Jason Kline: The King of Kennedy


Merideth Langton

Kline discussing the meaning of the spirit stick at a pep assembly.

Rowan Hesford, Writer

Students may never know who principal Jason Kline truly is if they don’t get the chance to sit down with him. Daily, he interacts with students and staff, his cheesy yet passionate demeanor making school less of a drag. His job requires time and dedication from dusk to dawn. With a wife and three kids at home, it can be challenging for Kline to make the time for both them and 1,800 students.

“I can’t say I’m off the clock, you’re expected to be available all the time,” Kline said. “I have to work with everything and try to be knowledgeable about as many things as possible.”

The time-consuming priorities can be a challenge for him, but he doesn’t let them get in the way of what keeps him in education. 

“This is gonna sound cheesy, but it’s you guys,” Kline said.

Since Kline became Kennedy’s principal nine years ago he’s been dedicated to making an impact on students and their futures. By adding a variety of electives, Kline hopes to give students classes that hold relevance to their careers in the long term. As well as guide them on the right path to success.

“My goal is to help kids figure out what it is that they want to do with their lives,” Kline said. “The worst thing about going through high school is not knowing what you’re doing or working towards. I think we should do valuable things that build community and have fun, and make high school at least somewhat enjoyable for as many people as possible.”

Kline values connecting and community building. Pep assemblies are one way schools can do that; however, the pandemic put them on pause until April 14, 2022. 

Kline taking a pie to the face during the 2022 pep assembly. (Merideth Langton)

“The best thing that has happened in the last 10 years is that pep assembly we just had,” Kline said. “That was like ‘we’re finally back to being together,’ and that to me is just so important.”

While crowds may have been smaller at the pep assembly and other events, Kennedy is still taking steps to build back the cougar spirit after the derecho and months of online classes.

The pandemic made it difficult for Kline to work directly with students. In the past, he was available to chat with students one on one to get their futures on the right track but many required additional resources he wasn’t able to provide virtually. 

“I still strive to work with students who struggle. The most difficult thing is feeling like we could’ve done more for every kid,” Kline said.

Kline looks forward to continuing the transition back to normal. While it may have been difficult for some, Kennedy was able to bounce back over the 2021-2022 school year. Kline has high hopes for what the future holds.

“We are great, we’re not perfect, we’ve got a lot of things we need to do better,” Kline said. “We are really good because we have amazing teachers, we have awesome students and we have great families. I can’t complain because I’ve got everything a person could ever want in a school here.”