The San Dieguito Union High School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent Rick Schmitt recently announced that Brett Killeen, assistant superintendent of human relations in the Vista Unified School District, is returning to the San Dieguito Union High School District to serve as principal of Canyon Crest Academy (CCA). Killeen takes over for Karl Mueller, who was recently selected to lead the Coronado Unified School District as superintendent.
Killeen, who is in his 25th year in education, 17 of which have been in leadership, previously served as the principal of Torrey Pines High School from 2006 to 2013. Prior to this experience, he was a high school principal, vice principal, high school English teacher, middle school language arts and reading teacher, BTSA support provider, and coach in the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
Killeen and his family have well-established roots in the community. In addition to living in the area and leading Torrey Pines, his wife, Claire, teaches elementary school in Encinitas, and his sons attended Oak Crest Middle School and San
Dieguito High School Academy (SDHSA). His eldest just finished his freshman year at Point Loma Nazarene University, where he is majoring in music and business, and his other son is a junior at SDHSA. Their daughter is a 7th grader at Diegueno Middle School.
Asked about the transition from his current position in Vista Unified to the CCA Principalship, Killeen said:
"I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to learn and lead in the Vista Unified School District -- it's truly a fantastic team doing great work for kids every day. It is difficult to leave such a great position where my contribution to kids is through the hard work of our committed adults.
"The opportunity to return to SDUHSD to lead an amazing school like CCA, however, is too great to pass up, and I will once again be able to make a more direct and personal contribution to students at the site level as part of a district with a rich history of success. The high school principalship -- particularly at a special school like CCA -- provides an educational leader the unique opportunity to support and work with all constituencies (students, classified staff, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members) on a daily basis."
With respect to CCA specifically, Killeen said, "I'm familiar with the history and culture of CCA, having worked with Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Kohn, and I've been a friend and colleague of Mr. Mueller's for 10 years. I've been following the successes of CCA's creative and inspiring students, teachers, and staff, and I look forward to joining this special team and becoming a part of the fabric that makes the school and district so special."
Killeen will finish out the year in his present position in the Vista Unified School District, and he will start in his new position on July 1, 2016.