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Lena Bundtzen has developed strategies to bring and keep high-quality teachers and staff to her district.
Bundtzen ensures staff feel valued and heard
June 13, 2022
ACSA Administrators of the Year graphic.
Name: Lena Bundtzen Award: Personnel/Human Resources Administrator of the Year Title: Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, Campbell Union School District ACSA highlights: Member since 2002; Co-chair, Region 8 Awards Committee; Co-planned Special Education/Student Services Symposium
The strongest leaders are those who can empathize with the people they serve. In her long career in education, Lena Bundtzen has been a teacher as well as an administrator, has worked in special education as well as general, and has learned the value and importance of every position, at every level. She brings these qualities to her current role as assistant superintendent of Human Resources at Campbell Union School District, where she leads with empathy and respect for students and staff.
Since taking on the position in 2017, Bundtzen has worked continually to analyze, revise and improve systems and processes, and to challenge her colleagues to do the same. Her work with negotiating teams builds consensus through a focus on student learning and achievement, and a shared goal for everyone at the table. She believes that strong recruitment and retention policies have a direct impact on student success, and has worked to develop strategies and practices that consistently bring and keep high-quality teachers and staff to the district. This includes building relationships with substitute teachers and encouraging ongoing staff development.
With the advent of COVID-19, Bundtzen maintained her strong commitment to transparent communication and integrity as Campbell USD struggled to adjust to changing protocols and safety information. She led efforts in tracking and tracing measures and ensured staff felt confident to return to full-time in-person instruction in March 2021. Materials she developed became a model for other districts, and her dedication to open and honest communication has built trust throughout all levels of employment.
“Whether it be in a negotiations setting, developing a new leader or having a hard conversation with an employee, Lena Bundtzen excels at making those around her feel supported, valued and heard,” said Campbell USD Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “Lena’s leadership and partnership with the district executive leadership team have supported the district in maneuvering through many challenges, with a continued commitment to learning, improving and thriving.”
What’s your favorite quote on leadership? “Fight for things you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Work hard. Stay humble. Never forget to pay it forward.
What’s your best strategy for work/life balance? Still working on this!
What are some life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator? Be fair, be kind, be firm and most importantly be consistent! Staff may not always like what you do or say — delivery is everything for them to trust you and your decisions.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I have taught elementary, middle and high school as a general and special education teacher!
What made you want to become a school administrator? To have a larger impact on students and the adults who serve them.
Lena Bundtzen has developed strategies to bring and keep high-quality teachers and staff to her district.