Woman Arrested with High School Principal Faces Several Drug Charges

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SACRAMENTO -

Thomas "Woody" Price led a prestigious Branson High School in Marin County for the past 8 years, until this week.

His resignation came just days after his arrest on Friday at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Rancho Cordova.

Investigators say they found cocaine, meth and heroin inside his hotel room.

Also found in the room? An unconscious 21-year-old named Brittany Hall.

Hall was also arrested and formally charged Tuesday with several drug charges including possessing controlled substances for sale and unlawful possession of controlled substances.

Police nabbed the two after Hall's boyfriend called 911. He reportedly told officers he was worried about her.

As for Price, he resigned from Branson High School.

He will be back in court November 24. Hall will be back in court October 14.

The school plans to appoint an interim head within 60 days.

Board of Trustees chair David Golden sent this letter to parents on Tuesday:

Dear Branson Community,

It has been a difficult day for our faculty, administrators, students, and families, but I am grateful for the strength of our entire school community. I am confident that our greatest strength – the bonds between our faculty and students – will help us in the coming weeks and months as we work to heal the wounds that so many of us feel today. 

The news of Woody Price’s arrest is so bizarre as to defy logical explanation. And I have none. I can only say that the first time any Branson employee or trustee knew of his arrest was when the local media descended on the campus at about noon on Monday. His resignation was tendered and accepted before anyone could speak with him about the incident. 

As some of you know, we cancelled admission tours and our regularly-scheduled Parents Association meeting for Tuesday. All of us felt that the priority should be our own students, and all of our time should be theirs. Admission tours resume on Wednesday, and we will shortly be scheduling a meeting for parents where we can address your concerns as well. 

We are holding an assembly at the start of the day to talk with the students about Woody Price’s resignation, assure them that the school will continue to thrive, and let them know about support that is available on campus throughout the day and the weeks ahead. In their assembly they will be told the following: 

First, security and safety is our main concern. Woody is not welcome on the campus, and has been informed of that. We are hiring extra support in this area to protect students, faculty, and administration from unwanted attention from strangers, from media or from former employees. 

Second, our current assistant heads, a trio of capable leaders, will take over day-to-day management of the school in the short term, reporting directly to the Board and the Executive Committee. We are blessed with a “deep bench” and great breadth of skills from Phil Gutierrez, Ned Pinger, and Karen Whitaker. They have the Board’s complete support in this difficult time, and I hope they will have yours as well. 

Third, the Board will appoint an interim head within sixty days, and will announce a plan for a permanent Head Search at that time. As many of you know, that process is a lengthy exercise, and there will be ample time to collect suggestions and thoughts from our community on potential candidates. Branson is a world-class high school, and the Board is confident that it will secure a world-class Head. 

Finally, a personal note: in the past day, I have been deluged with emails and texts from many members of our community. Some complimentary and some critical. All worthy of a response. Given the pressing circumstances, I have been unable to respond to most of them. I truly value all input, and I hope to speak with many of you in the weeks and months ahead.