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A “Principled” Leader Retires

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A school would not be successful without a strong leader.

For Yuma High School, Principal Faith Klostreich has served as our leading lady for seven years and has done so with grace, passion and integrity.

However, all good things come to end. After 30 years in the Yuma Union High School District Klostreich is retiring effective at the end of the 2016-17 school year.

“I wouldn’t want it to end anywhere else,” Klostreich said.

When looking for a suitable principal for a school, one looks at the similar word: principle. And Klostreich is what could be defined as someone with strong principles.

“Mrs. Klostreich is a tough, strong leader with a huge heart, but wants everyone around her, students and teachers, to be successful,” geography teacher Roxanne Harte said.

Heading back to 2010, Klostreich was as an assistant principal at Yuma High, and immediately fell in love with the student body as a whole. Having been in the district for about 23 years at that time, she knew that this particular school was the one she wouldn’t mind ending her career with.

“As soon as I met the students, they melted my heart and made me want to stay here,” Klostreich said. “I can tell you, I promise you, I have been at those four schools and this is by far the best student body, the most polite, the most caring, the most giving kids who are willing to do anything.”

As many already know, Klostreich’s main focus is, and always has been, the students. The students keep her day going, and the students inspire her to keep going. Every answer given by Klostreich is given in regards to her sentiment towards the teenagers wandering her campus. So, her goals as a principal have been in the right place.

Staff and students can relate Klostreich like a “tough mother” that is needed in the crucial times of high school and life.

“She says, ‘knucklehead’ and she teases kids about getting back on track and that it’s all done, not because she wants to punish students, but because she wants to push students to be the best that they can be and because of the potential that she sees in them, and kids need that,” said Harte, who has worked with Klostreich throughout her time at Yuma High.

Interaction is key for Klostreich. Getting through the school day seems like a breeze when she is able to see the progress students and teachers make cohesively throughout the year.

“I get energy from students, and just knowing that, trusting that we are doing good things for kids,” Klostreich said. “So, when I am locked in my office doing office work or catching up on emails or doing phone calls or if I can take a break and get out with kids than that’s what makes my day.”

Klosteich has faced numerous challenges in her career, including student enthusiasm and school perception. Klostreich expressed her want for students to read more and get into the grind of being a high school student and reaching for graduation.

A saddening topic for her would be the perception of our school to others. No one can deny the multiple bad-mouthed remarks made by the public and town surrounding Yuma High, but Klostreich knows exactly what this school is, and it isn’t just “old.”

“Our school is clean. Our school is a beautiful place to be here. Just because we weren’t the newest school built… sometimes makes people think that we are less than, just because we are on an older part of town, but that’s not the case,” Klostreich said. “Like I said, I’ve been everywhere and the best kids come here. It doesn’t matter where you live.”

This year, not only are seniors graduating from high school and heading into higher education and the work force, but Klostreich will also leave along with the Class of 2017 towards retirement. And although heartbreaking, Klostreich has her reasons.

Ranging from her husband retiring, a need for travel, and her parents being ill awaiting for her miles away, after 30 years of service in the District, no one can blame Klostreich for her putting to rest the amazing work she has done.

“I’m so glad I got to end my career here at Yuma High and I’m not going to go get another job,” Klostreich said.  “The only job I’m ever going to have, the last job I’m ever going to have.”

 

 

 

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