Mr. T comes to PV – Dr. Allen Tyner
by Yvonne Liu
During Dr. Allen Tyner’s teen years at Warren High School in Downey, he was the captain and quarterback of the football team and president of the student council. From those experiences, he said, “I learned I really enjoy being part of a team. When things don’t go my way, I try to stay positive and continued to move things forward. People see me as someone who is transparent. What you see is what you get.”
That attitude is among the reasons the Palos Verdes Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously selected him from among six finalists to be the new principal of Palos Verdes High School.
But there were more tangible reasons for his selection, as well.
“Dr. Tyner demonstrated he had great experience with systems and structures. He is a very relational person. Those things set him apart from the other candidates,” said PVPUSD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Matt Horvath.
After graduating from Warren High and earning a history degree from Cal State University, Long Beach, Tyner returned to his high school alma mater to teach social studies and coach football.
Then he earned a doctorate in education at the University of Southern California, which led to him becoming a vice principal at his high school Warren High and then assistant principal at Downey High School.
Downey students called the approachable administrator Mr. T. He earned their respect by instituting a program that doubled the number of students enrolled in AP classes while improving their passage rates. Another program he implemented was ‘Think with Ink,” which taught critical thinking through writing. “Think with Ink” led to higher student scores in both English and history, according to a Western Association of Schools report.
“We’re pretty bummed he’s leaving,” said Downey Principal Tom Houts. “He is very well liked. Dr. Tyner is student centered, very collaborative and outgoing. He’s an administrator you’ll see around campus all the time. He’s one that doesn’t really stay in his office much.”
“I’m a big relationship person. It’s important for me to get things done, have conversations with people and make decisions collaboratively,” Tyner said.
One of his priorities. he said is to address the stress levels of the PV High’s high achieving students. “Our counselors are dedicated to making sure our students’ mental health is where it should be. I think that’s a challenge of any high school principal today,” he said.
Tyner sees and commonality between Palos Verdes and his hometown of Downey. “Both share a small town feel. When I say small town, it’s not a knock or a negative, but it’s where everyone knows each other and is willing to rally around the schools. At the end of the day, I think kids in both communities want to be successful. That’s our role, after all, to make sure they are successful.”
Tyner has three young children and fills his weekends with kids activities. He is an avid USC football fan and a World War II history buff. “I really enjoy learning about the past and applying that to everyday life. You can’t ignore the past,” he said.
Shortly after after being named principal, Tyner sought out former PV High principal Chris Bowles to learn more about the school’s history. “I really enjoyed hearing about the school’s history because again, I’m a history person. It was so informative to spend time with him and hear his insights.”
“I’m excited to be here. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to continue PVHS’s excellence in the arts, academics, and activities. I can’t wait until the first day of school. Come on by and see me” he said.
by Judy Rae