School Board Candidate Interview: Kenneth Knollenberg

The Temple City Voice will be publishing a series of candidates’ interviews for the November 2009 School Board election. This interview is the first of three we have planned.

Temple City native Kenneth Knollenberg is challenging two incumbents for a seat on the local School Board.

Written by LESLIE WU / Published October 9, 2009

With a degree in civil engineering, Kenneth Knollenberg identifies two words with his campaign: strategic planning.

Knollenberg, a Temple City native, has held positions where he exercised the importance of strategic planning- essentially, settling long-term goals, conducting and studying a series of economic studies, and quality control.

If elected to the school board, he hopes to “do strategic planning on a yearly basis to identify two or three major projects, start working on detailed plans to solve those problems and to actually have indentified what [is] a major problem.”

Having been a regular attendee of school board meetings, Knollenberg is no newcomer to school affairs, and still sees areas that can be improved.

Among these areas, he is concerned with the lack of detailed planning and the vague materials presented to the school board and administration. He feels that the board should be able to review past statistics to measure success and failure.

Additionally, Knollenberg emphasizes that there should be tangible results that in turn identify problems and help develop proposed solutions, which can then be implemented and gauged in terms of success.

“The board doesn’t have very much experience in doing detailed planning [at] a corporate level and getting feedback on the important things that are happening,” he says.

Knollenberg pointed to the two recent school board meetings, where references were made to the improved API score of 925 at Emperor elementary school. “No one asked how they got it,” Knollenberg criticizes, “[and] at the same time, [the] business office is talking like they have to make more cuts.”

More importantly he feels the school board should be trying to determine success as well as failure, and would hate to see cuts among the staff if the office is unaware of who contributed to the increased scores.

Running among two incumbents, Knollenberg cites the need for specificity in strategic planning. “If you don’t tell somebody what you want them to do and you don’t set defined, specific goals, then the chances of them doing it are not very good,” he says. “Either you get specifics of you don’t.”

Knollenberg has been endorsed by the Temple City Education Association, the local teachers’ union.

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