Brent Kline is state Principal of the Year

By Marci Larsen, Superintendent | Mar 13, 2013

I had an opportunity to do one of my most favorite things recently: surprise one of our staff members with the news that he has been selected to receive a prestigious honor.

I heard the news about a week earlier when I got a phone call from the Association of Washington School Principals to tell me that Brent Kline, the principal at Mariner High School, was selected to be the High School Principal of the Year for the State of Washington.

I knew he was in line to receive the honor, as he was named Principal of the Year for the Wesco Conference last November, and was very proud to hear that he had won.

News of the honor was to remain secret until the following week, I was told, which meant that I had some time to come up with a way to surprise him with the announcement.

I had been invited to attend the Mariner staff meeting for a completely unrelated reason, so I figured that would be the perfect place to tell him – in front of his entire staff.

I showed everybody the article about Brent in the current issue of Your Schools, which should have arrived in your mailboxes within the last week or so, and then announced there is an update to the story: Brent had been selected to receive the statewide honor and is now in contention to be named High School Principal of the Year for the entire country.

I love surprises, and this one turned out better than most. Brent was obviously touched by the news and his staff gave him a rousing show of appreciation.

This is the second time that I’ve had the honor of announcing that one of our school principals was named to be a state Principal of the Year. Cheryl Boze, the principal of Odyssey Elementary, was named the state’s Elementary Principal of the Year in 2007.

In both cases, while it was the principal who received the recognition, the honor really is a reflection of the tremendous work being done by the entire staff at the school.

I don’t have enough room in this column to detail all of the accomplishments that led to Brent’s honor; you can read about them in the Your Schools article.

But, I can say that we are very proud of the progress that is being made by the staff and students at the school.

During the last couple of years, Mariner has ranked near the top among schools with similar demographics in the state reading, writing, math and science tests. The school also has been recognized by being named both a School of Distinction and the winner of two Washington Achievement Awards.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without a supportive community.

Public support for schools not only provides students with a firm foundation upon which they can improve their academic skills, it also helps attract the best and brightest teachers, administrators and other staff members to our schools.

People like Brent Kline.

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