The 2022-2023 school year signifies the continuation of Barons’ academic journeys. For new Assistant Principal of Guidance Rachel Kloppenburg, her new position on the administration team at Fountain Valley High School represents the continuation of her Baron for Life journey after graduating from the school.
As the Assistant Principal of Guidance, Kloppenburg’s main focus is to assist students with their scheduling needs.
“I work really closely with our guidance specialists,” Kloppenburg said. “As a guidance team, we work to get students in the classes they want and need so that they’re on whatever path they want after high school.”
While a student at FVHS, Kloppenburg involved herself in many school activities including the water polo and swim teams. Furthermore, she wrote for Baron Banner and served as the sports editor for two years.
“I love Baron Banner … It helped me get more connected to campus,” Kloppenburg said. “I loved talking to all the coaches, and when I first went to the University of Southern California, my original major was journalism.”
Once she graduated from FVHS, Kloppenburg went to USC and majored in both math and English where she began to develop an interest in teaching after volunteering to teach students.
“I loved helping students with math, so I became a math teacher,” Kloppenburg said. “I got my master’s at Vanguard [University], and I became a math teacher.”
She began her teaching career at a private school for a year before moving to Costa Mesa High School to teach math from all levels including Algebra 1 to AP Calculus BC. While teaching at CMHS, she became involved with technology as the school’s technology coach.
“[This] led me, with the pandemic, to becoming a teacher on special assignment (TOSA),” Kloppenburg said. “[I] worked at the district level with all of our teachers helping them with technology [and] helped Newport-Mesa [Unified School District] build their virtual school.”
However, Kloppenburg began to miss working with students since her job as a TOSA only allowed her to interact with teachers at over 26 school sites which resulted in her desire to consider becoming an administrator.
“I just wanted to be on the ground again and have that school culture and campus around me … just working with kids again, and it’s such a fun time [with] FVHS being such a fun place to be,” Kloppenburg said.
Beginning her first year as an administrator, Kloppenburg is excited to begin building relationships with staff and students as well as continuing to immerse herself into Baron culture, which she describes as celebratory and welcoming. She credits other staff members for creating an amazing experience returning to FVHS.
“I have two amazing teams. Our guidance team is phenomenal … and our administration team is amazing,” Kloppenburg said. “Our principal Paul Lopez is in his second year [and] is a great mentor. Our other assistant principals have been so welcoming. Our teachers and students are great and this is a great place to be.”
Her goals for this year include focusing on growing FVHS by ensuring that course offerings meet students’ desires and future goals. Kloppenburg plans to focus on one key action: listening.
“[My] first goal is just to listen and learn,” Kloppenburg said. “Listen to our students and listen to our teachers [to] figure out what programs, courses and scheduling fit with the vision and goals of our campus.”
For this school year, Kloppenburg shares her advice to students in their high school years.
“Just embrace your time here,” Kloppenburg said. “As a student, you’re always thinking ahead [and] excited for college, but it’s a special time. Once you leave FVHS, there’s really no other time when you’re going to see your friends every single day. It’s a unique time and FVHS is an amazing place … embrace it while you’re here and don’t just be trying to rush ahead.”