Burns named associate principal at Johnston High School

Kyla BurnsJOHNSTON, Ia. (March 8, 2023) — Kyla Burns, a former JHS science teacher and instructional coach, has been selected as the permanent Associate Principal at Johnston High School, pending approval by the school board. 

Her selection comes after a competitive hiring process for the position. Burns has served as the high school’s interim Student Support Facilitator since January when Dr. Nate Zittergruen was named the district’s human resources director.

Burns will join Principal Ryan Woods, Associate Principal Randy Klein and a yet-to-be-named new assistant principal recently approved by the school board as the 2023-24 leadership team of Johnston High School.

The Associate Principal position includes creating a positive and safe school environment, building relationships with at-risk students, and connecting with guardians to increase student success and progress toward graduation. Recent projects include a pilot student engagement policy to increase teacher capacity in the Capturing Kids’ Hearts discipline ladder, and the creation and coding of courses in Infinite Campus.

“We are so excited to welcome Kyla as a permanent part of our school’s leadership team,” Woods said. “With her nearly two decades of experience at Johnston High School, she has developed not just the experience for the position, but also a rapport and respect from the staff, students and community.”

Burns has been a part of the Johnston Community School District for 18 years. She started her career teaching biology, zoology, and AP environmental science. For the last two years, Burns has been an instructional coach at Johnston High School, supporting teachers and administrators in instruction, curriculum and assessment. She hopes to combine her experience as a teacher and coach in her new leadership role.

“The Associate Principal position excites me because it allows me to combine my passion and knowledge of instruction and school systems with more direct interaction with our students,” she said. “This role has the opportunity to impact all aspects and individuals within our school community. I am ready to become more of a key player in the future of our building and I feel I possess the passion, knowledge, and skills to make a positive impact.”

Burns received her bachelor’s degree in biology at Iowa State University and her master’s degree in teaching at Morningside University. She is expected to receive her administrator endorsement from Viterbo University in May. She is active in both state and national science education initiatives and was a 2021 Iowa finalist for the National Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  

The Johnston Board of Education is expected to take a vote on Burns’ selection at its next board meeting, April 10. Burns would transition from her interim role to her permanent one on July 1, at the start of the new fiscal year.