Pending Board approval on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, PAUSD is pleased to announce Mr. Brent Kline as the Principal of Palo Alto High School and Ms. Wendy Stratton as the Principal of Gunn High School effective July 1, 2020.
Brent Kline has over 15 years of experience as a high school principal in both California and Washington State. He is currently the principal of Santa Cruz High School. Prior to being a principal, he was a high school assistant principal, music teacher, and band and orchestra director. He holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Hayward and a master’s degree from Western Washington University. Kline was awarded the Western Association of Secondary Administrators Outstanding Achievement Award (2008), Western Scholastic Conference Distinguished Principal Award (2008, 2012), and the Washington State High School Principal of the Year (2013). He was also a finalist in the 2014 MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program for his significant contributions to student achievement at Mariner High School in Washington.
Kline has an unwavering focus on professional development, particularly in aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices, and diligence in engaging the community and parents to support students holistically.
After living in Washington State for 25 years, Kline and his wife Danielle returned to California in 2016. Being a high school principal is Kline’s passion and he is thrilled to be joining the Palo Alto community.
Wendy Stratton is currently the Assistant Principal of Palo Alto High School. She came to PAUSD with five years of experience as an Assistant Principal at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. Prior to becoming an administrator, she was an Athletic Director, teacher leader, and teacher at Redwood High School in Larkspur, CA and a middle school physical education teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Mills College in Oakland and a master’s degree from San Francisco State University. She is currently in a Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne which she expects to complete in 2020. Stratton is a National Board Certified Teacher and received the Golden Bell Teacher of the Year award in 2014.
Stratton’s core value for equity drives her leadership approach. She is a team-player with instructional expertise, motivated to participate in an inclusive community where students and adults are committed to continuous improvement. In her view, all students learn at high levels when teachers, administrators, and the staff surrounding them behave purposefully to create a high trust culture that embraces innovation and excellence. Wendy understands the importance of including multiple perspectives in decision making processes.
Stratton has a son who is a current senior at Palo Alto High School. She is delighted to join the highly talented staff and students at Gunn High and looks forward to establishing purposeful partnerships with all stakeholders.
Superintendent Don Austin stated, “We are fortunate to find two exceptional and proven leaders to take the reins of our high schools. The competition for the positions was fierce, as we expected for the principalships of two highly-regarded institutions. Wendy Stratton continues our effort to promote qualified and passionate internal candidates. Her dedication to equity work, attention to detail, competitive personal nature, and desire to invest deeply in PAUSD are attributes we value highly. Brent Kline is an accomplished veteran high school principal with a complete understanding of complex organizations. Brent is recognized as one of the top high school principals in the nation and will immediately hit the ground running.”
We look forward to welcoming these two leaders to our district and know they will add incredible value to the school sites and to our management team.