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Folsom principals prepare to tackle the school year

By: Olivia Cornell, Telegraph Staff Writer
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By Olivia Cornell Telegraph staff writer As the school year kicks off, local principals are sharpening their pencils for a successful year. Kathryn Allaman and John Dixon share their hopes for the school year and tell us a little about themselves. FOLSOM HIGH SCHOOL The principal of Folsom High School, Kathryn Allaman, is an inspired educator and, she said, loves everything about the school. She hopes Folsom can excel as they did last year, which was a great year for the school. This will be her fourth year as principal of Folsom and seventh year in administration. Tell us a little about yourself, for example, your family and background. I was born in Sacramento. I have my bachelor degree in mathematics, my minor in chemistry, and my masters in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on mathematics education. My thesis was on fractals and chaos theories. I am married; my husband teaches art at Center High. My daughter Megan is 25. She graduated from Folsom High in 2004. Her and my son-in-law are both civil engineers and graduated from Cal Poly. What is something someone might be surprised to learn about you? Sometimes people are surprised to learn that I was the Camellia Queen in Sacramento in 1978. That was a lot of fun. I planted camellias and promoted them. What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you? My mom was born in a coal mining camp in Montana. My grandfather came over to Ellis Island in 1907. My grandfathers on both sides were gold miners in Grass Valley. My sister and I were the first to ever go to college. Why did you decide to become a principal? I loved teaching and I was encouraged by Steve Wehr, the then principal at Center High, where I taught for 15 years. What do you like about your job? I enjoy working with the students, staff and parents. I really appreciate the partnership the school has with the city of Folsom. There are so many rewards to working and living in the same town. I like seeing students at Starbucks or at the grocery store. There’s nothing I don’t like, except when there are budget cuts and we have to cut staff. What are your hopes for this school year? We’re launching the new GPS, Global Program Studies. I hope to inspire students to reach beyond the educational borders of the United States and into international education. That’s our vision for this year. What do you do for fun? I travel. My favorite places are Maui, Hawaii, and Paris, France. In Maui, I like to snorkel and go on long swims. In Paris, I like the museums and the food and walking around. What is your favorite movie and why? "Meet Joe Black," hands down. It’s with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. It’s amazing. What are your favorite three songs? “It’s a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by Iz and “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. Is there anything else you would like to add? I am so proud to be the principal of Folsom High because of the students and staff. We have a stellar academic decathlon team, of course the state championship football team, the award-winning music program and it’s always a great day to be a bulldog. VISTA DEL LAGO Dr. John Dixon, of Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom, is the original principal of the new school. As the principal, he said he enjoys being able to make a difference in the lives of his students. Tell us a little about yourself, for example, your family and background. I’m married to a wonderful wife, Shannon. I have two kids, Delaney and Declan Steven. I coach soccer; I do soccer in my spare time. I grew up in Portland and went to Oregon State University. I’ve spent much of my life in Oregon. I did my doctoral work at University of the Pacific in Stockton. What is something someone might be surprised to learn about you? They might be surprised to know I played baseball and won a Pac Ten Championship at OSU. What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you? I thought it was really cool to see my daughter scale the climbing wall at family fit on her first try. I thought that was interesting. Why did you decide to become a principal? I think it was just kind of a natural progression. I was a teacher and it evolved into becoming a principal. I had the opportunity when Vista opened in 2007. What do you like about your job? I like that I get to interact with students and adults and I like the opportunity to facilitate change. I get to set the tone. What are your hopes for this school year? I hope that the students here make to most of every opportunity they get. And I hope the seniors tackle world armed with what they learned from Vista. What do you do for fun? I spend time with my wife and if I’m not doing that, I will be coaching my 5-year-old’s soccer team. What is your favorite movie and why? Probably “Good Will Hunting” because I like that Will overcomes a lot of diversity and falls in love and lives happily ever after. What are your favorite songs? I like a song called “Why,” by a rapper called Jada Kiss. I like all Michael Jackson’s songs and I like Jimi Hendrix.