School Board Hires New Superintendent

  • Katherine ‘Katie’ Kleier

    Katherine ‘Katie’ Kleier

Katherine ‘Katie’ Kleier Sets Focus On High School Curriculum

By Patric Hedlund

On July 1 the director of instruction for Kern High School District will become the new superintendent for El Tejon Unified School District.

Katherine Kleier answered the telephone with a sunny, “Katie!” on Wednesday, June 9 and launched into a fast-paced discussion about why she decided to take on the leadership role for ETUSD.

“In a larger district we make the decisions for 36,000 students and can’t look at the specific needs of 10 students; in a small district, when we consider what programs we are going to offer and the curriculum we are to teach, we can consider the specific student body,” Kleier said.

“You can work closely with highly qualified educators to make improvements—whether it is to accelerate or remediate— to meet student needs. That is important to the overall experience that individual students have in school. Your choices have more immediate impact,” she said.

Kleier will tour the district on Wednesday, June 16. More than 1,212 students attend its five schools: Frazier Park elementary, El Tejon middle school, Frazier Mountain High School, a Continuation High School and the Pine Mountain Learning Center (a charter school).

“School is out, so we won’t be able to meet many teachers or students that day,” she said, but she will be introduced to the community at the public ETUSD Board of Trustees meeting that same evening (7 p.m. at the FMHS library, on Falcon Way off of Peace Valley Road in Lebec).

Kleier is a 30-year veteran educator who taught High School English and Reading before becoming an administrator. The Kern High School District consists of 18 comprehensive high schools. Kleier coordinates instructional materials for the entire district, oversees Kern High’s guidance program and coordinates with numerous department chairs.

“We have reviewed numerous candidates and done an exhaustive search in recent months,” said El Tejon School Board President Anita Anderson. “We believe we have found a person whose instructional strengths and management background will relate well to our students, staff and community.”

Interim Superintendent Dr. Danny Whetton stepped in when Superintendent Shelly Mason became ill in May 2009. Mason, formerly principal of El Tejon School, had taken on the job following the abrupt departure of John Wight on May 31, 2006, who left under a cloud of misconduct allegations.

This is part of the June 11, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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