ideas such as an automated lottery system, which made the admissions process much more efficient. 

Christopher was also able to foster meaningful relationships throughout her many roles at Pali. One of her closest friends is Social Science teacher Jeanne Saiza, whom she has worked with for more than 17 years.

Both Saiza and Magee said that they admire Christopher’s intelligence, work ethic and compassion as well as her focus on students due to her experiences as a Pali teacher and parent. 

“She asks herself, ‘Is this in the best interests of our students?’ when making tough decisions,” Saiza said. “Also, Ms. Christopher epitomizes what it means to be a lifelong learner.” 

Christopher earned two master’s degrees and an Educational Specialist Degree while working full-time and taking on additional responsibilities as a parent.

Christopher plans to bring what she admires most about Pali with her as she enters her new job as Assistant Principal of Da Vinci Connect TK-8. She especially wants to carry forward the lessons she learned about flexibility and continue her emphasis on students’ needs. In her new position, she also aims to work with a wider range of grade levels and “learn other aspects of school leadership.”

As for what she will miss most about Pali, Christopher says: “I will miss my students! In fact I already do because of our current pandemic… I will also miss the wonderful people that work at Pali… from my BFF Ms. Saiza to the biggest heart on campus Coach Sean [Brown]… I have created so many bonds at Pali and I do not foresee them breaking or ending.”