Mr. Jason Kurtenbach

Bella Escobar, Staff Member

Many people know how it feels to try something new, many are fearful and nervous of the uncertainty, but our new principal, Mr. Kurtenbach, definitely conquers this. Principal Kurtenbach walks us through his feelings on being at a new school and what he feels most responsible for, while also giving us a view at his interests and hobbies.

Kurtenbach gives a “download of his career” and briefs us on his experience working at other schools, including Santa Monica, Torrence, and other Los Angeles area schools.

“How did you know you were a good fit for San Marino?”

Kurtenbach responds, “The kids and the parents are really interested in being the best version of themselves all the time…It’s really cool how we can have things like The Huntington Breakfast, where parents are working very hard, and every student who comes to volunteer also works just as hard…And they do the same thing when they’re in class or playing a sport.  It’s amazing.”    Kurtenbach describes how this quality is something he has always gravitated towards, and how the sincerity and kindness of the community is what brought him to San Marino. 

When asked what makes him most proud and happiest of the school, he responds,”how well everyone has been willing to give each other grace and support.”  The constant reassurance that the san marino community has been able to provide for one another is something that Kurtenbach describes as “amazing to see.”

Kurtenbach also explains feeling most responsible for the school’s “ability of the kids to have a full educational experience that isn’t completely focused on academics.”  He goes on to state how he is extremely concerned about student wellness, and not just the usual expectations many schools pressure onto their students to be perfect. Principal Kurtenbach emphasizes his dedication to ensuring that students are never overwhelmed by the work and that they are happy to be at school, instead of stressed.  He wants to create a positive environment for all. “Everyday and every moment is precious and you’ve got to use it the best way you can,” Principal Kurtenbach said.  

Speaking of using every moment as best as you can, Principal Kurtenbach also talks about his personal life, and what his interests are outside of school. He has a Great Dane, Kindred, that he spends a lot of his time now that work is virtual. He is even participating in the ASB Barkschelor Spirit event. Kurtenbach also voices his interest for being an avid runner and enjoying fitness competitions as well as traveling with friends. 

As this interview ends Principal Kurtenbach insists on adding one final message which is,”I’m really proud of our kids, I’m so proud of us. I don’t think that any school district is doing anything close to what we’re doing. I don’t think anybody anywhere has a model of ‘how to do school perfectly at a distance’ but I think we’re getting really close. I’m here for anybody who needs me. I want to be of service to everybody, especially our kids.” Kurtenbach wishes for the community to know that he is extremely proud of the work that has been done for the school and that whenever in a time of need, he will always be available to anyone.