Stephanie Carlstrom has been hired to lead H. Allen Hight Elementary School next year, bringing to the job a wide array of experience that includes a decade in private industry and lengthy service as an elementary, middle and high school educator.
Carlstrom also knows firsthand about running an International Baccalaureate program – Hight is an IB candidate school – because she comes to Natomas Unified from an IB campus in Elk Grove. IB is a rigorous academic program emphasizing lifelong learning, community service and cultural understanding.
“I’m excited about the IB program and I’m excited to be part of the Natomas district as a whole,” Carlstrom said.
“I have an open-door policy to everyone,” she added. “I’m transparent, and I really want to do what’s best for kids.”
Staff, students and families can get to know Carlstrom and get their questions answered at "Meet and Greet" sessions to be announced in coming weeks.
Superintendent Chris Evans said that Carlstrom’s mix of public, private and IB experience fits perfectly with Natomas Unified’s Board-approved Vision that all students graduate as college and career ready, productive, responsible and engaged global citizens.
“She has real-world business experience and she’s a former teacher and a strong leader of public schools, so she’s an ideal principal to prepare students for both college and career,” Evans said.
As an educator, Carlstrom has served as both a teacher and an administrator – principal, vice principal and director – in public schools. Her teaching resume includes winning the “Sallie Mae Teacher of the Year” Award and service as a court-appointed child advocate for abused and neglected youth.
Carlstrom’s school leadership experience includes managing student discipline, developing a Peer Mediation Program, coordinating a School Site Council, and leading a summer school program.
Carlstrom said her administrative service at all three levels of K12 education gives her valuable perspective. “I think I have the full picture now to pull all the pieces together,” she said of her hiring as Hight’s principal.
Carlstrom, who will begin her new job as Hight's principal July 1, said her leadership style emphasizes consistency, innovation, safety, caring, and listening. “I think teamwork is the key in education,” she said.