LHISD Trustees name Kline principal at Santa Rita Elementary
By MIKE EDDLEMAN
Liberty Hill ISD named its newest principal Tuesday to lead its newest campus.
Kristine Kline will be the first principal at Santa Rita Elementary, set to open next Fall, after approval of the LHISD Board of Trustees.
Superintendent Steve Snell said Kline met all of the qualifications he was seeking in a new principal.
“(Kristy Kline) rose to the top just based on all of her quality skills and experience, her success as a principal in many districts and we felt she had the ability of accomplishing the task of opening up a new campus, which is a heavy lift,” he said. “But also the task of learning our culture, bringing teachers into a high-performance elementary culture, relating to the parents, and we just thought it was an overall home run hire.”
Snell was pleased with the overwhelming interest in the position as the district went through the hiring process.
“There was a lot of interest in this job,” he said. “We had current sitting principals apply from the Dallas area, the San Antonio area, all over Central Texas, then we had lots of assistant principals applying as well.”
The district chose 10 to vet for the position, and the committee interviewed five before selecting Kline.
Kline has been an elementary principal for 14 years, spending the last four as Principal at Leander ISD’s Laura Welch Bush Elementary.
She received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting from Tarleton State University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Texas State University.
Prior to becoming a principal, she taught preschool, second and fourth grades.
Kline and her husband have five children and three grandchildren.
The task of opening a new campus comes with some different duties than most principals face, but Snell believes Kline is up to the challenge.
“There’s a little bit of heavy lifting there because obviously the new principal will be involved in the construction process from now on out, but it is just a matter of working with the district to fill up a campus,” he said. “We’re going to have four great campuses.”
The expectation is that the district will need about 30 new classroom teachers to staff the new campus or fill in on other campuses for teachers that move to the new Santa Rita Elementary, said Snell.
New hires and resignations
The Board approved five new hires including Kline at Tuesday’s meeting. The new hires are Brianna Grier (Teacher) Bill Burden, Mark Kizer (Teacher) Junior High, Heather Makare (Teacher) Junior High, and Vicky Penny, who transitioned to Diagnostician.
The board also accepted the resignations of Liberty Hill ISD CFO Jennifer Hanna, and Director of Special Education Compliance Elyse Liebermann.
The transportation department will be getting a new special needs bus at a cost of $106,924. The new bus will join the eight special needs buses already in the district. It is the first one purchased since 2012.