School leaders share their goals for 2010

The following are answers to questions about goals for the upcoming year submitted by the Del Mar Times to Del Mar Union School District Superintendent Sharon McClain, Torrey Pines High School Principal Brett Killeen, Canyon Crest Academy Principal Brian Köhn and San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Ken Noah.


Dr. Sharon McClain, superintendent, Del Mar Union School District

Del Mar Times: What do you believe are the most important issues facing your school and organization in the coming year?

McClain:
The most important issues in Del Mar are maintaining high student achievement, making up the budget deficit caused by state budget cuts, and relocating the district office, maintenance and operations, and preschool from the current property, which has been sold.

DM Times: Which accomplishment(s) are you most proud of achieving in 2009?

McClain: Our students are very high achievers. Two of our schools, Sage Canyon Elementary and Ocean Air Elementary, were the two highest achieving schools in the county. Our district wide API is 960. Additionally, we balanced our $40 million budget within $15,000 because of the generosity of parents who raised $1.3 million to preserve our enrichment programs in art, music, PE, science and technology.

DM Times: What is the No. 1 goal you would like to achieve in 2010? (Personal and professional)

McClain: Personal: Have fun with my husband, kids and nine grandchildren.

Professional: Continue to develop an enthusiastic and dynamic team of teachers, administration and parents to support and promote high student achievement.

DM Times: What is the most difficult part of your job and the most rewarding?

McClain: The most rewarding part of my job is working with the kids and staff. I was in kindergarten classes today, watching 5-year-olds writing sentences and asking amazing questions! They are our hope for a bright future!

The most difficult part of the job is working with an ever-changing state budget. Schools need a consistent source of funding that doesn’t depend on the rise and fall of the state’s economy. Either education is important or it’s not. The public should put its money where it’s most needed. We spend about much more money on prisons than we do on schools!


Brett Killeen, principal, Torrey Pines High School

DM Times: What do you believe are the most important issues facing your school and organization in the coming year?

Killeen: The greatest issue facing public education is our desire to meet or exceed our students’ needs despite serious cuts to funding resources that help make that happen.

DM Times: Which accomplishment(s) are you most proud of achieving in 2009?

Killeen: Our last graduating class did amazing things and this class of students is no different. I’m constantly amazed at how talented and caring our students are within and beyond the classroom. Particularly impressive is the fact that we have an API score of 861; an 82 percent pass rate on the 2,407 AP tests our students took, and 47 National Merit Semi-Finalists. The students also won more titles on the field of play than any other school in the area, and they have engaged and entertained us with their award-winning performances in band, orchestra, choir, art and theater.

DM Times: Is there anything about the work you or your organization do that people don’t know about that you wish they did?

Killeen: I hope our parents know what a joy it is for us to teach and be a part of the lives of their kids that they send to school each day. Being around our teens, I take comfort in our future.

DM Times: What is the number one goal you would like to achieve in 2010, personal and professional?

Killeen: My number one goal, professionally, is to foster an environment here at TPHS where every student can thrive and be well-rounded. Working to aggressively close our achievement gaps is important, too. Personally, it’s all about balance. I strive to be the best educator possible, without sacrificing what’s important to me as a husband and dad, too.

DM Times: What is the most difficult part of your job and the most rewarding?

Killeen: I don’t think of my job as difficult, because I don’t really see it as a “job.” I chose this pathway in life, and it’s vibrant and real. This makes it rewarding, because people are unique and every day is different.

Brian Köhn, principal, Canyon Crest Academy

DM Times: What do you believe are the most important issues facing your school and organization in the coming year?

Köhn: No doubt the most important issue facing our school is the budget crisis. Determining how to adjust what we do to accommodate shrinking public education dollars is a daunting task. On the positive side we are extremely fortunate to have the financial support of the CCA Parent Foundation which has prevented many program reductions.

DM Times: Which accomplishment(s) are you most proud of achieving in 2009?

Köhn: I am the most proud of the work our students have done. They have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement via test scores and college acceptances. Athletically, there were more championships earned last year then ever before, and their artistic accomplishments continue to define the very best in arts education in the state of California.

DM Times: Is there anything about the work you or your school/organization do that people don’t know about that you wish they did?

Köhn: High school in 2010 is by no means the same as it was even 20 years ago let alone as many of us remember it in the ’70s and ’80s. Stated directly, it is much more academically challenging. To best support the 2010 student we need to start with a more stabilized public education funding system.

DM Times: What is the #1 goal you would like to achieve in 2010? (Personal and professional)

Köhn: The main goal for CCA this year, as reflected in our District Strategic Plan, centers around academic achievement. Simply put we must identify what we want students to learn and why, effective tools for measuring what they have learned, and techniques for using this assessment data to improve instruction.

DM Times: What is the most difficult part of your job and the most rewarding?

Köhn: Not so much difficult but challenging is determining what an early 21st century education should look like and how do we move the school in that direction. Definitely the most rewarding experience for me is when CCA students, both past and present, tell me how much they appreciate what CCA has done for them and how much they love the teachers here. It is an absolute joy for me to work with such truly outstanding students and a staff that is so incredibly talented and compassionate.


Ken Noah, superintendent, San Dieguito Union High School District

DM Times: What do you believe are the most important issues facing your school and organization in the coming year?

Noah: – Fiscal issues relative to state budget and school funding

- Elevating student performance to even high levels as we prepare today’s students to meet the challenges of an ever increasingly globally competitive world

- Providing for the long term facilities needs of the district

DM Times: Which accomplishment(s) are you most proud of achieving in 2009?

Noah: – Completion of a district strategic plan that provides a set of detailed initiatives aimed at providing a world class education for all students

- Management of the severe economic crisis that confronted the school district in a fiscally prudent manner

- The top standing of the school district in San Diego County with respect to student achievement

DM Times: Is there anything about the work you or your school/organization do that people don’t know about that you wish they did?

Noah: A greater appreciation for the daily and ongoing commitment to the success of individual students

DM Times: What is the #1 goal you would like to achieve in 2010? (Personal and professional)

Noah: Professional: Greater levels of success in student achievement

Personal: Having a memorable wedding this September for my daughter, Marissa

DM Times: What is the most difficult part of your job and the most rewarding?


Noah:
Most difficult: Nothing “easy” ever gets to my office. If it were easily handled, it would have been so at another level. Having the wisdom, foresight and patience to make good decisions in difficult situations.

Most rewarding: Seeing the observable impact of my leadership behaviors in shaping the culture of the district.

— Reported by Lee Schoenbart

Related posts:

  1. High school class of 2013 ready to go
  2. SDUSD public high school dropout rates decline
  3. Noah prepares to take district to ‘next level’
  4. Philanthropy spotlight: Torrey Pines High School Foundation
  5. Lunching 101: Hip chefs share their secrets for packing cool school lunches

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=6494

Posted by on Jan 28, 2010. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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