Success and Service: Downey grad up for national principal award

local@modbee.comAugust 17, 2013 

— Former Modesto resident Brent Kline is among the five finalists in the National Association of Secondary School Principals' 2014 Principal of the Year competition. (View site here.)

A 1981 Downey High grad, Kline attended Modesto Junior College and was active in local band programs. He was drum major for the Valley Fever Drum and Bugle Corps. His parents are Kenneth and Julianne Kline of Modesto.

Kline has been principal of Mariner High School in Everett, Wash., since 2003 and was selected from a field of 38 statewide nominees. Over the decade, the number of Mariner students testing at standard has risen from 28 percent to 75 percent. He was named Washington State High School principal of the year in 2013.

The national competition began with entrants — middle- and high-school principals — representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense's education activity branch.

The winner, announced in September, will receive a $5,000 grant, while the other four finalists will get $1,500 each. Kline's competitors hail from Hawaii, California (San Jose), Mississippi, Colorado and Massachusetts.

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Cindy Marks, a longtime Modesto City Schools board of education member, has been named Elected Woman of the Year by California Women Lead, a nonpartisan association that promotes and trains women political leaders.

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The Yosemite Conservancy is contributing $1.8 million to 12 Youth in Yosemite programs so that young children learn about nature through the Junior Ranger program, underserved high school students experience the wilderness for the first time, and college interns work side by side with park staff to repair trails and preserve habitat.

The programs involve youth ages 7 to the early 20s and often involve underserved populations. The Junior Ranger program, for children 7 to 13 years old, is one of the projects being funded.

This fun and interactive program helps develop an appreciation for protecting natural resources by teaching kids about park wildlife, habitat and history. Another program, Adventure Risk Challenge, improves literacy, leadership and wilderness skills for underserved California high school youth as part of a 40-day immersion in Yosemite's backcountry.

Participants in California Conservation Corps, Student Conservation Association and Youth Conservation Corps programs spend their summers restoring the park's trails, campgrounds and habitat, and learning leadership skills.

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