VISTA — At the start of 2018, the Vista Unified School District has a new superintendent taking the reins. Replacing Devin Vodicka is Linda Kimble, who began serving her new appointment on Jan. 3.
Kimble brings 30 years’ experience in the field of public education. She began as a bilingual teacher for grades one through eight. Over the years, she moved up the ranks becoming a bilingual coordinator, vice principal, principal, assistant superintendent and ultimately superintendent.
Before taking on her position in Vista, she served as the Anaheim Elementary School District superintendent.
In addition to Anaheim, Kimble has completed her combined 15 years as a superintendent in Monrovia, Keppel and Acton-Agua Dulce Unified school districts.
For Kimble, the Vista position was intriguing on many levels. She described the district as having a fantastic interaction of innovation.
“It seems that there has been a real interest in making sure that every child gets a unique education, gets personalized learning and gets the education their parents are dreaming for them,” she said. “I wanted to become part of it.”
As Kimble settles into her new role in Vista, she said the first thing she will do is find out what the community, parents, staff and students need and want. She avoids stepping into her position with a big list of things to do. Instead, she listens to the needs of everyone and determines the next steps to take to help enhance the district and the schools.
“I do have experience in a number of areas that I think might be helpful to Vista such as developing comprehensive school facility programs,” she said. “I think maybe we have some room to grow in making our schools even better in terms of construction in school, growth and development.”
Another area that Kimble called “budding and beginning to grow” is the dual immersion program. It’s a concept where a child learns in two languages during their school experience with the goal of being bilingually fluent on graduation day.
“So, if they (students) come as a Spanish speaker, they’re learning English, or if they come as an English learner, they’re learning Spanish at school,” Kimble said. “All of those children walk away with the added benefits of two languages.”
Kimble brings skill in starting dual immersion in schools. She implemented it in four districts and about 10 different school sites.
“I’m really excited about this program,” she said, adding that the topic is in discussions right now.
Kimble is also looking forward to helping grow the arts, particularly for the younger students. Skills in fine arts, music, dance and drama are noted to transcend into reasoning in areas such as math and logic. While the school board is interested in seeing the arts developed, Kimble will be researching the overall needs in this area.
Kimble said she is also happy to be working with a unified district where so much is already going so well.
Her goals are improving on areas that may be experiencing a challenge and encouraging the areas that are doing well.
Kimble wants everyone to know that she brings experience and an open-door policy. She wants to connect with people and ensure the democratic process is there so all views can be expressed.
“Parents can reach me through the superintendent’s office anytime if they have a question, concern, idea or complaint,” she said, adding that they can also email or call her. “I’m definitely here for the parents.”