The Student News Site of Pinole Valley High School

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The Student News Site of Pinole Valley High School

Spartan Ink

The Student News Site of Pinole Valley High School

Spartan Ink


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Kibby Speaks–“We Want to Build Community”

Kleiman, Kibby

As most of the student body is aware, our beloved principal, Mr. Kibby Kleiman is being reassigned next school year as a teacher. Now for the unfortunate news, the decision has been made and there is little to be done in terms of reversing it. We can go and share our stories about having Kibby as our principal and what we fear will happen if we aren’t given a Principal as good as Kibby. Lucky enough for me, I was given the opportunity to Interview Mr. Kibby after finding out about the Board decision. 


When I emailed Kibby and asked to Interview him to hopefully use his responses to persuade the board to change their mind and rethink the decision, he responded in less than a minute.


I met with Kibby and asked him how long he had been the principal of our school. He said he’s been here since 2013. That’s 11 years as a principal. Kibby has seen more families come through the school than most principals. That’s also on top of the 24 years spent in the district as a teacher and VP. 


With the questions I asked Kibby, I got amazing answers. Kibby spoke on how some of the achievements that he’s accomplished in his time here has been building a community between the city, school, the parents, businesses and the police department. Kibby said that he is most proud of the citizenship displayed by the students. “The people who hold open the door for somebody else, people who are polite if they bump into somebody, people who are willing to share when someone doesn’t have enough.” 


He went on to say that when he sees those acts of kindness, it makes him really happy and that its life skills to him. Kibby takes pride in the way students can come into the office and ask and be polite. He says that “You don’t have to come in here, kicking and screaming, and demand for your classes to be changed. If you come in a rational and polite way, you will get what you want.” He went on to say that it makes him really happy when kids display acts of kindness towards one another.


I got to ask Kibby about how being the principal of Pinole Valley changed his mindset outside of the school setting. His response was that he liked the idea that he would have the last say and “the ultimate authority” to help set the direction of the school. He said being in the principal position was more responsibility than he knew, but it gave him a sense of what he said and did had meaning. 


Kibby said that to him, it was important to support the programs and clubs at the school when asked because it “feeds on itself.” Kibby went on to say that when students are happy, it makes it easier for him to run the school the way it matters. 


When asked about his most memorable times at Pinole Valley, he spoke about moving into the portables and how they made the best of it: “When we moved into the portables that was significant. We had to adjust to the fact we didn’t have the regular things. We didn’t have an auditorium, theater, and a lot of big spaces. It was a question of how can we turn this lesser building into something awesome.” Kibby said that he didn’t want others to go around the school upset and saying “this sucks that we’re in this,” so murals were put up around the campus. 


Kibby said that another thing that made him proud was the student accomplishments. He spoke about the poets, band, color guard, and athletics. While he did mention the competitions the students here have participated in, he mentioned that it wasn’t just the competitions, and that it was also the clubs students create and build. He said that “kids being able to say they have somewhere they belong is what makes [him] happy.”


My final question to Kibby before the interview ended was; “Do you believe that you have accomplished the goals you’ve set for the school?” His answer? Not all of them. Kibby spoke to me about how he wishes he could have been able to do more in terms of academics. “I (Kibby) want to be able to say that every student […] has something that says we’ve completed to fidelity [The highschool curriculum]. I fear that’s not the case.” He said that he can’t blame this fact on the overfull classes or being understaffed. 


Kibby told me directly that he doesn’t want me to graduate without being exposed to everything I can learn here. This shows me that Kibby not only cares about each and everyone of the students here at Pinole, but will do what he can to make sure that we are being given the best education he can give us with the resources he has available. 


Knowing that this article won’t be out before the school board makes their decision, I urge everyone who reads to email anyone from the district to try and persuade them into keeping Kibby in the Principal position here at PV. Mr Kibby is an important and cherished figure of a lot of individuals’ education. He has provided answers for those who were not receiving them, been the helping hand for students struggling and advocated for those who have felt their voice is not enough.

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