A familiar figure from the not-so-distant past — B.J. Kline, who served on the Davis school board from 2001 through 2005 — filed candidacy papers on Monday, entering a pool of candidates seeking to be appointed to a vacant school board seat.
Unlike the seven other candidates for the appointment, Kline is not planning to run for election in November.
“I would like to offer my experience, knowledge and leadership to help our school district,” Kline wrote in his candidate application. “Due to my previous experience on the board, I am able to step in to the position quickly, and I understand the principles of governance. I am able to set goals, provide direction and develop policies and procedures which benefit the students, teachers and staff directly.
“In addition, it is imperative that the board regain the trust of the community,” Kline wrote. “I firmly believe in transparent communications and adherence to board policies and procedures.”
Kline moved to Davis in the 1980s, his children attended the public schools, and he was an active parent in the school district during the 1990s. He was PTA president at Pioneer Elementary, and also served for about eight years on the Pioneer Site Council.
He also served on the committee that helped redraw attendance boundaries in South Davis when Montgomery Elementary School opened, and was the treasurer for the Montgomery PTA. He also participated in the Holmes Junior High PTA.
Kline ran for the school board in 2001 and won a seat. It was a time when the board was overseeing a lot of new school construction and implementation of technology that local voters had authorized with a facilities bond in May 2000, as well as expanding several academic programs.
In his candidacy papers, Kline ticked off some of the school board’s accomplishments between 2001 and 2005: “established the Da Vinci program (then a high school program, now Da Vinci Charter Academy); established the Montessori program (at Birch Lane Elementary); expanded the Spanish Immersion program to Montgomery Elementary; expanded ag programs at Davis High School; instituted 10th-grade honors English option at DHS; built the Instructional Performing Arts Building (including the Brunelle Performance Hall) at DHS; built and opened Montgomery Elementary; built Harper Junior High.”
Kline also was part of the school board majority that approved a 2005 real estate deal involving the school district’s vacant 8-acre property on Grande Avenue — a deal that was rescinded by a school board with a different lineup of trustees the following year.
During Kline’s term as a trustee, the board also authorized the purchase of district-owned laptop computers for all full-time teachers. Trustees also approved wiring in all classrooms for Internet connectivity — at the time, Kline argued in favor of wireless technology (which was just entering widespread use at the time) but supported the board’s majority decision to lay cables instead.
As a trustee, Kline also was a frequent advocate for career technical education programs. In his candidacy application this week, he wrote, “We have a diverse student population. As a board member, my role is to provide opportunities to all students and prepare them for success, whether college-bound or entering directly into the workforce.”
He also noted, “I am a blue-collar manager. … I am accomplished in the area of managing people, managing processes and resolving conflict.”
Kline sought a second term in 2005, and he got more votes (9,626) than he had received in 2001 (4,709). But he was edged out by first-time candidates Tim Taylor, Gina Daleiden and Sheila Allen, all of whom are still serving.
After 2005, Kline moved to Southern California, where he lived for several years. However, he missed Davis and returned to this community last year.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at email@example.com or 530-747-8055.