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Kathie Nielsen Appointed Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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The Tustin Unified School District has announced today that Chief Academic Officer Kathie Nielsen has been appointed as Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services. 

“Kathie is an outstanding educational leader with exceptional skills in academic oversight, communication, curriculum development and the implementation of new educational technologies,” TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin said.  “Kathie has a strong record of building relationships in the community and plays an integral role in our efforts to prepare all students to thrive now and in the future,” he added. 

Nielsen has worked in public education for 35 years – the past 20 years in TUSD.   During her career in Tustin Unified, she has served as chief academic officer for 10 years, director of elementary education, principal of Red Hill and Marjorie Veeh elementary schools, coordinator of literacy training for grades K-3 and teacher on special assignment in reading.  Prior to TUSD, she was an elementary classroom teacher in the Irvine Unified School District for 15 years.

Nielsen currently oversees the K-12 instructional program for TUSD, which has achieved academic growth for nine consecutive years in all subgroups and seen an increase in the high school graduation rate of 98 percent.    She supervises 30 schools, as well as the English Learners, Kindergarten Readiness and Adult Education programs; organizes curriculum and professional development for 900 teachers and administrators; and provides oversight of the District’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).  She also launched a successful transition to 21st century learning, including instructional transformations in the classroom, technology integration and transition to the Common Core State Standards.   

Additionally, Nielsen has successfully pursued grant opportunities for Tustin Unified, including California Partnership grants for two high schools, Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) grants for three middle schools, after-school education and safety grants for nine schools, and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation science grant for 18 elementary schools.  She also has maintained strong relationships with community organizations such as the Tustin Public Schools Foundation, The Irvine Company, Assistance League of Tustin, Orange County Rescue Mission and Philharmonic Society of Orange County. 

Nielsen has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Pepperdine University.

Among her accomplishments, Nielsen has been named TUSD Administrator of the Year in curriculum and instruction four times – 2017, 2014, 2011 and 2010 – and represented the District in the Orange County Administrators of the Year Awards Program, sponsored by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), Region 17.   As principal of Red Hill School, she received the Irvine Company’s Principal of Excellence Award for outstanding leadership, creativity and commitment to the students and school community.

“I am so proud and honored to be named deputy superintendent and work with our amazing teachers, administrators and staff in Tustin Unified, “Nielsen said. 

Category: Member News

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