Westlake High School Principal Ron Lipari is stepping down after 15 years at the school.
Lipari, 62, notified the Conejo Valley Unified School District and school staff of his decision on Friday, the day after the high school’s graduation ceremony, according to Mark McLaughlin, assistant superintendent personnel services.
Board of Education President Peggy Buckles said Sunday that Lipari’s decision was not completely unexpected.
“He was planning to retire in the next couple of years and we knew that,” she said.
Lipari’s final year at Westlake has been marred by controversy, including a disturbance during the football team’s trip to Hawaii last fall and the decision to discipline senior Dominic Conti for his part in a altercation last October. The latter involved Conti, his father, Larry Conti, and a freshman football player who was accused of sexually harassing Dominic’s younger sister.
Buckles, however, said she does not believe any of this contributed to Lipari’s decision to step down.
“He has a ton of supporters out there,” she said.
Asked about his notice on the last day of school, Buckles attributed it to the fact that he is a person who eschews the spotlight and his desire to avoid any fanfare.
Lipari was appointed principal at Westlake in June 1999.
He came to the Conejo Valley Unified School District from Burbank Unified School District, where he had spent three years as the principal of Burbank High School and was credited with turning around the troubled school.