HomeCommunity NewsKleinrock Receives Prestigious Golden Apple Award

Kleinrock Receives Prestigious Golden Apple Award

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
Loren Kleinrock, who worked in several different capacities during 43 years at the San Marino Unified School District, recently received the Golden Apple Award.

He spent more than four decades educating the young people of San Marino, and now, Loren Kleinrock has received one of the highest honors in the trade when he was given the Golden Apple Award during a recent ceremony at Santa Anita Park.
The Golden Apple is sponsored by the Association of California School Administrators and the ceremony was hosted by the Northwest San Gabriel Valley Administrators Association, which encompasses 10 local school districts. The award is presented to those who have made significant contributions to their school districts. Nam Jack, a two-term school board member and longtime volunteer, received the award last year.
“It may sound clichéd, but I am truly honored to have received the Golden Apple Award,” Kleinrock said. “I’ve had the honor and fun to present previous winners from our district, but I never expected to be named a recipient. The list of those who have earned this award before me includes a lot of names that have contributed so much to our schools and community, truly incredible people. I know how hard many of them worked on behalf of so many others.”
Kleinrock’s legacy pales to none of those who preceded him.
After graduating from UCLA, Kleinrock came to the San Marino Unified School District in 1975 as a government and history teacher. He was named assistant principal at San Marino High School in 1986 and served until 1992, when he went to Huntington Middle School for a two-year stint as principal. He returned to SMHS in 1995 and served as principal until the summer of 2011, when he was named superintendent upon Gary Woods accepting a similar position at the Beverly Hills Unified School District. Kleinrock stayed on until Alex Cherniss was hired as superintendent in 2014. Kleinrock spent the next two years “flat retired,” in his words, until Cherniss invited him back as a consultant in 2016 to implement the state’s Next Generation Science Standards and the framework for a new state history and social studies curriculum.

Photo courtesy Rafael Najarian
Kleinrock delivered the commencement speech at San Marino High School’s 2019 graduation ceremony.

In the spring of 2017, Eric Bergmann, San Marino High School’s assistant principal of activities, athletics and discipline, resigned to become principal at Thousand Oaks High School, and Kleinrock was asked to fill in with four months left in the school year. Kleinrock was still serving as a consultant when Cherniss left to become the superintendent of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District in August 2018. Once again, the call for Kleinrock went to the bullpen and he spent another nine months as the SMUSD’s superintendent until Jeff Wilson took over on July 1, 2019.

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
The SMUSD placed this plaque near the principal’s office at San Marino High School upon Kleinrock’s “first” retirement in 2014.

“I have been blessed to work with a lot of truly wonderful people — parents, district personnel and community members,” Kleinrock added. “To use a football analogy, which won’t surprise those of you who know me, for many years I was in the ‘quarterback’ role. But as any successful quarterback knows, one needs the ‘linemen’ to do the heavy lifting necessary to make things happen successfully. I have loved my time working in San Marino, and I feel very blessed to have been around in one capacity or another for 43 working years. I would not have traded my job here for any other job in any other place. The friends, former students, parents and acquaintances I’ve met over those years, with many of whom I am still in contact, have been and continue to be a true blessing in my life.”
Kleinrock and his wife, Sandy — also a retired educator — have two adult sons and two grandchildren. Kleinrock has kept his many ties to the community and is currently serving as president of the San Marino City Club.
“Loren has spent more than 40 years in San Marino and is very much a member of this community,” said school board President C. Joseph Chang. “He has given so much to our children and our schools, it is an honor to be able to recognize him for his contributions.”


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