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.

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