Brianna Kleinschmidt, Changing from How to Wow

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices.



In this episode, Brianna Kleinschmidt, Principal of Benicia High School, discusses the power of changing from how to wow. This approach has defined her work at BHS as she has managed to integrate technology and other impactful resources without letting funding get in the way. She describes the power of servant leadership, community partnerships and school system collaboration to help her students become more college and career ready. We discuss the power of helping students with self-discovery before doing college and career matching. Listen in to also hear our conversation about college brand bias and how it can be a barrier to students finding colleges that make the most sense for them.



About Brianna Kleinschmidt


Brianna Kleinschmidt is the principal at Benicia High School, where she previously served as an English Language Arts teacher, yearbook adviser, Vice Principal, and student. Brianna graduated from Benicia High School in 1997 and went on to earn her BA in English Literature and Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara, her MA in English Literature at San Francisco State, and attended McGeorge School of Law for one year before deciding to take a different professional path.


She has been a member of the Instructional Leadership Corps to promote teacher led professional development and is currently focusing efforts on college and career readiness with emphasis on bringing more Career Technical Education pathways to her campus. Brianna lives and works in Benicia, where she also raises her seven-year-old daughter.



About Benicia High School


Benicia High School is a public high school serving approximately 1,700 students, grades nine through twelve. It is part of the Benicia Unified School District. It is located in Benicia, California, in the East Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area. The school’s Mission Statement is both simple and powerful: INSPIRE LEARNING. To achieve this mission, the school executes on the following Vision Statement:


Students will:

  • Think critically

  • Collaborate

  • Adapt: Use a variety of tools to solve problems

  • Seek out new ideas and opportunities

  • Access and analyze information

  • Have curiosity and imagination

  • See problems from different perspectives

  • Re-imagine and Re-invent

  • Communicate Effectively

  • Act with honor, ethics, and integrity


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