Kubena named Pleasanton Primary Principal
At the last school board meeting on July 17, the Pleasanton ISD Board of Trustees selected Donna Kubena as the new Pleasanton Primary School Principal. She fills the position left by former Pleasanton Primary Principal Jackie Russell, who retired this summer.
A native of Marion, Texas, Kubena will start officially on August 1.
Prior to being hired at Pleasanton ISD, Kubena served as the Director of Special Education at La Vernia ISD for the last three years.
After graduating from Marion High School, Kubena earned her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. Later, when the college became Texas State University, Kubena returned and earned her Master’s degree in Educational Administration.
She spent a total of 12 years teaching, with five of those spent at Marion ISD and seven at La Vernia ISD. Kubena was then employed in an administrative role for the next seven years, serving as Assistant Principal in La Vernia before moving on to the Director of Special Education.
Kubena especially loves serving in the education field because of the ability to make a difference.
“I love seeing the children grow and develop into successful men and women,” said Kubena.
So many great and exciting things are going on in the district and Kubena is looking forward to helping the district grow.
Kubena noted how the Primary campus will be undergoing a change this coming school year, with the closing of the Leming campus. Starting with the 2012-13 school year, the Primary campus will house pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. Second grade will be moving to the Pleasanton Elementary School on Main Street.
“I’m looking forward to having the pre-kindergarten here. It is a great thing and it helps to bring about that necessary connection,” said Kubena.
She and husband Steven live in Seguin and have five children: Rachel, Steven Jr., Joshua, Colton and Allison. They range in age from 23 to 8.
“I’m so excited to be a part of this district and to get to know it better. I want to be a part of the process and help the children grow in their education,” Kubena said.
Pleasanton ISD Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Clinesmith shared some information on the hiring process involved.
“This spring we have had over 40 applicants for the principal positions in Pleasanton. Many of these were focused on secondary, some only on elementary, some mixed. For the Primary Principal review, we narrowed the applicants to an interview schedule of twelve applicants – interviewed in two separate groupings. Each brought rich experiences and impressive backgrounds with primary age children,” said Clinesmith.
“Mrs. Kubena impressed the interview committee with her demeanor, her clarity about a vision and practical support of early childhood and early structured learning experiences. As a current Director of Special Education, she shared a clear understanding of developmental phases and the unique gifts and learning levels of children. In the areas addressed in our interviews – organization, instructional leadership, student social skills/behavior management, management/ fiscal acuity, enrichment study (art/music/physical education/CTE), parent and community outreach, and communication (internal and external) – Mrs. Kubena scored the highest on our rubric by all interviewers,” stated Clinesmith.
She continued, “Additionally, she completed an ‘in box’ activity comprised of several simulations that face a principal every day – with 30 minutes to respond (in writing) to questions involving data analysis, crisis situations, special populations, communication, etc. In this area, as well,
Ms. Kubena demonstrated a practical, clear understanding of the leadership and knowledge needed to be responsive and decisive. Finally, when asked to present her version of what ‘her average day’ would look like, Kubena presented the profile most closely aligned to that which the campus teachers had developed as their desired leadership style.”
She ended by stating,
“While I served only as an observer in the interviews, I was struck by the collaborative tone in all of Ms. Kubena’s remarks.
She presented herself as calm, listening, able to process, and make informed decisions. She is approachable, kind, and giving in her openness to celebrate the qualities of others. Her references offered the same perspective, saying “Ms. Kubena is very down to earth – knowledgeable, but very approachable and humble”. Finally…..Ms. Kubena showed a love of children and a passion for supporting their individual growth. This, of course, is at the heart of all we want in our leaders.”