VISTA — It is a homecoming for the newest leader at Rancho Buena Vista High School.
Joseph Clevenger will begin his tenure July 1 for the 2019-20 school year after concluding his duties at Sullivan Middle School in Bonsall, where he oversees all operations. He was also the assistant principal of Elsinore High School.
Clevenger takes over for Charles Shindler, who spent the past seven years at Rancho Buena Vista and 35 years in education.
“It is neat that I get to come back and work at the high school I graduated from,” he said.
Clevenger also taught math and science during his 17-year career. But his move back to Vista, he said, was a combination of coming home and a career opportunity.
In addition, working with high school students, Clevenger said, is what he enjoys most as it provide more authentic and meaningful interactions.
“Joseph’s experience in the classroom and at a site leadership level is a great fit for Rancho Buena Vista,” said Vista Unified Superintendent Dr. Linda Kimble. “He will continue the amazing work happening at Rancho and will be able to look at things through a new lens.”
At Rancho Buena Vista, though, he said he is walking into a great situation, although there is a learning curve of adjusting to the day-to-day climate and culture. Clevenger said he will take a holistic approach and find ways to build on the school’s strengths, while fostering some of those programs in need of more attention.
One of the school’s featured programs is Career Technical Education, which is aligned with Palomar College.
Clevenger said a priority is to ensure the students are competitive upon graduation so they are ready for college life.
“If you can send a student off more competitive to college or with a certificate, it puts them ahead of a lot of people,” he explained. “That’s one of our charges here. To make sure our students walk out of here competitive to go into the real world.”
Additionally, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming is exploding throughout the region. Clevenger said another goal is to establish more partnerships with businesses and stakeholders that would benefit the students.
“That’s one area I’m really excited about,” he added. “Having grown up in this community, I’m looking forward to helping, and strengthening more, the relationships with local business and community partners.”
He graduated from Cal State University San Marcos with a degree in liberal studies and received a Master of Science in educational leadership from Pepperdine University.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.