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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
June 28, 2021
Torie F. Gibson, Ed.D., will transition from Superintendent of Penn Valley Union Elementary School District to Superintendent of Amador County Unified School District beginning July 1, 2021.
It is with great sadness that ACSA announces the passing of a beloved founding member of Region 16, Robert E. Kladifko, Ph.D., on April 8, 2021.
Kladifko was a lifelong ACSA Emeritus member. He served as Region 16’s member on the Legislative Action Committee from 1991-93 and was then selected as ACSA’s very first Vice President for Legislative Action from 1993-95. He also served as a Leadership Assembly delegate from 1992-93. Kladifko was Region 16’s President from 1978-1979.
A lifelong public educator, Kladifko began his educator career as a classroom teacher at Mazeppa High School in Mazeppa, Minn., and continued for almost five decades as he relocated to California. To escape the cold winters, he along with his buddies hitchhiked all the way west as resources were tight.
Kladifko continued his career with LAUSD holding administrative positions at a variety of schools and finally retiring as principal from Reseda High School. At Reseda HS, Kladifko established a student-run unity council, focused on theme-based academies of law enforcement, multilingual teaching, and a Naval Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
Following his retirement from LAUSD, Kladifko continued his career as professor of education at California State University, Northridge, teaching upper division education courses and also courses in the administrative and doctoral programs. He retired as Professor Emeritus.
Kladifko was a true “renaissance man.” He was a catechism instructor and lector at Holy Angels Parish, Reserve Deputy Sheriff, 4th Knight in the Knights of Columbus, Optimist Club, CIF Board Member, and School Board Member of the Arcadia Unified School District. With a passion and love of animals and horses, Kladifko created his own “gentleman’s ranch” in Arcadia where he raised horses, sheep, chickens, ducks, tortoises, goats, cats and dogs, to name a few. Kladifko provided his ranch to the hippotherapy program, Move A Child Higher, Inc. for children with special needs.
He was an incredibly committed and dedicated member and historian of Region 16 through the end. Kladifko rarely missed a Region 16 meeting. During one of the recent horrendous fires in LA where the freeways were closed, Kladifko managed to drive through side and local streets from Arcadia to the San Fernando Valley to attend the board meeting and was so early, he was sitting at the bar waiting for the rest of the board members. Kladifko leaves a legacy of gracious leadership, and Region 16 will truly miss its “Pioneer Leader.”
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