Kitty Klein wears many hats in her life. Wife, mother, trusted friend, director of guidance for a large school district and counselor to current students and graduates. She doesn’t have much down time, but she knows that comes with each one of her jobs.
Ms. Klein works nonstop all day at Huntington High School and after she heads home for the evening and fulfills her family responsibilities, she usually turns her computer back on late at night for another two or three hours of work.
Appointed district director of guidance and testing in August 2010, Ms. Klein has since assumed responsibility for home tutoring and alternative education programs.
The district veteran has an ambitious agenda for the 2016/17 school year and she’s busy making sure it is successfully implemented. Ms. Klein works closely each day with her team of school counselors at the high school and J. Taylor Finley Middle School. The group is dedicated to helping students any way each member can.
Huntington Guidance Director Kitty Klein,
“My focus will be to continue to increase student and parent awareness of college and career readiness standards,” Ms. Klein said. “We will do this not only by implementing our grade level events throughout the year, but also by following up with families during scheduled individual meetings. Additionally, we will be hosting college and career exploration programs in both the middle school and high school; our first kick-off event being ‘College Application Week’, a national incentive that aims to provide every graduating high school senior the opportunity to apply to college. This event is scheduled for the week of October 17 and the guidance department has been working hard to devise activities that will address our diverse population.”
President of the Suffolk Directors of Guidance
Ms. Klein earned an undergraduate degree in psychology at Long Island University in May 1993 and obtained a master’s degree in education in January 1995 at St. John's University, where she also received a professional diploma in educational administration and supervision in June 1997. President of the Suffolk Directors of Guidance, she also serves as a member of Hofstra University’s Advisory Board.
The new school year will be filled with opportunities for students. “We will be hosting career cafés where guest speakers representing various occupations will come and talk about their experiences,” Ms. Klein said. “Presenters will also highlight connections between courses taken in school and personal qualities needed to prepare students for employment.”
The veteran educator is squarely focused on Huntington’s students and educating them and their parents on what she feels they need to know to make good decisions.
“Another big initiative that we will be working on is the State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB), a new seal that is available to the Class of 2017 and beyond,” Ms. Klein said. “I will be working very closely with Judy Moroff, director of world languages and bilingual education/English as a new language to establish a committee to review potential candidates who are seeking to obtain the SSB. I am looking forward to issuing this new seal next June to qualified graduates of the Class of 2017. These programs and others are very exciting and coupled with the changes in the New York State Education Department, there are always challenges headed our way. Regardless of the challenges, it’s important that changes implemented are communicated with all involved constituents and the support we provide is felt by the community.”
She’s All-In for Huntington Students
Ms. Klein came to Huntington from the Garden City School District where she was director of guidance. Prior to that she worked as a school counselor (later promoted to department director) at the Academy of Environmental Science in Manhattan, assistant principal of personnel and guidance at Norman Thomas High School in Manhattan, director of guidance for the Locust Valley School District and director of guidance and counseling for the Manhasset School District.
Over the years, Ms. Klein has also been employed at the college level. She worked as an adjunct professor of sociology and chairperson of college counseling and student services at Briarcliffe College. She was also an adjunct professor at Manhattan Community College.
When it comes to Huntington’s students, Ms. Klein is all-in. Last summer she was on the phone and working on her computer until 1 a.m. on a Sunday evening, assisting a new graduate who was interested in applying to Stony Brook University at the last minute after initially deciding to attend an upstate school.
Never Too Much Information
“Our focus is to help students better understand how their strengths can be channeled into ways that are advantageous,” Ms. Klein said. “Whether it’s choosing a pathway for graduation in the arts, science, math, language or career and technical education, helping students to identify future careers or assisting students to obtain high achieving diplomas, we want families to know that we are here to support our future generation in a multitude of ways.”
Ms. Klein feels no one ever has too much information when it comes to making a decision so she works hard to share as much as she can with students and their parents.
“We urge students, parents and community residents to please check our website frequently so that everyone is current with what’s happening in the guidance department in the Huntington community and in our schools,” Ms. Klein said.
(This story was edited by Katherine DeGennaro, a Huntington High School sophomore who is interning in the district’s Office of Public Information.)