By: Lorraine Bernal
Benicia High School welcomes Ms. Brianna Kleinschmidt as the new principal!
Ms. Kleinschmidt is known for her ample involvement in this school; she was a vice principal for the past two years, an English teacher for three years and oversaw schoolwide projects such as Echo Academy and Yearbook Advisory. Ms. Kleinschmidt wanted to fill in the voids left by previous short-term principals, as some only served about three years. Although she enjoyed working with her co-vice principals, she realized someone needed to take one for the team and “provide stability of a principal who’s going to be here for many years.” Ms. Kleinschmidt accepted the responsibility of partaking in the stable foundation for the school, which was long awaited.
Many students think very highly of Ms. Kleinschmidt as the new head of our school. Caitlin Aquino (9) gave her opinion, “Ms. Kleinschmidt is a great advisor. She’s really educated and helps students with what they’re engaging in on campus.” Eliza Partika (12) agrees as well. She observed, “Her credentials are definitely great. She’s very nice, very open, willing to collaborate with students. Her ability to have that student faculty connection strengthens Benicia High’s community, and makes her a fantastic principal.”
When Ms. Kleinschmidt was a student of our beloved high school, it never crossed her mind that she would one day become principal. She originally wanted to be a lawyer though she found it didn’t align with her goals after attending a year of law school. She sympathizes with the uncertainty that many students face when trying to decide what to do after high school. Ms. Kleinschmidt thought back, “I tried several different things. I think it’s hard to figure out what you want to do with your life. It’s a hard thing to know at sixteen, eighteen or even twenty, twenty-two. So it took me a little while.”
On the other hand, as a student Ms. Kleinschmidt set the stepping stones for her post-high school life. She willingly put herself out there to make the most of her BHS experience, thus enabling herself to connect more with her peers, teachers, and school staff. She watched games, played soccer for four years, volleyball and track for a year, and joined clubs. Panther Pride is fairly recent but she would’ve joined had it existed when she was a student because it enlivens school spirit and is an “easy one to join”. To this day, Ms. Kleinschmidt shows up to as many school events as possible.
Ms. Kleinschmidt deeply encourages BHS students to buy into what the school has to offer. “Whether that’s a club, performing arts, sports, athletics, yearbook, journalism.. Whatever [your] interest might be or even if [you’re] not sure, just try something out,” Ms. Kleinschmidt suggested. Because this way, students become more comfortable since they will share experiences with fellow students.
Our newly appointed principal acknowledges that stress is evident in her role, but she is more concerned with setting the bar high. “I really want Benicia High School to continue to improve and grow. So I set really high expectations for myself, and I’m going to work hard to reach them.” As she noted, “Benicia High School belongs to the students.” Ms. Kleinschmidt along with the administration only want the best for everyone. If ever you have any questions, ideas, or any of the sort, Ms. Kleinschmidt recommends you set an appointment or send her an email.